Pac-12 basketball: Cats chosen to finish 3rd in conference, but Miller preaches caution: 'No chance at all that’s where we are.'

2011-10-28T20:00:00Z Pac-12 basketball: Cats chosen to finish 3rd in conference, but Miller preaches caution: 'No chance at all that’s where we are.'By Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 28, 2011 8:00 pm  • 

 

LOS ANGELES — The preseason praise kept rolling in for the Arizona Wildcats on Friday, and the timing couldn’t have been more awkward.

Just a day after the Wildcats lost their first exhibition game in 27 years, 69-68 to Division II Seattle Pacific, Arizona was given the highest rating, No. 16, of any Pac-12 team in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll.

And the Wildcats were chosen to finish in third place in the Pac-12’s official media poll, behind UCLA and California, which still stuck a needle in coach Sean Miller’s side.

“There’s no way in the world we’re the third-best team in the Pac-12,” Miller said, during the Pac-12’s annual preseason media day.  “You can say every coach says something like that. I didn’t say that last year. Hopefully I won’t say it next year, but I’m saying it now. There is no chance at all that’s where we are.”

Indeed, a year ago, the Wildcats were picked to finish second, and Miller said then that he expected Arizona would be able to compete with four or five other teams for that spot. Of course, the Wildcats went on to do better, winning the regular-season title, finishing second in the conference tournament and then making a surprising NCAA tournament Elite Eight appearance.

But all that was with a guy named Derrick Williams, who not only led the Wildcats in scoring but also managed to fill up the otherwise shaky area they had in the middle. As Arizona learned in its loss to Seattle Pacific, when centers Kyryl Natyazhko and Sidiki Johnson combined for just two rebounds, Williams’ loss may be an even bigger void than anybody thought.

Read more about the Pac-12 in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star.

 

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
USC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Cal Poly Pomona at
Arizona
11/9 4:00 pm
Mount St. Mary's at
Arizona
11/14 6:00 pm
Coppin State at
Oregon
11/14 10:00 pm
Detroit at
Oregon
11/17 9:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
Arizona
11/19 7:00 pm
Oral Roberts at
Oregon State
11/21 7:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Northern Colorado at
Colorado
12/13 4:00 pm
Washington State at
Santa Clara
12/13 8:00 pm
Grambling at
Oregon State
12/15 8:00 pm
Delaware State at
Oregon
12/20 1:00 pm
Oklahoma at
Washington
12/20 7:00 pm
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