Here are the results of the annual media poll of writers who cover Pac-10 men’s basketball.
1. UCLA (37 first place votes)
2. Arizona State (1)
6. Washington State
10. Oregon State
UW coach Lorenzo Romar hadn’t seen the poll and didn’t really want to react to it. However, Oregon coach Ernie Kent talked about “three top teams” and then listed them as UCLA, Arizona State and … not USC, but Washington.
A few things Romar did talk about:
* As he has all preseason, the stressed that a big reason for encouragement is that there are upperclassmen in main contributing roles to make the adjustments easier for the talented underclassmen.
* He also stressed that there are more playmakers this season. By that he means guys — regardless of position, who who make plays that impact the game.
* He said practices have been good and that is a close team.
*He said Jon Brockman — who is here as the UW player representative to media day — has progressed each season so far and will again. He said Brockman is more athletic this season … ” a sleek doberman, 250 and hard as a wall.” “We’re going to cherish every moment of his last year here,” Romar said.
* Romar also paid tribute to coach Lute Olson, and said he hopes his unfortunate exit from Arizona doesn’t tarnis his legacy.lute not since this happened.
* He also said freshman Isaiah Thomas seems to be the only person who doesn’t realize he’s short — a trait he said is similar to many previous short but successful players in Pac-10 history, including Nate Robinson.
* Finally, he paid tribute to football coach Tyrone Willingham, as both a coach and a person.
Otherwise, the highlight of the morning was hearing from Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, one of four new coaches in the conference this season. Robinson is the brother-in-law of Barack Obama and seemed eager to talk about all that being an in-law to a president might mean either personally or professionally. But like any coach, he isn’t taking that result for granted, either.