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This year in Pac-12 women's basketball

Apr 9, 2020

• COMPLETE RELEASE (PDF)

• Despite the abrupt end to the season, Pac-12 women’s basketball still achieved the highest levels of success equal to the achievements of recent seasons when it became the winningest conference in the NCAA Tournament over the last four years. OREGON swept the Conference crowns, winning the regular season for the third year in a row and the tournament title for the second time in three years.

• For the first time ever, six Pac-12 teams are ranked in the final Associated Press poll. Three appeared in the top-10, also a first for the Conference, with the Ducks leading the way with their highest-ever final ranking at No. 2. STANFORD is No. 7, placing in the top-10 for the second-straight year. UCLA (No. 10) garnered its third top-10 final ranking in five years. ARIZONA ended at No. 12, making its first appearance in the final polling since 2003 and its highest final ranking since 1998. Ranked No. 14, OREGON STATE is in the final AP poll for the sixth year in a row, appearing in the top-15 in each of those years, and ARIZONA STATE rounding out the poll at No. 25.

• Looking ahead to the future, five Pac-12 teams are included in ESPN.com’s Way-Too-Early-Top 25 for 2020-21. With head coach Tara VanDerveer within four wins of tying legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt’s all-time career wins record, Stanford was ranked No. 2 in the poll, followed by No. 7 Arizona, No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon and No. 13 Oregon State.

• With the final national awards announced this week, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is tabbed the consensus national player of the year after winning the WBCA’s Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Trophy, also winning the Associated Press’ and USBWA’s national top honor. She is the second consensus national player of the year in four seasons from the Pac-12.

• A record number of Pac-12 student-athletes were recognized nationally this season beginning with four of the Naismith Hall of Fame/WBCA Starting Five coming from the Conference, including Oregon’s trio of Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. Arizona’s Aari McDonald also nabbed the top shooting guard honor while Ionescu is just the second point guard in the history of the Nancy Lieberman Award, along with UConn great Sue Bird, to win the honor three times. A record number of All-Americans were selected from the Pac-12 with as many as five receiving national recognition including three from Oregon (Ionescu, Hebard and Sabally), Arizona (McDonald) and UCLA (Michaela Onyenwere).

• Five Pac-12 teams appeared in the NCAA women’s basketball committee’s final Top-16 reveal announced on March 2. Based on results through Monday, March 2, Oregon had been tabbed a No. 3 overall seed and No. 1 in the Portland Region. Stanford was tabbed the No. 7 seed, UCLA the No. 8 seed, Arizona the No. 14 seed and Oregon State the No. 15 seed. It was projected that the Conference would have six NCAA Tournament teams with Arizona State joining the field.

• Ionescu was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third-consecutive year. She is the first in league history to claim the honor three-straight year and the second to win it three times. USC forward Alissa Pili was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, the first Trojan in 10 years to win the award. McDonald was voted the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and the Ducks’ Taylor Chavez was tabbed Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year. For the second-straight year, Oregon’s Kelly Graves was voted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.