Our look at the hoops landscape of the conference starts to get very muddled. Utah and Arizona State are clearly going to be the teams fighting for scraps, and Washington State will probably struggle, but after that the Pac-12 becomes very uncertain. Who knows which team will rises to the top? Who can challenge the main contenders? What will separate the third place team from the eighth place team?
The next team we cover can fall anywhere on that spectrum and it wouldn't be that big a surprise if they went above or below it. Anything can happen in the Pac.
Arriving: Top ten point guard Dominic Artis, Top 150 forward Ben Carter, wing man Damyean Dotson, Houston swing player Fred Richardson.
Dana Altman had a real impressive season, but he's going to have start pulling rabbits out of the refrigerator for this year. His starting backcourt is gone, as is his versatile power forward, as are two key reserves. That leaves Oregon with only five players with any real experience, and plenty of weaknesses elsewhere.
Oregon would still have E.J. Singler. They would have a good center to anchor the defense with Tony Woods, an Ashaolu-lite clone in Carlos Emory, and they'd have a speedy point guard in Jonathan Loyd. Then after that, redshirt center Austin Kuemper provides some backcourt depth, Brett Kigma becomes the third guard behind Artis and Loyd, and Carter and Dotson will have to provide wing and big support.
Nine guys, only four with relative playing experience. Gear up.
Oregon has three tiny guards in Loyd, Brett Kigma, and Artis, plus solid big talent in Emory, Woods, Kuemper and Carter. But there will be no real wings to stretch the floor other than Singler, meaning teams that can shoot the three ball can feast on the Ducks. The transfers of Jabari Brown and Bruce Barron will make it very hard for Oregon to replicate their offensive performance from last season, and probably means Dotson will have to step up earlier than Altman would have preferred.
I won't underestimate Altman, but to get this team competing for an NCAA Tournament bid would be his finest effort yet.
awbutler: Gut says this is a group that will be overrated and undeservedly so. They lose a lot, particularly by way of over achievement (Garrett Sim, what??), but I'm starting to be a Dana Altman believer. He's an X's and O's guru and is brining the up tempo offense of PAC yesteryear that we all crave. He'll have the catalyst of such with Artis and Singler is the ultimate glue guy to keep an eye on for a tremendous farewell season. Unsure of its noteworthy-ness, but the Ducks did pickup a late commitment from Houston three-star, Fred Richardson.