Three women's basketball teams ranked in the top 15
For the first time since Nov. 26, 2007, three Pac-12 women's basketball teams are ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll. Stanford has held on to the top spot for the fourth-consecutive week, while California is No. 9 and UCLA is No. 14. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, the Cardinal is the No. 1 team, as well, while the Golden Bears sit at No. 11 and the Bruins at No. 19 ... The Pac-12 Player of the Week is UCLA's Alyssia Brewer, who helped the Bruins to an upset of then-No. 12/16 Texas in Houston. Oregon's Jillian Alleyne was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. Alleyne currently leads the nation in rebounding average, pulling down 15.3 rebounds per game ... Stanford and Colorado are two of just 11 undefeated teams remaining in the country ... Three ranked opponents will be visiting Pac-12 campuses this week. The Buffs host No. 8/8 Louisville on Friday, Dec. 14. Washington State will host No. 20/20 Ohio State and USC welcomes No. 23 Texas A&M both on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Two Teams Remain Unbeaten: Two Pac-12 teams are still undefeated and are among 11 undefeated teams remaining in Division I. Top-ranked Stanford is 8-0 and Colorado is 7-0 for the second-straight year. The Buffaloes have won 21 consecutive regular season non-conference tilts dating back to 2010-11.
NCAA Statistical Leaders: Several Pac-12 players figure prominently in the national statistical rankings. Oregon freshman Jillian Alleyne is the nation's leading rebounder (15.3 rpg). Meanwhile, five other players from the Pac-12 are ranked in the top-five in the nation: UCLA's Markel Walker's 4.33 steals per game ranks third in the nation; Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike's 63.6 percent shooting is fourth in the nation; and Stanford teammate Taylor Greenfield is ranked fifth in the country with a blistering 51.5 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Utah's Danielle Rodriguez (4.00) and Iwalani Rodrigues (3.57) both are in the top three in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, ranking second and third, respectively.
Who's No. 1?: After knocking off the then-No. 1 team in the nation and defending NCAA Champion Baylor in Hawai'i on Nov. 17, Stanford was ranked No. 1 on Nov. 19 and are there for the fourth-consecutive week. The Cardinal earned top billing for the first time since March of 2005. It was also the last time a Pac-12 team was ranked in the No. 1 spot in the polling.
Three Pac-12 Teams Ranked: The Nov. 19 national polls marked the first time since Nov. 14, 2011 that three Pac-12 teams were ranked in the same week. With UCLA's upset of then-No. 11 Oklahoma, the Bruins became the third league team this season to be ranked.
This week's Associated Press poll have Stanford holding on to the No. 1 spot for the fourth-consecutive week, Calfornia is No. 9 and UCLA is No. 14. It is the first time since the Nov. 26, 2007 AP poll that three Pac-12 teams have appeared in the top 15. Stanford is also No. 1 this week according to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, while Cal is ranked No. 11 and the Bruins are No. 17.
Early-Season Upsets: Still early in the 2012-13 campaign and a pair of Pac-12 teams have already posted a couple of notable upsets. Stanford knocked off the then-No. 1 team in the nation, defending NCAA Champion Baylor, also snapping the Bears' 42-game winning streak, on Nov. 16. Just a couple days prior, an unranked-UCLA squad traveled to Norman to upset then-No. 11 Oklahoma.
The Bruins were back at it again last week. Ranked No. 17/19, UCLA upended then-No. 12/16 Texas in Houston, 62-42.
Duck Breaks Record: Oregon freshman F Jillian Alleyne registered 27 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to Portland State Nov. 15 establishing a new league standard for rebounds in what was just her second-collegiate game. The 27 boards bested the previous Pac-12 mark set nearly 20 years ago by UCLA's Natalie Williams in 1994. Alleyne's rebounding mark also took down UO's 34-year-old mark that had stood since 1978. Alleyne also scored a school-record tying 38 points in the game. She went on to be named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
Preseason Recognition: Four Pac-12 women's basketball players have received preseason recognition for several prestigious awards.
Junior F Chiney Ogwumike was listed as a preseason candidate for the State Farm/Wade Trophy Award, presented to the national player of the year. In addition, she is a candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Award, both are national player of the year honors. Joining Ogwumike on the Wooden preseason candidate list is senior F Jasmine Dixon. Teammate senior F Markel Walker was named to the Naismith preseason watch list, as was California senior F Layshia Clarendon.
Clarendon is also a preseason candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. The CLASS award honors the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports.
All-Star Returns: All signs indicate another competitive season as eight of the 15 members of the 2012 All-Pac-12 team return for the 2011-12. In addition, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (F Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford) and the last two Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year (G Jazmine Davis, Washington and Ogwumike). Also among the returnees are seven of the 11 players named honorable mention all-conference.
Also returning this season are three of the five members of the 2012 Pac-12 All-Defensive team: Ogwumike; F Patricia Bright, Oregon State; and F Chucky Jeffery, Colorado.
Offensive returns: The Conference returns 10 of last year's top-15 scorers from a year ago. The Pac-12 lost its top scorer from last year in Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who was the only player in the league to average more than 20.0 ppg (22.5 ppg). However, the 10 that are back include four who averaged more than 15.0 ppg. Arizona senior G Davellyn Whyte is the top-returning scorer from last year. She tallied 17.0 ppg, ranking second in the league in 2011-12. She has ranked in the top five in the Conference in scoring in each of her seasons as a Wildcat.
On the Boards: The Pac-12 welcomes back eight of the top-10 rebounders from last season, including UCLA senior F Markel Walker, who led the Conference with 11.0 rebounds per game and was one of three players in the league to average double-digit boards.
The other double-digit rebounder from last year were Stanford junior F Chiney Ogwumike, who was third with 10.1 rpg, and her sister, Nnemkadi, was second with 10.2 rpg. Nnemkadi was the No. 1 draft pick in the WNBA.
Familiar faces: For the first time since 2006-07, every Pac-12 head coach returns to lead their respective teams. ARIZONA STATE head coach Charli Turner Thorne took a hiatus last season, but has been at the Sun Devils helm for 15 seasons prior to last year and has coached or recruited the current squad.
The Pac-12 has a mix of veteran and young coaches. Leading the way is 10-time Pac-12 John R. Wooden Coach of the Year Tara VanDerveer who is in her 27th season at Stanford and 34th overall. Pac-12 coaches average 6.2 years of experience in the Pac-12 and 11.5 years overall in collegiate basketball (does not include Cooper's and Westhead's tenure at the professional level, but includes Westhead's experience as a collegiate men's coach).
Road to New Orleans goes through the Pac-12: For teams looking to get to New Orleans for the NCAA Final Four, they may have to go through Pac-12 country. Two league schools were awarded first- and second-round sites for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, and one other is hosting a regional.
COLORADO will host on the opening weekend of tournament action on March 23 and 25 at the Coors Events Center. STANFORD will also host a first- and second-round at Maples Pavilion on March. 24 and 26. Visit each schools' athletic websites for ticket information. Should either team earn a postseason bid, they would play their opening-round games at their home site.
Additionally, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena arena will serve as a regional site, with the NCAA Sweet Sixteen slated for March 30 and the NCAA Elite Eight taking place April 1. WASHINGTON STATE is playing host.
The Final Four is slated to be held on April 7 and 9 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
Tuesday, December 11
Colorado at Denver, 7 p.m. MT
Wednesday, December 12
San Diego at Arizona State, 11 a.m. MT
Oregon at Illinois, 7 p.m. CT
Thursday, December 13
CS Fullerton at Oregon State, Live Stream, 6 p.m. PT
Friday, December 14
#8/8 Louisville at Colorado, Live Stream, 7 p.m. MT
Saturday, December 15
#14/19 UCLA vs. Saint Mary's (Calif.), 2:30 p.m. ET
St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic, Jamaica, N.Y.
#20/20 Ohio State at Washington State, 12 p.m. PT
#23/RV Texas A&M at USC, Live Stream, 12 p.m. PT
UC Santa Barbara at Washington, 1 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Loyola Marymount, 2 p.m. PT
Houston Baptist at Utah Live Stream, 3 p.m. PT
Pacific at #1/1 Stanford Live Stream, 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, December 16
#14/19 UCLA at RV/25 St. John's/Tennessee Tech, 12/2:30 p.m. ET
St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic, Jamaica, N.Y.
Idaho at Washington, 1 p.m. PT
Fresno State at Oregon, Live Stream, 1 p.m. PT
Weber State at Arizona, Live Stream, 3 p.m. MT
* game times local to site. Live stream of games are available at Pac-12.com.
Wedneday, December 5
Colorado State at Colorado…..COLO, 72-46
San Diego State at Washington….. WASH, 59-58
USC at Fresno State, FSU…..60-65
Friday, December 7
Arizona State at Providence…..ASU, 67-58
#11/11 California at CSU Bakersfield…..CAL, 84-46
Saturday, December 8
#17/19 UCLA vs. #12/16 Texas…..UCLA, 62-42
at Houston, Texas
Arizona at New Mexico…..ARIZ, 58-53
BYU at Utah…..BYU, 48-53
Sunday, December 9
Arizona State at Boston College…..ASU, 68-59
Nevada at Oregon…..NEV, 73-77
St. Martin's at Oregon State…..OSU, 84-36