By most accounts, things are looking up for the Stanford men's basketball program, but the upcoming season will likely include some growing pains. That's what the media members who cover the Pac-10--and Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins--think anyway. The Cardinal was picked to finish ninth in the preseason media poll unveiled today in Los Angeles.
Washington, which returns four starters, is the heavy favorite, followed by Arizona and UCLA. Defending regular season champion Cal was picked to finish seventh.
Additional coverage from the event, including quotes from Dawkins and Jeremy Green, can be found at GoStanford.com. Dawkins participated in a chat hosted by ESPN Los Angeles as part of the festivities and one of the more amusing questions came toward the end of the session.
Kevin (Ky): Coach, do you have extra pepto for all the freshmen mistakes you'll see?
Dawkins: Actually, I'm really excited. I know they'll make mistakes, but I know they'll play well. There will be growing pains, but it's a process. I think the finished product at the end will be one that we can be proud of.
It would be nice if the finished product finished higher than ninth in the conference, but it will fun to watch this team develop.
While the Stanford men aren't likely to be playing for the Pac-10 tournament championship, Cardinal fans will have an opportunity to see the Cardinal men and women in action this postseason. The conference announced that its men's and women's basketball tournaments will be hosted together. All four rounds of the men's tournament will be held at the Staples Center. The first two rounds of the women's tournament will be held at the Galen Center, USC's home arena, before moving to Staples Center for the semifinals and finals.