UCLA men’s basketball ranked 18th in preseason coaches poll

Head coach Steve Alford (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

The UCLA men’s basketball team checked in at No. 18 in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll released Thursday.

Arizona, the media’s preseason pick to win the Pac-12, led the three Pac-12 schools in the coaches poll by checking in at No. 5, followed by USC at No. 11. Oregon also received 12 votes.

After advancing to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years, the Bruins lost four starters. Center Thomas Welsh is the lone returning starter while point guard Aaron Holiday returns as the team’s leading scorer. UCLA will lean on its highly touted freshman class that includes McDonald’s All-Americans Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands.

The Bruins open their season on Nov. 10 against Georgia Tech in Shanghai at 8:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.

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  • jameskatt

    The UCLA men’s basketball team provides welcome good news with the bleak football landscape we have.

    Here’s hoping for another Sweet-16 finish at the very least.

    It is difficult to expect more since NCAA Tournament winners tend to be veteran teams – which UCLA has not been.

    NCAA winners don’t rely heavily on one-and-done star players like those who have plagued UCLA for years.

    Still, Steve Alford has done a great job with UCLA men’s basketball despite the limitations imposed by its one-and-done players.

    Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday are a great examples of a veteran players who support UCLA’s NCAA campaign. If we had more players like them, UCLA would go deeper into the NCAA Tournament.