One of the challenges of any college site in the offseason is filling it with interesting content, and sometimes, without even that, we do silly things like try to project how a basketball season that is still six months from starting might turn out.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News does some fine work down there in California -- notably, he's been out in front of virtually all of the media contract negotiations since, well, forever. About the only thing I can remember him getting beat on from a conference level was the Pac-16 foray, and we all know how Chip Brown got his information, so that was hardly a fair fight to begin with.
At any rate, Wilner took a stab at how the new 12-team league could shake out, and predictably, he's not real high on the Cougs:
11. Washington State (8). Faisal Aden is a good complementary player. When he projects as your No. 1 scorer, it’s time to worry.
He's got the Cougs sandwiched between 10th-place Arizona State and 12th-place Utah, and I think it's pretty hard to argue with that at this juncture. Losing the best scorer in the league and the team's only reasonably decent two-way frontcourt player from a team that struggled to a .500 finish last year doesn't inspire confidence.
I actually think the team will be OK on the perimeter, as DaVonte Lacy is very good, and Mychal Ladd is better than most people know. But unless Greg Sequele and D.J. Shelton are a lot better than they appear, the frontcourt will be the death of this team. What we really needed was to add to DeAngelo Casto, not replace him.
Do I think this team is destined for the bottom of the conference? The fan in me is hoping not, and I can envision scenarios where it doesn't happen. But if I wanted to argue that point with someone like Wilner right now, I'm pretty sure I couldn't win that one.
How about you? What are your expectations for the year?