Sporting News put http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2011-09-02/sporting-news-preseason-top-25-north-carolina-kentucky-ohio-state/slide/12#photo" target="_blank">Arizona No. 12 in its preseason rankings, the highest of four Pac-12 teams it ranked. (You might take note of the guy in the accompanying photo, BTW).
Sporting News also had UCLA at 15, Cal at 23 and Washington at 25. Of UA's nonconference opponents, Florida was ranked No. 7 and Gonzaga was No. 20 (and both of those teams will be played away from McKale Center).
Interestingly, Sporting News did not put any of the Pac-12 players on its http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2011-09-01/sns-all-american-team-jared-sullinger-harrison-barnes" target="_blank">three five-man all-American teams. The conference lost all 10 of its top scorers and rebounders from last season.
Arizona finished last season ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press media poll (its final version was before the NCAA tournament) and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll that was taken after the tournament ended.
Correct that: Kyle Fogg told Jim Rome today he actually put up 40,000 shots over the summer, making about 28,000. Sean Miller said Fogg took at least 30,000 but Fogg said he was motivated to do what he could to help the Wildcats make another deep NCAA tournament run.
FWIW, the 70 percent Fogg made in practice is roughly double the 35.5 percent of three-pointers he made last season. Rome asked him about the shooting decline (Fogg had shot 41.5 percent from long range as a sophomore).
"I think I was just really focusing on the defensive end of the court last year," Fogg said.
Fogg also said he had no idea the Wildcats would reach the Elite Eight last season ("to be honest, not at all," he said), and that he thought of transferring during the coaching transition but that things have been great under Miller.
"It was kind of unstable," Fogg said. "Going in after my freshman year we didn't know who are coaches were going to be but I think Miller is a great coach, just (in) the things that he’s done. I believe we have the No. 1 recruiting class for next year and we have a bunch of great freshman now and I think he’s going to bring this program back to an elite level."
The short interview is not posted yet on Rome's site but could be by later this afternoon.
Jon Wilner quotes sources saying the Pac-12 http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/09/06/bcs-football-realignment-update-the-pac-12-doesnt-want-to-expand/" target="_blank">may not be all that interested in expanding, though external movement could force the issue.
(Note to Ben G from the http://dynamic.azstarnet.com/comments/viewcomments.php?id=/sports/blogs/pascoe/article_350afcc2-d58f-11e0-858f-001cc4c002e0.html&h=Byrne%20focusing%20on%20fixing%20up%20McKale%20Center" target="_blank">previous discussion thread: I don't know Tarczewski, but most top prospects are so short-term focused I don't think conference movement matters to them much).
Arizona's regular season opener will also be the http://www.nwitimes.com/sports/basketball/college/article_34fb1bb5-1b15-5867-a4d2-e6c76c06419e.html" target="_blank">debut of Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew.
Archie Miller says he and his big brother http://cincinnati.com/blogs/xavier/2011/09/05/more-from-chris-mack-archie-miller/" target="_blank">never butted heads.