Media Pick Women's Basketball Third; Williams Preseason All-Pac-10 Selection
Oct. 30, 2002
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The University of Oregon women's basketball team was picked third in the Pac-10 media poll Wednesday while senior guard Shaquala Williams made the preseason all-conference team.
The Ducks received 140 points, placing them behind Stanford (188 points, 17 first-place votes), and Washington (160 points, two first-place votes). Oregon also was predicted to finish third in the coaches poll, released earlier this month. For Stanford, it marks the third successive season it has been the media's preseason favorite.
'I think that the postseason (WNIT champions in 2002) just gave a nice springboard into our Pac-10 season this year,' second-year Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'Our team committed to coming early and took ownership of our program. We improved the overall rebounding last year, although I think we were a little thin in the post. This year we've empahsized that we need five players to the boards.'
Williams, the All-America four-year starter for Oregon, joined the preseason All-Pac-10 team along with UCLA's Michelle Greco, USC's Ebony Hoffman, Washington's Loree Payne and Stanford's Nicole Powell. Williams, a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree, has led the Ducks in scoring and assists in her three seasons. In addition, she was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 1999 and the conference's Player of the Year in 2000.
'I think we have a special team,' Williams said. 'This team has the intangibles, with people coming back early, our focus is better, our chemistry is better. This team wants to win so bad, that we'll do whatever it takes to do it. '
Oregon tips off its 2002-03 season with an exhibition Fri., Nov. 9, against Horsholm BBC, a traveling squad from Denmark. The Ducks, who were 22-13 last year, then have their final tuneup Nov. 15 against Southern Oregon before the regular-season opener against Gonzaga Nov. 22 at McArthur Court.
This week, the Ducks will conduct two scrimmages for the public - the first at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at McArthur Court and then on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at the Moshofsky Center prior to the Oregon-Stanford football game.
Preseason Pac-10 Women's Basketball Media Poll
1. Stanford (17) 188
2. Washington (2) 160
3. Oregon 140
4. USC 134
5. Arizona 107
6. Arizona State 101
7. UCLA 74
8. Oregon State 72
9. California 45
10.Washington State 19
Preseason All-Pac-10 Team
Michelle Greco, UCLA G Sr. 5-9 LaCrescenta, Calif.
Ebony Hoffman, USC F Jr. 6-2 Harbor City, Calif.
Loree Payne, WASH G Sr. 6-0 Havre, Mont.
Nicole Powell, STAN F Jr. 6-2 Phoenix, Ariz.
Shaquala Williams, ORE G Sr. 5-6 Portland, Ore.