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Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 9, 2021

Nov 9, 2021

COMPLETE RELEASE (PDF)

PAC-12 RUNDOWN

» For the sixth consecutive year, five Pac-12 women’s basketball teams are ranked in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 - No. 3 Stanford, No. 10 Oregon, No. 14 Oregon State, No. 20 UCLA, No. 22 Arizona. The Conference’s six-year run with at least that many teams appearing in the AP’s debut poll is the longest active streak in the nation (Big Ten - 3). 
» The Pac-12’s five ranked teams are tied with the ACC and Big Ten for the most in the country. The Conference has had a larger proportion of its teams appear in each of the past three preseason polls (41.67 percent) than any other league.
» Against nonconference opponents in the regular season over the past five seasons, the Pac-12 leads all leagues with an .803 winning percentage (466-114), ahead of the Big 12 (.780), ACC (.773), SEC (.757) and Big Ten (.731).
» Similarly, the Conference’s 151 wins against AP Top 25 opponents during nonconference play over the past five seasons are tops in the nation (SEC - 146; ACC - 130; Big Ten 110; Big 12 - 91).
» In a first for the Conference, the Pac-12 is coming off a season in which its top two regular-season finishers – Stanford and Arizona – met for the national championship. The 2021 title game was just the seventh time in women’s basketball history that two teams from the same league met for a championship and was the first to feature two schools from west of the Mississippi River since 1986 (Texas vs. USC).
» Since the 2015-16 season, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (6), NCAA Tournament wins (70) and NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.707). 
» In the first year using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) for women’s basketball, four of the top 10 teams in the final NET rankings for 2021 were from the Pac-12 in Stanford (No. 1), Arizona (No. 7), UCLA (No. 8) and Oregon (No. 10), a total double any other league. The Pac-12 was also the nation’s top-rated conference by RPI in three of the final five seasons (2016, 2017, 2020) that metric was used by the committee.
» Briann January, a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, will have her No. 20 jersey honored and displayed from the rafters of Desert Financial Arena on Fri., Nov. 12 when Arizona State hosts Minnesota.

CONFERENCE NOTEBOOK

STANFORD PICKED PRESEASON PAC-12 FAVORITE

  • Defending national champion Stanford was picked the unanimous favorite to win the regular season by in a preseason polling of both the league’s coaches and its media. The Cardinal received the 11 available first-place coaches votes and garnered all 26 first-place media votes. The coaches and media polls were nearly identical, with 2021 NCAA Tournament teams Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona and Washington State rounding out the top half of the predicted order of finish.

STUNNING SUCCESS OF LATE

  • In addition to the aforementioned success over the past six seasons, the Pac-12 also leads all conferences in Final Four appearances since 2012-13 with eight. Those eight appearances have been spread across six different programs - Arizona (2021), California (2013, Oregon (2019), Oregon State (2016), Stanford (2021, 2017, 2014), Washington (2016) - which is two more than any other conference. Simply put, in an amazing display of depth, half of the Pac-12 has appeared in a Final Four in the past eight NCAA Tournaments. The ACC has had four different programs make the Final Four over the same span, the Big East three, the SEC two, and the Big Ten, Big 12 and American each one. There was no tournament in 2020 due to COVID-19.

TOP 25 MATCHUPS ON TAP

  • The first week of the NCAA women’s basketball season features four different games involving a pair of AP-ranked teams and two of those matchups involve Pac-12 programs. On Friday, No. 22 Arizona faces off against No. 6 Louisville at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. at 1:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU, and on Sunday, No. 3 Stanford hosts No. 25 Texas at noon PT on ESPN. The other two aforementioned matchups include No. 1 South Carolina at No. 5 NC State on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and No. 13 Kentucky at No. 8 Indiana on Sunday, Nov. 14. 
  • The Wildcats will be going for their first regular-season, nonconference win over a top-10 team since they beat No. 8 Georgia at home, 70-49, on Nov. 30, 2002. 
  • Following 52 consecutive losses to top-10 opponents in all games, including Conference play and the postseason, Arizona is now 7-6 in its last 13.
  • The Pac-12 has split its last eight regular-season meetings against a ranked opponent from the ACC and won three of the past four.
    • Nov. 10, 2018 -- W -- No. 3 Oregon 75 - No. 18 Syracuse 73
    • Nov. 23, 2018 -- L -- No. 5 Louisville 58 - No. 19 Arizona State 56
    • Nov. 24, 2018 -- L -- No. 1 Notre Dame 91 - No. 9 Oregon State 81
    • Dec. 2, 2018 -- L -- No. 21 Miami 73 - Colorado 58
    • Nov. 24, 2019 -- W -- No. 1 Oregon 84 - No. 17 Syracuse 64
    • Nov. 29, 2019 -- W -- No. 7 Oregon State 75 - No. 19 Miami 53
    • Nov. 29, 2019 -- W -- No. 3 Stanford 77 - No. 18 Syracuse 59
    • Nov. 20, 2019 -- L -- No. 8 Louisville 72 - No. 1 Oregon 62
  • Over the last five seasons, the Pac-12 is 10-9 against ranked Big 12 opponents, including the postseason, with six of those games, including four victories, coming against Texas(* denotes NCAA Tournament).
    • Nov. 14, 2016 -- W -- No. 11 Stanford 71 - No. 8 Texas 59
    • March 24, 2017 -- W -- No. 6 Stanford 77 - No. 14 Texas 66*
    • Nov. 25, 2017 -- L -- No. 2 Texas 92 - Washington 68
    • March 19, 2018 -- L -- No. 8 Texas 85 - Arizona State 65*
    • March 23, 2018 -- W -- No. 9 UCLA 84 - No. 8 Texas 75*
    • Nov. 17, 2019 -- W -- Arizona 83 - No. 22 Texas 58

TOP TALENT THRIVES OUT WEST

  • Pac-12 schools have signed 31 espnW HoopGurlz top-25 recruits since 2016, the second-highest total among all leagues (ACC – 36). 
  • But since 2016, the Pac-12 leads all conferences with 13 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Americans. Arizona’s Aari McDonald and Stanford’s Kiana Williams landed on the 10-member team in 2021, giving the Conference multiple WBCA All-Americans for the third consecutive season and fifth in the past six.
  • The Conference also boasts a NCAA-high 16 U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) first-, second- and third-team All-Americans since 2016, one more than the Big Ten (15) and two ahead of the SEC (14).

ALL-STAR RETURNERS

  • The Pac-12 will returns 11 of its 15 all-conference performers from 2020-21, or 73.3 percent, a ratio among the best in the nation. The Big Ten welcomes back 15 of its 20 all-conference selections (75.0 percent), the ACC 11 of 15 (73.3 percent), the Big 12 eight of 15 (53.3 percent) and the SEC nine of 17 (52.9 percent). Those totals do not include all-conference transfers from other leagues.
    • Mya Hollingshed, COLO
    • Lexie Hull, STAN
    • Haley Jones, STAN
    • Taylor Jones, OSU
    • Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU
    • Charisma Osborne, UCLA
    • Te-Hina Paopao, ORE
    • Cate Reese, ARIZ
    • Endyia Rogers, ORE
    • Nyara Sabally, ORE
    • Sam Thomas, ARIZ

LEARNING FROM THE BEST

  • A pair of Pac-12 programs are under new leadership in 2021-22. At USC, former California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb returns to the Conference after working on staff for the Cleveland Cavaliers. She became just the seventh female NBA assistant when she was hired in June of 2019, and the first NCAA women’s head coach to be hired by an NBA team. 
  • Tina Langley was hired at Washington after guiding Rice to five consecutive 20-win seasons, a WBI championship, a WNIT title and an NCAA Tournament appearance in her six years on the job. When she took over her first head coaching gig in Houston, the Owls had just one winning season over the previous eight and hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament in 10 years.
  • Led by Tara VanDerveer’s NCAA-record 1,125 career victories, Pac-12 head coaches have combined for 3,615 Division I coaching wins entering the 2021-22 season.
  • Eleven of the 12 current Pac-12 head coaches have guided programs to postseason play, with nine earning Division I NCAA Tournament berths, including seven advancing to the Elite Eight (Barnes, Turner Thorne, Graves, Rueck, VanDerveer, Close, Gottlieb). 
  • Five of the Conference’s head coaches have led a team to the Final Four in Arizona’s Adia Barnes, Oregon’s Kelly Graves, Oregon State’s Scott Rueck, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and USC’s Lindsay Gottlieb, who took California in 2013.
  • Of the country’s 15 active NCAA head coaches who have led a Division I team to the Final Four, five are from the Pac-12, which is tied with the SEC for the most among all leagues. 
  • However, the Pac-12’s five have all coached a team from their own Conference in a national semifinal, while only two of the SEC’s five have done so (Dawn Staley – South Carolina; Gary Blair – Texas A&M).

PAC-12 IN THE PROS

  • Two first-round picks highlighted five overall selections from the Pac-12 in the 2021 WNBA Draft. The Conference has had multiple first-round selections in each of the past five drafts and at least four overall picks in the past eight drafts, active streaks which lead all leagues by three years. The SEC has had multiple first rounders in two consecutive drafts and the Big 12 has had at least four total selections in the past two.
  • Aari McDonald (Arizona) was first off the board, going to the Atlanta Dream with the No. 3 overall pick and Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA) was selected by the New York Liberty at No. 6. Kiana Williams (Stanford) went to the Seattle Storm with the sixth pick in the second round (18th overall) and was followed by Trinity Baptiste (Arizona), who was taken with the final pick in the second round (24th overall) by the Indiana Fever. Aleah Goodman (Oregon State) rounded out the Pac-12 selections when she was chosen by the Connecticut Sun with the sixth pick in the third round (30th overall).
  • Onyenwere’s debut season with the Liberty garnered her WNBA Rookie of the Year honors. The first Bruin to earn the award, she joined Stanford's Nneka (2012) and Chiney Ogwumike (2014) as other Pac-12 alumnae to earn the honor. Onyenwere is the first UCLA basketball player, men’s or women’s, to be named Rookie of the Year since Jamaal Wilkes in 1975.
  • The WNBA’s landmark 25th season featured 23 Pac-12 alumnae on opening-day rosters and 14 former standouts from six Conference schools on each of the eight teams in the WNBA Playoffs - Oregon (4), UCLA (3), California (2), Stanford (2), Washington (2), Arizona State (1). Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard ultimately won a WNBA Championship with the Chicago Sky.

#OLYMPIANSMADEHERE

  • Twelve Pac-12 women’s basketball players from eight schools represented seven National Olympic Committees at the 2020 Summer Games. The Conference’s 12 women’s basketball Olympians in Tokyo were more than any other league.
  • This coming season, Pac-12 fans will be able to watch Arizona’s Shaina Pellington and UCLA’s Angela Dugalic, as both are back on campus for their respective teams.
    • ARIZONA
      • Ify Ibekwe – Nigeria
      • Shaina Pellington – Canada
    • ARIZONA STATE
      • Promise Amukamara – Nigeria
    • OREGON
      • Maite Cazorla – Spain
    • OREGON STATE
      • Ali Gibson – Puerto Rico
    • STANFORD
      • Alanna Smith – Australia
    • UCLA
      • Angela Dugalic – Serbia
      • Nirra Fields – Canada
      • Atonye Nyingifa – Nigeria
    • UTAH
      • Kim Gaucher – Canada
      • Leilani Mitchell – Australia
    • WASHINGTON
      • Kelsey Plum – USA (3x3) *Gold*

PRESEASON WATCH LISTS

WADE TROPHY
Cameron Brink, Stanford 
Haley Jones, Stanford
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Nyara Sabally, Oregon

NAISMITH TROPHY
Cameron Brink, Stanford 
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Haley Jones, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Nancy Mulkey, Washington
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon
Sam Thomas, Arizona

WOODEN AWARD
Cameron Brink, Stanford 
Mya Hollingshed, Colorado
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Haley Jones, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon

NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME STARTING 5
Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year
Gina Conti, UCLA
Dru Gylten, Utah
Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon

Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year
Taylor Chavez, Arizona
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Sydney Parrish, Oregon

Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year
Haley Jones, Stanford
Sam Thomas, Arizona

Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year
Cameron Brink, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Alissa Pili, USC
Nyara Sabally, Oregon

Lisa Leslie Center of the Year
Francesca Belibi, Stanford
Nancy Mulkey, Washington
Bella Murekatete, Washington State


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
#22 Arizona 0-0 0-0
Arizona State 0-0 0-0
California 0-0 0-0
Colorado 0-0 0-0
#10 Oregon 0-0 0-0
#14 Oregon State 0-0 0-0
#3 Stanford 0-0 0-0
#20 UCLA 0-0 0-0
USC 0-0 0-0
Utah 0-0 0-0
Washington 0-0 0-0
Washington State 0-0 0-0

WEEKLY SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)

Tuesday, Nov. 9    
CSUN at #22 Arizona Live Stream 4 p.m. PT
Northern Colorado at Arizona State Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Sacramento State at California Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Idaho State at #10 Oregon Live Stream 7:30 p.m. PT
Wednesday, Nov. 10    
Lipscomb at Utah Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Colorado at Oklahoma State ESPN+ 6:30 p.m. PT
Pepperdine at #20 UCLA P12N 7 p.m. PT
Thursday, Nov. 11    
Morgan State at #3 Stanford Live Stream 3 p.m. PT
Hawaii at USC Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Friday, Nov. 12    
#22 Arizona vs. # 6 Louisville (Sioux Falls, S.D.) ESPNU 1:30 p.m. PT
Minnesota at Arizona State Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
San Diego at Washington Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Loyola Marymount at #14 Oregon State Live Stream 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, Nov. 13    
Xavier at Utah Live Stream 11 a.m. PT
California vs. San Francisco (Chase Center) TBD 2:30 p.m. PT
Sunday, Nov. 14 TV Time (PT)
USC at Virginia ACC Network Extra 10 a.m. PT
#25 Texas at #3 Stanford ESPN noon PT
Colorado at Air Force TBD 1 p.m. PT
Northern Arizona at Washington Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
Dixie State at #10 Oregon Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
Monday, Nov. 15    
Texas Southern at #22 Arizona Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT

PAC-12 PERFORMANCE AWARDS PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA

  Player of the Week Freshman of the Week
Nov. 15    
Nov. 22    
Nov. 29    
Dec. 6    
Dec. 13    
Dec. 20    
Dec. 27    
Jan. 3    
Jan. 10    
Jan. 17     
Jan. 24    
Jan. 31    
Feb. 7    
Feb. 14    
Feb. 21    
Feb. 28