Cal Chosen Fifth in Pac-10 Media Poll
Nov. 2, 2006
BERKELEY - California has been predicted to finish fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference this season in a vote of media who regularly cover the league.
Defending champion UCLA was the No. 1 choice of the media, followed by Arizona, Washington and Oregon. After Cal, USC was picked sixth and Stanford seventh. Oregon State, Arizona State and Washington State rounded out the poll.
Last year, the Bears were also selected fifth and went on to claim third place with a 12-6 Pac-10 mark during the regular season. Cal then advanced to the conference tournament final for the first time ever and earned an NCAA Tournament berth.
Under head coach Ben Braun, the Bears have placed in the Pac-10's upper division eight times in the past 10 years, including top-three finishes in 1997 (2nd), 2002 (T2nd), 2003 (3rd) and 2006 (3rd).
Ben Braun Quotes from Pac-10 Media Day Thursday
'I would imagine everyone wants to know what life is like without Leon Powe. He is doing great in Boston and now the team has the challenge of playing without him. DeVon Hardin has been a strong player for us, as he is able to hit the boards both offensively and defensively. A challenge for him is to stay in the game and not get into foul trouble. I've been pleased with our younger guys, as well. I believe that this is one of the deeper teams we've had, especially at the wing position. We have many guys that can step up and help us out. '
On the Pac-10:
'This is going to be as deep a conference, as I've seen. If you look at the way our Conference played out last year, we had some wins against the top teams. We have some very good teams top to bottom in the Pac-10. UCLA looks like the team to beat. Washington returns a solid nucleus, Lute (Olson) always has a strong Arizona team. Oregon lost a number of close games last year, but if they can turn some of those close losses into wins, they can challenge for the championship. Stanford is another one that will be awfully good. If you look across the board, every team has gotten better and every campus has optimism as good players are returning.'
Pac-10 Media Poll
1. UCLA (21) 3352. Arizona (13) 2803. Washington 2364. Oregon (1) 1935. California 1776. USC 1607. Stanford 1278. Oregon State 759. Arizona State 6910. Washington State 54First-place votes in parentheses
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