UCLA Ranked No. 22 in Preseason Men's Basketball Poll
The UCLA men's basketball program has been ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press (AP) preseason poll, as released by the AP on Monday.
The Bruins, who went 19-12 last season with a 12-6 record in the Pac-12, are one of three Pac-12 programs ranked in the preseason top-25 poll. UCLA, at No. 22, is joined by No. 18 Arizona State and No. 20 Oregon.
The preseason poll's top five teams are (1) Gonzaga, (2) Baylor, (3) Villanova, (4) Virginia and (5) Iowa. The complete top-25 poll is available here.
13. Michigan State
14. Texas Tech
15. West Virginia
16. North Carolina
18. Arizona State
21. Florida State
23. Ohio State
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 9, 2020
Under the direction of second-year head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA returns eight of its 10 primary contributors from last season's team. The Bruins closed their 2019-20 campaign having won 11 of 14 games and registered a second-place finish in the Pac-12 standings (one game behind league champion Oregon).
UCLA brings back its entire starting lineup from the second half of last season – senior Chris Smith, juniors Jalen Hill and David Singleton, and sophomores Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. In addition, juniors Jules Bernard, Cody Riley and Russell Stong, sophomore Jake Kyman and redshirt sophomore Kenneth Nwuba are back with the Bruins.
Over the summer, UCLA welcomed sophomore Johnny Juzang from the University of Kentucky (transfer) and freshmen Jaylen Clark (Riverside, Calif.) and Logan Cremonesi (Oceanside, Calif.).
The Bruins are returning a Pac-12-best 88.8 percent of their total scoring output from last season and 86.2 percent of their rebounding totals from 2019-20. In addition, 91.3 percent of the team's total assist production is back this fall. The Bruins bring back a league-best 87.6 percent of their total 3-point field goal production from the 2019-20 campaign.
UCLA's complete schedule has not been finalized, and the season is expected to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 25.