1. Justin Cobbs, Jr., California. With the graduation of Jorge Gutierrez, this team will now be all his. Cobbs – a transfer from Minnesota – had a better assist rate than Gutierrez, a lower turnover rate, and was better shooting twos, threes and free throws. This year he'll get a higher % of the possessions, and due to that he'll become more of a household name. This guy can ball.
2. Aaron Bright, Jr., Stanford. Stanford is another team which had a two-headed point guard – in this case it was Bright and Chasson Randle. Randle certainly brings a lot of talent to the floor, but when it comes to playing the point, Bright is the best option. His assist rate was 7th in the conference, and (like Randle) he's a lights out shooter from deep, making 44% of his threes. His size (5-11) hurts him on defense, but after another year in the weight room he should be better prepared this season.
3. Abdul Gaddy, Sr., Washington. Gaddy returns for his senior season with a good chance of becoming Washington's all-time assist leader. After blowing up his knee as a sophomore, Gaddy came back and played 84% of his team's minutes as a junior. He wasn't quite the same player he was prior to his injury, but he's still good enough to be near the top of what is arguably a pretty weak group of point guards for a high major conference. He had a solid assist rate, though he needs to tighten up his turnovers. It will also help if he shoots threes closer to how he did as a sophomore (41% in limited attempts) than how he did as a junior (33%).
4. Mark Lyons, Sr., Arizona. Lyons always had the benefit of playing beside Tu Holloway at Xavier, but now the transfer will be asked to run the show, or at least the bulk of it. He's never had a solid assist rate, but he also wasn't called upon to create for his teammates on long strings of possessions. We know that he can shoot it (39% on threes), and we know that he likes to shoot it (he took 28% of the shots when he was on the floor – which would have been 5th in the Pac-12 a year ago), but what we don't know is if he can stop jacking shots long enough to create for his team. How well he does will have a huge effect on Arizona's season.
5. Reggie Moore, Sr., Washington State. I'm tempted to slip UCLA's Kyle Anderson into this slot, but it appears that Larry Drew II will get first dibs at running that team. And Drew certainly doesn't belong in anyone's top-5. In his place goes Reggie Moore, who toils in relative obscurity. He's a solid, pass-first point guard. But unfortunately he doesn't present much of a scoring threat which would open up other areas of his game. The points he scores are due to one thing: volume. Moore made 33% of his threes, and 37% of his twos. The former is bad, the latter is horrid. If he can figure out a way to be more efficient as a scorer, he could move up this list.