Here’s how Herald writer Scott M. Johnson sees this year’s Pac-12 men’s race shaping up:
Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe are conference’s best 1-2 combination … and that might be enough.
Took Wildcats time to move on from Derrick Williams, but they’re finding their rhythm.
Most pleasant surprise of non-conference season has enough experience and depth to challenge for title.
Bruins got better when Reeves Nelson left … but will they miss him at some point?
Questionable frontcourt and leadership void leave Huskies as long shots for regular-season title.
6) Oregon State
Beavers have enough talent to challenge for title, but they’re still maddeningly inconsistent.
7) Washington State
Cougars have moved on rather nicely despite losses of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto … so far.
Once considered title contenders, Ducks suffered several blows — on and off the court — during their non-conference schedule.
9) Southern Cal
Same old story in Troy: plenty of new faces, and outcome depends on how quickly they come together.
Had Alec Burks stuck around, Buffs would’ve challenged for Pac-12 title; without him, they’ll just try to stay out of cellar.
11) Arizona State
Trent Lockett getting some scoring help from super-soph Keala King, but will it be enough?
Went 13-18 as Mountain West team last year, and competition should be tougher.
Scott M. Johnson’s picks for the 2011-12 All-Pac 12 men’s basketball team:
G Trent Lockett, Arizona State
G Jorge Gutierrez, Cal
F Terrence Ross, UW
F Allen Crabbe, Cal
F Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
3 POSSIBLE X-FACTORS
Three less-heralded players who may end up having an impact on this year’s Pac-12 race:
G Tony Wroten Jr., Washington
G Reggie Moore, Washington State
F Solomon Hill, Arizona