Pac-10 2010/2011: Who's In? Who's Out?

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Staff Writer Alex Tuttle takes a look at who’s leaving the Pac-10, and who’s coming, for the 2010/2011 season. Alex also takes an early shot at ranking the 10 teams going into next year.

Sure, it’s a little early, but here at Montlake Madness we’re already counting the days. (In case you were wondering, if the Huskies play their first game on the same day next season, we’re just a mere 216 days away from tip-off. The fact that I (Themod) will be a father by then is freakier than I can convey in a short intro.


by Alex Tuttle – Staff Writer


(1) Washington

Who’s out:Who’s in:


What to expect: The emergence of Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning down the stretch in 2010 means that the bulk of the Dawgs’ rotation will be filled with solid, experienced upperclassmen in 2011. If a few things go right (the team gels quickly in the Maui tournament, Abdul Gaddy makes big off-season improvements, help comes on the recruiting recruiting front), UW may be able to turn their attention to even bigger aspirations than this year’s oh-so-Sweet 16 finish.


(2) ArizonaWho’s out: Who’s in:


What to expect: The Wildcats look like the team most ready to take the leap next season. Nic Wise is a huge loss for Arizona, which hasn’t recruited particularly well in the backcourt. (cue chant: Who’s your Gaddy?) But Olson/O’Neill/Pennell/Miller have recruited a lot of size, and if forward Derrick Williams eschews the NBA for a year, the Wildcats will present difficult matchup problems for a small conference next season.


(3) U$CWho’s out:Who’s in:


What to expect: The USC team I saw this season was a long, athletic, talented squad that can afford a couple of losses to graduation. Immediately after the sanctions were announced, Kevin O’Neill’s team hit a big skid. But before that, and then again toward the end of the season, the Trojans looked like they could compete for the Pac-10 title. Certainly there are two big pairs of shoes to fill with the loses of Gerrity and Lewis, but in comparison to the rest of the conference, the Trojans will be relatively experienced. Plus, 2011 will be their second season in O’Neill’s system.


(4) UCLAWho’s out:Who’s in:


What to expect: The Bruins will be a new team in 2010-11, with a lot of new faces. Reeves Nelson, Malcom Lee, and Tyler Honeycutt form a new core around which coach Ben Howland can build.  But no matter how talented their newcomers may be, the Bruins will need to eventually get back to their suffocating man-to-man defense to have any chance at the conference title. And incoming JC transfer Lazeric Jones will need to learn quickly for the Bruin backcourt to get back to where it needs to be. Enjoy your four months of Josh Smith, Bruin fans.


(5) Arizona StateWho’s out:Who’s in:


What to expect: The surprise darlings of the 2010 Pac-10 season won’t be so fortunate in 2011. Yes, the Sun Devils have a top-notch coach and some returning talent, but they have lost four quality players to graduation and the NBA in two years. At some point those losses will catch up with them. Meanwhile, the rest of the conference is growing up. That’s not to say ASU can’t possibly make an NCAA tournament appearance, but they are under-talented compared to the top four teams in the conference.


(6) CaliforniaWho’s out:Who’s in:


What to expect: Picking the bottom half in this conference next year is not easy. But coach Mike Montgomery usually finds a way to get more out of his teams than most coaches, and he has a strong incoming recruiting class to offset their heavy losses to graduation (the Bears only returning rotation player is G Jorge Gutierrez). I bet Monty will keep the Bears respectable while they rebuild.


(7) Washington StateWho’s out: Nikola Koprivica (graduation), Xavier Thames, Machael Harthun, and Anthony Brown (transfers) Who’s in:


What to expect: The Cougars will probably be the trendy media pick for making a move up in the conference next year (how’d that work for Oregon State in 2009/10?) and with the quality of some of their returning players (DeAngelo Casto, Klay Thompson), that may be justified. But making the transition from Tony Bennett’s style of basketball to Ken Bone’s is going to take more than one season. WSU has no choice but to replace their outgoing transfers with more youth and inexperience. Next season will be a nice step up from the cellar, but the Cougs are at least another year from returning to the bubble discussion.


(8) Oregon StateWho’s out: Roeland Schaftenaar, Seth Tarver, Josh Tarver, Calvin Hampton (graduation)  Who’s in:


What to expect: The Beavers have made huge strides under coach Craig Robinson, but they still lack the overall depth of talent on the roster necessary to compete every week in the Pac-10. Losing Tarver and Schaftenaar means another year of rebuilding, unless true freshman Devon Collier and sophomore Roberto Nelson come along really quickly.


(9) Stanford

Who’s out: Landry Fields, Chris Ebersole, Drew Shiller, Emmanuel Igbinosa (graduation)

Who’s in: Anthony Brown (#7 SF), Dwight Powell (#11 C), John Gage (#17 C), Josh Huestis (#21 SF), Aaron Bright (#40 PG), Stefan Nastic (#49 PF)


What to expect: Landry Fields was statistically the best player in the Pac-10 in 2010, and his graduation is crushing for a team that was already lacking talent in its surrounding role players. The Cardinal’s recruiting class is deep, but lacks the impact players that could help them climb up the standings immediately.


(10) Oregon

Who’s out: Tajuan Porter (graduation), Ernie Kent (Mexico, presumably)

Who’s in: A Phil-Knight-endorsed coach to be named later, probably recruit or two.


What to expect: There really isn’t any way to know until the Ducks name a coach. Oregon will return a lot of players in 2011, including a few with real talent, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them as high as sixth after it’s all said and done. But this team didn’t exactly rally around Ernie Kent, so it’s tough to predict that they will gel quickly in a brand new system in 2011.

(rankings by Scout.com)


Thanks for coming!