The makeover of Pac-12 basketball is underway.
On the eve of the Final Four in an NCAA Tournament that has been devoid of any Pac-12 influence since the first full day of the opening round, the league already has witnessed its share of premature defections.
Some hardly were unexpected. For instance, Arizona underclassmen Rawle Alkins, Allonzo Trier, and Deandre Ayton were recognized during the Wildcats’ senior day, with all in attendance well aware this season would be that trio’s only one together in Tucson. Others have been slightly more surprising, such as Washington State’s roster getting decimated by Robert Franks’ decision to go pro and underrated point guard Malachi Flynn opting to transfer.
As of Thursday afternoon, here is a look at the Pac-12 players who either are going pro or leaving their programs to pursue other collegiate opportunities.
Rawle Alkins, Arizona, So.: Considered going pro a year ago and was bothered by a foot injury throughout 2017-18. Alkins improved his scoring average by 2.2 points a game but saw a dip in his overall and 3-point percentages.
Deandre Ayton, Arizona, Fr.: After sweeping the Pac-12’s Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards, the 7-foot-1 Ayton is projected as the top overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft by nbadraft.net.
Robert Franks, Washington State, Jr.: The most surprising among the Pac-12’s early draft entrants, Franks went from a 6.3 points-per-game scorer to the league’s Most Improved Player at 17.4 points per game. Franks earlier this week issued a statement saying he would not yet hire an agent, meaning he still could return to WSU.
Aaron Holiday, UCLA, Jr.: A dynamic guard who does many things well, Holiday led all scorers in Pac-12 games at 21.7 points per game and also ranked second in assists (5.9) and first in 3-point percentage (.514).
Chimezie Metu, USC, Jr.: Metu will be an attractive prospect given his 6-foot-11 frame and high-energy game, but like the Trojans in general he often struggled against top competition.
Allonzo Trier, Arizona, Jr.: The shooting guard may have lost money by returning to Tucson for his junior season, which was marred by a two-game suspension due to a positive PED test — the same issue that sent Trier to the sideline for half his sophomore season. Trier is projected as a mid-to-late second round pick.
Don Coleman, Cal, Jr.: Coleman was the Bears’ leading scorer at 14.2 points per game. He will have to sit one season before playing his final collegiate season.
Malachi Flynn, Washington State, So.: A devastating setback for a WSU program also reeling from the loss of Franks. Flynn toiled somewhat in anonymity in Pullman, but he averaged 15.8 points and 4.3 assists.
Carlos Johnson, Washington, So.: Clearly Johnson wasn’t pegged as a Mike Hopkins guy in his first season as UW’s coach, with Johnson’s playing time decreasing dramatically from his freshman season.
Tory Miller-Stewart, Colorado, Sr.: After his senior season was cut short by a broken foot, the Buffaloes’ 6-foot-9 forward has decided to play elsewhere next season as a graduate transfer. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 101 career games at CU.