Bruins Picked To Finish Second In Pac-10

Nov. 4, 1999

LOS ANGELES - Arizona was acclaimed a near-unanimous choice to win the Pac-10 basketball championship on Thursday, prompting Wildcats coach Lute Olson to playfully cry foul.

"Was this taken after a party?" Olson asked with a smile after finding out his team received 32 of a possible 36 first-place votes and 356 points from media members to easily outdistance UCLA and Stanford.

The Bruins received three first-place votes and 307 points. Stanford picked up the remaining first-place vote and 296 points.

"For Stanford to be the defending league champion and have the people they have coming back, I've always thought you pick the teams with experience and quality players," Olson said.

"I think that's vintage Lute," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery responded. "I think they probably deserved to be picked No. 1. That doesn't mean he has to like it.

"Whether it be Arizona or UCLA, that would be a good starting point. We've got one starter (Mark Madsen) back. I like our talent, I don't think you pick us to win it based on that."

In addition to Stanford and UCLA, Olson mentioned Oregon as a contender. The Ducks wound up fourth with 246 points, followed by Oregon State with 174.

"It's a nice compliment," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "It's a compliment to our players, our staff, to be talked about like that. The reality is we haven't accomplished that yet. We do have a nice team."

So does UCLA, according to coach Steve Lavin.

"I think our goals are always the same, which are to win the Pac-10 championship and go to the Final Four and compete for the national championship," he said. "I think this is a team that can compete nationally."

California, the defending NIT champion, finished sixth in the media poll with 152 points, followed by Southern California with 151, Arizona State with 129, Washington with 117 and Washington State with 44.

The media correctly picked the last five Pac-10 champions - UCLA for three seasons starting in 1995, Arizona in 1998, and Stanford last season.

"It's a very good conference," Montgomery said. "We got hurt a little bit last year in the (NCAA) tournament. We had several teams lose early. I think we'll be fine."

Stanford advanced to the NCAA tournament's Final Four in 1998. UCLA won the NCAA title in 1995, and Arizona prevailed in 1997.

Arizona has three returning starters, all sophomores - forwards Michael Wright and Richard Jefferson, and guard Ruben Douglas. In addition, the Wildcats have Loren Woods, a 7-foot-1 transfer from Wake Forest, and highly regarded freshman guards Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas.

UCLA has four returning starters along with another highly touted freshman, Jason Kapono. Stanford will have a formidable front court of Madsen and brothers Jason and Jarron Collins and yet another highly regarded freshman, sharpshooting Casey Jacobsen.

AP Sports Writer

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA