UW Men Picked 8th in Basketball Media Poll
Nov. 1, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Washington was picked to finish eighth in the 2007-08 Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race in a press poll that was released Thursday at the league's annual media day.
Defending conference champion UCLA was the media's choice to win the Pac-10 title for the second straight season. The Bruins received 33 first-place votes and accumulated 339 points.
Washington State received the remaining first-place vote, placing second in the poll with 273 points. The Cougars were the Pac-10 runners-up last year after being selected 10th in the preseason media poll.
Oregon was projected third in the poll with 240 points followed by Arizona (238), Stanford (205), USC (184), California (140), Washington (132), Arizona State (81) and Oregon State (38).
The Huskies, who were picked third last season, return four starters from last year's team that compiled a 19-13 record. UW placed seventh in the Pac-10 with an 8-10 conference mark.
'I think if it wasn't us, they would've had to pick someone else and you would've had to ask the same question,' Husky coach Lorenzo Romar remarked about the media poll's eighth-place forecast. 'Someone had to be there. We finished seventh with Spencer Hawes and now he is gone and we are picked to finish eighth, so I guess they thought we couldn't finish higher than that without him. We'll see how it plays out.'
Romar atrributes the Huskies' position in the poll to the strength of the Pac-10, which has six teams rankeed among the top-25. He thinks a difficult non-conference slate could prepare UW for a trying coference schedule.
'We have a tough schedule, but it will help us prepare for the very, very competitive Pac-10 Conference. I was fortunate enough to play in 1979 right when the Arizona schools joined the former Pac-8, and I have never seen it this competitive from one through 10. There have been times when it has been tough at the top, one through five, but never this tough from the top to bottom.'
Last year, the media correctly picked the conference winner in UCLA. They were less accurate throughout the rest of the standings.
The media poll hasn't always proved prophetic. In 2004, Washington finished sixth places higher than its eighth-place projection by the press. In 2006, the Huskies were picked fourth and finished second.
The Huskies open the season with an exhibition game against Seattle Pacific University on Monday, Nov. 5. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena.
2007-08 PAC-10 MEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL
Place Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. UCLA (33) 339
2. Washington State (1) 273
3. Oregon 240
4. Arizona 238
5. Stanford 205
6. USC 184
7. California 140
8. WASHINGTON 132
9. Arizona State 81
10. Oregon State 38