Utah Picked Seventh in Preseason Media Poll

Published on October 12, 2017 at 09:23AM

SAN FRANCISCO – The Utah men’s basketball team has been picked seventh in the 201718 Pac-12 men’s basketball preseason poll, the league office announced on Thursday at Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day. Voted on by various different media members and outlets that cover the league, Utah garnered 129 of a possible 1,794 points in the poll.

The Utes, who are coming off a 20-12 overall campaign in 2016-17, also went 11-7 in conference play and finished in sole possession of fourth place in the league standings after being picked to finish eighth in last season’s preseason media poll.

Arizona was a near unanimous favorite, receiving 22-of-23 first-place votes and 273 points to land atop the preseason poll. USC was picked to finish second after receiving the other first-place vote and totaled 251 points as the predicted runner-up. UCLA was slotted third with 223 points, followed by Oregon in fourth with 203 points. Stanford rounded out the top five predicted finishers with 182 total points in the poll.

Arizona State was picked just ahead of the Utes in sixth with a total of 146 points and Oregon State followed Utah, picked to finish eighth with 125 points. Colorado tallied 112 points and was predicted to finish ninth, while Washington tallied 71 points to come in 10th. California (46 points) and Washington State (33) rounded out the final two teams in the poll.

The 2017-18 season will officially get underway on Friday, Nov. 10 with 10 games as part of the Pac-12 Networks’ Full Court Friday. Pac-12 regular-season play begins on Friday, Dec. 29 and culminates March 7-10 with the 2018 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in 2017.

Fans will have a pair of opportunities to see the Utes in action with a pair of exhibition contests scheduled prior to the regular-season getting underway. Utah hosts Night with the Runnin’ Utes next Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and then face Montana Tech on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Utah gets its season underway on Nov. 10, hosting Prairie View A&M at the Huntsman Center.

Utah returns a total of 10 letterwinners from last season’s squad, which includes senior forward David Collette, who started 22 of 32 games while averaging 13.6 points and 5.1 rebounds, and tallied a team-best .596 shooting percentage from the field. Other starters returning to the team is junior guard Sedrick Barefield (three starts, 9.0 ppg), senior forward Tyler Rawson (eight starts, 6.0), junior guard Parker Van Dyke (11 starts, 4.6), sophomore forward Jayce Johnson (six starts, 4.0), and senior guard/forward Gabe Bealer (six starts, 3.6).

2017-18 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL TEAM (first-place votes) POINTS 1. Arizona (22) 273 points 2. USC (1) 251 3. UCLA 223 4. Oregon 203 5. Stanford 182 6. Arizona State 146 7. Utah 129 8. Oregon State 125 9. Colorado 112 10. Washington 71 11. California 46 12. Washington State 33