Earlier this week, BN released its Power Poll on football. Later this week as Peggysue pointed out WSU and UCLA were the only PAC 10 teams to not even get a vote in the Coaches football poll. I thought it might be worth taking a quick look at the Basketball predictions.
Jon Wilner of the St. Jose Mercury News has written some good early season analysis but if Peggysue thought the national guys were down on UCLA for picking ASU higher than UCLA in football, it seems the nationwide basketball guys are even worse. In a story about the four great basketball powers on who will comeback next year, UCLA is universally rated least likely :
[1.] UCLA has lost a ton of players to transfers or in unexpected jumps to the NBA. In the long run, the transfers probably will benefit UCLA. But not immediately. UCLA is rebuilding around Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt. That might be enough to get the Bruins to the NIT, but I'm not entirely optimistic for the NCAA tournament.
[2.] As for UCLA, while the Pac-10 again will be down, it won't be down enough for the Bruins to make the NCAA field. I think UCLA will have a winning record but not good enough for the NCAA field.
[3.] UCLA could be in trouble for the second consecutive season.
[4.] UCLA fell so far last season that I'm guessing it might take a year or two for the Bruins to get back to where they're accustomed.
More after the jump.
Some of it is East Coast bias. Some of it is being completely clueless (The Pac 10 is down and we still don't have a chance?) One more national prediction, I will mention for comic relief. One of the guys from bleacher report picks one of the Bruins to leave early to go in the first round next year. And the prediction is (drum roll) with the 25th pick in the 2011 NBA draft the Phoenix Suns pick "Josh Smith."
I guess there is a reason why Bleacher Report is not too highly regarded. I understand and hope Smith really does bring it but come on, he has not even played a game yet and there are questions about his weight. (Also, have they heard of Tyler Honeycutt?)
Personally, I think Wilner had it closer to right earlier in the year when he wrote:
The Bruins are in very good shape at three spots (wing Malcolm Lee and forwards Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson) and perhaps four if freshman center Josh Smith makes a rapid adjustment to the college game - and drops a few pounds. Point guard is the issue. With solid play from Jerime Anderson or JC transfer Lazeric Jones, the Bruins could win the league.