Media Picks Stanford As Unanimous Choice To Win Pac-10
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- STANFORD was the unanimous pick to win the Pac-10 crown in 2010-11 after a polling of women's basketball media members who cover the Pac-10 Conference, the Conference announced on Tuesday. Media members also selected a five-player Preseason All-Pac-10 team which featured Cardinal standouts Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen as the only unanimous selections.
The media were in agreement with the Pac-10 coaches, who also selected Stanford the favorite to win the league in the 2010 Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released last week. The coaches and media also picked UCLA to place second in the league this season, a unanimous choice for the media, as well.
The Cardinal were 36-2 last year and went undefeated in Pac-10 play (18-0), en route to a third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Final Four and second appearance in the national championship game in three years. The Bruins went 25-9 overall and 15-3 in Conference play, placing second in the league standings, their best showing since 1999.
Returning four starters and looking to build on last year's WNIT Championship run, CALIFORNIA received 88 points to come in third in the media poll, followed by USC, who just missed out on postseason play last year, tallying 82 points. Rounding out the top five is ARIZONA STATE, receiving 77 points.
Leading the next five was ARIZONA with 61 points. The sixth-place predicted finish is the Wildcats' highest since being picked first by the media in 2004. Placing seventh in the polling was OREGON with 46 points, eighth was WASHINGTON with 39 points, ninth was WASHINGTON STATE, garnering 26 points, and OREGON STATE tallied 13 points to place 10th.
The preseason all-conference team included three Stanford Cardinal - JR F Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas), SR F Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) and SR G Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.). Ogwumike is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, while Pedersen and Pohlen also return as All-Pac-10 selections from last season. Arizona's SR F Ify Ibekwe (Carson, Calif.) has led the league in rebounding in each of the last two seasons, while UCLA's JR F Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.) helped the Bruins to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2006. Both Ibekwe and Dixon were All-Pac-10 picks last year, as well.
The 2010-11 regular-season tips off Friday, Nov. 12. The first Pac-10 Conference games are slated for Friday, December 31. The 10th-annual Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament takes place March 9-12, 2011 in Los Angeles at Galen Center and Staples Center. For the first time ever, the men's and women's tournaments will be played at the same location, with the women's even joining the men for the semifinals and championship games on March 11 and 12. The first two round of the women's tournament will be played at Galen Center, which has played host to the event the last two years, on March 9 and 10.
The Pac-10 will honor legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden and his legacy throughout the 2010-11 men's and women's basketball seasons. The Conference will produce a Sportsmanship PSA that will share the teachings of his Pyramid of Success at each home arena. The Pac-10 Coach of the Year Awards have also been renamed to the John Wooden Coach of the Year Award.