Arizona is emerging as the early favorite to win the Pac-12 title in 2013.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar noted the Wildcats, NIT champion Stanford and UCLA would be among the top teams in the conference. He also said USC will be the most improved team.
The day after the 2011-12 season ended, ESPN’s Andy Katz released his preseason top 25 and ranked the Wildcats at No. 12. He wrote: “Arizona should lean heavily on Solomon Hill as a lead returnee (along with Kevin Parrom’s return), but this will be a team heavy on newcomers. The recruiting class is currently ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN, with Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett, Brandon Ashley and Gabe York heading to Tucson. This team will be young in November but should make its mark in March.”
Arizona was the only Pac-12 team in Katz’s top 25. The Wildcats were also the lone representative from the conference in a preseason ranking from Mike Miller at NBC Sports and Jon Wilner at the Mercury News.
Plenty of links to digest today so have at it.
THURSDAY MORNING LINKS:
— It appears as if Anthony Bennett won’t get serious about picking a school until after he plays in the April 14 Jordan Brand Classic, according to Adam Zagoria. If he waits that long, Bennett will likely be the top recruit in the country who is undeclared. His choices include: Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, Florida and UNLV.
— The Hoop Scoop ranks the best coaches in the nation and includes Lorenzo Romar at No. 22 on the list. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski tops the list. Arizona’s Sean Miller is 12 and California’s Mike Montgomery is 17.
— Here’s video of Romar’s season-ending press conference on Wednesday.
— Romar told the Everett Herald the cupboard isn’t bare and believes “We still have some pieces there to be able to continue to go forward.”
— The Huskies are selling tickets to Wednesday’s awards banquet.
— The Pac-12 announced the all-Academic teams and honorable mention selections. Three Washington State players were chosen and Stanford led the league with eight honorees.
— Bud Withers marked two memorable milestones.
— In case you missed it, Steve Kelley debates both sides of Tony Wroten Jr.’s decision to turn pro.
— UCLA signed Kyle Anderson, who is considered one of the nation’s top incoming freshmen, but the Bruins believe landing Shabazz Muhammad is critical to their return to prominence. He could also save coach Ben Howland’s job. Muhammad is also considering Kentucky and Duke.
— Junior forward Solomon Hill was named Arizona’s MVP.
— Colorado reserve sophomore guard Jeremy Adams, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, admits he had difficulty last season managing the disease.
— Oregonian columnist John Canzano highlights the influence of infamous power broker “Worldwide Wes” Wesley who sat behind Kentucky’s bench and watched the team he helped put together win the national championship.
— Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley takes a look at the one-and-done problem in college basketball through the eyes and quotes of high-level decision-makers.
— NBC Sports did a great job capsulizing the season in photos. However, it’s interesting to note there’s just one pic of a Pac-12 team.
— Here’s an interesting look at the economics of the NCAA tournament.