Friday is my deadline for casting my ballot in the annual Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball poll. So, as I did in football, I figured I'd drop in my early thought here and then take any advice you'd care to share.
As of now:
2.) Washington State
7.) Southern California
9.) Arizona State
10.) Oregon State
I think UCLA will be the popular pick this season, and I think Oregon State might be near unanimous for 10th. After that, I think it looks like an amazingly wide-open race without a whole lot of difference between No. 2 and No. 8.
As for me, I'm a little shaky on Arizona, just because history says the Wildcats don't finish in the middle of the pack.
The other picks I'm least confident on are Southern California -- who I think will be a popular high pick this season, but I just don't see it. And Cal, who I think could be pretty good, but I just think the conference is so good this season that I don't see how to get them any higher.
I'm also just not that sure about the Huskies yet. Something tells me they'll be improved ... even with a lot of sophomores and freshmen playing, and even without Hawes. But again, this may be as deep and tough a conference as I've ever seen.