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Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Rundown - November 7, 2022

Nov 7, 2022
Jayda Curry | Photo via Cal Athletics

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PAC-12 RUNDOWN

  • Over the past seven seasons (since 2015-16), the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (7), nonconference winning percentage (.793), NCAA Tournament wins (76), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.685) and WBCA All-Americans (15).
  • Stanford’s appearance in the national semifinals last season was the 20th for the Conference all-time (since the start of Pac-12 sport sponsorship in 1986-87). Of those 20 Final Four appearances, more than one third have come in just the past six NCAA Tournaments (35 percent; 7 total). There was no tournament in 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • Taking it back even further, the Pac-12 also leads all conferences in Final Four appearances since 2012-13 with nine. Those nine appearances have been spread across six different programs - Arizona (2021), California (2013), Oregon (2019), Oregon State (2016), Stanford (2022, 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 nine 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.
  • Six Pac-12 teams earned 2022 NCAA Tournament berths (Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Washington State), the fifth consecutive March Madness to feature at least half the league. At least five Conference programs have earned bids in eight consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
  • Against nonconference opponents in the regular season since 2015-16, the Pac-12 leads all leagues with an .793 winning percentage (672-175), ahead of the Big 12 (.786), SEC (.771), ACC (.766) and Big Ten (.725).
  • In the second year using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) for women’s basketball in 2021-22, every one of the conference’s 12 teams finished in the NET top 100, including a national-best (tied) eight in the top 50. The Pac-12 was one of only two leagues that had all its teams in the top 100 (SEC).
  • On Saturday, California will face No. 9 Notre Dame in the Citi Shamrock Classic in St. Louis, Mo. in the first women’s college basketball broadcast on NBC. Last season, UCLA faced Connecticut in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. in the first regular-season women’s college basketball game broadcast on ABC.

STANFORD PICKED PRESEASON PAC-12 FAVORITES

  • 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 28 first-place media votes.
  • Oregon was picked to finish second in the coaches’ poll with 101 points, one point ahead of third-place Arizona. The teams switched spots in the media vote, with the Wildcats second (291 points) and Ducks third (275 points).
  • Team Nos. 4-12 were the same in both polls, with UCLA leading that group in fourth and followed by Utah in fifth. The Utes, last season’s Pac-12 Tournament runners-up, received the remaining first-place vote in the coaches’ poll. Oregon State was selected sixth to round out the polls’ top half.

PAC-12/SWAC LEGACY SERIES

  • The first three of six Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series women’s basketball games will take place during the season’s opening week when Arizona State hosts Grambling State at 1:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 11, Washington State hosts Prairie View A&M at noon PT Sunday, Nov. 13 on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington and Oregon plays at Southern on Monday, Nov. 14.
  • All Legacy Series games on Pac-12 campuses will feature officiating crews consisting entirely of people of color.
  • A first-of-its-kind educational and basketball scheduling pact between Autonomy 5 and HBCU leagues, the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series is aimed at: creating a forum for competition; promotion and education around issues of anti-racism and social justice; and motivating the current and next generation of community leaders to affect positive change.

CITI SHAMROCK CLASSIC FOR CAL

  • California will have the Conference’s lone matchup against an AP Top-25 opponent this week when it plays No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday, Nov. 12.
  • The Golden Bears will be going for their first regular-season, nonconference win over a Top-10 team since they beat No. 8 Louisville on the road, 75-71, on Nov. 15, 2015.
  • The Pac-12 is 5-6 in its last 11 regular-season meetings against a ranked opponent from the ACC, but has won four of the past seven.
    • 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
    • Nov. 12, 2021 - W - No. 22 Arizona 61 - No. 6 Louisville 59
    • Nov. 20, 2021 - L - No. 10 Louisville 61 - Washington 53
    • Nov. 27, 2021 - L - No. 5 NC State 62 - Washington State 34

NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN

  • Pac-12 programs attracted the nation’s top prep talent and put together record-setting 2022 recruiting classes.
  • Pac-12 programs signed 23 student-athletes from the 2022 espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 who are freshmen on campus this fall, including seven of the top 10 (#1 Lauren Betts, STAN; #2 Kiki Rice, UCLA; #6 Timea Gardiner, OSU; #7 Chance Gray, ORE; #8 Aaliyah Gayles, USC; #9 Maya Nnaji, ARIZ; #10 Raegan Beers, OSU).
  • Six of the nation’s top 14 classes were put together by Conference programs, including each of the top three and five of the top eight - No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 5 Stanford, No. 8 Arizona and No. 14 Washington.
  • In available data dating back a dozen years, no conference has finished a recruiting cycle with as many programs (five) boasting top 10 classes according to espnW HoopGurlz. Since 2007, no other conference has signed as many top-10 individuals (seven) in the espnW HoopGurlz rankings.
  • Pac-12 programs also signed three top-10 classes in each of the previous three years, totals which led or tied for the national lead each cycle. The conference’s 20 espnW HoopGurlz top-10 recruiting classes from since 2016 lead the country, six ahead of the ACC (14).
  • Pac-12 schools have signed 43 espnW HoopGurlz top-25 recruits since 2016, the highest total among all leagues (ACC – 41).
  • Of the 24 women selected to play in the 2022 McDonald’s All American Game, a national-best 11 are on Pac-12 rosters this season in Arizona’s Paris Clark and Maya Nnaji, Oregon’s Chance Gray and Grace VanSlooten, Oregon State’s Raegan Beers and Timea Gardiner, Stanford’s Lauren Betts and Indya Nivar, UCLA’s Gabriela Jaquez and Kiki Rice, and USC’s Aaliyah Gayles.

TOP TALENT THRIVES

  • Since 2015-16, the Pac-12 leads all conferences with 15 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Americans, two more than the SEC (13). Stanford’s Cameron Brink and Haley Jones landed on the 10-member team in 2022, giving the conference multiple WBCA All-Americans for the fourth consecutive season and sixth in the past seven.
  • The Conference also boasts a NCAA-high 18 U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) first-, second- and third-team All-Americans since 2015-16, tied with the 14-team SEC and one more than the 14-team Big Ten (17).

IT STARTS AT THE TOP

  • Not only does the Conference boast the winningest coach in the history of women’s college basketball in Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer (1,157 wins), it also has three of the 35 winningest active Division I coaches by percentage in VanDerveer, Oregon State’s Scott Rueck and Oregon’s Kelly Graves, a total tied for the most among Power 5 leagues (ACC).
  • 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 13 active NCAA head coaches who have led a Division I team to the Final Four, five are from the Pac-12, which is the most among all leagues. The Pac-12 and the SEC (4) are the only conferences with multiple coaches that have taken a program to the Final Four.
  • At the Conference level, the Pac-12 recently made a pair of important hires with backgrounds as NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Committee chairs in Rhonda Lundin Bennett and Lisa Peterson. Bennett, who chaired the committee in 2017-18 and 2018-19, began at the Conference on Sept. 22 as Associate Commissioner for Women’s Basketball & Sports Management, spearheading the Pac-12’s strategic planning efforts to elevate, advance and grow its women’s basketball brand. Peterson started at the Pac-12 on Oct. 17 as Senior Associate Commissioner for Sports Management and is responsible for the comprehensive management and oversight of the league’s 21 Olympic sports.

LOOKING TO 2022-23

  • Ten All-Conference, five All-Freshman, and two All-Defensive Team honorees return for the 2022-23 season, including the league’s Player of the Year (Haley Jones, STAN), Defensive Player of the Year (Cameron Brink, STAN) Freshman of the Year (Gianna Kneepkens, UTAH), Sixth Player of the Year (Quay Miller, COLO) and co-Most Improved Player of the Year (Bella Murekatete, WSU).
  • A combined 17 from the Pac-12 were selected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Starting 5 Watch Lists ahead of the 2022-23 season. The Conference’s 17 candidates are tied for the second-most nationally (ACC - 22; Pac-12 17; SEC - 17; Big 12 - 13; Big Ten - 12; ) and are second on a per membership basis (ACC - 1.47/member; Pac-12 - 1.42/member; Big 12 - 1.30/member; SEC - 1.21/member; Big Ten - 0.86/member). A national-best five Pac-12 posts are on the watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award, which is given to the nation’s top center.

FIBA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP

  • Eight Pac-12 women’s basketball players from five schools represented four national teams at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia.
  • Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu and Washington’s Kelsey Plum suited up for the gold-medal winning United States. Four of the 12 on the Canadian roster were from the Pac-12 in a pair of current Ducks, fifth-year Taya Hanson and sophomore Phillipina Kyei, along with UCLA’s Nirra Fields, a three-time All-Pac-12 performer (2016, 2015, 2014), and Arizona State’s Mael Gilles, the Conference’s fourth-leading rebounder from a season ago. Seattle Storm head coach and UCLA graduate Noelle Quinn was also an assistant coach for Team Canada.
  • Colorado’s Mya Hollingshed, the program’s sixth all-time leading scorer and a two-time All-Pac-12 selection (2022, 2021), played for Puerto Rico, and UW’s Sami Whitcomb, who completed her sixth WNBA season with the New York Liberty, played for the bronze medalist Australians.
  • The Pac-12’s eight women’s basketball alumnae at the event in Sydney tied with the ACC for the most among all conferences and were two more than the Big Ten (6), three ahead of the Big 12 and Big East (5) and double the SEC (4).

PAC-12 IN THE PROS

  • Washington’s Kelsey Plum (first team), Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu (second team) and Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike (second team) were three of 10 players voted to the 2022 All-WNBA Team.
  • The Pac-12’s three All-WNBA Team members tied with the SEC for most among all conferences and the two leagues were the only ones with multiple selections.
  • It was the first time the Pac-12 has had a trio voted to the All-WNBA Team since 2001, when USC’s Lisa Leslie and UCLA’s Natalie Williams were on the first team and the Trojans’ Tina Thompson on the second team. The Conference had at least three All-WNBA picks in the first five years of the league (1997-2001) and had four selections in both 1999 and 2000 (Leslie, Thompson, Williams and USC’s Cynthia Cooper).
  • Plum, Ionescu and Ogwumike were also voted starters for the 2022 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game in July, the first time since 2003 the Pac-12 had a trio voted to start in the WNBA’s midseason showcase.
  • The Pac-12 had 20 former women’s basketball student-athletes on WNBA opening-day rosters entering the 2022 season. The conference was represented by seven of its 12 members and on 10 of 12 WNBA franchises.
  • In comparing conference totals, the Pac-12 was fourth behind the ACC, which entered the WNBA season with a total of 26 on rosters, the SEC (23) and Big Ten (22). Based on per-membership averages, the Pac-12 was second among all leagues with 1.67 per school (ACC - 1.73).
  • In addition to the former standouts on team rosters, the Pac-12 was the only collegiate league with multiple alumnae as WNBA head coaches. UCLA’s Noelle Quinn completed her second season leading the Seattle Storm and Stanford’s Vanessa Nygaard was hired to coach the Phoenix Mercury in late January.
  • The Pac-12 had three players selected in the 2022 WNBA Draft, including three of the first eight picks in Nyara Sabally (No. 5 - New York Liberty), Lexie Hull (No. 6 - Indiana Fever) and Mya Hollingshed (No. 8 - Las Vegas Aces). It was the fourth time the Pac-12 had three first-round selections (1997 College Draft, 2000 College Draft, 2020) and the second time it has boasted three of the draft’s first eight selections (2020). The conference has had multiple first rounders in six consecutive drafts, an active streak that leads all leagues by three years. The SEC has had multiple first rounders in three consecutive drafts.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)

Monday, November 7    
New Mexico State at Colorado Live Stream 11 a.m. PT
Northwestern at #20 Oregon Live Stream 3 p.m. PT
CSUN at California Live Stream 4 p.m. PT
Idaho at Utah Live Stream 4:30 p.m. PT
Utah Tech at Washington Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
Cal Poly at UCLA Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
Hawai'i at Oregon State Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
Northern Arizona at Arizona State Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
San Diego State at #2 Stanford Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Tuesday, November 8    
CSU Bakersfield at USC Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, November 9    
CSUN at #2 Stanford Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Thursday, November 10    
UC Riverside at UCLA Live Stream 11:30 a.m. PT
Northern Arizona at #19 Arizona Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
Seattle U at Oregon State Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Friday, November 11    
Utah Valley at Utah Live Stream 12:30 p.m. PT
Washington State at San Francisco WCC Network 1 p.m. PT
Grambling State at Arizona State Live Stream 1:30 p.m. PT
UC Davis at Washington Live Stream 5 p.m. PT
#2 Stanford at Pacific WCC Network 6 p.m. PT
Saturday, November 12    
Seattle U at Oregon Live Stream 11 a.m. PT
California vs. #9 Notre Dame
Citi Shamrock Classic; St. Louis, Mo.
NBC 1 p.m. PT
Jackson State at Colorado Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
Idaho State at USC Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, November 13    
Prairie View A&M at Washington State Pac-12 Network
Pac-12 Washington
noon PT
#2 Stanford at Portland ESPN2 2 p.m. PT
CSUN at #19 Arizona Live Stream 4 p.m. PT
Southeastern Louisiana at Utah Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Monday, November 14    
Oregon at Southern TBD 4:30 p.m. PT