UCLA mens basketball ranked No. 21 in preseason AP Poll

Aaron Holiday is UCLA leading returning scorer this year on a team that has seven freshmen. (Thomas Cordova/SCNG)

Before its exhibition game at Pauley Pavilion, the UCLA men’s basketball team checked in at No. 21 in the preseason AP Poll released Wednesday morning.

The Bruins are one of three teams to crack the top 25 in the AP Poll behind No. 3 Arizona and No. 10 USC. Oregon received two votes. UCLA was No. 18 in the preseason coaches poll.

After its third Sweet 16 appearance in four years, UCLA finished at No. 8 in the final AP Poll last season. It lost four starters from the team, including star point guard Lonzo Ball, but welcomed a seven-man freshman class headlined by McDonald’s All-Americans Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands and Ball’s younger brother LiAngelo Ball.