This year in the Pac-12 the teams have less proven “super-stars” but yet as a whole the conference will be stronger. There is a lot of talent in the Pac-12 and someone at the end of the year will hold up the award for the conference’s best player. I decided to go through and give each team their best player (or my opinion of their best) and rank them. Therefore, while there are some teams that will have multiple candidates for the award, I picked just one. For example, Solomon Hill is not on this list but he might be a legit contender in the end.
These are my very early preseason candidates for the conference player of the year award.
12. Arizona State- Jahii Carson
A red-shirt freshman from Arizona State may have to be the big-man on the roster as it is a completely re-tooling and re-loading roster. He does have some good talent and he has had a year to get better and learn the system. However, when compared to other players on this list, he still has a ways to go.
11. Oregon State- Ahmad Starks
Another team that is reloading. They will miss their star from last year, Jared Cunnigham, and other guards will need to step up in this system. Starks could be the leading scorer for the team by mid-season. However, similar to Carson, on this list he has more work to do.
10. Arizona- Nick Johnson
There is a lot of talent on Arizona, especially young talent. I thought about Solomon Hill but I really think that Johnson will take a huge step forward and he was already impressive last year. Johnson has a knack for scoring and he will help lead this team, the ball will be in his hands a lot.
9. Oregon- EJ Singler
He can score, and he will have to lead this team.
8. Stanford- Chasson Randle
Randle was the leading scorer last season for the Cardinal and should take another step forward this season. He will have the help of Aaron Bright and Stanford will rely on his hot hands.
7. Utah- Aaron Dotson
Utah will look like a different team next season. They have some big time play-makers coming in. I doubt they are going to compete for the crown but they will surprise a lot of people. Part of that success will come from Dotson. He is a pure-scorer and can hit from deep or take it to the rack. When he is motivated, he will score.
6. USC- Jio Fontan
The Trojans will also look like a completely different team, having their starters back again. Fontan is explosive and a very skilled scorer. He can also distribute the ball with ease and accuracy. Fontan has a shot as the Pac-12 best player but it needs to be seen.
5. Washington- CJ Wilcox
You know what Wilcox can do. He can shoot from three, and last season he added to his arsenal the ability to take it to the hole. He needs to do more of that to be really considered in this race. There is a chance that another Husky could emerge too (Mark Mclaughlin, Abdul Gaddy) but most likely Wilcox is going to be the one in the mix.
4. Washington State- Brock Motum
Motum showed that his motor is constant. He can shoot and he can play with his back to the basket. He is hard to defend and may have a legitimate shot at the Pac-12 player of the year award.
3. California- Allen Crabbe
Crabbe was the go-to-guy last season for the Golden Bears outside of Jorge Gutierrez and he will now be the focus point of the offense.
2. UCLA- Shabazz Muhammad
The top ranked recruit in the Pac-12 is also a contender for the Pac-12 player of the year award because of his ability to take-over basketball games. He should be a one-and-done player and a potential top 10 pick if he continues to dominate the way he did in high school.
1. Colorado- Andre Roberson
This is one of those guys that will make or break his career on this season. He can be one of the top picks in the NBA Draft next season if he continues to tear it up on the hardwood. However, if he takes a step back that could hurt both his player of the year chances and his draft stock. He is impressive on defense and on offense. The Buffs will really utilize his decision to come back to Colorado for another year and he has my very early prediction as Pac-12 player of the year.