Oct. 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- Thursday was an eventful day for the Husky basketball team and they did not even practice or play.
For the first time in team history, Washington was selected to finish first in the Pac-10 Conference in a poll of media that cover the league. That preseason honor is typically reserved for teams named Arizona or UCLA.
Not this year. It seems everyone thinks the best team in the conference hails from the Pacific Northwest.
"It's good," said Isaiah Thomas off the prediction. Thomas, battling a slight head cold, represented the Huskies (along with head coach Lorenzo Romar) at L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre where media day was held.
"People respect us, but at the same time you've got to bring your A-game every day. Everybody is aiming for you when you're on top."
How accurate is the poll? In the 21 previous years that the poll was released, the team predicted to win has done so 14 times - including last year's Pac-10 Champ California.
The Huskies, who also earned the No. 18 spot in the preseason Associated Press top 25 released today, are holding out hope that once again the media knows best. And at the very least, only four times previously has the preseason favorite ended up worse than second in the conference. If form holds true, the Huskies are in for another exciting run.
Huskies Ranked 18th in AP poll
The Associated Press poll came out today and Washington will debut at No. 18. The Huskies are the only Pac-10 team ranked. Washington received 572 votes.
Defending NCAA Champion Duke will start the year No. 1, garnering 55 out of 65 possible first-place votes. Michigan State is No. 2, followed by Kansas State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida and Syracuse.
Arizona and UCLA were the only other schools that earned votes. The Wildcats received 8 and UCLA 5.
John Wooden will be forever memorialized by the Pac-10
The Pac-10 announced today that the 2010-11 season will be dedicated to legendary UCLA coach John Wooden.
Wooden passed away June 4, 2010 just shy of his 100th birthday.
In addition, the Pac-10 Coach of the Year award on both the men's and women's side will be named after Wooden.
Another change this year and from here on out is that the women's conference tournament will hold their semifinal and final games at the Staples Center where the men play all their games. The games prior to the semifinals will still be played at USC's Galen Center.
The 2010-11 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. Washington (33), 348
2. Arizona (1), 296
3. UCLA (1), 281
4. Arizona State, 215
5. Washington State, 191
6. USC, 178
7. California, 151
8. Oregon State, 120
9. Stanford, 98
10. Oregon, 47