Stanford Picked To Finish Second in Pac-10
Nov. 6, 2003
Los Angeles, Ca - The Stanford basketball team is predicted to finish second in the 2003-04 Pacific-10 Conference basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball.
The Cardinal chalked up 321 points, including seven first-place votes. Arizona, the defending Pac-10 champions, gathered 26 first-place votes and a total of 339 points.
California is picked to finish third after gathering one first-place vote and 238 points. USC was the only other conference member to gain at least one first-place vote.
'Our team expects to do well,' Cardinal head coach Mike Montgomery told a large group of reporters at the annual Pac-10 Media Day on Thursday. 'We had a good year last year, and if we do all the things that we are capable of doing, yes, we will have another good season.'
Stanford returns ten lettermen and four starters from a 24-9 team in 2002-03. Stanford finished second in the conference last year with a 14-4 record, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
'I think a lot of teams are capable of winning the league title,' said Montgomery. 'I wouldn't separate Arizona and Stanford from the rest of the teams in the Pac-10.'
'Justin is ready for a breakout year,' said Montgomery. 'He is a very good offensive player, hard to block off, and difficult to defend. Lottich is as good a shooter as anybody in the league. Josh is ready to again be a big part of the team's success.'
Stanford is blessed with talent and depth at every position on the court. 'Chris Hernandez (starting point-guard) plays as hard as anybody. Nick Robinson doesn't get the credit he deserves. He is so valuable to us. He is the glue on the team. In fact, he has played a little point-guard in practice. Rob Little has reduced his body fat from 12 percent to eight percent. Rob has made a successful effort to lose weight. He looks different. He is pleased and so are we. Dan Grunfeld, Jason Haas, Matt Haryasz, Joe Kirchofer and Carlton Weatherby give us very good depth.'
Tim Morris and Fred Washington are two talented freshmen who will contribute to the team's success this year. 'They are a little behind right now,' admits Montgomery. 'We have haven't slowed our pace for them, but they are making good progress.'
Stanford opens the regular season on Nov. 22 (7:00 p.m.) against Sacramento State at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal has one exhibition game on Nov. 16 (5:00 p.m.) against Team Nike.
The non-league schedule includes games against nationally-ranked Kansas (Dec. 6 at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim), UNLV (Dec. 13 at Stanford) and Gonzaga (Dec. 20 at the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland). The Pac-10 season opens at home against Washington State (Jan. 2).
'The conference will be tough top-to-bottom.' said Montgomery. 'Every game will be a challenge.'
The 2003-04 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. Arizona (26) 339
2. Stanford (7) 321
3. California (1) 238
4. Oregon 215
5. USC (1) 207
6. UCLA 188
7. Arizona State 185
8. Washington 108
9. Washington St 69
10. Oregon State 65
First place votes in parentheses