Husky Women Tabbed 14th In ESPN.com Preaseason Poll
Oct. 12, 2006
SEATTLE -- The Washington women's basketball team was tabbed 14th in an ESPN.com Preseason Top-25 poll selected by ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, the online publication announced Thursday. The Huskies were one of five Pac-10 teams chosen by Lieberman in the preseason poll, a group that also included No. 3 Stanford, No. 12 California, No. 15 USC and No. 16 Arizona State.
In addition to the Pac-10 teams selected to the poll, UW will face three more squads this year that were also Top-25 picks: No. 5 Ohio State, No. 9 Purdue and No. 13 Texas A&M.
The Huskies return all five starters from last year's squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and posted a 19-11 overall record. UW will be led by senior All-America candidate Cameo Hicks, who earned first-team All-Pac-10 acclaim and led the team with 15.6 points per game and 5.0 rebounds last season. The Huskies finished the Pac-10 race in a tie for fourth with USC with an 11-7 league mark.
Also returning for UW is junior center/forward Andrea Plouffe who had a breakout season last year. Plouffe averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 rebounds, and recorded 20 double-figure scoring games. Rounding out the returning starting five are senior forward Breanne Watson and junior guards Dominique Banks and Emily Florence.
Watson averaged 8.0 points and was second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game. Banks will miss the first half of the season after undergoing surgery to repair stress fractures in both lower legs in September and her presence will be missed after averaging 7.2 points and 3.5 boards as a sophomore. Florence, the team's point guard and defensive spark plug, led the Huskies in assists last year (2.0 apg) and was third in steals (1.4 spg).
UW will begin official practice on Friday, Oct. 13, as a part of the Husky Hoopla event that will be held following the Husky volleyball game at Bank of America Arena. The basketball festivities will begin approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 7 p.m. volleyball match.
The Huskies will host two exhibitions prior to their November 14 season opener at Marquette. UW will entertain the University of Regina, Wed., Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. and the Australian Institute of Sport, Sun., Nov. 5, at 1 p.m.
ESPN.com Preseason Top-25
As selected by Nancy Lieberman
4. North Carolina
5. Ohio State
13. Texas A&M
15. Southern California
16. Arizona State
17. Michigan State
22. George Washington
23. Old Dominion
24. Bowling Green