Arizona State coach Herb Sendek, USC coach Tim Floyd and Washington State coach Tony Bennett have each spent part of their media session speaking well of UCLA, and each said the Bruins deserve to be picked to win the Pacific-10.
“They’re the measuring stick right now,” Floyd said.
The first major men’s basketball poll is out, and UCLA is ranked No. 4. It is the USA Today/ESPN poll, which has North Carolina as a unanimous No. 1. The poll is listed below:
UCLA was picked by the media to win its fourth straight Pacific-10 conference title in the poll released today at media day. Here is the poll:
1. UCLA (37)
2. Arizona State (1)
6. Washington State
10. Oregon State
*First place votes in parentheses
Forgot to mention that injured quarterback Patrick Cowan spoke to the players only after practice to tell them what a privilege it is to still play, so they need to make sure they give a complete effort.
The message was that Cowan cannot play, so the players that are healthy need to make sure they are giving their best effort.
Receiver Nelson Rosario left the field with a twisted ankle and was getting examined by doctors, but coach Rick Neuheisel said he didn’t think it was serious.
LB Reggie Carter was in a no-hit jersey, but x-rays on his ribs were negative and he will play Nov. 8 against Oregon State.
Neuheisel said LT Jeff Baca (hamstring) would be back at practice Sunday and should play against Oregon State, and he added DE Reggie Stokes (knee surgery) could be available for a few plays against the Beavers.
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel had some very interesting comments after practice today. I’ll have the audio up tomorrow morning, but here is a taste.
“Still way too many mistakes of things that should be rock solid by now,” he said. “We have to get our guys to understand this is a little bit more important than it is currently been treated. Until that happens, we’re going to struggle to improve.”
Here are the 5-on-5 teams Ben Howland was using in today’s practice.
Gold = Darren Collison, Drew Gordon, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, Alfred Aboya and Jrue Holiday.
Blue = Jerime Anderson, James Keefe, Michael Roll, Josh Shipp and J’Mison “Bobo” Morgan.
Some observations so far…
Collison and Holiday have played well together. They were also able to break the fullcourt press with ease. After breaking the press on one possession, Collison had an open shot, although it was well behind the 3-point line, and he passed to an open Holiday, who drove and scored on a floater on the baseline.
Alfred Aboya fell and grabbed his left foot, which was a very brief scare for the Bruins, but he got up right away, walked around and returned to halfcourt defense.
Michael Roll made an open 3-point shot, prompting the yellow team to run sprints.
Morgan has made some nice plays – including an offensive rebound in halfcourt offense and he deflected a Collison shot in the lane. You can hear the name ”Bobo” by Howland or assistant Donny Daniels nearly every play…whether it’s for something good or bad.