Women's Basketball Season Set To Tip Off

Oct. 25, 2000

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PAC-10 COACHES PICK STANFORD

With four returning starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, STANFORD has been tabbed by the Pac-10 women's basketball coaches as the team to beat in the 2000-01 season. The Cardinal tied with ARIZONA for second place in the Conference with a 13-5 league record last season, while OREGON captured its second straight Pac-10 title.

PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA DAY

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000

12 noon - 3 p.m.

  • San Jose Arena

    CONFERENCE NOTEBOOK

    RETURNING ALL PAC-10 PLAYERS (3)

    Three of the 10 All Pac-10 team honorees return in 2000-01, as well as 11 honorablemention selections:

    All Pac-10
    Megan Franza, Sr., G, WASH
    Felicia Ragland, Jr., G, OSU
    Angelina Wolvert, Sr., F, ORE

    Honorable Mention
    Reshea Bristol, Sr., G, ARIZ
    Jamie Carey, So., G, STAN
    Lindsey Dion, Sr., G/F, ORE
    Tiffany Elmore, Jr., G, USC
    Michelle Greco, Jr., G, UCLA
    Courtney Johnson, Sr., G, CAL
    Brianne Meharry, Sr., F, ORE
    Carolyn Moos, Sr., C, STAN
    Loree Payne, So., G/F, WASH
    Lauren St. Clair,So., G/F, STAN
    Yvonne Volkman, Sr., F, WSU

    NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

    The Pac-10 welcomes one new head coach for the 2000-01 season, as the California Golden Bears hired Caren Horstmeyer from Santa Clara. Horstmeyer posted a 221-124 record in 12 seasons at Santa Clara, and led her teams to six West Coast Conference titles and four NCAA Tournament berths.

    PAC-10 IS ON THE AIR

    The 2000-01 Pac-10 Conference women's basketball television package features 19 regular-season contests telecast to national and regional audiences on Fox Sports Net. Additional regional and local women's telecasts will be arranged by the institutions.

    TOUGH SCHEDULES, TOP OPPONENTS

    This season's Pac-10 non-conference schedule features at least 18 games against teams that were ranked in the final AP Top 25 last season. Those opponents include Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Notre Dame, Rutgers, UC Santa Barbara, Duke, Texas Tech, Old Dominion, Auburn, Oklahoma and Michigan.

    PAC-10 GETS NATIONAL ATTENTION

    Four different Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 25 in the preseason national polls this year. Stanford is rated from 10th (Lindy's) to 19th (Athlon), while Oregon is ranked as high as 17th (Lindy's). USC (Women's Basketball Journal) and UCLA (Basketball News) made the lists as well.

    PAC-10 COACHES BY THE NUMBERS

    The Pac-10 boasts an outstanding group of head coaches at the helm of its women's basketball teams. Here's a look at the combined success of these 10 coaches across the board:

    2391-Career Victories

    127-Years of Head Coaching Experience

    66-NCAA Tournament Victories

    61-Trips to the NCAA Tournament

    10-Trips to the NCAA Final Four

    7-National Coach of the Year honors

    3-Coaches With 20+ Years Experience

    3-NCAA Titles

    2-AIAW Titles

    1-WNIT Title

    NEW DIGS...

    The Washington Huskies prepare to christen the 2000-01 season in Bank of America Arena, a renovation of venerable old Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Meanwhile, the USC Women of Troy will once again play most of their home games in the Los Angeles Sports Arena as they await the opening of the new on-campus USC Events Center in January 2002.


    TEAM NOTEBOOKS

    ARIZONA

  • Coming off its best ever season after posting a school-record 25 wins.
  • Made its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, falling in the second round to eventual national runner-up Tennessee.
  • Returning starters include senior guard Reshea Bristol (8.6 ppg, 3.1 apg) and junior forward Elizabeth Pickney (9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg), the team's third-leading scorer a year ago.
  • Bristol was named All Pac-10 Honorable Mention last season, ranking 10th in the Conference in assists (3.1 apg) and seventh in steals (1.96 spg) and free throw percentage (.781).
  • Junior guard Julie Brase (6.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg), who is expected to help solidify the perimeter along with Bristol and sophomore Krista Warren ('00 All Freshman Team), underwent wrist surgery and could be out until late November.
  • Freshman forward Veranda James, a two-time All-California selection, could make an immediate impact.
  • Potent offense paced the Pac-10 last season (77.6 ppg).
  • Led the league in assists (17.94 apg) and ranked second in steals (10.31 spg) in '99-00.

    ARIZONA STATE

  • Eight letterwinners (two starters) return off a team that posted 14 victories, third-most in school history, and made ASU's first postseason appearance (WNIT) since 1992.
  • Tremendous influx of talent debuts to the tune of seven newcomers - three Division I redshirts, one JC transfer and three high school standouts.
  • A veteran team with depth and toughness at every position.
  • Senior guard Natalie Tucker (7.0 ppg) is the Sun Devils' leading returning scorer and finished seventh in the Pac-10 in assists (3.79 apg).
  • Sophomore guard Sarah Allen ('00 All Freshman Team), will be counted on to lead the attack from three-point range.
  • Frontcourt stalwart Leah Combs (3.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg) returns to give the Sun Devils stability on the boards.
  • Joining Tucker in the back court are sophomore Brett Leonard (22 games, 16.0 min.) and junior Rainy Crisp (22 games, 10.6 min).
  • Junior guard Amanda Levens, who was part of two NCAA Sweet Sixteens with Old Dominion, is poised to make an impact following her redshirt season.

    CALIFORNIA

  • Cal is loaded with 10 returning letterwinners, of which seven are seniors and two are juniors.
  • The Bears are coming off a strong finish to the 2000 season, winning four of their last six games when they were healthy at season's end.
  • Three starters return, boasting a combined 244 games of experience and 131 starts.
  • First-year Coach Caren Horstmeyer expects the Bears to continue with their strong defensive efforts.
  • Cal finished third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (64.6 ppg) last season.
  • The offense will start with senior guard Courtney Johnson ('00 All Pac-10 Honorable Mention), who led the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and assists (3.1 apg).
  • Senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh (8.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg) provides an inside and outside scoring threat and will anchor a Bears front line that ranked third in the league in rebounds (39.1 rpg).
  • One of the Pac-10's most athletic players, senior guard Kenya Corley, emerged as the Bears' go-to player last year (10.5 ppg).

    OREGON

  • Ten letterwinners return to a team that won its second consecutive Pac-10 title and made its seventh straight NCAA appearance.
  • A well-balanced, veteran squad despite preseason injuries, featuring five seniors and three juniors.
  • Backcourt depth will be tested early, as junior guard Shaquala Williams ('00 Pac-10 Player of the Year) is out five to eight months with a torn ACL, and senior guard Lindsey Dion tore her lateral mensicus cartilage (right knee) in early October.
  • Feature one of the best three-player post rotations in college basketball with seniors Brianne Meharry (10.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Jenny Mowe (5.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Angelina Wolvert (11.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg).
  • One of the best sixth-players in the nation, Meharry came off the bench in 25 of the Ducks' 31 games.
  • Wolvert ('00 All Pac-10 Team) paced the team in scoring and rebounding, while her team-best .575 field goal percentage ranked second in the Pac-10.
  • The emergence of junior forwards Alyssa Fredrick and Ndidi Unaka in '99-00 gave the Ducks a sign of good things to come.
  • Mac Court was a friendly confine as the Ducks averaged a Pac-10 leading and school record 5,852 fans per game.

    OREGON STATE

  • Made great strides in the second half of '99-00, winning 10 of their last 16 games and tying for fifth in the Pac-10.
  • Those 10 Conference victories equaled their combined league win total from the previous three years.
  • Junior guard Felicia Ragland is OSU's leading returning rebounder (6.2 rpg) and led the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), earning All Pac-10 honors. She also registered 86 assists.
  • A sound defensive team, the Beavers led the league in scoring defense (61.0 ppg) and defensive field goal percentage (.389).
  • Beavers controlled the boards last year with a +5.7 rebounding margin, best in the Pac-10.
  • Junior center Ericka Cook and sophomore center Kristina Rukstelyte will be counted on heavily for quality minutes.

    STANFORD

  • The Cardinal returns four starters and eight letterwinners from a team that went 21-9 overall and tied for second in the league.
  • The Pac-10 coaches' preseason favorite, garnering all nine possible first-place votes.
  • Sophomore point guard Jamie Carey ('00 Freshman of the Year) set Stanford and Pac-10 freshman records by nailing a school record 81 three-pointers last season.
  • Carey (11.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) and the Pac-10's leading three point shooter, junior Lauren St. Clair (.466 3FG%), give Stanford a sizable edge on the perimeter.
  • Stanford paced the Pac-10 in three-pointers (213) and connected from three-point range at a league-leading .408 clip, the second-best mark nationwide.
  • At 6-6, senior center Carolyn Moos (12.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.90 bpg) is an imposing force in the paint.
  • Head Coach Tara VanDerveer (497-142/.778) is nearing career win 500 in her collegiate coaching career.

    UCLA

  • Junior guard Michelle Greco led the squad in steals (58) and finished third in the Pac-10 (2.23 spg).
  • Senior guard LaCresha Flannigan (6.7 ppg) battled through injuries and is expected to return to her '98-99 All Pac-10 form.
  • Leading returning scorer, sophomore guard Nicole Kaczmarksi (11.7 ppg), took the fall quarter off for personal reasons and will rejoin the team Dec. 16.
  • UCLA went the JC route and brought in three front line players that should contribute immediately in Shalada Allen and Stacy Robertson of Kilgore (Texas) JC and Malika Leatham (Blinn JC).
  • Defensively, the Bruins ranked second in the league in defensive field goal percentage (.397) and paced the Pac-10 in steals (11.07 spg) last season.
  • Bruins have added significant quickness to the 2000-01 roster.

    USC

  • The Women of Troy went 7-2 in the second half of Pac-10 play and were considered one of the NCAA's hottest rising teams by year's end.
  • Registered wins over then-ranked Oregon, Arizona and UCLA, and was the only league team to sweep the Ducks in '99-00.
  • Return nine letterwinners and add five newcomers, including one of the nation's top recruiting classes.
  • Junior guard Tiffany Elmore (10.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) is a two-time Pac-10 honorable mention pick.
  • Seniors Tashara Carter (10.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Denise Woods (7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Ayeshia Smith (4.7 ppg) will provide strong leadership.
  • Woods narrowly missed out on making the Pac-10's top 10 list for field goal percentage (.462) and posted 44 blocks (1.47 bpg).
  • USC outrebounded its opponents by nearly two boards per game last year and ranked second in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (16.2 avg.).
  • USC welcomes one of the country's top post players in 6-2 forward Ebony Hoffman and a top-25 two guard, Aisha Hollins.

    WASHINGTON

  • The Huskies return four starters, 10 letterwinners in all.
  • An explosive backcourt features All Pac-10 senior Megan Franza (17.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and sophomore Loree Payne (17.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), the Pac-10's third and fourth-leading scorers in '99-00, respectively.
  • Franza and Payne ('00 All Freshman Team) comprised the highest scoring duo from the same school in Conference history.
  • A veteran roster and healthy frontline complement the talented guard rotation.
  • Senior forward LeAnn Sheets (8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) will anchor the front court as the league's leading returning rebounder.
  • Venerable Hec Edmundson Pavilion reopens as the Bank of America Arena, ready for the Huskies to christen the 2000-01 season.

    WASHINGTON STATE

  • Three starters return for WSU, entering its second year of the Jenny Prezekwas Era.
  • Senior point guard Katie Nyseth will run the offense (3.8 ppg, 3.86 apg) and is second in average assists to only one player among the Pac-10 returnees.
  • Count on WSU to make smart decisions on the court as seniors Victoria Harrod and Nyseth were named first-team Pac-10 All-Academic in '99-00.
  • Harrod (6.6 ppg. 3.6 rpg) posted a .905 free throw percentage as the Cougars paced the Pac-10 from the charity stripe at a .744 clip, a school single-season record.
  • Senior forward Yvonne Volkman (9.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) will provide the scoring punch as the squad's top returning scorer and rebounder.
  • Volkman will receive assistance on the boards from sophomore center Kelley Berglund (4.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

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