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Pac-10 Media Day: UCLA Picked to Finish 3rd, Conference Dedicates Season to Coach

The Pac-10 had its annual media day for hoops today in LA. Some interesting news and observations out of it. Coach Ben Howland took Joshua Smith to the event with him to represent UCLA. Thought taking Joshua is kind of interesting given the fact the star of the team is Tyler Honeycutt and captain is Malcolm Lee. I am guessing he took Joshua with him because lot of the reporters from other Pac-10 venues are really curious about the freshman center.

As for official happens UCLA was finished to pick third in the conference:

UCLA was selected to finish third among the league's 10 schools in the 2010-11 Pac-10 Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll, as announced Thursday at the conference's annual media day.

Washington owned the preseason poll's top spot, securing 33 of 35 first-place votes. Arizona was picked to finish second and received one first-place vote. Picked to finish third, UCLA also received one first-place vote in the preseason poll.

To me this doesn't matter all that much right now. What I care at this point is to make sure Ben Howland puts together a season in which we are not sweating being a "bubble team" in March. Howland needs to have a season in which UCLA gets into the tournament without the Bruin Nation stressing down the stretch.It is imperative he gets that done if he hopes to reignite recruiting (which has been sagging on the pg front for couple of years) beyond this season.  More after the jump.

Also, the Pac-10 is dedicating this upcoming season to Coach:

The conference's awards for coach of the year, given to both the men's and women's top coaches, will be named in Wooden's honor.

The conference also will run a series of sportsmanship public-service announcements during its football and basketball broadcasts based on Wooden's famed pyramid of success.

That is pretty cool.

Lastly, Jon Gold posted some of Howland and Smith's comments on Inside UCLA blog. Nothing earth shattering if you have been keeping track in recent weeks. I am sure there will be videos and stories in local media based on Howland and Smith's comments. Keep an eye out for them. As always, feel welcome to take the initiative and share them on BN through fanposts and fanshots.