Women's Hoops Picked to Fifth in Pac-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll

Oct. 13, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's basketball team has been picked to finish fifth in the the annual preseason poll of the Pac-10 Conference women's basketball coaches released Monday.

Arizona State received 47 points in the poll and was just one point behind Oregon for fourth place. ASU's fifth-place showing marks the third time in four years that ASU has been picked to finish in the upper half of the Pac-10 by the league's coaches. ASU was picked sixth last season, fourth in 2001-02 and fifth in 2000-01.

The Sun Devils return four starters and eight letterwinners from last season's WNIT second-round team including junior guard Carrie Buckner, an honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection last year; junior point guard Kylan Loney, who has started all 64 games of her short career; and Pac-10 All-Freshman honorees Amy Denson (first team) and Kristen Kovesdy (honorable mention). ASU was set to return all five starters last year, but first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree Jill Noe, who started 20 of 30 games last year, will miss the 2003-04 season after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason workout last week.

ASU will also regain the services of junior Betsy Boardman who missed all of last season with a knee injury after starting the first 65 games of her career and helping ASU to a share of the 2001 Pac-10 title and the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament championship.

With 11 letterwinners - including all five starters --- returning from last year's Pac-10 Champion squad, Stanford has been chosen by the coaches as the favorite to win the 2003-04 conference title with eight first-place votes. Arizona earned two first-place votes and was tabbed to finish second in 2003-04.

This is the fourth year in a row and fourth time overall that Stanford has been favored by the coaches to win the conference title since the poll's inception in 1998-99.

Arizona State opens the 2003-04 season with exhibition games on Nov. 6 and 15 at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils open the regular season at home with Akron on Friday, Nov. 21 and Grambling State on Sunday, Nov. 23 at Wells Fargo Arena.

2003-04 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES POLL(first-place votes in parentheses)

Team Points1. Stanford (8) 802. Arizona (2) 723. Washington 614. Oregon 485. Arizona State 476. UCLA 457. USC 418. Oregon State 309. California 1710. Washington State 9

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