No Pac-12 team was placed in the top 14 of either of the rankings, which were posted now after the 2020-21 rosters became a litte more certain.
Arizona State was the highest ranked Pac-12 team in both top-25 rankings, with the Sun Devils pegged at No. 15 by ESPN.com and No. 18 by Yahoo.
Each of the other six major basketball conferences (Big East, Big 12, ACC, Big Ten, SEC and ACC) has at least two of its teams ranked ahead of Arizona State in both rankings, and the Big 12 and ACC each has four teams ranked ahead of ASU in the Yahoo top-25.
If suggests the Pac-12 will again be wide open, with no team likely to dominate the conference. Cal should at least be competitive in virtually every Pac-12 game in 2020-21. The Bears lose starting point guard Paris Austin and Kareem South, but return Matt Bradley and add shooters Ryan Betley and Makale Foreman as grad transfers. If the Bears get adequate play out of their point-guard spot, they should be better than they were last season.
ESPN.com had ASU at No. 10 in its previous top-25, but dropped the Sun Devils for this version of its preseason top-25. Here is what ESPN said about them:
We moved Arizona State all the way up to No. 10 last time around after the addition of five-star scoring guard Josh Christopher, but now the Sun Devils tumble a few spots with the departure of big man Romello White. White was a consistent double-double threat last season, but he graduated and decided to transfer to Ole Miss. Bobby Hurley now has some serious frontcourt questions to answer if Arizona State is going to be the Pac-12 favorite. The perimeter is loaded. Remy Martin was one of the best playmakers in the league last season, and Alonzo Verge brought scoring punch. Both players are testing the NBA draft waters. Christopher was maybe the best pure scorer in the 2020 class and will command shots early. The Sun Devils could also hope for waivers for transfers Holland Woods (Portland State) and Luther Muhammad (Ohio State), two more perimeter pieces. But back to the frontcourt. Without White, Hurley will hope Jalen Graham can take a step forward down low -- or he could go small with some combination of Kimani Lawrence, Taeshon Cherry and ESPN 100 forward Marcus Bagley at two interior positions.
Only one other Pac-12 team was listed in both rankings, and that was Cal rival Stanford, which is No. 18 in the ESPN.com rankings and No. 25 according to Yahoo.
Guard Tyrell Terry has declared for the NBA draft, but if he decides to return to Stanford for his sophomore season, the Cardinal would be a title contender. They might challenge for the conference crown even without him.
Here is what Yahoo said about Stanford:
COMING BACK: Daejon Davis, Bryce Wills, Spencer Jones, Lukas Kisunas, Jaiden Delaire, James Keefe
WAIT AND SEE: Tyrell Terry, Oscar da Silva
NEW FACES: Ziaire Williams, Noah Taitz, Max Murrell, Brandon Angel
PROJECTED STARTERS: Tyrell Terry, Daejon Davis, Bryce Wills, Ziaire Williams, Oscar da Silva
Getting Ziaire Williams was huge, as this group will return at least five of their top six guys from a top 45 team on KenPom. But their ceiling will be determined by Tyrell Terry’s decision. If he returns to school, Stanford will have a shot to win the Pac-12.
Here is what ESPN.com had to say about Stanford:
Would Stanford have made the NCAA tournament last season? The Cardinal likely would have been one of the final teams in or out of the field, having finished 20-12 overall and 9-9 in the Pac-12, but having lost their last three games -- including a Pac-12 tourney game to California. But it was a step forward for Jerod Haase's tenure, and another big step is expected next season. Stanford could bring back all five starters from last season, a young quintet that featured two freshmen and one sophomore in the lineup. The big reason for optimism comes in the form of top-10 recruit Ziaire Williams, the program's highest-ranked recruit in history. Williams is a versatile two-way player who immediately upgrades the starting lineup -- and is just one piece for a top-10 recruiting class. Haase will have to wait and see on the future of Tyrell Terry, however. The rising sophomore had a terrific freshman campaign in Palo Alto, but entered his name into the NBA draft and has not decided whether to return to school. If he returns, it's all systems go for the Cardinal.
Projected starting lineup:
Tyrell Terry (14.6 PPG, 3.2 APG)
Daejon Davis (8.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG)
Ziaire Williams (No. 7 in ESPN 100)
Spencer Jones (8.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG)
Oscar da Silva (15.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
Two other Pac-12 schools were mentioned in one of the top-25 rankings, with Oregon coming in at No. 16 in the ESPN.com rankings, and UCLA occupying the No. 23 slot in the Yahoo top 25.
The bottom line is that it appears the Pac-12 might get a limited number of teams into the NCAA tournament. However, a lot of things could change between now and the start of the season, and more things could change by the time March rolls around.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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