Media Predict Stanford, Arizona Will Share Pac-10 Women's Basketball Title
Oct. 26, 2004
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Duplicating last year's Pac-10 finish, STANFORD and ARIZONA have been picked to tie for first place in the 2004-05 Conference race, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league.
The Cardinal and Wildcats finished with identical 14-4 records last season to share the Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball title. Stanford grabbed a share of its fourth straight Pac-10 crown, while Arizona earned a portion of its first ever Pac-10 Championship.
The Cardinal garnered eight first-place votes in the poll, while the Wildcats received the remaining seven. Both teams totaled 140 points. It marks the first time there has been a tie for the first-place spot since the poll's inception in 1997-98. In fact, the poll's top two teams had never been separated by fewer than 17 points.
Coming off its best Conference finish (tie for third) since winning the Pac-10 title in 1998-99, UCLA was tabbed to finish third with 122 points. ARIZONA STATE, which returns all five starters after making a fifth consecutive postseason appearance, was picked fourth with 100 points.
Stanford is coming off a second straight Pac-10 Tournament title and NCAA Elite Eight run. The Cardinal return three starters (11 letterwinners) to The Farm. Arizona, the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament runner-up, earned a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and returns four starters (nine letterwinners). UCLA made its return to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 following a three-year absence and scored 81 points against eventual Final Four participant Minnesota in first-round action.
This is the fourth straight year Stanford has been picked by the media as a Conference preseason favorite and marks the first time Arizona has been tabbed No. 1. The Wildcats' highest previous projection was second in 1997-98. The Pac-10 media poll has correctly predicted the Conference champion in six of the last seven seasons.
The five players named to the media's Preseason All-Pac-10 Team are: UCLA junior guard Nikki Blue (two-time All-Pac-10), Arizona junior center Shawntinice Polk (two-time All-Pac-10), UCLA sophomore guard Noelle Quinn (2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-10), Stanford senior guard Kelley Suminski and Arizona senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler (two-time All-Pac-10).
PRESEASON PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL
First-place votes in parentheses
Team Pts. 1. Stanford (8) 140 Arizona (7) 140 3. UCLA 122 4. Arizona State 100 5. Washington 83 6. Oregon 78 7. USC 61 8. Oregon State 45 9. California 34 10. Washington State 22
2004-05 PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Name School Pos Yr Ht Hometown Nikki Blue UCLA G Jr. 5-8 Bakersfield, Calif. Shawntinice Polk Arizona C Jr. 6-5 Hanford, Calif. Noelle Quinn UCLA G So. 6-0 Los Angeles, Calif. Kelley Suminski Stanford G Sr. 5-9 Chester, N.J. Dee-Dee Wheeler Arizona G Sr. 5-6 Chicago, Ill.