This Year in Pac-12 Women's Basketball

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Michelle Smith Feature: An early look at the 2019-20 Pac-12 campaign

• OREGON’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four and ARIZONA’s WNIT Championship victory in front of a record crowd capped another historic Pac-12 women’s basketball campaign.

• For the 10th time in 12 years a Pac-12 team was in the NCAA Final Four with the Ducks becoming the fifth different Pac-12 squad to advance that far since 2013. No other conference has sent as many different teams to the Final Four during that span.

• With at least half the league earning a NCAA Tournament bid for the third-straight year, the Pac-12 went 11-1 in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the best record for a conference since 1997, while going undefeated in the first round for the third time in four years. The Pac-12 placed five teams in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years and was the only league to have at least two teams in the Elite Eight the last four years. The Pac-12 had the most or tied for the most representation at every round this season except the opening round.

• Pac-12 teams won a combined 14 NCAA Tournament games in 2019, tying for the most of any conference. Since 2016, the Pac-12 has won more games (55) in the Big Dance than any other league and has the best winning percentage of any Power 5 conference (.696) during that span.

•  The Ducks (No. 2/Portland), OREGON STATE (No. 4/Albany) and STANFORD (No. 2/Chicago) each received a top-16 seeding, and were joined by ARIZONA STATE (No. 5/Portland), CALIFORNIA (No. 8/Greensboro) and UCLA (No. 6/Albany) in the NCAA Tournament.

• Arizona recorded the best turnaround of any team in the country, going from six wins in 2018 to 24 this season. 2018-19 marked UA’s first 20-win season in eight years. Averaging over 7,200 in attendance during its WNIT run, Arizona set the Pac-12’s all-time single-game attendance mark in the final (14,644).

• Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu was named the WBCA Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award Trophy winner, presented to the nation’s top-collegiate women’s basketball player. It marked the third time in six years a player from the Pac-12 has won the Wooden Award. Ionescu plans to return to Eugene for 2019-20.

• California’s Kristine Anigwe was tabbed the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year while Ionescu won the WBCA’s Nancy Lieberman Award (presented to the nation’s top point guard) for the second-straight year.

• For the first time since 1993, three from the Pac-12 were tabbed USBWA All-Americans - Anigwe, Ionescu and Stanford’s Alanna Smith. The trio were also tabbed All-Americans by the Associated Press and ESPNW.

• Oregon won the Pac-12 regular-season crown for the second year in a row, while Stanford won its 13th all-time Pac-12 Tournament title which was held in Las Vegas for the first time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

• For the first time ever, five Pac-12 teams appeared in the Associated Press final poll, with two ranked in the top 10, extending the Conference’s streak of two top-10 ranked teams to five-consecutive years. For the first time ever, five Pac-12 teams are in the top 15 of the final USA Today/WBCA Coaches poll, also making the second time in three years five teams are in the final ranking. Additionally, it marks the first time three teams are ranked in the coaches’ final top 10.

• Five from the Pac-12 were picked in the WNBA Draft, including Smith and Anigwe, who were selected in the first round.

STANFORD WINS 13TH PAC-12 TOURNAMENT CROWN
Stanford won its 13th Pac-12 Tournament title. The No. 2 seed, the Cardinal defeated top-seeded Oregon, 64-57, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Cardinal has claimed a top-four seed in all 18 years of the Pac-12 Tournament. Stanford was led by senior forward Alanna Smith who was tabbed the Most Outstanding Player after averaging 18.7 points and 15.0 rebounds per game. Stanford limited its opponents to a tournament-best 57.3 ppg and .337 shooting.

OREGON WINS SECOND-STRAIGHT PAC-12 REGULAR-SEASON TITLE
Oregon claimed its second-straight Pac-12 regular-season crown and fourth all-time, going 16-2 in league play, tying a program record set last year for most Conference victories. It is the first time since 1999 and 2000 the Ducks won back-to-back league crowns.

ARIZONA WINS WNIT TITLE IN FRONT OF RECORD CROWD
Boasting the largest turnaround of any team in the country this season, Arizona won the 2019 WNIT in front of a home crowd of 14,644, defeating Northwestern, 56-42. It is the second WNIT crown for the program which was in the postseason for the first time since 2011 (the last time it was in the WNIT) and posted its first postseason victory since 2005.

ALL-AMERICANS RECOGNIZED
Three from the Pac-12 appeared on the Associated Press’, USBWA and ESPNW teams. Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is a first-team honoree by each of the entities, while California’s Kristine Anigwe is a second teamer on all. Stanford’s Alanna Smith was tabbed a second-team honoree by the AP and ESPNW, and was named to the third team by the USBWA. The three USBWA All-Americans marks the most for the Conference since 1993 (Lisa Leslie, USC; Val Whiting, Stanford; Natalie Williams, UCLA). Smith and Ionescu were also tabbed All-Americans by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Associated (WBCA). It is the third time in four years at least two players from the Pac-12 earn WBCA nods.

WNBA DRAFT 
Five Pac-12 women’s basketball players were selected at the WNBA Draft held at Nike Headquarters in New York City, including first-round picks Alanna Smith from Stanford and Kristine Anigwe from California, marking the third-straight year two players from the Conference have been selected in the first round. Anigwe and Smith were two of only 12 prospects invited to attend the WNBA Draft.

The five drafted players is the most for the Pac-12 since 2016 when seven were selected. The Conference has had at least four players drafted every year since 2014. At least one has been taken in the first round in 13 of the last 14 years.




PLAYER  RD  PICK  TEAM
Alanna Smith, Stanford 1 8 Mercury
Kristine Anigwe, California 1 9 Sun
Kennedy Burke UCLA  2 22 Wings
Maite Cazorla, Oregon 2 23 Atlanta
Megan Huff, Utah 3 26 Liberty

NCAA TOURNAMENT RESULTS 
FIRST ROUND (Regional)
#4 OREGON STATE vs. #13 Boise State (Albany) OSU, 80-75 (OT)
#6 UCLA vs. #11 Tennessee (Albany) UCLA, 89-77
#2 STANFORD vs. #15 UC Davis (Chicago) STAN, 79-54
#8 CALIFORNIA vs. #9 North Carolina (Greensboro) CAL, 92-72
#2 OREGON vs. #15 Portland State (Portland) ORE, 78-40
#5 Arizona State vs. #12 Central Florida (Albany) ASU, 60-45

SECOND ROUND (Regional)
#4 OREGON STATE vs. #5 Gonzaga (Albany) OSU, 76-70
#6 UCLA vs. #3 Maryland (Albany) UCLA, 85-80
#2 STANFORD vs. #7 BYU (Chicago) STAN, 72-63
#8 CALIFORNIA vs. #1 Baylor (Greensboro) BAY, 102-63
#2 OREGON vs. #10 Indiana (Portland) ORE, 91-68
#5 Arizona State vs. #4 Miami (Fla.) (Albany) ASU, 57-55

SWEET SIXTEEN (Regional)
#4 OREGON STATE vs. #1 Louisville (Albany) UL, 61-44
#6 UCLA vs. #2 Connecticut (Albany) CONN, 69-61
#2 STANFORD vs. #11 Missouri State (Chicago) STAN, 55-46
#2 OREGON vs. #6 South Dakota State (Portland) ORE,63-53
#5 Arizona State vs. #1 Mississippi (Portland) MSU, 76-53

ELITE EIGHT (Regional)
#2 STANFORD vs. #1 Notre Dame (Chicago) ND, 84-68
#2 OREGON vs. #1 Mississippi State (Portland) ORE, 88-84

NCAA WOMEN’S FINAL FOUR • TAMPA (Amalie Arena)
#2 OREGON (Portland) vs. #1 Baylor (Greensboro) BAY, 72-67

WNIT SCHEDULE/RESULTS 
Idaho State at ARIZONA (First Round) ARIZ, 66-56
Pacific at ARIZONA (First Round) ARIZ, 64-48
Idaho at ARIZONA (Third Round) ARIZ, 68-60
Wyoming at ARIZONA (Quarterfinal) ARIZ, 67-45
TCU at ARIZONA (Semifinal) ARIZ, 59-53
Northwestern at ARIZONA (Championship) ARIZ, 56-42


NATIONAL HONORS 

WADE TROPHY WINNER
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon

NANCY LIEBERMAN AWARD
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon

NAISMITH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kristine Anigwe, California

JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD TROPHY
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon

2018-19 AP WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
First Team

Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
Second Team
Kristine Anigwe, California
Alanna Smith, Stanford
Honorable Mention
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Destiny Slocum, Oregon State

2018-19 USBWA WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
First Team

Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
Second Team
Kristine Anigwe, California
Third Team
Alanna Smith, Stanford

PAC-12 ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS (COACHES VOTE)

Pac-12 Player of the Year - SABRINA IONESCU, OREGON
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year - DRE’UNA EDWARDS, UTAH
Pac-12 defensive player of the Year - KRISTINE ANIGWE, CALIFORNIA
PAC-12 SixthPlayer of the Year - ALEAH GOODMAN, OREGON STATE
John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year - KELLY GRAVES, OREGON


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Oregon  16-2 27-3
Stanford 15-3 25-4
Oregon State 14-4 24-6
UCLA 12-6 19-11
Arizona State 10-7 19-9
Utah  9-9 20-9
California 9-9 18-11
USC 7-11 17-12
Arizona 7-11 17-12
Washington State 4-14 9-20
Washington  2-15 9-20
Colorado 2-16 12-17

2018-19 PAC-12 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Player of the Week Freshman of the Week
Nov. 12 Kristine Anigwe, CAL Dre’Una Edwards, UTAH
Nov. 19 Aari McDonald, ARIZ Dre’Una Edwards, UTAH
Nov. 26 Kristine Anigwe, CAL Cate Reese, ARIZ
Dec. 3 Aari McDonald, ARIZ Peanut Tuitele, COLO
Dec. 10 Megan Huff, UTAH Dru Gylten, UTAH
Dec. 17 Alanna Smith, STAN Dre’Una Edwards, UTAH
Dec. 24 Sabrina Ionescu, ORE Lacie Hull, STAN
Dec. 31 Borislava Hristova, WSU Andrea Torres, UTAH
Jan. 7  Aari McDonald, ARIZ Dru Gylten, UTAH
Jan. 14 Alanna Smith, STAN Dre’Una Edwards, UTAH
Jan. 21 Kristine Anigwe, CAL Cate Reese, ARIZ
Jan. 28 Megan Huff, UTAH  Cate Reese, ARIZ
Feb. 4 Kristine Anigwe, CAL Shalexxus Aaron, USC
Feb. 11 Sabrina Ionescu, ORE Dre’Una Edwards, UTAH
Feb. 18  Alanna Smith, STAN Dre'Una Edwards, UTAH
Feb. 25 Recee Caldwell, CAL  McKenzie Forbes, CAL
March 4 Kristine Anigwe, CAL Lexie Hull, STAN

 

 

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