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UCLA opens at No. 22 in the AP Top 25 poll

Your Bruins are one of just three Pac-12 schools in the Top 25

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The season is a few weeks away and though the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball program has but a few games on their schedule, they’re been spotted in the AP Top 25 preseason poll.

Head coach Mick Cronin’s squad checked in at No. 22 on the list, just two spots behind No. 20 Oregon and only four spots behind No. 18 Arizona State, the only other Pac-12 teams in the top 25.

It’s a big uptick for coach Cronin’s group as they received just two votes in the year-end AP Top 25 poll a season ago, before the men’s basketball season was shut down prior to the culmination of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament and the beginning of the 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

UCLA returns a star-studded class of players including all five starters from a year ago as well as Kentucky-transfer Johnny Juzang. This is arguably one of the most talented and most experienced starting fives in the entire country and was absolutely one unit that no one wanted to face come Tournament time earlier this year.

It’s safe to say that this group, had they gotten a chance to play in the Pac-12 and National Tournaments, would be ranked much higher as they were on a hot streak and arguably could’ve won the Pac-12 a season ago.

The Bruins are back on the hard court on December 3 against Seattle U.