Oct. 29, 2009
LOS ANGELES - With first-year head coach Ken Bone at the helm and just one upperclassman on the roster, the Washington State University men's basketball team has been chosen to finish eighth in the Pacific-10 Conference in 2009-10, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 basketball.
"I really don't know the Pac-10 as well now as I'll know it here in another month or so," WSU Head Coach Ken Bone said. "I understand there are a lot of great players that have left the league in the last year, but if history repeats itself, there are a lot of great players that are going to replace those guys. I feel that same way about our program; Baynes, Harmeling, Forrest and Rochestie did an outstanding job. I think there are good players in our program that can bring us back to where it was a couple of years ago, whether that's this year or not, I don't know."
The poll, released at the league's annual media day in Los Angeles Thursday, had California finishing first with 25 of the 37 first place votes and 350 points. Washington was chosen a close second with seven first place votes and 330 points. UCLA received the other five first place votes, coming in third with 302 points. Arizona (fourth, 221), Oregon State (fifth, 218), Oregon (sixth, 175), Arizona State (seventh, 144), USC (ninth, 109) and Stanford (10th, 63) rounded out the poll.
The Cougars received 123 points in the poll, 21 behind the Sun Devils. WSU returns seven letterwinners and two starters from last season's 17-16 squad, which reached the first round of the NIT. Joining the lone senior, Nikola Koprivica, are seven sophomores and eight freshmen.
Before opening the season Nov. 13 at home against Mississippi Valley State, Washington State will host Lewis-Clark State in an exhibition game Monday, Nov. 9 at Friel Court.
2009-10 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. California (25), 350
2. Washington (7), 330
3. UCLA (5), 302
4. Arizona, 221
5. Oregon State, 218
6. Oregon, 175
7. Arizona State, 144
8. Washington State, 123
9. USC, 109
10. Stanford, 63
(first place votes in parentheses)