CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein came out with his 2015-16 Pac-12 predictions and named a few young players on the UCLA basketball team that should impress this year, yet it seems he did not think so much of the team as a whole.
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With all the hoopla about college football slowly approaching, we forget that college basketball is also coming up. With that, a few critics are already taking their best guesses at to what the college basketball landscape, specifically the Pac-12, will look like.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports took on that challenge today as he gave several predictions about the upcoming Pac-12 basketball season which included several nods to the younger players of UCLA basketball.
- UCLA Basketball will be 5th in the Pac-12
- Sophomore center Thomas Welsh will be a breakout player.
- Aaron Holiday will be an “Under the Radar” Freshman
- Jonah Bolden and Prince Ali will be “Impact” Freshmen
This upcoming season will be the first time head coach Steve Alford has 11 scholarship players, meaning he not only has depth, but talent to go with that depth. But that does not necessarily translate to success, especially with these simply being predictions, but looking at Pac-12 Power Poll, Rothstein has UCLA 5th behind Cal, Oregon, Arizona and Utah.
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So what does that say about UCLA this upcoming season? Not too much, but taking into consideration that Rothstein did not name any of UCLA’s experienced core players that will be returning (Tony Parker, Isaac Hamilton or Bryce Alford) means that right now they are not in his top players category. That could change by the first exhibition game.
Another unfortunate part about his predictions is that not one UCLA basketball player made it on his first team All-Pac-12. Though it would be nice to see what his 2nd team All-Pac-12 line-up would look like, it seems Rothstein is a big fan of the youth at UCLA, which is actually a nod to head coach Steve Alford and his recruiting.
Now the question is, can he take all these underclassmen and veterans and make UCLA contenders again? To be continued…