2007 Pac Ten Basketball Preview
Prior to the start of the 2007- 2008 NCAA Basketball season, the Pac-10 has five teams in the top 25. That means half of the Pac-10 makes up 20% of the top 25! UCLA, Washington State, Stanford, Arizona and Oregon are the clubs that range from number one—UCLA—to number 20 or 22. Either Arizona or Oregon occupy one of those slots. Many of these teams will be included in our free college basketball picks!
The UCLA Bruins could be the nation’s top team when all is said and done. Inclusion in the March Madness bracket is almost assured and a the conference championship should also be theirs. There’s a lot expected of this team, and they look ready to deliver.
Last season, the Washington State Cougars flew under everyone’s radar. This season they return a bunch of seasoned players and a team that is finely balanced with a whole lot of depth.
Stanford will compete with the Pac-10’s top teams. They could certainly finish second or third. The frontcourt can devastate teams and the college basketball point spreads, while the backcourt must control and protect the ball much better than they did in 2006- 2007.
The Ducks of Oregon vastly improved their record last season, as they almost doubled their victories from the year before. This is a well-balanced team, offering fine shooting and big-bodied defense.
When you consider the top twenty-five, Arizona can certainly be there and go deep into the tourney. But the club requires that certain guys step-up and take charge. Kirk Walters and Jordan Hill both need to be productive on the inside, while shutting down opponents. Kevin O’Neill has been added as an assistant coach to help improve Arizona’s weak “D.”
The California Golden Bears desperately need defense too. They also require added scoring. The Bears may get both, but the question is will they manufacture enough points and create enough havoc to get 20 or more wins once again this year?
For the Washington Huskies to find their way back to the Big Dance, they’ll need to make up for deficiencies on defense and in ball handling and the loss of their primary center. Four starters return and some fine freshmen could be a big help.
The USC Trojans have some of the finest freshman talent in the nation, including guard O.J. Mayo. In his first two years at USC, coach Tim Floyd has made the Trojans a winner. This season with the lack of vets on the court it will be difficult for Floyd finish in the top half of the Pac-10.
Arizona State will look to some new blood to put points on the board, as the Sun Devils, who averaged only 58.5 PPG, were last in scoring in the Pac-10 and 320th in the nation. The Devils have not won 20 games since the 2002- 2003 season. Don’t expect them to do it this year either.
The Oregon State Beavers’ season should add up to more than 11 wins, which is what they got last year. They’ve have some good new talent and a fairly soft schedule. But they won’t be in a NCAA bracket come March.
The Pac-10 is a conference that continues to be more and more competitive. That’s never good news for the have-nots or the clubs trying to break through. There’s a good chance that the national champ could come out of this conference.
2007 Pac Ten Basketball Predictions
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2) Washington State Cougars
3) Stanford Cardinal
4) Oregon Ducks
5) Arizona Wildcats
6) Cal Golden Bears
7) Washington Huskies
8) USC Trojans
9) Arizona State Sun Devils
10) Oregon State Beavers