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Husky Men's Basketball Blog
Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies. E-mail Bob.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:49 PM
OK, so until the first real polls of the season come out, all we have to go on are those published by magazines and Web sites.
I plan soon on writing something on all the magazines, putting them together and forming a consensus.
Until then, thought Iíd pass along ESPN.comís poll, which came out last week. Here's the link - http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=2191027
It includes three Pac-10 teams in the Top 25 - No. 8 Arizona, No. 12 Stanford and No. 19 UCLA. It doesnít include the Huskies, though Washington is in the dreaded ďothers receiving votesíí which are listed in order, essentially putting Washington at No. 28.
Personally, this seems about right considering UWís losses to graduation and the fact that the team will have to rely on some players not as well-known nationally as newcomers at some other schools.
That doesnít mean I think thatís where UW will end up this season, but Iím not sure itís all that out of whack.
The poll, obviously, lists UW as the fourth-best Pac-10 team and Iím not sure Iíd argue much with that, either, heading into the season.
Arizona did lose a lot as well, but they have some big-name guys coming in. And whether you like Wildcats coach Lute Olson or not, you have to admit that he has an amazing track record for rebuilding quickly. That program deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Stanford could have three all-conference players on its roster in Chris Hernandez, Dan Grunfeld and Matt Haryasz, which by itself makes the Cardinal one of the best teams in the Pac-10.
UCLA, meanwhile, has all those freshmen back from last year - Jordan Farmar, Aaron Afflalo, etc. - and seemed to get better as last year went on, finally appearing to buy into Ben Howlandís system.
UCLA will be without Josh Shipp for a while as well as heralded freshman Alfred Aboya, but they will also get back point guard Cedric Bozeman, who could be a real X-factor if Howland is able to finally harness his talent.
As for the Huskies, the national jury will be out a bit until they prove they can survive without Nate Robinson, Will Conroy and Tre Simmons. You have to remember that to many national observers, this team was known as Nate and four other guys most of last year and a lot of people simply see Nate gone and figure on a dropoff.
But what do you think?