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Pac-12 Conference

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Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Rundown - November 22, 2022

Nov 22, 2022
Photo courtesy UCLA Athletics

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PAC-12 RUNDOWN

  • .927 » Pac-12 teams have combined to win 51 of the league’s first 55 games this season. The Conference’s .927 non-conference winning percentage (51-4) is No. 1 in the nation, ahead of the ACC (.853, 58-10), SEC (.826, 57-12), Big Ten (.806, 54-13), Big 12 (.786, 33-9) and Big East (.778, 35-10).
  • 124 » In the league’s first of two Top 25 wins last week, then-No. 25 Utah routed then-No. 16 Oklahoma in Salt Lake City, 124-78. The 124 points tied a Ute program record from 1979, are tied for fourth in Pac-12 history, and are the most scored against a ranked team in regulation since at least 1999-2000. A 133-130, quadruple-overtime win for No. 5 Kentucky against No. 9 Baylor on Dec. 6, 2013 is the only game this century in which more points were scored against ranked opponents.
  • 81.8 » Led by two of the nation’s top three scoring offenses in Utah (100.2, 2nd) and Arizona (93.2, 3rd), Pac-12 programs are collectively averaging a national-best 81.8 points per game. The Conference also leads the country in field goal percentage (.468) and is second to the Big Sky (.349) in 3-point field goal percentage (.343).
  • 5 » In the midst of a run to a Battle 4 Atlantis title that featured wins over South Dakota State (72-65), then-No. 11 Tennessee (80-63) and Marquette (66-58, OT), UCLA entered the AP rankings at No. 20 on Monday, the fifth Pac-12 program in the poll (No. 2 Stanford, No. 15 Arizona, No. 17 Utah, No. 18 Oregon). The Conference has a greater proportion of its teams ranked (41.7 percent) than any league in the country and has five teams in the poll for the first time since Nov. 23, 2021.

STRONG START

  • As part of its 51-4 start to the season, the Pac-12 is 5-3 against Power 6 foes, 2-2 against AP Top 25 opponents, 9-1 on the road, 6-1 against preseason league favorites and 5-3 against 2022 NCAA Tournament teams.
  • The Pac-12 is one of three conferences with a winning record against Power 6 opponents along with the ACC (9-7) and Big East (6-2) and one of two with a .500 or better record against ranked teams (Big East, 6-1).
  • Only two teams this season have scored 100+ against non-conference, Power 6 opponents and both are in the Pac-12. In addition to Utah’s 124-point outburst against Oklahoma, Oregon routed Northwestern, 100-57, on the season’s opening day.
  • It’s the first time a league has had two different teams put up 100+ against major conference opponents in the same regular season since the ACC in 2018-19, which had Notre Dame beat DePaul (101-77) and Iowa (105-71) in November and Miami beat Alabama (101-74) in December.

STUNNING SUCCESS OF LATE

  • Coming into the year, and not including the pandemic-impacted season of 2020-21 that featured inconsistent non-conference scheduling, the Pac-12 owned two of the three best regular-season, non-conference winning percentages in women’s college basketball since 1999-00.
    • Big 12 - 2011-12 - .861 (99-16)
    • Pac-12 - 2016-17 - .848 (117-21)
    • Pac-12 - 2019-20 - .839 (115-22)
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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; seven total).

NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN

  • Pac-12 women’s basketball programs signed 29 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period for the Class of 2023, 19 of whom are in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 (65.6 percent), including three in the top 10.
  • Five of the nation’s top 20 classes have been put together by Conference programs, including three of the top 10 - No. 3 Arizona, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 USC, No. 16 Washington, No. 18 Oregon.
  • On Nov. 15, USC signed the nation’s top recruit and a local product in JuJu Watkins out of Sierra Canyon High School. The third time in the past five seasons the country’s No. 1 recruit has picked a Pac-12 program (Lauren Betts, Stanford - 2022; Haley Jones, Stanford - 2019), it’s the first time in nine recruiting cycles that the No. 1 recruit has signed with two different schools in the same league in back-to-back years (A’ja Wilson, South Carolina - 2014; Mercedes Russell, Tennessee - 2013).
  • 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 (No. 1 Lauren Betts, STAN; No. 2 Kiki Rice, UCLA; No. 6 Timea Gardiner, OSU; No. 7 Chance Gray, ORE; No. 8 Aaliyah Gayles, USC; No. 9 Maya Nnaji, ARIZ; No. 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 - No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 5 Stanford, No. 8 Arizona and No. 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 (1,162 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
#20 UCLA 0-0 6-0
#17 Utah 0-0 5-0
#15 Arizona 0-0 4-0
Arizona State 0-0 4-0
#18 Oregon 0-0 4-0
Oregon State 0-0 4-0
USC 0-0 4-0
Washington 0-0 4-0
#2 Stanford 0-0 5-1
Colorado 0-0 4-1
Washington State 0-0 4-1
California 0-0 3-1

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)

Wednesday, November 1523    
Penn at USC Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
No. 17 Utah vs. Ole Miss
Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship; Nassau, Bahamas
FloHoops 4 p.m. PT
Thursday, November 24    
No. 18 Oregon vs. No. 8 North Carolina
Phil Knight Invitational; Portland, Ore.
ESPNU 2 p.m. PT
Friday, November 25    
Arizona State vs. No. 7 Notre Dame/American
Goombay Splash; Bimini, Bahamas
FloHoops 1:15 p.m. PT
Washington vs. Fordham
Las Vegas Holiday Classic; Las Vegas, Nev
Be The Beast 1:30 p.m. PT
No. 2 Stanford vs. FGCU
Rainbow Wahine Showdown; Honolulu, Hawai’i
  2 p.m. PT
Jackson State at No. 20 UCLA Live Stream 2 p.m. PT
No. 15 Arizona vs. California Baptist
The Dana on Mission Bay Thanksgiving Tournament; San Diego, Calif.
  4 p.m. PT
Colorado at No. 23 Tennessee SEC Network 4 p.m. PT
Oregon State vs. No. 9 Iowa
Phil Knight Legacy; Portland, Ore.
ESPNU 5:30 p.m. PT
California at Loyola Marymount
LMU Thanksgiving Classic; Los Angeles, Calif
WCC Network 6:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, November 26    
Utah State at USC Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
Arizona State vs. No. 7 Notre Dame/American
Goombay Splash; Bimini, Bahamas
FloHoops 1:15 p.m. PT
Washington vs. Santa Clara
Las Vegas Holiday Classic; Las Vegas, Nev
Be The Beast 1:30 p.m. PT
No. 2 Stanford vs. Grambling State
Rainbow Wahine Showdown; Honolulu, Hawai’i
  2 p.m. PT
California vs. Montana
LMU Thanksgiving Classic; Los Angeles, Calif
  3:30 p.m. PT
No. 15 Arizona at San Diego
The Dana on Mission Bay Thanksgiving Tournament; San Diego, Calif.
WCC Network 4 p.m. PT
Sunday, November 27    
Colorado at Chicago State FloHoops 10 a.m. PT
Oregon State vs. No. 3 UConn/Duke
Phil Knight Legacy; Portland, Ore.
ABC/ESPN2 10 a.m./7 p.m. PT
No. 18 Oregon vs. No. 5 Iowa State/Michigan State
Phil Knight Invitational; Portland, Ore.
ESPN2 10 a.m./4:30 p.m. PT
No. 2 Stanford at Hawai'i
Rainbow Wahine Showdown; Honolulu, Hawai’i
ESPN+ 4:30 p.m. PT
Monday, November 28    
South Dakota State at Washington State Live Stream 7 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
Nov. 21 Charisma Osborne, UCLA Raegan Beers, OSU