Oct. 28, 2011
LOS ANGELES--The University of Arizona men's basketball team is picked to finish third in the 2011-12 Pac-12 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover Pac-12 men's basketball.
UCLA, led by junior all-conference forward Reeves Nelson (13.9 ppg/9.1 rpg), tallied 14 first-place votes and narrowly edged out CALIFORNIA and ARIZONA.
California, paced by senior All-Conference guard Jorge Gutierrez (14.6 ppg/4.5 apg) and senior forward Harper Kamp (14.2 ppg/5.6 rpg) picked up 13 first-place votes and is tabbed for second. Arizona, the reigning regular-season conference champion, pulled in the remaining 11 first-place votes and are picked to finish third.
Arizona, which won the 2011 regular-season title with a 14-4 record, was picked to finish second a year ago.
WASHINGTON, the defending Pac-12 Tournament champion, is slotted fourth, followed by OREGON in fifth and STANFORD sixth. The second half of the predicted race starts with USC edging out OREGON STATE for seventh with ARIZONA STATE picked ninth. COLORADO and WASHINGTON STATE are tied for tenth, followed by UTAH.
Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 12 times in 19 tries. The media were successful with their choice in five of the previous seven times UCLA was slated to capture the league crown.
The 2011-12 season gets underway for the Pac-12 on Monday, November 7, when Arizona hosts Valparaiso in a Coaches vs. Cancer matchup.
2011-12 Pac-12 Preseason Men's Basketball Media Poll
Team Pts. 1. UCLA (14) 421 2. California (13) 405 3. ARIZONA (11) 404 4. Washington 355 5. Oregon 282 6. Stanford 255 7. USC 194 8. Oregon State 188 9. Arizona State 148 10. Colorado 119 Washington State 119 12. Utah 74 First place votes in parentheses