Pac-10 men's basketball media day is Thursday, and now I'm less than 24 hours from needing to send in my predictions for the annual preseason media poll.
As we've done in the past, I'll float my first instinct here, consider any comments you might have about where you think I'm over- or underestimating someone, and then I'll send in my ballot tomorrow.
Here's the way I'm leaning:
1. CaliforniaUW coach Lorenzo Romar might have said it best: "When you have Jerome Randle who is a senior and an all-conference-type player, Patrick Christopher who is a senior and an all-conference type player, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin fifth year seniors, all returning starters back with Mike Montgomery as the head coach, you gotta put them in there somewhere. If you’re experienced like that and have good guards, that’s a formula that’s usually pretty good."
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2. WashingtonJon Brockman might be like Brandon Roy -- or like oxygen -- in the sense that you only think you appreciate the importance. But even at that, you can't -- not fully -- not until you have to do without. That said, this looks like maybe the quickest team in the league with the best set of guards. This roster is still young; but it looks like a down season for the league, so I don't see even the Brockman-less Huskies falling far.
3. UCLA My fingers are simply unable to pencil the Bruins any lower than this ... pretty much ever. No matter how much talent goes out the front door, there always seems to be something comparable coming in the back.
4. Oregon StateFour starters back from a team that really seemed to click into coach Craig Robertson's system by the end of last season. Continued improvement and a weak league should get them into the upper half.
5. ArizonaAbout half of last season's points and rebounds departed for the NBA. What's left is Nic Wise and a legacy of surviving personnel -- and now even coaching -- turnover.
6. OregonFor better or worse, it's Tajuan Porter's team. Last season't highly regarded freshmen are now sophomores. Looks like an up and down final season at Mac Court.
7. Arizona StateI don't see much on the roster, but I'm always impressed with Herb Sendek. Plus, the bottom of the league looks awful this season.
8. Washington StateI don't see much on the roster, but I'm always impressed with Ken Bone. Plus, the bottom of the league looks awful this season.
9. USCThe departure of Tim FLoyd was a mess, and losing Gibson, DeRozan, and Hackett is big trouble. But Kevin O'Neill should be used to coaching through disruption.
10. StanfordLast season, they lost the Lopez twins. Now they've lost Anthony Goods, Mitch Johnson and Lawrence Hill. That's the end of an era at Maples Pavilion, and the rebuilding could take a while.