The Pac is back for now, but we've seen Shabazz Muhammads before

In the sport of basketball, the Pac-12 Conference is truly a players' league.

On Wednesday, the nation's No.1 overall high school recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, committed to the UCLA Bruins adding to that identity. He joins Kyle Anderson, perhaps the second-best wing player in the entire 2012 class, on the Bruins team that finishes the haul with the No. 3-ranked class by Scout.com and ESPN.

Add in the Arizona Wildcat's No. 2 overall class -- UA fell after previously unsigned Nerlens Noel picked Kentucky to jump those Wildcats to No. 1 -- and all of a sudden the two basketball powers have, for the time being, returned to their podium of Pac-12's elites.

Now, we'll see how long it lasts.

Early defections are one reason many head coaches will point toward as a reason for the conferences recent down years.

But is the Pac-12 on the comeback?

Next season, yes.

Beyond that, who knows.

This offseason is just another instance of wondering what could've been had the league retained it's best players into the 2012-13 season. The Washington Huskies are losing Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross. Meanwhile, the Oregon State Beavers will miss Jared Cunningham next season.

Three potential Player of the Year candidates all gone before leading their teams to any scary success.

It comes a year after Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson left before their senior seasons, and Derrick Williams left before his junior year. Now, those three players are three of the Top 10 rookies in the league right now. According to Grantland's Sebastian Pruiti, Thomas and Thompson are the two best rookies this past week, while Williams comes in at No. 7.

That justifies their entrance to the NBA, but it leaves doubt -- outside of Williams -- as to how much their draft stocks would had jumped if they'd returned to their schools to make deep NCAA runs. Thinking that is selfish for Pac-12 fans, yet it's just proof of how the league's ebb and flow is so different than most other conferences, who have more average talents than they do blatant talents. That difference provides more stability.

Indeed, the Muhammad signing was a big one, not just for UCLA, but for the Pac-12.

He and Anderson will combine with the Wear twins, point guard Larry Drew II, Tyler Lamb and Joshua Smith to make the Bruins the favorite to win the conference next season. Arizona will have a favorable roster against anyone outside of the Bruins with it's star-studded class as well.

It's unfortunate Washington and Oregon State couldn't join the duo of elites because of those players they lost.

Remember, though, that the Pac-12 is a players' league.

And because of it, what happens the year after next, we can only imagine.

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