AP Ranks Two From Pac-10 in Women's Basketball
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Two Pac-10 teams are ranked in the initial poll of the 2010-11 Associated Press Women's Basketball poll. STANFORD, last year's NCAA Champion runner-up, is the highest-rated Pac-10 squad, earning a No. 3 national ranking and UCLA is ranked 21st, the AP announced late last week. The AP also announced today its Preseason Women's Basketball All-American team and the Cardinal's Nnemkadi Ogwumike was one of the five recognized.
The Cardinal were led by 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas), who averaged 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Ogwumike will be surrounded by a pair of All-Pac-10 honorees in SR F Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) and SR G Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.). The Cardinal welcome 11 returning letterwinners from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Championship game for the second time in three years.
UCLA will be led by All-Pac-10 honoree and Preseason Wade Trophy candidate JR F Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.). Under the direction of 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Nikki Caldwell, the Bruins advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and their second-place finish in the Conference standings was UCLA's best since 1999.
Receiving votes in the preseason writers' poll are CALIFORNIA, USC and ARIZONA STATE. Cal claimed last year's WNIT crown, while USC placed third in the Pac-10 standings. ASU looks to bounce back from a down season, after making five-consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Joining Ogwumike on the preseason All-American squad are Maya Moore from Connecticut, Brittney Griner from Baylor, Jantel Lavender from Ohio State and Danielle Robinson from Oklahoma.
The start of the basketball season is right around the corner. The regular season tips off Friday, Nov. 12. The Pac-10 slate begins Friday, Dec. 31, 2010.