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WSU basketball picked last in preseason poll

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No surprise there.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The beginning of the 2017-18 season might still be a month away for the Washington State Cougars men’s basketball team, but the unofficial start to it all came today when the Pac-12 revealed its preseason media poll at its annual media days and the Cougars were picked last.

The Arizona Wildcats were picked as the overwhelming favorite with 22 of 23 first place votes. The Cougars did pick up some not-last-place votes, but they still finished a distant 12th behind the California Golden Bears.

The projection is wholly unsurprising for the Cougs, who lost four senior starters off a team that finished 6-12 in the Pac-12 last season (tied for 10th) and was rated 193rd by kenpom.com.

If you’re into hope, though, here’s what you hang your hat on:

  • Ernie Kent retooled his coaching staff in the offseason, adding former WSU star Bennie Seltzer and former Garfield High School coach Ed Haskins;
  • Point guard Malachi Flynn was an honorable mention all-Pac-12 freshman selection;
  • Kent added graduate transfer Drick Bernstine from North Dakota, a good player who could immediately be the team’s best;
  • A trio of athletic players who redshirted last year make their debuts, including combo guard Milan Acquaah.

Basically, there’s enough new stuff going on here to hope that something unexpected could happen. We’ll get our first look at that on Nov. 5 when the Cougs take on Saint Martin’s at Beasley Coliseum; the season officially starts a week later when WSU hosts Texas Southern.

2017-18 Pac-12 preseason basketball media poll

Place Team (First Place) Points
Place Team (First Place) Points
1 Arizona (22) 273
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