Just picked up the Sporting News 2011-12 college basketball preseason magazine and it’s an informative and interesting read. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News penned the write-up on the Pac-12 and picked Arizona to repeat as champions.
Washington was tabbed fourth behind No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 California.
Choosing Arizona as preseason favorites is an odd choice considering the magazine did not select a Wildcats player among the five chosen to its All-Pac-12 team. SN selected Washington sophomore guard Terrence Ross, UCLA junior forward Reeves Nelson, Oregon State junior guard Jared Cunningham and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez and sophomore guard Allen Crabbe from California.
The magazine released a list of preseason honors and chose UW junior guard Abdul Gaddy the Pac-12’s best passer. No other Husky player was selected for the other 16 categories.
Washington State coach Ken Bone was selected the coach on the hot seat while UCLA big man Joshua Smith, the former Kentwood High star, was picked the top NBA prospect.
North Carolina landed at No. 1 in SN’s preseason top 25 poll. Pac-12 teams include: No. 12 Arizona. No. 15 UCLA, No. 23 California and No. 25 Washington.
The magazine projects Arizona (No. 3 seed), UCLA (No. 4), California (No. 6), Washington (No. 7) and Oregon (No. 11) will qualify for the NCAA tournament.
No Pac-12 player was picked on SN’s three five-man preseason All-America teams.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON LINKS:
— In our live chat today with Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner talked about the possibility of relocating the conference tournament. He said the league has received six bids from cities that want to host the Pac-12 tourney. He said the conference plans to make a decision before the end of the year. Scott also noted the league is evaluating its officials and insinuated there could be changes.
— Recruiting heats up Friday, which is the start of a four-week contact period that includes home visits. The early signing period is Nov. 9-16.
— Arizona State’s Jahii Carson, who many believe is one of the best freshmen point guards in the Pac-12, still has not been ruled eligible to play by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Maybe it’s nothing, but the Sun Devils have high hopes for Carson. If he’s unavailable, any chance ASU returns to prominence goes out the window.
— Oregon’s Italian exhibition tour revealed the Ducks have a major problem with turnovers. They committed 97 in five games, which was a major reason for their 2-3 record. Oregon had just 45 assists.