The Pac-12 got some good news and some not-so-good news this week as the NBA Draft early entry entrant withdrawal deadline passed Wednesday.
Let’s go through it.
That is a significant loss for both the Cardinal and the Pac-12, to say the least. Travis was the third-best player in the conference last season behind Deandre Ayton and Aaron Holiday, per KenPom. Both those guys are gone, so Travis likely would have been the favorite to be the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Stanford already lost Michael Humphrey (graduation), Dorian Pickens (graduation), and Robert Cartwright (transfer) this offseason, so it doesn’t have much proven talent heading into 2018-19.
Stanford is bringing in the nation’s No. 28 recruiting class, but only one of its four commits are ranked in the Top 100. So soon-to-be sophomore point guard Daejon Davis is going to have a lot of his plate to make the Cardinal relevant.
UCLA Bruins guards and former McDonald’s All-Americans Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes announced they are returning to school for their sophomore year. That is a big boost for a Bruins team that now figures to one of the top squads in the conference.
UCLA is returning rotation players Prince Ali and Alex Olesinski, while adding the No. 6 recruiting class, which consists of six players.
Cody Riley, a freshman who was suspended for the entire 2017-18 season, will be returning, too. The forward was the No. 48 player in the 2017 class.
Noah Dickerson announced he is returning to the Washington Huskies for his senior season. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last year, so he will be one of the top frontcourt players in the Pac-12 again in 2018-19.
The Huskies will be returning their entire starting lineup and are adding the No. 33 recruiting class, so look for them to move up the standings next season. They finished tied for sixth in head coach Mike Hopkins’ first season in Seattle.
Washington State Cougars forward Robert Franks will return to Pullman for his senior season. The Canadian was the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player last year, averaging 17.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, with tremendous efficiency.
However, the Cougars lost several players to transfer, including point guard Malachi Flynn, so it will likely be another tough year on the Palouse.
Sedrick Barefield is returning to the Utah Utes for his senior season. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 12 points per game last season, the most among the Utes’ returners.
Utah graduated four important senior starters in Justin Bibbins, David Collette, Tyler Rawson, and Gabe Bealer, so it will have an overhauled starting five next season.
The Utes have signed five recruits and their 2018 class ranks 47th in the nation. The headliner is Mesa forward Timmy Allen, who’s the No. 123 prospect. Their 2017 class, which hasn’t made an impact yet, also ranks 47th yet.
The Oregon Ducks learned a while back that shot-blocking wizard Kenny Wooten will be returning to Eugene for his sophomore season.
The Ducks will be pairing him with five-star center Bol Bol, which should be the conference’s best frontcourt. Oregon is also returning steady point guard Payton Pritchard and adding three other highly-touted freshmen, so it will be one of the favorites to win the conference.
Oregon did lose starter Troy Brown to the NBA Draft. He becomes the first one-and-done in UO history.
Other Pac-12 underclassmen leaving for the draft: Aaron Holiday (UCLA), Drew Eubanks (OSU), Chimezie Metu (USC), Deandre Ayton (UA), Allonzo Trier (UA), Rawle Alkins (UA), De’Anthony Melton (USC)