Oct. 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES - After tying for third in the Pacific-10 Conference last season, Washington State University men's basketball has been chosen to finish sixth in the league in 2008-09, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball.
"I believe the league will be sneaky good," WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett said. "Even though some marquee players have left, there are still some excellent returners and exciting newcomers. It appears to be a very balanced league with a lot of unknowns."
The poll, released at the league's annual media day in Los Angeles Thursday, had UCLA finishing first with 37 of the 38 first place votes and 379 points. Arizona State received the only other first-place vote, coming in second with 325 points. USC (292), Arizona (241) and Washington (217) rounded out the top five.
The Cougars received 188 points in the poll, 29 behind the Huskies. WSU returns five letterwinners from last season's 26-9 squad, which reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. Joining the four seniors and one junior are 10 first-year players, including nine freshman (seven true freshmen).
Before opening the season Nov. 15 at home against Mississippi Valley State, Washington State will host Lewis-Clark State in an exhibition game Monday, Nov. 10 at Friel Court.
2008-09 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. UCLA (37), 379
2. Arizona State (1), 325
3. USC, 292
4. Arizona, 241
5. Washington, 217
6. Washington State, 188
7. Oregon, 147
8. California, 143
9. Stanford, 115
10. Oregon State, 40
(first place votes in parentheses)