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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Media picks Arizona to finish fourth in Pac-10

    If the Pacific 10 Conference split itself into divisions, the four southern schools would be picked to dominate this season.

    Media members picked Arizona to finish fourth in the conference this season, below UCLA, ASU and USC.

    The Wildcats received 241 votes despite Lute Olson’s retirement last Thursday.

    UCLA, the defending Pac-10 champs, was nearly a unanimous pick, receiving 37 of 38 first-place votes and 379 overall points. The Sun Devils received the other first-place vote, finishing second with 325 points. USC received 292 votes.

    Arizona received 18 points in the ESPN/USA Today poll, giving the Wildcats a 33rd-place preseason ranking. UCLA was ranked fourth in the nation, while ASU was marked 15th.

    “”Really, what I hope that we can do is just keep that passion going,”” UA interim head coach Russ Pennell said to the media in Los Angeles on Thursday. “”That we put a product out there that’s competing at a high level, that’s not only entertaining, but (one) people can get behind. I think right now these kids need that.””

    Added USC head coach Tim Floyd of Olson’s departure: “”We really should name an award in our league after Lute. I don’t know if we have a name on the Coach-of-the-Year award.

    “”I know how much coach (John) Wooden meant to this league, but we need to do something for Lute,”” Floyd added. “”As an outsider looking in, I thought of Lute as the Pac-10. He changed the place. He changed the place forever.””

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