The Pac-12 Conference will be hit hard by the upcoming NBA Draft -- harder, perhaps, than any other conference.
From Arizona's Derrick Williams, who's a lock to be one of the first players selected, to Stanford's Jeremy Green, who may not get drafted, all the players with serious designs on turning pro did just that.
Nobody pulled a Harrison Barnes -- the mega-talented North Carolina freshman -- and returned to school.
With its top-five scorers (four juniors and a sophomore) all leaving, the Pac-12 looks to be mediocre again next season.
Here are our revised projections for the 2011-12 league race, based on decisions made prior to the May 8 draft deadline.
1. Cal. Admittedly, this is an unconventional pick. Arizona and UCLA are the favorites in most early projections. But Cal, which finished four games off the pace last season, has one advantage over the Wildcats and Bruins: Its three best players (Jorge Gutierrez, Allen Crabbe and Harper Kamp) are returning. So is coach Mike Montgomery, whose teams usually overachieve.
2. UCLA. The Bruins will have the top frontcourt in the conference with Joshua Smith, Reeves Nelson, Anthony Stover and the Wear twins. And they're good enough at the point with Lazeric Jones to win a mediocre conference if they generate a reasonable amount of perimeter scoring.
3. Arizona. Losing Williams is like losing two starters because of the way he made the players around him better. The
4. Washington. The Huskies are more than capable of winning the league if things break right. But with questions up front and point guard Abdul Gaddy's injured knee, they have more issues than Cal, UCLA and Arizona.
5. Oregon. After the top four, there's a steep drop to the next level. The Ducks have a enough returning talent to warrant serious consideration for this spot, but a handful of teams should be in the mix.
6. Stanford. In the long run, Stanford will be better without Green. But it may take time for forward Dwight Powell and wing Anthony Brown to grow into their roles as leading scorers.
7. Oregon State. With most of its top players returning, OSU could emerge as the best of the second tier. Guard Jared Cunningham might be the league's top player.
8. USC. The Trojans are in decent shape in the backcourt with Jio Fontan and Maurice Jones, but there are questions everywhere else.
9. Colorado. Without Lottery-bound wing Alec Burks and No. 2 scorer Cory Higgins, the Buffs will have a rough first year in their new conference.
10. Arizona State. Guard Trent Lockett makes ASU the best of the bottom tier.
11. Washington State. With guard Klay Thompson and forward DeAngelo Casto turning pro, the Cougars are in serious trouble.
12. Utah. Several years of roster building are needed before the Utes become a contender for the league's first tier.