Culver City Observer -

UCLA MEN'S BASKETBALL RANKED NO. 22 IN AP PRESEASON POLL

Under Mick Cronin's direction, Bruins have returned eight of 10 primary contributors from last season

 

November 12, 2020

The UCLA men's basketball program has been ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press (AP) preseason poll, as released by the AP on Monday.

The Bruins, who went 19-12 last season with a 12-6 record in the Pac-12, are one of three Pac-12 programs ranked in the preseason top-25 poll. UCLA, at No. 22, is joined by No. 18 Arizona State and No. 20 Oregon.

The preseason poll's top five teams are (1) Gonzaga, (2) Baylor, (3) Villanova, (4) Virginia and (5) Iowa. The complete preseason top-25 poll is available here.

UCLA was last ranked in the AP's top-25 poll during the week of Nov. 19, 2018. The Bruins began that week at the No. 17 spot in the AP's weekly rankings, having opened the season with three consecutive victories.

Under the direction of second-year head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA returns eight of its 10 primary contributors from last season's team. The Bruins closed their 2019-20 campaign having won 11 of 14 games and registered a second-place finish in the Pac-12 standings (one game behind league champion Oregon).

UCLA brings back its entire starting lineup from the second half of last season – senior Chris Smith, juniors Jalen Hill and David Singleton, and sophomores Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. In addition, juniors Jules Bernard, Cody Riley and Russell Stong, sophomore Jake Kyman and redshirt sophomore Kenneth Nwuba are back with the Bruins.

Over the summer, UCLA welcomed sophomore Johnny Juzang from the University of Kentucky (transfer) and freshmen Jaylen Clark (Riverside, Calif.) and Logan Cremonesi (Oceanside, Calif.).

The Bruins are returning 88.8 percent of their total scoring output from last season and 87.2 percent of their rebounding totals from 2019-20. In addition, 91.3 percent of the team's total assist production is back this fall.

UCLA's complete schedule has not been finalized, and the season is expected to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

 

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