Pac-10 Hoops Media Day

The Pac-10 head coaches gather in Los Angeles for Pac-10 media day to talk about their teams, the upcoming season, and the Pac-10 media's pre-season poll...

UCLA was picked to finish third by the Pac-10 media writers, announced today a Pac-10 basketball media day.

1. Arizona 270 pts.
2. Oregon 237
3. UCLA 195
4. Arizona State 160
5. California 154
6. USC 152
7. Stanford 136
8. Washington 81
9. Oregon State 71
10. Washington State 29

A few exerpts from media day:

Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent:

"We don't feel we'll be as spectacular as we were last year, with Freddie Jones and the alley-oop dunks, but certainly we feel like we're going to be just as talented in the areas like shooting the ball. All in all we feel like we have gotten ourselves a better basketball team than where we were last year."

Arizona State Head Coach Rob Evans:

"I feel like the Arizona State basketball program is as healthy as its been in a long time. Last year our backcourt was inexperienced, but I think these guys have really learned from the NCAA season and the Pac-10. The young people we have coming in are more talented. We're more athletic than we've ever been since I've been at Arizona State."

Stanford Head Coach Mike Montgomery:

"We're in kind of a tough stretch with our basketball team. I think we'll be fine in time. We're a young team with one senior. We're going to have some growing pains, there's no question about it. I think we're probably a middle of the pack team right now, without the senior leadership."

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson:

"The biggest thing in practice is that there is a challenge everyday with the players competiting against each other. It has helped them progress and will help them to continue to progress. From an athletic standpoint, we've never been this deep."

UCLA Head Coach Steve Lavin:

"We've got a very challenging schedule. But that's a positive since we tend to play our best basketball late in the year because of our tough non-conference schedule. We're still very young at the point guard position. The NCAA tournament experience was really a positive thing. We're also trying to offset, neutralize or minimize the loss of Dan Gadzuric, who controlled the paint last season. You're not going to replace Dan Gadzuric, but we're hoping to minimize and offset that loss. We're hoping that T.J. Cummings can do it, or Andre Patterson, when he returns hopefully four or five games into the season, Josiah Johnson, John Hoffart. And then our young seven-footers – Ryan Hollins and Mike Fey, who have played well in practice. But they're still freshmen. Our wings are where we have experience. Overall, I like our team's depth. We're a very long athletic team and we can really shoot the ball well. That's the one thing that's stood out in practice. This is a team that will have some growing pains, especially with the tough schedule, but we will be a tough out late in the season, a very dangerous team in February and March."

Injury Report: There have been some injuries so far in UCLA's practice, even though they have been described as not serious. Jon Crispin has a sprained foot, and Dijon Thompson has a strained quad. T.J. Cummings has had back spasms, which might be the most serious among the early practice injuries.


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