LA JOLLA, Calif. - The California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) released its annual men's basketball preseason coaches poll Wednesday and UC San Diego is predicted to finish 11th in the league's regular season standings.
Cal State San Bernardino garnered 115 points and six first-place votes to take the top spot in the poll. Cal Poly Pomona, last season's regular season champion, was just behind in second place with 112 points and the remaining six first-place votes. San Francisco State amassed 92 points to round out the league's top three.
Chico State (91 points) was fourth, Cal State Dominguez Hills (86 points) fifth, Cal State L.A. (75 points) sixth, Sonoma State (60 points) seventh, Humboldt State (48 points) eighth, Cal State Stanislaus (40 points) ninth and Cal State East Bay (32 points) 10th.
The Tritons, who finished seventh in the CCAA last year, totaled 24 points for 11th place. Cal State Monterey Bay (17 points) was 12th.
Last season, UCSD compiled an 11-15 overall record and a 10-12 conference mark. The Tritons earned a berth in the CCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.
First-year UCSD head coach Eric Olen returns a pair of starters in senior guard James McCann and sophomore forward Drew Dyer. McCann earned All-CCAA Second Team accolades last season after averaging 13.6 points and a team-best 4.8 assists per game. His assist average was the second-highest in the league. Dyer averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 boards a game and hit 41 three-pointers, the second-most on the team.
Lost to graduation were guard Tyler McGrath and forward Justin Brue. McGrath, also an All-CCAA Second Team selection, led UCSD in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game. He made a team-high 52 three-pointers and led the conference in free-throw percentage (.888). Brue was the Tritons' top rebounder (7.0/game) and shot blocker (1.0/game), while also scoring 10.7 points a game.
Last week, the Tritons played an exhibition at Pitt, which is expected to finish sixth in the uber-competitive, 15-team Atlantic Coast Conference this season. The game was tied at 49-49 with 7:46 remaining and UCSD trailed by only two points with just over four minutes left. The Panthers picked it up late and went on to win by a score of 72-59. McCann and senior MacKenzie McCullough each finished with 13 points.
UCSD plays a second and final exhibition at Grand Canyon on Nov. 1, before opening its regular season at home against Daemen College on Nov. 15.
For a complete season schedule, click here.
2013-14 CCAA Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Cal State San Bernardino (6), 115 points
2. Cal Poly Pomona (6), 112 points
3. San Francisco State, 92 points
4. Chico State, 91 points
5. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 86 points
6. Cal State L.A., 75 points
7. Sonoma State, 60 points
8. Humboldt State, 48 points
9. Cal State Stanislaus, 40 points
10. Cal State East Bay, 32 points
11. UC San Diego, 24 points
12. Cal State Monterey Bay, 17 points