Women's Basketball Picked Fourth in Preseason Coaches' Poll

Oct. 11, 2001

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Sun Devil women's basketball team has been picked fourth in the annual preseason poll of the Pac-10 Conference women's basketball coaches. ASU returns four starters from its 2001 team which captured a share of its first ever Pac-10 Championship and its first NCAA Tournament bid in nine years.

Last year, the Sun Devils were picked to finish fifth in the league but exceeded the coaches' expectations by tying with Stanford and Washington for the Pac-10 title with a school-record 12-6 league mark and turning in a 20-11 overall record.

Stanford has been tabbed by the Pac-10 women's basketball coaches as the team to beat in the 2001-02 season. Stanford, which finished 19-11 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA West Regional last season, garnered nine first-place votes in the preseason poll, while USC earned one first-place vote. The Cardinal made its 14th straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

This is the second time that Stanford has been tabbed by the coaches as the Conference preseason favorite since the poll's inception in 1998-99. The Cardinal was last picked to win the Pac-10 race by the media in2000-01.

Already ranked 17th in the country in several preseason polls, Arizona State will return four starters and seven letterwinners from its 2001 Pac-10 Championship squad including its top four scorers and top five rebounders from one year ago. First-team All-Pac-10 selections Melody Johnson and Amanda Levens as well as Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection Betsy Boardman are among the returning starters for ASU in 2001-02.

Arizona State opens the 2001-02 season with an exhibition game against the Auckland Basketball Club at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 at Wells Fargo Arena. The 2001 Pac-10 Champion Sun Devils tip off the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 17 against St. Peter's at 2:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

2001-02 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES POLL(first place votes in parentheses)

Team Points1. Stanford (9) 812. Washington 653. USC (1) 634. Arizona State 585t. Arizona 50 Oregon 507. Oregon State 398t. California 19 UCLA 1910. Washington St. 11

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