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Freshmen Orientation: Pac-12 Conference

22, Aug 2022

Freshmen Orientation: Pac-12 Conference

With freshmen unpacking their bags and getting settled into college, we wanted to take a deeper look at the incoming classes in college hoops. In this edition of FRESHMEN ORIENTATION, we take a look at the best players, the impressive classes, the guys who could be the talk of the league, HoopSeen hoopers and more. 

Let’s get into the Pac-12. 

HEAD OF THE CLASS 

Who are the top players at every position coming into the Pac-12 Conference straight from high school? These are our staff picks. 

PG Kylan Boswell, Arizona
CG Amari Bailey, UCLA
SF Tre White, USC
PF Kijani Wright, USC
C Adem Bona, UCLA 

Adem Bona

Napa, CA

Class
2022
|
Position
C
|
Height
6' 10"
|
School Team
National
11
National Pos. Rank
2
State
3
State Pos. Rank
1

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS 

UCLA’s Adem Bona has all the tools to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and you could argue the same on a national level. His shot-blocking and interior intimidation is next level. The best Mick Cronin teams have an enforcer. 

There are so many talented big men coming to the league in this class. There are four ranked centers in the top 100 who are headed to the Pac-12 - Kel'el Ware (Oregon), Vincent Iwuchukwu (USC), Adrame Diongue and Joe Hurlburt (Colorado). 

Bona will have his hands full from day one and should see a big role from day one. You’ll see him shine on defense and there may not be a better guy in that role than him. 

THE CLASSES THAT WE LOVE

Vincent Iwuchukwu

Montverde, FL

Class
2022
|
Position
C
|
Height
6' 11"
|
School Team
National
35
National Pos. Rank
6
State
9
State Pos. Rank
2

USC 

The Trojans got big, man. Like, huge. The interior levelled up with the additions of all-conference potential big men in Texan Vince Iwuchukwu and local product Kijani Wright making their way to town. The fire-and-ice duo of Iwuchukwu’s length and Wright’s toughness makes for a 1-2 punch that gets you really excited if you’re a Trojan fan. 

The Pac-12 got better and got bigger with this high school freshmen class and what USC has built with this duo will certainly shine on the defensive end of the floor. In order to contend in this league, the Trojans will need at least one of these studs to really hit. 

The real gem of the class could be Tre White, a 6-foot-7 producer from the basketball power Prolific Prep. The athletic and aggressive 6-foot-7 forward could be the beneficiary of having two giants in the frontline with him. White is a highlight film every time he steps onto the floor. He’ll have plenty of one-on-one situations and many chances to play above the rim. The upside with him is significant.

Keep a close watch on guard Oziyah Sellers. You could argue that he is the best incoming shooter in the league and in an era where one-and-done players are so important but also incredibly hard to build sustainability around, a player like Sellers is key to land. He may not be that dude right away as a rookie or even into his sophomore year but his value as a perimeter threat is always needed. His three-point shot is even more important as an upperclassman in the post-season.

Dylan Andrews

Chandler, AZ

Class
2022
|
Position
PG
|
Height
6' 4"
|
National
43
National Pos. Rank
5
State
3
State Pos. Rank
1

UCLA

The Bruins should be in this space every year forever. Right? They should. The blue blood program can recruit nationally and can be in the mix with jsut about anyone they want to be involved with. 

With this class, we’ve already praised the value of Bona and what he brings to the table from the get go. 

Amari Bailey is the prized recruit, according to all of the rankings reports. He’s a top 10 talent and has the tools to be a major scorer and athletic threat in the backcourt. Will Bailey live up to his hype coming out of high school? He has some Josh Chistopher value to him. 

Gluing it all together will be Dylan Andrews, a premier local guard who prepped at AZ Compass as a senior. While there, he was around elite talent day in and day out. Andrews has been battle-tested and fire forged for what’s about to meet him at the college game. 

Kylan Boswell

Chandler, AZ

Class
2022
|
Position
SG
|
Height
6' 2"
|
School Team
National
17
National Pos. Rank
5
State
2
State Pos. Rank
1

Arizona

Kylan Boswell, a dynamic playmaker and scorer from Arizona's powerhouse AZ Compass Prep. Boswell has the kind of high school pedigree that warrants early inclusion to any Point Guard U conversation that should come about. Boswell had a terrific prep career and he has the talent to become an All-Conference level player during his tenure in Tucson. 

Joining him is Dylan Anderson, a two-time Mr. Arizona Basketball. The big man helped Perry High School win a state title in 2022. We've seen Tommy Lloyd have teams with talented big men and it will be interesting to see how Anderson is developed. 

The in-state prospects will be joined by a pair of international prospects, a trend Arizona fans should begin to get accustomed to. Henri Veesaar, a 6-foot-11 forawrd from Estonia via Real Madrid, and Filip Borovićanin, a 6-foot-8 wing from Serbia. 

RANDOM THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Jordan Pope

Napa, CA

Class
2021
|
Position
PG
|
Height
6' 2"
|
School Team
National
NR
National Pos. Rank
NR
State
NR
State Pos. Rank
NR

Oregon State landed one of my favorite point guards in the West when Jordan Pope popped for the school in Corvallis. Pope was outstanding in his career at Prolific Prep. Whenever he was on the floor, his team was in a good position to win. Pope thrived in his match-ups and never disappointed in big-game situations. He’ll overachieve at OSU. And that’s a good thing for the Beavers. 

The conference got bigger and better inside the paint. Oregon snagged another elite big man in Arkansas native Ke’lel Ware, a long and lean 7-footer who is just beginning to tap into his high ceiling ability. Washington State snagged another big-time recruit from the loaded AZ Compass Prep in Adrame Diongue. Colorado, no strangers to high-level talent, have a good one in Joe Hulburt from North Dakota. He was a top 100 recruit. Utah landed a promising big man late in the recruiting process when Wasatch Academy’s Keiba Keita popped for the Utes. He had a strong senior season. 

Mark Fox has done a fine job of developing and using talent during his career at various high-major programs. In this incoming freshmen class, he has a go-to guy in international import ND Okafor. The Nigerian born, Irish raised and South American trained with NBA Global Academy Latin America, Okafor has played against a wide variety of teams and players. He should develop [p quickly into a starter-level player. 

Arizona State upgraded it’s backcourt through the transfer portal with Michigan import Frankie Collins. He should have the ball in his hands right away and should change the temp of how the Sun Devils play this season. Next to him in the rotation is the talent of Texan Austin Nunez. The San Antonio native has played around talent his entire life and should get better with the competition in practice every day. Keep an eye on Nunez come conference play. Collins will only help him get better. 


Justin Young
Editor-in-Chief

Justin Young has been the editor-in-chief of HoopSeen.com since 2013. He manages the day-to-day operations on the site and in conjunction with our national and regional events. He was the national basketball editor for Rivals.com and a contributing editor at Yahoo! Sports. Young has been earned numerous awards for his work in sports journalism, including the Georgia Press Association Columnist of the Year. His Justin Young Basketball recruiting service has been in existence since 2002 and worked with over 300 schools from all levels. He is the director of HoopSeen Elite Preview camps and our national Preview camp series.