Nov. 1, 2007
LOS ANGELES - California has been picked to finish seventh in the 2007-08 Pacfic-10 Conference race, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league.
UCLA, chosen to repeat as champion, received 33 of a possible 34 first-place votes. The Bruins are followed by Washington State, which picked up the remaining first-place vote, Oregon, Arizona, Stanford, USC and Cal. Washington, Arizona State and Oregon State round out the standings.
All six teams rated ahead of the Bears appear in the preseason ESPN/USA Today poll and played in last year's NCAA Tournament.
In other preseason rankings, Cal has been tabbed as high as sixth in the conference by Lindy's magazine and The Sporting News. On the national level, the Bears are 24th nationally according to SLAM magazine and 33rd by rivals.com.
Individually, senior center DeVon Hardin and sophomore forward Ryan Anderson have received the most attention, to date. Hardin is one of 50 candidates for the Naismith Trophy and is considered the No. 6 post player in the country by Athlon.
Anderson is on the watch lists for both the Naismith and Wooden awards, while he is rated the nation's No. 4 power forward by Lindy's and The Sporting News.
Together, Hardin and Anderson form part of what Lindy's tabs as the country's fifth-best frontcourt.
Cal plays an exhibition game vs. Alaska-Fairbanks on Thursday, Nov. 8 and opens the regular season against Southern Mississippi Wednesday, Nov. 14. Both games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. from Haas Pavilion.
Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
Team Pts 1. UCLA (33) 339 2. Washington State (1) 273 3. Oregon 240 4. Arizona 238 5. Stanford 205 6. USC 184 7. California 140 8. Washington 132 9. Arizona State 81 10. Oregon State 38First-place votes in parentheses
Ben Braun Media Day Quotes
Opening Remarks: "I feel good about our team. Jerome [Randle] was released from the hospital, and we are waiting for the results of a biopsy he had. I don't have anything conclusive now. We are optimistic, and we want a long-term solution for Jerome. Those types of things help you put basketball in perspective because now he is looking at a life issue. That is the biggest concern right now. We'll have information by the end of this week, if not early next. He is optimistic on his return to the team. DeVon [Hardin] is back and is healthy. It is great to have him back in the lineup. Ryan Anderson is happy about that too. Jordan Wilkes is back, as well. I am really encouraged by our big guys. We were one of the smallest teams last year, and this year we are one of the biggest. We hope our big guys will be our strength."
On the Pac-10: "What a great year for the Pac-10. As a coach I am proud to be in the Pac-10, it is the greatest conference in the country. I believe that, the fans believe that, and the players believe that. We are at a high point."
On the guard situation: "Scholarship guards - we have three. Not a lot is it? So we have a challenge on our hands, but we've been there before. We're going to have to step up and it will be a challenge for our team. We are optimistic and confident. Injuries are part of the game. It's tough, but no coach plans for that and you have to have your team prepared. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us that we don't have our whole team healthy. We are going to have to count on some guys to step up and give us some minutes. It is a blow, I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's not, but we're going to go out and play."