Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Sixth in Pac-10

Oct. 20, 2002

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - With just one returning starter and six newcomers on this year's squad, the Arizona State women's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the preseason Pac-10 coaches poll.

Stanford has been tabbed as the preseason favorite by the coaches. The Cardinal claimed the conference title with a perfect 18-0 league record last season.

In each of the last two years, Arizona State has exceeded the coaches' expectations in the preseason poll. Last year, the team was picked to finish fourth but ended up in a tie for second and won the inaugural Pac-10 Conference Tournament to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The year before, ASU was picked to finish fifth by the coaches but went on to earn a share of the Sun Devils' first ever Pac-10 Championship and the team's first NCAA Tournament bid in nine years.

Stanford, which finished 32-3 overall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen last year, garnered nine first-place votes in this year's preseason poll, while postseason NIT Champion Oregon earned one first-place vote. The Cardinal made its 15th straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season, while the Ducks captured the second NIT title in school history and first since 1982.

This is the third year in a row and third time overall that Stanford has been tabbed by the coaches as the Conference preseason favorite since the polls' inception in 1998-99.

2002-03 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES POLL(first-place votes in parentheses)

Team Points 1. Stanford (9) 90 2. Washington 77 3. Oregon (1) 71 4. USC 67 5. Arizona 61 6. Arizona State 51 7. Oregon State 40 8. UCLA 36 9. California 26 10. Washington State 21

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