2018-19 PAC-12 basketball, previews of all 12 teams

Jaylen Nowell, Washington basketball. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jaylen Nowell, Washington basketball. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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The 2018-19 PAC-12 season looks to be an exciting one with some very good teams, three are in the preseason top-25. Here is our look at all 12 teams.

California Golden Bears (2017 record: 8-24 overall, 2-16 PAC-12)

The ball just couldn’t go in the hoop last year for PAC-12 cellar dwellers Cal. The team finished dead last for all major conference teams in offensive efficiency. Of course, returning players from the previous season will only help Cal improve, Darrius McNeill and Juhwan Harris-Dyson both come back for their sophomore seasons.

Cal will lack size up front as the tallest rotation player will be around 6’8.” It will be another rebuilding season for the Bears. They will continue to push internal growth and experience within the system. Defending will not be a problem, but again scoring the ball may yet again pose as a challenge. The Bears hope to bounce back and put together a winning season.

Washington State Cougars (12-19, 4-14)

The Cougs are picked to finish last in 2018-19 and for some, it makes sense as nearly half the roster transferred out of Pullman in the offseason. Washington State basketball head coach Ernie Kent will rely heavily on returning starter Robert Franks who has NBA caliber talent. The loss of Malachi Flynn will be a huge hit, however.

Washington State will have no problem shooting the three ball as they return a trio of players who shot over 40% from the arc last year. The shooting talent alone though may not be enough to make a big dent in a competitive PAC-12 this season. An NIT birth would be a success for WSU.

Oregon State Beavers (16-16, 7-11)

Forward Tres Tinkle is as good as anyone in the conference and his dad Head Coach Wayne Tinkle knows it. But how will the rest of the roster help him is the question? Stephen Thompson Jr. is a great scorer who is also returning for the Beavers, but the loss of big man Drew Eubanks could be a big one for OSU.

The Beavers will rely on experience this season and could make some noise if they can stay healthy and players such as Ethan Thompson continue to improve. Oregon State will put up points but the post play will be the determining factor in 2018-19.