UCLA again the favorite in 2022-23 Pac-12 Men's Basketball preseason media poll
SAN FRANCISCO – For the third consecutive preseason, UCLA has been chosen the favorite to win the Pac-12 Men's Basketball title in a vote of 33 media members who cover the league and announced prior to the league's 2022 Media Day on Wednesday.
The preseason No. 8 nationally ranked Bruins, who received 26-of-33 first-place votes, return four of their top seven scorers from a team that finished runner-up in the Pac-12 regular season and tournament in 2021-22.
Defending champion and No. 17 nationally ranked ARIZONA, which became the first program in Conference history to reach 18 league wins last season, picked up three first-place votes and finished second in the prediction. No. 21 OREGON also garnered a trio of first-place votes to place third, marking the eighth straight polling the Ducks are inside the top 4.
USC, which joined the Bruins and Wildcats in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, was picked fourth. STANFORD collected the final first-place vote and slotted fifth, while COLORADO rounded out the top half of the poll.
Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 17 times in 33 tries, including five times in the Pac-12 era (since 2011-12), while the winner has been accurately chosen in 21 of the 38 all-time preseason votes.
The Pac-12 will welcome back 13 of its All-Conference performers from the 2021-22 season, matching the most ever for the league during the Pac-12 era (2011-12). Four First Team (Ąžuolas Tubelis, ARIZ; Tyger Campbell & Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA; Drew Peterson, USC), two Second Team (Will Richardson, ORE; Branden Carlson, UTAH) and two All-Defensive Team honorees (Jaquez & Jaylen Clark, UCLA) will return, as well as the entire All-Freshman Team for the first time since the inaugural season of the Pac-12.
Stanford’s Harrison Ingram will be just the second Pac-12 Freshman of the Year recipient to return for a sophomore season in the past decade (Jahii Carson, ASU, 2013 FrOY), and Arizona’s Pelle Larsson, the reigning Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, will return as well.
Four McDonald’s All-Americans are set to join the Conference this coming season in Oregon’s Kel’el Ware, UCLA’s Amari Bailey and Adem Bona and USC's Kijani Wright to headline 10 Top 100 recruits according to 247 Sports Composite rankings.
2022-23 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. UCLA (26)||386|
|2. ARIZONA (3)||352|
|3. OREGON (3)||336|
|5. STANFORD (1)||239|
|7. ARIZONA STATE||193|
|8. WASHINGTON STATE||185|
|12. OREGON STATE||47|
PREVIOUS PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL POLLS
|2016-17||Oregon||1st (tied)||Arizona / Oregon||2nd / 1st|
|1999-00||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
|1989-90**||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
|1984-85||Washington||1st (tied)||USC/Washington||7th /
**The Pac-12 preseason polls were decided in a vote among league coaches (1987-91).