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Oregon State 6th in Preseason Pac-12 Poll, Arizona Picked to Win

Coach Wayne Tinkle and Gary Payton II will lead an Oregon State team expected to do better than they have in years,
Coach Wayne Tinkle and Gary Payton II will lead an Oregon State team expected to do better than they have in years,

It's Pac-12 Media Release day for men's basketball, and the preseason conference media poll has been released. Arizona, the defending regular season and conference tournament champions, are the pick to repeat, garnering 18 of 36 first place votes, and 406 total points.

Oregon State, with the entirety of their lineup returning, and supported by the best recruiting class the Beavers have had in modern times, is picked for 6th in Coach Wayne Tinkle's second season, with 235 points. It's the highest the Beavers have been picked to finish since the conference expanded to be the Pac-12. It's a big jump up from being picked for last place last year.

California got the second most first place votes, 9, and is the pick for second, with 378 points. Utah is the only other team with more than 1 first place vote, collecting 7, and 360 points, good for 3rd in the poll.

Both Oregon and UCLA earned a single first place vote, and the Ducks are picked for 4th, with 338 points, and the Bruins 5th, with 304.

Colorado follows Oregon State in 7th place, with 188 points, and Arizona State, the only team with a new head coach this season in Bobby Hurley, is picked for 8th, with 165 points.

Stanford in 9th, with 145 points, and USC 10th, with 111. The state of Washington occupies the cellar, with Washington picked for 11th, with 96 points, and Washington State bringing up the rear, with 65 points.

The Beavers kick off their season on Thursday, November 5, with an exhibition against Western Oregon (recall, the Wolves were the only team to beat the Beavers at Gill Coliseum until Utah in February last year) at 7 PM, and then open the counting part of the preseason on Saturday, November 14, against Northwest Christian. Both will be televised by the Pac-12 network.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com