Top-25 matchups, rivalry games highlight the Pac-12 WBB schedule
• A couple of rivalry matchups and top-25 matchups highlight the Pac-12 women’s basketball schedule this week. COLORADO and UTAH, and USC and UCLA look to close out the home-and-home series, while No. 19/16 ARIZONA STATE travels to face top-10 foes No. 5/5 OREGON and No. 10/10 OREGON STATE. The Ducks and Beavers are undefeated in league play (4-0) and at home. Pac-12 Networks will televise all four games with eight total broadcasts on the schedule this week.
• STANFORD head coach Tara VanDerveer needs just two wins for #900 on the Farm. She is looking to become the fifth DI coach, men’s or women’s, with that many at a single school. Nearly two years ago on Feb. 3, 2017, she became just the second women’s coach to reach 1,000 career wins.
• Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25 in the country in both national polls. Three are in the top 10, tying for the most for any conference. OREGON leads the way at No. 5/5 in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls, followed by No. 6/7 Stanford and No. 10/10 OREGON STATE. ARIZONA STATE is in the top 20, coming in at No. 19 and No. 16.
• As of Jan. 14, four Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 25, including Stanford (2), Oregon (5), Arizona State (15) and California (25). Eleven Pac-12 teams have RPI in the top 100, including eight with RPI in the top 60 (and another just out of the top 60).
• Stanford’s Alanna Smith was tabbed the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading the Cardinal to two dominant wins in the desert last week. The forward leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (.488).
• For the seventh time in 10 weeks of the season, a Utah freshman has earned the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor as Dre’Una Edwards won the honor for the fourth time. Only three other times in the history of the award (since 2012-13) has a team won the rookie nod seven times.
• Six active NCAA DI women’s basketball players have dished out at least 600 assists, three of them are from the Pac-12. COLORADO’s Kennedy Leonard reached the threshold earlier this season, followed by UO’s Sabrina Ionescu and Maite Cazorla. Only 13 Pac-12 players all-time have had 600 assists. Ionescu has also handed out 188 more assists than the next-closest junior in the country.
• Some of the nation’s top guards are in the Pac-12, with six ranked in the top 25 in the country in assists per game and five in the top 15 in assist-to-turnover ratio, led by the nation’s assists leader Ionescu. OSU’s Mikayla Pivec boasts the third-best shooting percentage among guards in the country and ARIZONA’s Aari McDonald is the second-highest scoring guard and third overall in the country.
PAC-12 IN THE POLLS
Five Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls every week this season except one, including the preseason polls. For the first time ever, three teams were ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls. On Dec. 17, six Pac-12 teams were ranked in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches poll for just the third time in league history and second time in two years. The last time six teams were in the national coaches poll was the preseason ranking released prior to the 2017-18 and 2006-07 campaigns.
PAC-12 SCORING IS UP
As a collective group as of Jan. 8, the Pac-12 is tied for the best scoring average among all conferences at 73.0 points per game. League teams also have the best collective shooting percentage (.445) and 3-point shooting percentage in the country (34.3), and second in free throw percentage (71.74).
Compared to 2017-18, the Conference’s numbers are up in each of those categories though, admittedly, though it is early in the season. Its scoring average is up the most dramatically, recording 6.0 ppg better than a year ago when it average 69.00 ppg for seventh-best among the leagues. In 2017-18, Pac-12 teams were shooting 42.95 pct. (3rd), 33.77 pct. from long range (4th) and has a slight improvement from last season’s 71.16 free throw shooting (9th).
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|Friday, Jan. 18|
|Washington State at California||Live Stream||11:30 a.m. PT|
|#19 Arizona State at #5 Oregon||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|Colorado at Utah||P12M||6 p.m. PT|
|Arizona at #10 Oregon State||7 p.m. PT|
|Washington at #6 Stanford||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Jan. 20|
|Arizona at #5 Oregon||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at #6 Stanford||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|#19 Arizona State at #10 Oregon State||P12N||2 p.m. PT|
|Washington at California||P12N||2 p.m. PT|
|USC at UCLA||P12N||4 p.m. PT|
2018-19 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ROAD TO TAMPA
Teams across the country will be focused on getting to Tampa this season, the site of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four on April 5 and 7. To get to Tampa, Fla., teams will have to go through regional sites in Albany, N.Y., Chicago, Greensboro, N.C., and Portland, Ore., where the Oregon State Beavers are hosts Regional play takes place from March 29-April 1, with specific dates to be announced. The first and second round of the tournament will take place on 16 campus sites with the top-16 seeds hosting, March 22-25, 2019. The top 64 teams will learn their fates in the broadcast of the annual selection show on Monday, March 18, 2019.
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