WESTWOOD—The UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team has been ranked the third best team in the Pac-12, by a panel of 27 media members.

UCLA’s resurgence can be attributed to their off season acquisitions of several top prospects, including McDonald’s All-American’s Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf, as well as California native Ike Anigbogu. The Bruins expect to improve on last year’s mediocre season in which the team went 15-17 overall and 6-12 against fellow Pac-12 opponents.

With four returning starters, UCLA has assembled a deep squad with several players who have the ability to spread the floor and make three-pointers. Bruin’s Head Coach Steve Alford explained the benefits of having a more competitive atmosphere.

“When that happens, and you’re going against guys of your equal or guys that are very good players, you can’t help but get better. These guys have to bring it every day, because if they don’t, the other one embarrasses them.”

Oregon was ranked first among the Pac-12 for the first time in history with 23 first place votes, while Arizona was placed at second while receiving 4 first place votes. Cal was listed one spot below UCLA at number four and USC ranked number seven.

The UCLA Bruins will play their season opener on November 11, against the University of the Pacific at Pauley Pavilion.