Pac-12 basketball: Our first transfer portal power rankings of the 2023 offseason

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

The college basketball season concluded two days ago. But in one vital regard — players moving through the transfer portal — the offseason has been underway since conference tournaments ended in early March.

Within the Pac-12 specifically, portal losses have far exceeded portal gains to this point.

That scale should slowly rebalance through the spring as players currently in the portal pick their landing spots. The power rankings below will be updated every few weeks to reflect key developments.

(Information taken from the 247Sports transfer database.)

1. Colorado: The Buffaloes took two hits when big man Lawson Lovering and guard Dominique Clifford — both were four-star prospects in high school — announced they would enter the portal. (Lovering is headed across the state line to Utah.) But coach Tad Boyle picked up a major commitment this week in 6-foot-11 center Eddie Lampkin, a starter for TCU who will add experience and production up front.

2. UCLA: The Bruins are winning the portal game by not losing the portal game. Thus far, none of Mick Cronin’s players have entered the portal; nor has anyone emerged from it to occupy a roster spot. Instead, UCLA’s primary concern is the NBA Draft. Freshmen Amari Bailey and Adem Bona have until April 23 to file their paperwork. At that point, Cronin will gain clarity on needs and options for next season.

3. Utah: On balance, the Utes are in positive territory. The arrival of Lovering, who never tapped his full potential in Boulder, adds security if Branden Carlson remains in the NBA Draft. But Utah lost a rotation player to the portal with the departure of guard Lazar Stefanovic, who averaged 10.3 points and contributed a few rebounds and assists per game. The third spring under coach Craig Smith should provide more roster stability than the previous two.

4. Arizona State: No team in the conference makes greater use of the portal than ASU, and that looks true again this spring. There are two noteworthy departures so far: guard DJ Horne, the No. 2 scorer, and Austin Nunez, a highly-touted point guard who played sparingly. Coach Bobby Hurley has already landed one replacement in forward Kamari Lands (Louisville), and more are undoubtedly on the way.

5. Oregon: Thus far, attrition is modest and newcomers are non-existent. Kel’el Ware, one of the most heralded recruits in the country a year ago, has entered the portal after playing a limited role for the Ducks. We anticipate more movement both onto and off the roster. But can coach Dana Altman identify players who will embrace his message and strengthen the chemistry? Therein lies the trick with transfers.

6. USC: Wing Reese Dixon-Waters is the lone rotation player in the portal at this point, although a few others could follow. Theoretically, the Trojans will have options for newcomers as players from greater Southern California seek to return home after encountering obstacles or disappointment at their current schools. The next Boogie Ellis, for instance, or Johnny Juzang.

7. Oregon State: Only one player has entered the portal, but he was a major contributor: forward Glenn Taylor Jr., who averaged 11.6 points and 3.7 rebounds. Will OSU’s outflow end with Taylor? We’re monitoring Jordan Pope, the freshman guard who led the Beavers in scoring. Where will coach Wayne Tinkle turn for help after a second consecutive poor season — and with his future in Corvallis seemingly on shaky ground beyond next season.

8. Arizona: We don’t view guard Kerr Kriisa’s departure (to West Virginia) as a negative. It allows the Wildcats to get tougher and better defensively on the perimeter with rising sophomore Kylan Boswell in a key role. (Promising wing Adama Bal is also departing.) Look for coach Tommy Lloyd to be active in the portal this spring, particularly given that guard Courtney Ramey is out of eligibility following his lone season in Tucson.

9. Stanford: The first major departure came Tuesday, when forward Harrison Ingram revealed his move into the portal. A former five-star prospect, Ingram was the Cardinal’s No. 2 scorer and rebounder and the latest example of high-end talents failing to make a high-level impact for Stanford. Will anyone follow Ingram? And will coach Jerod Haase, whose options in the portal are typically limited, find help?

10. Washington State: Context is required when evaluating WSU’s situation: Guard TJ Bamba has entered the portal and declared for the NBA Draft, suggesting that he’s leaving the program no matter what. And Bamba counts as a major loss — he was one of the top guards in the conference by the end of the season. Big man Dishon Jackson, who missed the 2022-23 season (medical issues), is also in the portal.

11. Washington: Six players have entered the portal since the Huskies announced Mike Hopkins would return next season, although only two qualify as key contributors: Talented young guard Keyon Menifield, who’s bound for Arkansas, and 3-point shooter Cole Bajema. Thus far, only one roster spot has been filled. Forward Moses Wood, who averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds for Portland this season, is joining UW’s frontcourt rotation.

12. Cal: The dreary season and coaching change have predictably resulted in a slew of players entering the portal, including Lars Thiemann and Kuany Kuany (but not Devin Askew, so far). Given the talent level, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for first-year coach Mark Madsen as he attempts to overhaul the roster. But to what extent will Cal’s admissions bar allow Madsen to restock with enough players to push the program out of the cellar?

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