Washington picked sixth and Washington State is 12th in media predictions heading into 2016-17 season.
Despite the loss of their top three scorers, the Huskies received a promising forecast at the Pac-12 men’s basketball media day Friday.
Washington was picked sixth in the conference’s preseason media poll while cross-state rival Washington State was projected to finish last for the second straight year.
Defending champion Oregon received 23 first-place votes and was tabbed as the Pac-12 title favorites for the first time in the history of the program. Arizona collected four first-place votes for second place. UCLA is third in the poll followed by California, Colorado and UW.
The bottom half of the poll includes: USC (163), Utah (142), Oregon State (122), Stanford (119), Arizona State (78) and WSU (30).
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Last season the Pac-12 sent seven teams to the NCAA tournament, not including Washington which finished 9-9 in the Pac-12 (tied for sixth) and 19-15 overall. The Huskies last appeared in the Big Dance in 2011.
Washington lost their leading scorers when Andrew Andrews — the Pac-12 scoring champion — graduated and freshmen Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss left early for the NBA draft. The trio averaged 50.7 points and represented 60.4 percent of UW’s scoring.
The Huskies return two starters (center Malik Dime and guard Matisse Thybulle) who are expected to carry the team along with newcomer Markelle Fultz, a national freshman of the year candidate.
Meanwhile, Washington State will lean heavily once again on senior forward Josh Hawkinson, who has led the Pac-12 in rebounding and averaged a double-double each of the last two seasons.
During his first two years at WSU, coach Ernie Kent is 22-40. The Cougars were 1-17 in the Pac-12 and 9-22 overall last season.
Here’s a look at the poll.
1. Oregon – (23) 320
2. Arizona – (4) 298
3. UCLA – 259
4. Cal – 209
5. Colorado – 199
6. Washington – 167
7. USC – 163
8. Utah – 142
9. Oregon State – 122
10. Stanford – 119
11. Arizona State – 78
12. Washington State – 30
Here’s a look at where Washington has been picked in the conference preseason media poll and how Huskies have fared under coach Lorenzo Romar.
Year …. Prediction …. Finish
2015-16 … 11th … t-sixth
2014-15 …. sixth … 11th
2013-14 … eighth … t-eighth
2012-13 … fifth … t-sixth
2011-12 … fourth ……. first
2010-11 … first ………. third
2009-10 … second …. third
2008-09 … fifth ……… first
2007-08 … second … eighth
2006-07 … third ……. seventh
2005-06 … fourth ….. second
2004-05 … second … second
2003-04 … eighth …. second
2002-03 … eighth …. ninth