And then there was basketball. Starting tonight, if you play your cards right, you can watch college basketball straight through for the next four months, maybe taking a Friday night off here and there to recharge the batteries. Hopefully we’ve done a good job here at the RTC Pac-12 microsite getting you ready for the season. As our last hurrah before we have actual games to talk and write about, we’d like to unveil the results of our five-man preseason poll (Adam Butler, Andrew Murawa, Connor Pelton, Kevin Danna and Tracy McDannald), linking to our team previews for each of the 12 teams in this conference. Below that we also link to our preseason All-Conference teams for one handy spot to return come March to figure out all the places we screwed up. Besides that, the recommendation from these parts is just to sit back, enjoy a tasty snack or enticing beverage, and enjoy some hoops tonight. Happy New Year everybody.
- Arizona. The Wildcats are our unanimous choice for first place and, all things considered, we mark them and point guard T.J. McConnell as the team to beat by a wide margin.
- Utah. The Utes still have a lot to prove, especially in close games, but with All-America candidate Delon Wright leading the way, their talent wins out for our voters.
- Stanford. The Cardinal are coming off a thrilling Sweet Sixteen run, and if the Johnny Dawkins can find a few breakout players they could be the team to challenge the Wildcats.
- Colorado. Tad Boyle’s squad returns all of his familiar faces, save one. One of their point guards will have to step up for the Buffaloes to sneak up the standings.
- UCLA. The Bruins are the conference’s blue blood, but they’ll need Isaac Hamilton to have an impactful freshman season to get much higher than this.
- Cal. Cuonzo Martin’s first year in the Bay Area will be a lot easier if Sam Singer steps up and earns the point guard spot.
- Washington. The last time the Huskies made the NCAA Tournament, Isaiah Thomas was their point guard. If they’re going to break that streak, Robert Upshaw needs to begin to live up to his promise.
- Oregon. Joseph Young is the team’s star, but newcomers like Dwayne Benjamin are going to have to contribute for the Ducks to have a chance.
- Arizona State. Guys like Jahii Carson and Jordan Bachynski are gone, meaning newcomers like Willie Atwood are feeling the pressure to produce.
- USC. In Andy Enfield’s second season, the Trojans are starting to look like the team he has in mind, but Jordan McLaughlin and company might need a little more experience to move up the standings.
- Washington State. Ernie Kent is ready to change the culture in Pullman, but in the short-term, DaVonte Lacy is the Cougars’ best bet.
- Oregon State. The Beavers are ready to bring in a talented recruiting class next season, but in his first year, Wayne Tinkle has to hope Gary Payton II plays a lot like his father.
Beyond all of that content, below you’ll find the rest of our preview pieces. Feel free to make fun of us for our misses, and congratulate us for our hits, when all is said and done a few months from now.