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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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April 8, 2008 8:45 PM

Mass exodus from UCLA?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Sorta sounds like it as the LA Times reported today that Kevin Love and Darren Collison will enter the draft, and hire agent, meaning they won't be able to change their minds later.

The paper also says Russell Westbrook is likely gone and that Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute may also at least declare for the draft so they can be evaluated.

With Love and Collison apparently gone for certain, we can no unequivocally declare that the Pac-10 will be a whole lot more wide open next season. In a day or so, we'll look at that more closely.

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Posted by OlyDawg

9:42 PM, Apr 08, 2008

Westbrook, Shipp, and Mbah a Moute think they are a lot better than everyone else thinks. There's no way that all of them will be drafted at ANY time, let alone in the upcoming draft.

Have 5 players on a team ever left early for the draft? I can imagine this happened at UNC or Kansas at some point.

With the talent UW has already, combined with the 4 phenoms coming in, we definitely have a chance at 1, 2, or 3 in the Pac-10 next year. I'd just love to hear that all the guys are at the foul line right now practicing. Ask Memphis about the importance of hitting free throws.

Posted by huskee

10:43 PM, Apr 08, 2008

Westbrook is a stud of a player. If he declares he will be taken in the top half of the draft. Gotta love a guy who's willing to work on the defensive end.

Posted by CDUB

10:45 PM, Apr 08, 2008

Russel Westbook is in my opinion the most under rated player in NCAA. Takes a second seat to Collison on the offensive side, brings it every night on the defensive end. He will make a great NBA player.

Posted by grant

10:56 PM, Apr 08, 2008

Love, Collison and Westbrook will be drafted. Shipp and Mbah a Moute? I don't think so...late 2nd rounders best case, more likely undrafted free agents with no college degree or eligibility. My guess is they stay. Still, might as well test out their stock and see what kind of feedback they get from NBA evaluators.

Posted by RTNdog

11:11 PM, Apr 08, 2008

olydawg: you are referring 1, 2, or 3 from the bottom of the Pac10? Lately, our recruits have not panned out. When it comes down to it, recruiting rankings have not ment much. Do some research and look at the top 25 recruiting classes from a year ago, how many of the teams made the NCAA or NIT tournament.

Posted by Cougfan

8:59 AM, Apr 09, 2008

The PX should be quite interesting next year. WIth all of the defections to the NBA and graduation at other schools, it is very hard to predict the order. I think one thing is clear, the Huskies will not finish 8th, 9th, or 10th.

I think ASU actually might be the favorite if things keep going the way they are. But UW, UofA, UCLA (reload) could all possibly win it. I would not quite count out the Cougs at this point. I know they don't have the names in their recruiting class, but all of the recruits are getting more and more recognition and I think the Bennetts have proven you don't have to have big name players in their system to be successful. Baynes very well could be the best center in the league--and if the refs could ever figure out he never fouls, that would help--Rochetie is awfully good, and there are a couple others who could make a big impact.

Don't get me wrong, I do not think Wazzu will win the PX, but they are at the very least an NIT team with possibilities of an NCAA bid.

Posted by 02Dawg

9:11 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Westbrook will get drafted in the first round easily...probably higher than Collison as he projects as a better pro IMO. Those two along with Love will probably leave...I don't see Ship and Luc Richard leaving.
UCLA have some good Freshman coming in so they could still be pretty good, just not as good as the last few years. The rest of the Pac is tough to judge. ASU shouold improve, AZ is always talented but should lose Bayless and Budinger, Stanford was tough but lose a lot. USC will lose Mayo and possibly Jefferson but will add DeRozen who is supposed to be a stud. I don't see either Oregon school being much of a factor and I would think WSU drops off quite a bit, but Bennett could suprise everyone. Cal...I think it depends on Anderson.

Posted by Randy

9:15 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Gotta agree with RTNdog, the only reason to think "this years talent with next years phenoms (wow)" would produce a 1,2,3 finish is if there were a total exodus of talent from the PAC 10.
Of course that is almost exactely what is possibly going to occur.

Let's break it down. With the for sure graduations combined with the possible departures (marked by ?) here is what we're looking at:

Departing players
UCLA - ..everyone ?
Stanford - Lopez twins, Finger, Washington, Prowitt
WSU - Low, Cowgill, Weaver
USC - Gipson?, Jefferson?, Mayo?
Arizona St - Atuahene (This team looks like #1 next year)
Oregon - Hairston, Leunen, Taylor, Schafer, Platt
Arizona - McClellan, Walters, Dillon, Bayless, Budinger?
Washington - Appleby, Morris, Unknown 14th spot?
California - Hardin, Vierneisel, Anderson?
Oregon St - Jones

This could produce a conference that might shake out like this:

Arizona St- All coming back
UCLA (cuz they always get incoming talent
Stanford - Can Hill & Goods return to sophomore form?
Arizona - Brandon Jennings looks good
Washington St
Oregon - Good recuiting class but losing way too much
Oregon St - Should be better - how could they be worse?

Honestly Stanford through WSU could be a big jumble. What does everyone else think?

Posted by 02Dawg

9:16 AM, Apr 09, 2008

Oh, and UW....If they can learn to close out games they should find themselves in the top 5 of the PAC, but that seems like a big if after the last few years.

They will need at least one of the freshman guards to step in right away and be a factor on the perimiter and knock down some threes. Probably need both Suggs and Thomas to contribute right away....Suggs as a slasher/shooter and Thomas as a role player to spread the floor. It would be great to see him play like Porter did for Oregon his freshman year...that's hopeful because he won't be playing next to a guard like Brooks.

Posted by Husky19

1:24 PM, Apr 09, 2008

Obviously it will depend greatly on who stays and who leaves. Here's how I see it.

ASU - Good core coming back with Harden, Abbott, Glasser and Pendergraph.

UCLA - Can't count them out with Shipp, Roll coming back (key guy), Aboya, Keefe, Mbah A Moute add toughness, add in Holiday and Gordon a stud, Lee and Anderson. Good ball handlers and scorers with some size in Gordon. This team will be more up-tempo and less half-court.

Washington - Finally got some scorers. Better PG Play with Overton taking over full time and Dentmon off the bench, better 2 play with Thomas, Turner, and Suggs. This position will have better size and better scoring. While I absolutely loved watching Appleby he was a liability on defense and could not create his own shot. Suggs will challenge for Freshman of the Year. Holiday, Smith, and Pondexter will add size to the 3 with Pondexter finally breaking out, Brockman, Gant and Breashers will improve the 4 spot with added toughness with ironman Brockman and stud Breashers. Gant is a sleeper and could totally help this team out with his length and height 6'8-6'9". And with an improved MBA, Artem finally playing better and hopefully 100% and Wolfinger for the taller matchups, the 5 spot will be better.

USC - Assuming Gibson & Jefferson stay, if not they would drop 2-3 spots.

California - would be #3 ahead of UW if Anderson stays. With Robertson coming back, Christpher,

Washington St - losing 3 key players and leaders which is hard to overcome. However, with that defense, coach, Baynes, Rochestie,

Arizona - Bayless and Westbrook were the only 2 guys in the Pac-10 that could go toe-to-toe with Derrick Rose, Collison was terrible. Losing Bayless will hurt AZ a lot. Budinger staying helps, if he stays and he should. Horne is a future player but not sure where is plays yet 3 or 4? Jennings will be a star but not much immediate help from the 2008 class from Withey or Negedu.

Stanford - PG play is poor with Johnson, this was their downfall along with poor play at the 2 from Goods. Hill is legit but losing the twins is too much to overcome and maybe now the coach.

Oregon - Porter is not much with Hairston and Taylor. Luenen was one of the best under-utlilized players in the Pac-10. He should have touched the ball every posession. Returners are ok and good class but Pac-10 is too tough to be inexperienced without any studs returning.

Oregon St - Rebuilding will take time and when we say rebuilding we are taking about reaching the height of a #5 finish in the Pac-10.

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