Aug. 5, 2009
The California men's basketball team was selected No. 14 in Dick Vitale's Preseason Top 40 poll on ESPN.com on Wednesday. The Golden Bears were the top-ranked Pac-10 squad in the poll, just ahead of No. 16 Washington. Kansas, one of Cal's opponents this season, earned the top spot.
In his article, Vitale said Cal has one of the best backcourts in the nation in senior guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher. Vitale also said the Bears are capable of winning the Pac-10 title this season.
The three teams joining Cal in the championship rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York - North Carolina, Syracuse and Ohio State - all made the poll. North Carolina came in at No. 8, Syracuse at No. 17 and Ohio State at No. 24.
Last season, the Bears finished with an overall record of 22-11, tied for third in the Pac-10 and made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2006. Randle and Christopher both earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors.
Cal hits the court for the first time on Thursday, Nov. 5, against Chico State in an exhibition contest at Haas Pavilion. The regular season opener is slated for Monday, Nov. 9, vs. Murray State in the regional portion of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Haas Pavilion.