ESPN Weighs in on 2006-07 Pac-10 Women's Basketball

Oct. 12, 2006

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- ESPN has tipped-off its 2006-07 women's basketball coverage and according to its experts, the Pac-10 figures to be a solid contender in the national scene. Five Pac-10 women's basketball teams -- STANFORD, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON, USC and ARIZONA STATE -- are ranked in the online publication's Top-25 poll by ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.

Stanford, ranked fourth in the preseason Athlon poll, came in at No. 3 as the Pac-10 favorite. The team finished with a 15-3 league record last season, while advancing to the Elite Eight for the third time in as many years, before falling to LSU in the San Antonio Regional final. The Cardinal are led by JR G Candice Wiggins, the nation's preseason Player of the Year, according to ESPN.com's Graham Hays.

California, which made its first NCAA appearance in 13 years in 2005-06, was picked to finish 12th in the poll, followed by a trio of Pac-10 schools at No. 14, 15 and 16 in Washington, USC and Arizona State, respectively. The Bears return two freshmen All-Americans in SO C Devanei Hampton and SO G Alexis Gray-Lawson. The Huskies are led by the services of All-Pac-10 SR G Cameo Hicks who paced the team in scoring with a 15.0 ppg average to finish eighth in the league.

The Women of Troy have a renaissance woman in SR F Shay Murphy, who ranked in the Top-10 in seven 2005-06 Pac-10 categories, including second in steals (2.42 spg), fourth in 3-pointers made, fifth in scoring (17.6), sixth in free-throw percentage (.785), sixth in rebounding, sixth in offensive rebounds (2.48 pg) and seventh in defensive rebounds (4.77 pg).

Arizona State rounds out all Pac-10 teams, coming in at No. 16, guided by four returning starters that helped last year's team tie the single-season school record for wins (25). All-Pac-10 performer SR F Emily Westerberg and SR G Jill Noe pilot a deep Sun Devil bench.

A record six Pac-10 teams qualified for NCAA postseason Tournament play in 2005-06, as five at-large berths were awarded to the league, in addition to UCLA which earned the automatic qualification by virtue of a 2006 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament win.

Pac-10 women's basketball officially tips-off on Tues., Oct. 31, as California has an exhibition contest scheduled with the Australian National Team at Haas Pavilion at 7 p.m.

2006-07 ESPN.com Top-25
1. Maryland; 2. Oklahoma; 3. STANFORD; 4. North Carolina; 5. Ohio State; 6. Duke; 7. Tennessee; 8. Georgia; 9. Purdue; 10. Connecticut; 11. Kentucky; 12. CALIFORNIA; 13. Texas A&M; 14. WASHINGTON; 15. USC; 16. ARIZONA STATE; 17. Michigan State; 18. Vanderbilt; 19. LSU; 20. Rutgers; 21. TCU; 22. George Washington; 23. Old Dominion; 24. Bowling Green; 25. Louisville.

ESPN's THREE PROGRAMS ON THE RISE IN 2006-07
Full Article: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/columns/story?id=2622149

LIEBERMAN'S PRESEASON TOP-25
Full Article: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/columns/story?columnist=lieberman_nancy&id...

EXPERTS SPLIT ON PLAYER OF THE YEAR FAVORITE
Full Article: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/news/story?id=2621838

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