Media Picks Women's Basketball Sixth in Preseason Pac-10 Poll

Oct. 31, 2002

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Arizona State women's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 Conference, according to a poll of media members who cover the Pac-10 regularly.

The Sun Devils, who are coming off back-to-back Pac-10 titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, return just one starter and five letterwinners after losing their top returning scorer and rebounder, junior Betsy Boardman, to an ACL tear earlier this fall.

ASU, which opens the 2002-03 season with an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 8, was also picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 coaches' poll earlier this year.

With three returning starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, the STANFORD Cardinal has been tabbed as the team to beat in the 2002-03 Pac-10 Conference season.

Stanford, which finished 32-3 overall and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament last season, garnered 17 first-place votes in the preseason poll, while WASHINGTON earned two first-place votes. The Cardinal made its 15th straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season. This is the third straight year that Stanford has been picked by the media as the Conference preseason favorite.

Four returning All-Pac-10 players were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team - Ebony Hoffman of USC, Loree Payne of Washington, Stanford's Nicole Powell and Shaquala Williams of Oregon. UCLA guard Michelle Greco, a 2001 Preseason All-Conference selection who sat out the majority of last year due to injury, was also named to the team.

The 2002-03 season will culminate with the State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament, Mar. 7-10 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. All 10 universities will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the Conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The team that finishes the season atop the Pac-10 standings, based on double round robin play, is the Conference Champion. The bracket of the Pac-10 women's tournament will be seeded according to to the final standings, with the league champion earning the top seed.

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

Team Points1. Stanford (17) 1882. Washington (2) 1603. Oregon 1404. USC 1345. Arizona 1076. Arizona State 1017. UCLA 748. Oregon State 729. California 4510. Washington State 19

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