Now that we have a firm grasp of who is off to the professional ranks and who returns to change the face of the 2023-24 Pac-12 basketball race, we can start to see how the dust may settle.

Here’s how I rank the Pac-12 programs heading into summer …

12. Cal

Head coach: Mark Madsen

2022-23 record: 3-29

2022-23 postseason finish: None

Biggest returners: G Devin Askew

Biggest additions: F Jaylon Tyson, F Fardaws Aimaq, F Keonte Kennedy

Biggest losses: G Joel Brown, C Lars Thiemann, F Kuany Kuany

Well, it certainly can’t get worse than last year. The Bears went 3-29, leading to Mark Fox’s obvious firing, and they brought in former Stanford star Mark Madsen to helm the ship. Mad Dog quickly went to work, bringing in a top-10 transfer portal class.

Talent-wise, the Bears are clearly better. Now it’s Madsen’s time to show it.

11. Oregon State

Head coach: Wayne Tinkle

2022-23 record: 11-21

2022-23 postseason finish: None

Biggest returners: G Jordan Pope, G Jaydon Stevens, F Tyler Bilodeau

Biggest additions: N/A

Biggest losses: G Nick Krass, G Glenn Taylor Jr.

A total non-factor in the transfer portal, Oregon State is going to struggle to improve upon its 11-win season last year, which itself marked an 8-win improvement from 2021-22.

10. Washington State

Head coach: Kyle Smith

2022-23 record: 17-17

2022-23 postseason finish: NIT, 1st round

Biggest returners: G Jabe Mullins, G Kymany Houinsou, G Dylan Darling

Biggest additions: F Isaac Jones, F Rueben Chinyelu, F Oscar Cluff, G Joseph Yesufu

Biggest losses: G TJ Bamba, C Mouhamed Gueye, F DJ Rodman, F Justin Powell

After a disappointing regression back to .500 following a surprising 22-15 season in 2021-22, the Cougars could be in store for another tough year. They lose their top 4 players, including a pair of would-be all-conference candidates in Bamba and Gueye. Losing Rodman to conference rival USC has to sting a bit. Smith is counting on a big year on and off the floor from Yesufu, a Kansas transfer.

9. Arizona State

Head coach: Bobby Hurley

2022-23 record: 23-13

2022-23 postseason finish: NCAA Tournament, 1st round

Biggest returners:  G Frankie Collins

Biggest additions: C Shawn Phillips, G Adam Miller, G Malachi Davis, F Zane Meeks

Biggest losses: G Desmond Cambridge, G Devan Cambridge, G DJ Horne, F Warren Washington, F Marcus Bagley

It must have been a mixed bag of emotions for the ultra-competitive Bobby Hurley to have watched his brother Dan win the national championship with the UConn Huskies this year. On the one hand, seeing your brother take home a title is a special family moment. But Hurley burns inside to cut down the nets himself after winning 2 titles as Duke’s star point guard.

Not a mixed bag: How Hurley feels about having to replace much of his starting lineup, as only Collins returns to lead the Sun Devils.

8. Washington

Head coach: Mike Hopkins

2022-23 record: 16-16

2022-23 postseason finish: None

Biggest returners: G Keion Brooks, C Braxton Meah

Biggest additions: F Moses Wood, G Sahvir Wheeler, G Anthony Holland, G Wesley Yates

Biggest losses: F Cole Bajema, G Keyon Menifield, G Jamal Bey

With one of the conference’s top scorers back in Brooks and some nice complimentary pieces, Hopkins is hoping to lead to the postseason for the first time since 2018-19. Washington has been just average the past two years, but it’ll take average over the 5-21 debacle of 2020-21. Hopkins and the Huskies appear to have moved on from that, but they’ll need to take another step this year.

7. Stanford

Head coach: Jerod Haase

2022-23 record: 14-19

2022-23 postseason finish: None

Biggest returners: F Spencer Jones, F Michael Jones, G Brandon Angel, F Maxime Raynaud, G Michael O’Connell

Biggest additions: F Andrej Stojakovic, G Kanaan Carlyle

Biggest losses: F Harrison Ingram

Despite losing Ingram, who never quite reached his potential in Palo Alto, Haase has probably his most talented roster since arriving on the Farm. Without an NCAA Tournament berth in his tenure, and without even an NIT appearance since 2017-18, the time is now for Haase if he wants to keep his job. He’s counting on some quick learning from his impressive freshmen.

6. Oregon

Head coach: Dana Altman

2022-23 record: 21-15

2022-23 postseason finish: NIT, quarterfinals

Biggest returners: C N’Faly Dante, G Jermaine Couisnard, G Keeshawn Barthelemy

Biggest additions: F Devan Cambridge, F Mookie Cook, G Jesse Zarzuela

Biggest losses: G Will Richardson, F Quincy Guerrier, C Kel’el Ware

This is a big year for Altman, who did not sound happy last year, both with the results and effort from his team. At times after the season, Altman sounded so frustrated that I wouldn’t have been surprised if he took a year off. But he returns with some nice talent, including a potential conference player of the year in Dante, while bringing in a potential top-15 scorer in Cambridge.

If the wheels come off this year, it might be time for a parting of the ways.

5. Utah

Head coach: Craig Smith

2022-23 record: 17-15

2022-23 postseason finish: None

Biggest returners: C Brendan Carlson, G Rollie Worster, G Gabe Madsen, F Ben Carlson

Biggest addition: G Deivon Smith, C Lawson Lovering, F Cole Bajema

Biggest losses: G Lazar Stefanovic, G Marco Anthony

The Utes added a pair of nice intraconference transfers in former Husky Bajema and former Buffalo Lovering, who should blend in well with one of the best returning rosters in the conference. Had they held onto Stefanovic or had he not gone to UCLA, I probably would peg the Utes for 4th right now, after they had a sizeable 6-win improvement in both overall record (from 11-20 to 17-15) and in conference play (from 4-16 to 10-10). That conference mark in Year 2 of a rebuild is particularly impressive.

Utah could finish as high as 3rd in the conference if the stars align.


Head coach: Mick Cronin

2022-23 record: 31-6

2022-23 postseason finish: NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16

Biggest returners: F Adem Bona, G Dylan Andrews

Biggest additions: G Lazar Stefanovic, F Brandon Williams, F Devin Williams

Biggest losses: G Tyger Campbell, G Amari Bailey, F Jaime Jaquez, F Jaylen Clark, G David Singleton

The Bruins are clearly in the biggest state of transition they’ve been in under Cronin. Few teams in the country lost as much talent as UCLA. How as Cronin responded? By going global.

The arrival of Vide, a Slovenian scorer, along with France’s Fibleuil and former Utah transfer and budding Serbian star Stefanovic (Serbia), is an entirely new look. Along with both Williamses, the Bruins have some nice young talent, but they will clearly take a step back this year.

3. Colorado

Head coach: Tad Boyle

2022-23 record: 18-17

2022-23 postseason finish: NIT, 2nd round

Biggest returners:  G Tristan da Silva, G KJ Simpson, F Julian Hammond III

Biggest additions: F Cody Williams, F Eddie Lampkin

Biggest losses: C Lawson Lovering, G Nique Clifford

It’s a little hard to believe, but Boyle hasn’t topped the 23-win mark since winning 24 in each of his first 2 seasons in 2010-11 and ’11-12. The Buffaloes have been to the NCAA Tournament 4 times since then and won 23 games 3 times, but they haven’t broken that barrier.

This might be the year. The return of da Silva from testing the draft waters, plus the arrival of 5-star recruit Williams and Lampkin from TCU, makes the Buffs one of the most dangerous teams in the west. Simpson and Hammond also boost the Buffs’ profile.

Boyle has to be much more consistent in non-conference play, though. He simply didn’t have the Buffaloes prepared too many times. Early-season losses at Grambling (inexplicable) and UMass (yikes) squandered wins against No. 11 Tennessee and No. 24 Texas A&M.

2. USC

Head coach: Andy Enfield

2022-23 record: 22-11

2022-23 postseason finish: NCAA Tournament, 1st round

Biggest returners:  G Boogie Ellis, F Kobe Johnson, C Joshua Morgan

Biggest additions: G Isaiah Collier, G Bronny James, F DJ Rodman

Biggest losses: G Drew Peterson, G Tre White, G Reese Dixon-Waters

The Trojans are the de rigueur Pac-12 preseason favorites after the commitments of Collier and James and the transfer of Rodman, who add to an already potent roster that includes a potential conference player of the year in Ellis.

But I’ve seen enough out of Tommy Lloyd — and out of Enfield — to put my faith in the Wildcats over the sometimes inconsistent Trojans. USC has lost some weird games in recent years, including to Oregon State and Florida Gulf Coast last year and to Stanford twice in 2021-22. I actually really liked the Trojans last year and thought they’d beat Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Had they made a little run last year, maybe my opinion would be different.

1. Arizona

Head coach: Tommy Lloyd

2022-23 record: 28-7

2022-23 postseason finish: NCAA Tournament, 1st round

Biggest returners:  F Pelle Larsson, C Oumar Ballo

Biggest additions: G Caleb Love, G Jaden Bradley, F Keshad Johnson

Biggest losses: F Azuolas Tubelis, G Kerr Kriisa, G Courtney Ramey

Then again, it’s not like the Wildcats impressed in the tourney last year; if anything, they depressed, as a rare No. 2-seed to lose to a No. 15-seed in their failure against Princeton.

But Arizona once again was terrific in the regular season, as it has been under Lloyd. Lloyd is a great practice-to-game coach, and while his in-game decisions in tight quarters has been questionable at times, the Wildcats have fairly consistent under the 3rd-year coach. Before a late-season 3-3 stretch, they were 22-3, after going 28-3 in the regular season in 2021-22.

Of course, the arrival of former North Carolina standout Caleb Love late in the transfer cycle changes everything for the Wildcats. Getting one of the ACC’s top scorers was a huge get for Lloyd, who now fields a well-rounded lineup around Love and Alabama transfer Bradley on the perimeter, Larsson and sneaky good San Diego State transfer Johnson on the wings and Ballo in the post.

That’s an Elite 8-level starting lineup, but the Cats do need some depth to emerge.