By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- STANFORD is the favorite to win the 2013 Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league. The Cardinal was picked to win the Conference by all but two of the voters participating in the poll, collecting 166 points. CALIFORNIA, which claimed the other two first-place votes, was tabbed to finish second with 155 points. Media members also selected a six-player preseason All-Pac-12 team that features representatives from six different schools. The preseason All-Conference team usually consists of five players, but a tie for the final spot on the team called for the addition of a sixth member.
Earning preseason nods were California Sr. F Layshia Clarendon (San Bernardino, Calif.), Washington So. G Jazmine Davis (San Jose, Calif.), Colorado Sr. G, Chucky Jeffery (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Stanford Jr. F, Chiney Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas), UCLA Sr. G/F Markel Walker (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Arizona Sr. G Davellyn Whyte (Phoenix, Ariz.). Davis, Ogwumike and Whyte were the last three Conference Freshmen of the Year. Davis was last year’s recipient, while Ogwumike won in 2011 and Whyte earned the honor in 2010. A two-time all-conference performer, Ogwumike was an All-American in 2012 and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Jeffery, Clarendon and Walker were first team All-Pac-12 selections in 2011. Walker led the Conference in rebounding last season.
UCLA, which finished third in the balloting, looks to bounce back after an injury-plagued 2011 campaign that saw the Bruins finish below .500 for the first time since 2006-07. The Bruins accrued 136 points. USC and OREGON STATE were picked to finish fourth and fifth, collecting 123 and 106 points respectively, while ARIZONA STATE, which welcomes back head coach Charli Turner Thorne, rounded out the top half of the Conference with 100 points.
WASHINGTON finished seventh in the balloting, picking up 80 points, and UTAH’s 58 points were good for eighth place. COLORADO collected 57 points for ninth place and WASHINGTON STATE grabbed 47 points to rank 10th in the poll. OREGON edged out ARIZONA by three points to place 11th, while the Wildcats were tabbed to finish 12th.
The 2012-2013 regular season tips off Friday, Nov. 9. The Pac-12 Basketball Tournament takes place March 7-10, 2012 in Seattle at Key Arena.
The following are the results of the 2012 preseason media poll (first place votes in parentheses).
2012 Preseason Media Poll Results
1. Stanford (12) 166
2. California (2) 155
3. UCLA 136
4. USC 123
5. Oregon State 106
6. Arizona State 100
7. Washington 80
8. Utah 72
9. Colorado 57
10. Washington State 47
11. Oregon 25
12. Arizona 22
Layshia Clarendon, Sr., F, California
Jazmine Davis, So., G, Washington
Chucky Jeffery, Sr., G, Colorado
Chiney Ogwumike, Jr., F, Stanford
Markel Walker, Sr., G/F, UCLA
Davellyn Whyte, Sr., G, Arizona
*There was a tie for the final spot on the five-player preseason all-conference team.