2022-23 College Basketball Conference Preview: Pac-12 Fantasy Outlook

2022-23 College Basketball Conference Preview: Pac-12 Fantasy Outlook

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

The 2021-22 season was ultimately a disappointing one for the Pac-12, as it had just three teams in the NCAA Tournament, and none of them made it past the Sweet 16. Arizona was the class of the conference in Tommy Lloyd's first season at the helm, as the Wildcats were dominant from the get-go, going 31-3 in the regular season and 18-2 in the Pac-12 while also taking down the conference tournament. Lloyd will have a new challenge on his hands this season without Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko, who left early for the NBA, and he'll now look to build around Arizona's lone returning double-digit scorer in 6-foot-11 power forward, Azuolas Tubelis. He'll help form a formidable frontcourt alongside 7-foot Oumar Ballo. Arizona also has a pair of guards that will look to help ease those losses with five-star freshman Kylan Boswell and Texas transfer Courtney Ramey as two key additions to the team. 

Last year's conference favorite UCLA will look to rebound from a season that didn't live up to high expectations, and the Bruins will have to do it without the star of their team the last two years in Johnny Juzang. That's not to say they won't be able to do it, however, as they've reloaded with a pair of five-star freshmen in Amari Bailey and Adem Bona and still have seniors Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell leading the way. Bona will be relied on to fill the void left at the

The 2021-22 season was ultimately a disappointing one for the Pac-12, as it had just three teams in the NCAA Tournament, and none of them made it past the Sweet 16. Arizona was the class of the conference in Tommy Lloyd's first season at the helm, as the Wildcats were dominant from the get-go, going 31-3 in the regular season and 18-2 in the Pac-12 while also taking down the conference tournament. Lloyd will have a new challenge on his hands this season without Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko, who left early for the NBA, and he'll now look to build around Arizona's lone returning double-digit scorer in 6-foot-11 power forward, Azuolas Tubelis. He'll help form a formidable frontcourt alongside 7-foot Oumar Ballo. Arizona also has a pair of guards that will look to help ease those losses with five-star freshman Kylan Boswell and Texas transfer Courtney Ramey as two key additions to the team. 

Last year's conference favorite UCLA will look to rebound from a season that didn't live up to high expectations, and the Bruins will have to do it without the star of their team the last two years in Johnny Juzang. That's not to say they won't be able to do it, however, as they've reloaded with a pair of five-star freshmen in Amari Bailey and Adem Bona and still have seniors Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell leading the way. Bona will be relied on to fill the void left at the position by the departures of Cody Riley and Myles Johnson.

Also coming off a disappointing year is Oregon, a program that showed flashes of being a top-25 team but struggled with inconsistency. This is another squad with no shortage of talent, and it's only a matter of if they'll be able to live up to it. There's plenty to be excited about with top-10 recruit Kel'el Ware, who the Ducks will want to get the most out of considering they'll likely have just one year with him. Leading scorer Will Richardson returns for a fifth season after initially declaring for the NBA Draft this offseason, as does double-digit scoring wing Quincy Guerrier

A couple of  teams that finished in the bottom five of the conference last year that have the potential to be vasty improved include Arizona State and Stanford. The Sun Devils have four transfers that will see significant playing time and they'll also welcome the return of Marcus Bagley, a talented wing and double-digit scorer who played just three games last season due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, Stanford struggled as an inexperienced team last season but should be making strides in 2022-23. Spencer Jones emerged late in the year as the team's main option, and Harrison Ingram has the potential to be one of the better players in the conference after fading down the stretch in his freshman campaign.

Top Players

Overall: Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA

Jaquez has had to play in the shadow of Johnny Juzang the last two seasons but will finally get his time in the spotlight now that Juzang is in the NBA. The 6-7 wing is one of the most versatile players in the conference, with good range and efficiency when driving to the basket. Last season didn't go exactly as planned, as an ankle injury caused him to play at less than 100 percent for most of the year, but he still managed 13.9 ppg on 47 percent shooting. He should be at full strength to start the season after having an ankle procedure done in May.

Also considered: Azuolas Tubelis (ARI), Tyger Campbell (UCLA), Will Richardson (ORE)

Scoring: Keion Brooks, F, Washington

Brooks was a double-digit scorer over the last two years at Kentucky despite averaging less than 25 minutes each season. He figures to be the team's leading minute-getter this season and will be the go-to option on a team that lost its leading scorer in Terrell Brown and mainly consists of role players. The 6-7 forward shot 52 percent from inside the arc last season. 

Also considered: Jaime Jaquez, (UCLA), Will Richardson (ORE), Marcus Bagley (ASU)

Rebounding: Oumar Ballo, Arizona

The 7-foot Ballo will finally get his chance to start after coming off the bench for Gonzaga two seasons ago (and then getting stuck behind Koloko last season). He's shown to be an excellent rebounder when he's on the court, averaging 11.6 boards per 40 minutes including 4.2 on the offensive end. Tubelis will also be active on the glass, but I give the edge to Ballo.

Also considered: Harrison Ingram, Stanford; Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona, Vince Iwuchukwu, USC

Assists: Tyger Campbell, UCLA

Campbell returns to run the point for UCLA for a fourth consecutive season, and he's proven himself as the best passer in the conference with five career double-digit assist games. Although he improved his shooting dramatically last year, he's more of a passer by nature and there will be plenty of options for him to set up scoring opportunities for. 

Also considered: Kerr Kriisa (ARI), Mike Saunders (UTAH), Christian Wright (ORST)

Center: Branden Carlson, Utah

The Pac-12 has no shortage of quality centers, which is led by Utah's 7-footer in Carlson, who was the team's only double-digit scorer last season. There isn't much reason to think he won't be the focal point of the offense again, as the Utes don't bring in any star transfers or freshmen. He's an efficient scorer with some three-point range as well, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him average 15 and 7 this season.  

Also considered: Oumar Ballo (ARI), Kel'el Ware (ORE), Vince Iwuchukwu (USC)

Freshman: Kel'el Ware, Oregon

Ware is one of the most hyped freshmen of the 2022 class, as the 7-footer is a top-10 recruit and potential lottery pick in next year's NBA Draft. Known for his ability to finish at the bucket and protect the rim, he's also a capable jump shooter with three-point range. The main knock on him will be that he needs to add weight and strength, but that didn't slow Chet Holmgren down much last season. 

Also considered: Amari Bailey (UCLA), Adem Bona (UCLA), Kylan Boswell (ARI)

Sleepers

Brandon Angel, Stanford

Angel emerged as a quality option for Stanford last season, averaging 7.7 points in just under 20 minutes with efficient 57/36/80 shooting splits. His biggest obstacle is playing time, as the Cardinal have other quality wings/forwards in Spencer Jones, Harrison Ingram and James Keefe. Nevertheless, the departure of Jaiden Delaire should open up increased opportunities this season.

Reese Dixon-Waters, USC

After playing minimally as a freshman and most of last season, Dixon-Waters came on strong to finish his sophomore campaign, playing at least 19 minutes in each of the final six games while averaging 10 ppg during that stretch. He should move into a starting role with the Trojans losing three starters. He'll also gives USC a quality three-point option, as he shot 46 percent from deep last season.

Dishon Jackson, F, Washington State

Jackson played primarily as a reserve last season but should step into Efe Abogidi's spot in the starting lineup to form a strong frontcourt alongside Mouhamed Gueye. He played well when he received an opportunity, posting four 10+ point games and a double-double. He's also a quality shot-blocker, averaging 2.9 blocks per 40 minutes last season.

Also considered: Jaylen Clark (UCLA), Pelle Larsson (ARI), Jalen Celestine (CAL)

Transfers

Frankie Collins, G, Arizona State

Collins is part of several key transfers for the Sun Devils, coming over from Michigan to run the point. He didn't see the court much behind DeVante Jones but did get the start in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with Jones out and responded with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting. A top-50 recruit in the 2021 class, Collins has the talent to shine in Tempe.

Keeshawn Barthelemy, G, Oregon

Barthelemy elected to transfer from Colorado after starting 28-of-33 games -- coming off the bench for the final five games of the season -- but will stay in the conference at Oregon. He was efficient running the point last season with just 1.3 turnovers per game while scoring 11.1 ppg, including 35 percent shooting from three. He should be able to continue that efficiency, as he's surrounded by plenty of talent in Eugene. 

Warren Washington, C, Arizona State

Washington comes over from Nevada along with teammate Desmond Cambridge and his brother Devan (from Auburn) in a mostly rebuilt roster after Arizona State disappointingly went 14-17 last season. The 7-foot Washington will be much needed on a team that struggled to rebound the ball, as he averaged 6.6 boards over 23.8 minutes last season to go along with 10.5 points on 61 percent shooting.

Also considered: Ethan Wright (COL), Courtney Ramey (Texas), Jermaine Couisnard (ORE)

Top-10 Players

  1. Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA
  2. Azuolas Tubelis, F, Arizona
  3. Tyger Campbell, G, UCLA
  4. Will Richardson, G, Oregon
  5. Keion Brooks, G, Washington
  6. Boogie Ellis, G, USC
  7. Branden Carlson, C, Utah
  8. Kel'el Ware, C, Oregon
  9. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford
  10. Mouhamed Gueye, F, Washington St.

*Note: These rankings are at the discretion of the article's author and may not necessarily correspond with RotoWire's official 2022-23 rankings. 

Projected Team Standings

  1. UCLA
  2. Arizona
  3. Oregon
  4. USC
  5. Arizona St.
  6. Stanford
  7. Colorado
  8. Washington
  9. Washington St.
  10. Utah
  11. California
  12. Oregon St.

Projected Team Rotations

First NameLast NameSchoolPosition
KerrKriisaArizonaG
KylanBoswellArizonaG
PelleLarssonArizonaG
CourtneyRameyArizonaG
AzuolasTubelisArizonaF
OumarBalloArizonaC
HenriVeesaarArizonaC
DJHorneArizona StG
FrankieCollinsArizona StG
MarcusBagleyArizona StF
DesmondCambridgeArizona StG
WarrenWashingtonArizona StC
DevanCambridgeArizona StG
AlonzoGaffneyArizona StF
JoelBrownCaliforniaG
DeJuanClaytonCaliforniaG
DevinAskewCaliforniaG
SamAlajikiCaliforniaF
KuanyKuanyCaliforniaF
LarsThiemannCaliforniaC
JalenCelestineCaliforniaG
JalenGabbidonColoradoG
EthanWrightColoradoG
Tristanda SilvaColoradoF
NiqueCliffordColoradoG
JulianHammondColoradoG
LukeO'BrienColoradoF
K.J.SimpsonColoradoG
JermaineCouisnardOregonG
WillRichardsonOregonG
KeeshawnBarthelemyOregonG
QuincyGuerrierOregonF
TyroneWilliamsOregonG
Kel'ElWareOregonC
N'FalyDanteOregonC
ChristianWrightOregon StG
GlennTaylor Jr.Oregon StF
DexterAkannoOregon StG
JordanPopeOregon StG
TylerBilodeauOregon StF
RodriqueAndelaOregon StF
CholMarialOregon StC
SpencerJonesStanfordF
JamesKeefeStanfordF
MichaelO'ConnellStanfordG
BrandonAngelStanfordF
HarrisonIngramStanfordF
IsaSilvaStanfordG
MichaelJonesStanfordG
TygerCampbellUCLAG
AmariBaileyUCLAG
JaimeJaquezUCLAF
DylanAndrewsUCLAG
JaylenClarkUCLAG
AdemBonaUCLAF
DavidSingletonUCLAF
ReeseDixon-WatersUSCG
BoogieEllisUSCG
DrewPetersonUSCG
VinceIwuchukwuUSCC
KijaniWrightUSCF
TreWhiteUSCG
JoshuaMorganUSCF
MikeSaundersUtahG
BrandenCarlsonUtahC
LazarStefanovicUtahG
MarcoAnthonyUtahG
RollieWorsterUtahG
KebaKeitaUtahF
GabeMadsenUtahG
KorenJohnsonWashingtonG
JamalBeyWashingtonF
NoahWilliamsWashingtonG
KeionBrooksWashingtonF
P.J.FullerWashingtonG
FranckKepnangWashingtonC
ColeBajemaWashingtonF
AdrameDiongueWashington St.C
AndrejJakimovskiWashington St.F
JustinPowellWashington St.G
DishonJacksonWashington St.F
MouhamedGouyeWashington St.F
TJBambaWashington St.G
D.J.RodmanWashington St.F

Other College Basketball Resources:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle is a DFS Product Specialist at RotoWire and has written for the site since 2020.
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