The Sporting News picks the Arizona Wildcats as best in the Pac-12 and No. 8 nationally in its preseason college basketball rankings.
Wrote the Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe for the Sporting News:
Once the NBA Draft lured Derrick Williams off Arizona’s 2011 Elite Eight team, the Wildcats were exposed as a program still rebuilding from recruiting damage created by years of coaching instability. But the upward arc this time is no mirage: Arizona has quality depth, going 10 deep, thanks to four years of coach Sean Miller’s recruiting. The Wildcats have a good mix of youth and experience, of athleticism and size, toughness and finesse. Adding hard-nosed veteran Mark Lyons from Xavier to tie it all together at the point could launch this team toward a fulfilling postseason.
Can’t argue with any of that.
UCLA is picked second in the Pac-12 and No. 11 nationally. The Bruins’ hopes spin on the eligibility of freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. The NCAA has been looking into the recruitment of both players.
The Sporting News picked Indiana No. 1 and Louisville No. 2. Lindy’s preseason magazine had those same teams in its top two spots, but with the Cardinals at No. 1.