Will 2020-21 finally be the season where someone in PAC-12 Basketball rises above the rest and establishes themselves as a true national title contender?
Eight of the 12 teams in PAC-12 Basketball had a record between 11-7 and 7-11 in conference play last year, continuing a disturbing trend with little separation between the best and worst teams in the conference.
The PAC-12 continues to beat each other up in conference play, often negating many strong performances in the non-conference slate and leading to an NCAA tournament showing where a lot of teams make the tournament as undesirable middle-round seeds, rarely advancing past the second weekend of games.
Unfortunately, it looks like more of the same could be on the docket in 2020-2021. A ton of talent is leaving the conference, including Onyeka Okongwu (USC) Tyrell Terry (Stanford) Payton Pritchard (Oregon) Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels (Washington) Tres Tinkle (Oregon State) CJ Ellerby (Washington State) Tyler Bey (Colorado) and of course the freshman trio of Nico Mannion, Joshua Greene and Zeke Nnaj from the University of Arizona.
While there are a handful of teams that did a great job of adding talent to their roster, either via recruits or transfers, it’s not clear that any one team is going to stand out above the rest, and indeed the range of outcomes for some of these schools is very wide.
It will be another interesting year in the PAC-12, and with a potentially abolished non-conference slate – if the conference doesn’t vote to allow athletic competition to resume in 2020 – it will be even tougher to make head or tails of the results in conference play.
While I ultimately suspect the conference will host non-conference games starting with the rest of the NCAA in late November, it will still be a jumbled mess of teams on the west coast in 2020-2021.
Here’s a look at the PAC 12 power rankings at this stage in the offseason, based on roster construction and the potential impactful newcomers on each squad heading into the campaign.