Pac-12 All-Freshmen and All-Transfer TeamsPosted by Andrew Murawa (@amurawa) on November 7th, 2013
It’s become a new era in college sports, especially in basketball. The fortunes of a program can change almost overnight, not only with the addition of big-time one-and-done freshmen, but also with proven entities transferring from one program to another with immediate eligibility. In recent years, it has become almost mandatory for coaches to not only pound the pavement in search of high school recruits, but to also keep their nose to the ground with the possibility of landing some immediate impact transfers. In our fair conference, some coaches, most prominently Dana Altman at Oregon, have turned into a welcome landing spot for those quality transfers. So, in the interest of recognizing that, as we unveil our official RTC Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, we’ll also turn you on to our All-Transfer team as well.
- Aaron Gordon, forward, Arizona – Gordon is the unanimous selection as our preseason Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12. A five-star recruit out of the Bay Area, he is expected to be the primary offensive weapon for Sean Miller’s Wildcats. Right now he’s dealing with a “nagging groin strain” which will likely limit his outstanding athleticism early, but once he gets healthy, watch out.
- Jabari Bird, guard, California – The Golden Bears lose last year’s Pac-12 Player of the Year in Allen Crabbe and are fortunate enough to be able to plug four-star freshman guard Bird right into his place. He may not have quite as sweet a stroke as Crabbe did, but he is more athletic and should be able to an contribute big things right away.
- Nigel Williams-Goss, guard, Washington – A five-star point guard out of Findlay Prep, Williams-Goss is expected to take over the vacant Husky lead guard spot from day one. He’s big and heady and if he can handle the pressure, he’ll make the Huskies a contender right away.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, wing, Arizona – Hollis-Jefferson is Miller’s “other” five-star McDonald’s All-American in the 2013 class. Long and athletic, he will operate on the wing and around the elbows for the Wildcats. If he can tidy up his inconsistent jumper, he has ridiculous upside.
- Que Johnson, wing, Washington State –
Also receiving votes: Zach LaVine, Guard, UCLA; Wesley Gordon, Forward, Colorado
- Mike Moser, Senior, Forward, Oregon – Moser is our preseason Transfer of the Year, earning the top spot on two of three ballots. He’s back in the Pac-12 after beginning his career at UCLA, before spending the past two seasons at UNLV. His sophomore year in Vegas was spectacular, as he averaged 14 points and 10 boards per game, but last year was lost to injury, chemistry problems and just general dysfunction. If he can bounce back to his 2011-12 level, he’s capable of being an all-conference performer.
- T.J. McConnell, Junior, Guard, Arizona – The transfer from Duquesne spent last year leading the scout team for the Wildcats, but now, with Mark Lyons gone, the Wildcats are his team. He’s a good shooter, capable of scoring when needed, but with talented guys surrounding him, he’ll often be content to be a floor general and defensive bulldog. He’ll have a bigger impact than his numbers will show.
- Joseph Young, Junior, Guard, Oregon – The recipient of our third Transfer of the Year vote, last year at Houston, Young averaged 18 ridiculously efficient points per game. He shot 42 percent from three, 87.5 percent from the free-throw line and absolutely never turns the ball over. Duck fans will love him.
- Jermaine Marshall, Senior, Wing, Arizona State – After averaging 15.3 points per game last year at Penn State, Marshall comes to the desert at the perfect time for the Sun Devils. He’ll slip into the spot vacated by outgoing transfer Evan Gordon and will have a chance to play the role of Robin to Jahii Carson’s Batman.
- Perris Blackwell, Senior, Center, Washington – Blackwell will be a solid if unspectacular rock in the middle for the Huskies. Two years ago at San Francisco, he averaged 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, but with a higher quality of players around him, expect those rebound numbers to go up and the point totals to dip.
Also receiving votes: Richard Amardi, Forward, Oregon; Pe’Shon Howard, Guard, USC