This is a good thing: No preseason ranking for Sean Miller’s Wildcatsby Anthony Gimino on Oct. 21, 2010, under Sports
The ESPN/USA Today preseason college basketball poll is out. Arizona is (almost) nowhere to found.
The Wildcats did get two points from the 31 ballots to place near the bottom of the “others receiving votes” category.
This isn’t surprising. The Wildcats, coming off a 16-15 season and failing to advance to any postseason tournament, aren’t showing up in any major-media preseason rankings (at least none that I have seen).
And that’s good. I think Arizona could be a Top 25 team by the end of the season, but the Cats don’t need anything handed to them in the preseason.
Arizona is best served with a prove-it attitude. I’m guessing that is exactly what second-year coach Sean Miller would want. He’s trying to develop a culture of hard work and competition. If a lack of preseason ranking provides an extra little chip on the shoulder, all the better.
At Arizona basketball media day last week, no player that I talked to made sweeping predictions of greatness. That is a reflection of their coach. Miller is still hammering on the process over results.
“With so many players returning from last year’s team, and having the ability to add the three newcomers that we did, our entire focus has been to do things better than we did a year ago,” Miller said.
“And I don’t just mean in terms of the wins and losses, as much as it is just to be better at everything it takes to win.”
Washington is the only Pac-10 team in the preseason coaches’ poll, at No. 17. Duke is No. 1, having received 29 of 31 votes. Arizona State’s Herb Sendek is the Pac-10′s representative on the voters’ list.