Pac-12 Women's Basketball Weekly Rundown - December 13, 2022
- .849 » Pac-12 teams have combined to win 90 of the league’s first 106 non-conference games this season. The Conference’s .849 non-conference winning percentage (90-16) is No. 1 in the nation, ahead of the Big East (.811, 73-17), ACC (.809, 123-29), SEC (.803, 114-28), Big 12 (.774, 72-21) and Big Ten (.730, 92-34).
- 40 » Washington State’s Charlisse Leger-Walker became the 25th player in Pac-12 history to score 40 points in a game when she put up that many on 14-of-26 shooting at Washington on Dec. 11. The fifth-best scoring performance in the country this season was the first 40-point outing in the Pac-12 since Arizona’s Aari McDonald scored 44 at Texas on Nov. 17, 2019. Leger-Walker’s performance was the 35th all-time 40-point effort in Pac-12 history, the 21st to come in Conference play and first since Washington’s Amber Melgoza had 40 against Stanford on Feb. 23, 2018. Leger-Walker is eighth in the country in scoring (22.4 points per game).
- 8.75 and 57.1 » No. 16 Oregon has a pair of individual NCAA category leaders in Te-Hina Paopao and Endyia Rogers. Paopao, who has 35 assists against just four turnovers this season, leads the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (8.75), while Rogers tops the nation in 3-point field percentage after making 20-of-35 (.571) from beyond the arc.
- 5 » For the fourth consecutive week, five Pac-12 teams are in the AP Top 25 in No. 2 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA, No. 13 Utah, No. 16 Oregon and No. 20 Arizona. The Conference has a greater proportion of its teams ranked (41.7 percent) than any league in the country. Utah’s ranking is its best since it came in at No. 12 on March 10, 2008 and UCLA is back in the top 10 for the first time since March 15, 2021 (No. 9).
- 84 of 86 » At least five Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the same poll 86 times out of 830 total polls over 47 seasons. All but two of those occurrences (84) have come since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, which is the second-most in the country over that span behind the SEC’s 101. The ACC is third with 76 AP polls since 2015-16 featuring five or more league programs. Nov. 8 and Nov. 13, 2006 are the only two weeks outside the past eight seasons in which the AP rankings featured at least five Pac-12 programs (Stanford, Arizona State, California, USC, UCLA).
- 2 » Two of the 12 remaining unbeaten teams in the nation are from the Pac-12 in USC and No. 13 Utah. The Trojans are 9-0 for just the third time since 1985-86 (2015-16, 2018-19) and Utah (8-0) has won its first eight games for the second time as a Conference member (2018-19).
- There have been 98 100-point performances in the country this season during non-conference play, but only two teams have scored that many against Power 6 opponents and both are in the Pac-12.
- In the league’s first of three Top 25 wins this season, then-No. 25 Utah routed then-No. 16 Oklahoma in Salt Lake City on Nov. 16, 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.
- In addition to Utah’s 124-point outburst, 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.
- Utah is the nation’s No. 2 scoring team, averaging 94.4 points per game. The Utes also lead the country in field goal percentage (52.9) and are tied for first in assists per game (21.0).
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 (.800), 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-setting 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 (1,167 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.
- Utah played at Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 1 and the final two games are scheduled this week with 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|
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)
|Wednesday, December 14|
|Colorado at #13 Utah*||Pac-12 Mountain||2 p.m. PT|
|Texas Southern at #20 Arizona
Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series
|Pac-12 Arizona||6 p.m. PT|
|Thursday, December 15|
|Eastern Washington at #16 Oregon||Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|#10 UCLA at USC*||Pac-12 Los Angeles||7 p.m. PT|
|Friday, December 16|
|Alcorn State at Colorado||Live Stream||5 p.m. PT|
|UC San Diego at California||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, December 17|
|UC Riverside at #13 Utah||Live Stream||11 a.m. PT|
|Jackson State at Washington State||Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
|Prairie View A&M at Arizona State||Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
|CSU Bakersfield at #10 UCLA||Live Stream||2 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. Nevada
Maui Jim Maui Classic; Kihei, Hawai'i
|Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, December 18|
|Charleston at #16 Oregon||Live Stream||noon PT|
|Florida A&M at California
Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series
|Pac-12 Bay Area||noon PT|
|Liberty at Washington
Husky Classic; Seattle, Wash.
|Live Stream||noon PT|
|Tennessee at #2 Stanford||ABC||noon PT|
|USC vs. Texas
Pac-12 US LBM Coast-to-Coast Challenge; Dallas, Texas
|ESPN2||12:30 p.m. PT|
|#20 Arizona vs. #18 Baylor
Pac-12 US LBM Coast-to-Coast Challenge, Dallas, Texas
|ESPN2||4:30 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State vs. #11 LSU
Maui Jim Maui Classic; Kihei, Hawai'i
|Live Stream||8 p.m. PT|
|Monday, December 19|
|Washington State at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||ESPN+||5 p.m. PT|
PAC-12 PERFORMANCE AWARDS PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA (Weekly Awards History)