ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona basketball enters 2019-20 ranked No. 21 in AP preseason poll

Oct 21, 2019, 9:35 AM | Updated: 9:38 am
Arizona's Nico Mannion, left, and Josh Green speak during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media ...
Arizona's Nico Mannion, left, and Josh Green speak during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Sean Miller has reloaded, and the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball program begins 2019-20 back in the AP Poll’s top-25.

Arizona opens the season ranked No. 21 in the nation and earned 265 points in the media voting. Within the Pac-12, the Wildcats are only behind Oregon, which is 15th in the rankings with 742 points.

Three other Pac-12 schools received votes in the preseason poll. Washington (164 points) is the first team left out of the top-25, and Colorado (152) is right behind the Huskies. USC received two points.

The Wildcats went 17-15 last season and lost 10 of their last 13 games of the year.

The AP Poll doesn’t mirror how the Pac-12 media members perceive the conference. Oregon, Colorado and Washington — in that order — were picked to finish ahead of Arizona in the conference poll released earlier in October.

A new-look backcourt of McDonald’s All-American guards Nico Mannion and Josh Green could help push the Wildcats back into the postseason. Fellow freshmen bigs Zeke Nnaji and Christian Koloko could also make the regular rotation.

They join a foundation of role players that will include senior big man Chase Jeter, senior guard Dylan Smith, sophomore Devonaire Doutrive and junior forward Ira Lee. Grad transfers in guard Max Hazzard and forward Stone Gettings could also be key rotation pieces for Arizona.

In order, Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Louisville begin the year filling out the top-five of the AP Poll.

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