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Pac-12 Conference

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Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Rundown - November 15, 2022

Nov 15, 2022
Photo courtesy Eli Rehmer/Utah Athletics

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PAC-12 RUNDOWN

  • Pac-12 teams combined to go a national-best 29-1 during the first eight days of the 2022-23 season (Nov. 7-14). The Conference’s .967 winning percentage is ahead of the ACC (.949, 37-2), SEC (.921, 35-3), Big 12 (.889, 16-2), Big Ten (.882, 30-4) and Big East (.800, 20-5).
  • The Pac-12 boasts four of the nation’s top 10 offenses in Arizona (100.0 ppg, 4th), Utah (94.7 ppg, 8th), Stanford (93.8 ppg, 9th) and Oregon (91.0 ppg, t10th). The Big 12 and SEC, with two apiece, are the only other leagues with multiple teams in the top 10.
  • The Pac-12’s second week is highlighted by a meeting of the past two national champions when #2 Stanford hosts #1 South Carolina on Sunday on ABC in the 63rd all-time matchup between the AP’s top two teams dating to 1979.
  • It will also be the 22nd all-time meeting between the two previous national champions and first since Feb. 1, 2018 (#1 UConn 83, #7 South Carolina 58;  Columbia, S.C.). Of the 21 prior contests between national champions from the previous two seasons, 16 occured between 1983-84 and 2002-03. Sunday will be only the fourth such meeting in the last 20 seasons.
  • Also featured on the schedule, #25 Utah will host #16 Oklahoma on Wednesday on Pac-12 Networks. The Utes, in the AP poll for the first time since Feb. 4, 2019, are hosting a ranked non-conference opponent for just the third time as a member of the Pac-12 (#15 Nebraska 75, Utah 69 - Nov. 15, 2013; #21 BYU 85, Utah 80 - Dec. 4, 2021). It will be Utah’s first non-conference home game in which both teams are ranked since the #17 Utes beat #16 Iowa in the NCAA Tournament, 78-69, on March 19, 2001.

STRONG START

  • Pac-12 programs have combined to win 29 of the league’s first 30 games, including going a perfect 4-0 on the road, 3-0 against preseason conference favorites and 1-1 against Power 6 foes.
  • On the season’s first day, Oregon routed Northwestern, 100-57, just the fourth time in the past two seasons a team has scored 100+ against a non-conference Power 6 opponent. Two of those four offensive outbursts have been by Pac-12 teams, as Utah beat Xavier, 106-71, on Nov. 13, 2021. Denver needed four overtimes to beat Butler, 100-95, last Dec. 10 and Notre Dame beat Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament, 108-64, on March 21, 2022.
  • Collectively, the Pac-12 leads all leagues in scoring (85.5 ppg), field goal percentage (.483), assists (18.6 apg), blocks (5.50 bpg) and free throw percentage (.736). The league's .346 3-point field goal percentage is fourth nationally and tops among Power 6 conferences.
  • The Pac-12 is the only league in the country without a true road loss (4-0) and is one of three with a .500 or better record against Power 6 opponents (1-1), along with the ACC (2-1) and Big East (2-0).
  • Since 2015-16, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (7), non-conference winning percentage (.799), NCAA Tournament wins (76), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.685) and WBCA All-Americans (15).

MAJOR MATCHUPS

  • The jewel of college basketball's non-conference calendar is Sunday's game on ABC between the #2 Cardinal and #1 South Carolina.
  • The 63rd all-time meeting between the AP's two top teams is the 15th to feature a Pac-12 program (Stanford - 10; USC - 4) and sixth to occur in the Pac-12 footprint. In Maples Pavilion, #2 UConn beat #1 Stanford on Dec. 29, 2012 (61-35) and #1 Stanford beat #2 Alabama on Nov. 17, 1996 (74-65). The 1989 NCAA Championship featured a victory for #1 Tennessee over #2 Auburn (76-60) in Tacoma, Wash., #2 Louisiana Tech beat #1 USC in Los Angeles in 1983 (58-56) and #1 Louisiana Tech defeatd #2 Tennessee (79-59) for the AIAW Championship in Eugene, Ore. in 1981.
  • It will also be just the fourth matchup between national champions from the previous two seasons in the past 20 years, joining games between Texas A&M and UConn on Dec. 6, 2011, UConn and Baylor on Jan. 13, 2014, and South Carolina and UConn on Feb. 1, 2018.
  • #25 Utah’s date with #16 Oklahoma on Wednesday will be just the seventh of the season pitting a pair of top-25 programs. The Conference was 5-12 against AP ranked opponents during non-conference play last season.
  • Utah is seeking its first non-conference victory over a Top 25 team since it beat #25 Montana, 78-70, in the WNIT on March 14, 2007. The Utes haven’t had such a victory in the regular season since beating #23 NC State, 73-62, in Las Vegas on Dec. 17, 2005.

NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN

  • Pac-12 programs have signed 29 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, 19 of whom are in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100, including three in the top 10.
  • On Tuesday, USC signed the nation’s top recruit and a local product in JuJu Watkins out of Sierra Canyon High School. It’s the third time in the past five seasons the country’s No. 1 recruit has picked a Pac-12 program (Lauren Betts, STAN - 2022; Haley Jones, STAN - 2019).
  • In class rankings last updated on Nov. 9, prior to the start of the early signing period, the Pac-12 had five top-25 classes in Arizona (#2), Stanford (#4), Washington (#14), Oregon (#16) and Colorado (#22).
  • Pac-12 programs put together record-stting recruiting classes last season, signing 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 from 2022 were put together by Conference programs, including each of the top three and five of the top eight - #1 UCLA, #2 Oregon, #3 Oregon State, #5 Stanford, #8 Arizona and #14 Washington.
  • 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 (1,161 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.

PAC-12/SWAC LEGACY SERIES

  • The first three of six Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series women’s basketball games took place during the season’s opening week when Arizona State hosted Grambling State on Nov. 11, Washington State hosted Prairie View A&M on Nov. 13 and Oregon played at Southern on Nov. 14.
  • The final three games are scheduled in December with Utah at Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 1), Texas Southern at Arizona (Dec. 14) and Florida A&M at California (Dec. 18).
  • 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.

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.

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
#2 Stanford 0-0 4-0
#21 Oregon 0-0 3-0
UCLA 0-0 3-0
#25 Utah 0-0 3-0
Washington State 0-0 3-0
#18 Arizona 0-0 2-0
Arizona State 0-0 2-0
Colorado 0-0 2-0
Oregon State 0-0 2-0
USC 0-0 2-0
Washington 0-0 2-0
California 0-0 1-1

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)

Tuesday, November 15    
Colorado vs. Louisiana
Preseason WNIT; Lubbock, Texas
ESPN+ 2:30 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Montana State ESPN+ 6 p.m. PT
USC at San Diego WCC Network 6 p.m. PT
Wednesday, November 16    
Colorado at Texas Tech
Preseason WNIT
ESPN+ 5 p.m. PT
#16 Oklahoma at #25 Utah Pac-12 Network
Pac-12 Mountain
6 p.m. PT
Idaho at California Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Cal Poly at #2 Stanford Pac-12 Network
Pac-12 Bay Area
8 p.m. PT
Thursday, November 17    
UC Irvine at Washington Pac-12 Washington 5 p.m. PT
Eastern Washington at Oregon State Live Stream 6 p.m. PT
Friday, November 18    
Washington State vs. BYU
Northshore Showcase, Laie, Hawai'i
TBD 5 p.m. PT
Loyola Marymount at #18 Arizona Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, November 19    
Air Force at Colorado Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
Prairie View A&M at Oregon State Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
UCLA vs. South Dakota State
Battle 4 Atlantis; Paradise Island, Bahamas
FloHoops 2 p.m. PT
USC at San Francisco WCC Network 2 p.m. PT
Sunday, November 20    
UCLA vs. #11 Tennessee/Rutgers
Battle 4 Atlantis; Paradise Island, Bahamas
FloHoops 9 a.m. PT/2 p.m PT
#1 South Carolina at #2 Stanford ABC noon PT
Arizona State at New Mexico Mountain West Network 1 p.m. PT
Long Beach State at #18 Arizona Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
California at Saint Mary's WCC Network 2 p.m. PT
Idaho State at Washington Pac-12 Network
Pac-12 Washington
5 p.m. PT
Monday, November 21    
UCLA vs. TBD
Battle 4 Atlantis; Paradise Island, Bahamas
FloHoops TBD
#25 Utah vs. Alabama
Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship
Nassau, Bahamas
FloHoops 11:30 a.m. PT
Washington State vs. Troy
Northshore Showcase; Laie, Hawai'i
TBD 3 p.m. PT
Southern Utah at #21 Oregon Live Stream 6 p.m. PT

PAC-12 PERFORMANCE AWARDS PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA

  Player of the Week Freshman of the Week
Nov. 14 Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU Grace VanSlooten, ORE