Jabari Bird, the #5 SF in the country, will help the Cal Golden Bears recover from the loss of Allen Crabbe to the NBA. Justin Cobbs, who averaged 15.1 points per game last year, is expected to return to school, meaning Cal will return four of their five starters. After finishing strong last season, including winning seven of their final eight conference games, Cal should be right in the thick of things in 2013-14.
In Seattle, Coach Lorenzo Romar needs to get his team back to the upper tier of the conference if he wants to stay off the hot seat. The Huskies are losing their defensive anchor in Aziz N'diaye and veteran leaders Abdul Gaddy and Scott Suggs. But with disappointing production from Gaddy and Suggs last year and ESPN five-star point guard Nigel Williams-Goss coming to town, 2013-14 could be a bounce back season for the Dawgs. The Huskies could compete for the conference title if sharpshooter CJ Wilcox stays in school and if UNLV's Mike Moser does end up transferring to UW, as has been reported.
Stanford fans are pleased that Dwight Powell is coming back to school to help the Cardinal improve on their 9-9 conference record. Stanford should improve considering how much of the team is coming back, but several other teams are improving too so it will be up to Powell to take the team to the next level.
And for some reason, Stanford seems to really like recruiting twins. First it was Jason and Jarron Collins, then Brook and Robin Lopez, and now twin guards from Las Vegas, Malcolm and Marcus Allen, will be joining the Cardinal.
Arizona State star freshman and leading scorer Jahii Carson tis returning for his sophomore season. Carson led the team to a 22-13 record, but finishing 9-9 in the conference wasn't good enough. If the Sun Devils can translate their early season success to conference play and if Carson can improve on his 31.7% shooting from beyond the arc, they could be in play for a top spot in the conference.
Washington State will be looking for help now that two-time Pac-12 scoring champion Brock Motum has played his final game for the Cougs. And even with Motum the team finished with a 13-19 record and last in the conference, so expect Ken Bone to be coaching for his life in 2013-14.
Oregon could be in a rebuilding year after losing four seniors including EJ Singler, but with Dana Altman in charge and the potential for Oregon basketball to start bringing in top recruits like the football program does, PhilKnight University may be a sleeping giant just waiting to take the Pac-12 by storm one of these years. The Ducks may regress a little this season, but don't count them out moving forward.