The Colorado Buffaloes were voted 6th place in the pre-season media poll, the Pac-12 published earlier today. Ahead of the Buffs were, in order, UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC and Stanford.
Three of those teams reached the NCAA Tournament last year and had relative success. Arizona, the Pac-12 winner, was a 1-seed and reached the Sweet Sixteen. So too did the Bruins, who reached the Final Four in 2021 and still maintain Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell from those squads. USC made it in as a 7-seed, but lost in the first round to Miami (Fl.). The remaining teams, Oregon and Stanford, struggled last year winning 20 and 16 games respectively. The Ducks get the benefit of the doubt after a weird, injury-riddled season, while the Cardinal return most of their roster, including star sophomore Harrison Ingram.
Following the Buffs, in order, is Arizona State, Washington State, Washington, Utah, California and Oregon State. Bobby Hurley’s ASU was a dysfunctional mess last season, so they brought back everyone plus Michigan transfer Frankie Collins to replace the graduating Marreon Jackson. Wazzu was supposed to break out, didn’t, then lost star forward Ife Abogidi to the G League Ignite. Washington is the last team worth mentioning and they should continue to improve, especially after poaching Keion Brooks from Kentucky and Noah Williams from their in-state rival.
For what it’s worth, Ken Pomeroy’s rankings of the teams is quite similar: Arizona (10th in the country), UCLA (11), Oregon (29), USC (36), Stanford (58), Colorado (61), Washington State (71), Utah (72), Arizona State (75), Washington (113), Cal (146) and Oregon State (228).
Also of note, the Pac-12 announced their pre-season all-conference selections on Monday.
Tyger Campbell, G, UCLA
Branden Carlson, C, Utah
Boogie Ellis, G, USC
Mouhamed Gueye, F, Washington State
Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford
Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA
Spencer Jones, G, Stanford
Drew Peterson, G, USC
Will Richardson, G, Oregon
Azuolas Tubelis, F, Arizona
Marcus Bagley, G, Arizona State
Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado
DJ Horne, G, Arizona State
Kerr Kriisa, G, Arizona
Pelle Larsson, F, Arizona
Colorado’s K.J. Simpson was an honorable mention.