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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

October 30, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Pac-12 media tabbed California as favorite in preseason poll

Pac12LogoThe Pac-12 press made its preseason predictions, selecting Cal to win the conference. Washington was picked to finish fifth while G Jazmine Davis was named to the preseason all-Pac-12 team.

I had Stanford winning the conference in my poll entry simply because of history and having not seen anyone play or practice this season, which is why I’m not a fan of preseason polls. UW was fourth in my poll and Washington State was seventh. I had Colorado at the bottom and the final tally had Arizona to finish last, again.

For my preseason all-Pac-12 team, I had Washington PG Kelsey Plum over Davis. I was in line with the finally tally on Cal PG Brittany Boyd and F Reshanda Gray and Oregon F Jillian Alleyne — can’t wait to see what first-year UO coach Kelly Graves has done to improve her game. But I had Oregon State G Sydney Wiese as my fifth selection.

Picking Wiese breaks a philosophy I have about naming a true five-player team, however considerations like OSU C Ruth Hamblin and Utah F/C Emily Potter aren’t consistent or better than the five players on my team. If I were playing my team, I’d move Wiese, a 6-foot sophomore, to the wing and have Gray go to work with Alleyne inside.

Here’s the official release from the Pac-12:

Media votes Cal as Pac-12 favorite in preseason poll

SAN FRANCISCO – In a polling of media who cover Pac-12 women’s basketball, CALIFORNIA was voted the preseason favorite to win the league crown in 2014-15. The Golden Bears, who received nine first-place votes and collected 194 points, edged out STANFORD, who was second in the polling with 190 points and seven first-place votes. OREGON STATE was third, receiving one first-place vote and 162 points.

It is the first time since 1999 that STANFORD was not picked No. 1 in the preseason by the media. The polling dates back to at least 1998 (based on available records). It is also the first time Cal has been selected first and is the highest the Beavers have ever placed in the media polling.

Earning a spot on the preseason all-conference team were a pair of Golden Bears in Brittany Boyd (Berkeley, Calif.) and Reshanda Gray (Los Angeles). Joining them are WASHINGTON’s Jazmine Davis (San Jose, Calif.) and Stanford’s Amber Orrange (Houston, Texas). OREGON’s Jillian Alleyne  (Fontana, Calif.) was the only non-senior voted to the five-player squad.

It is the second-straight year two Golden Bears have been selected to the preseason squad. Boyd was on the media preseason team last year after leading Cal to its first-ever NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2013, after tying for the program’s first-ever Pac-12 regular-season crown. Last year, she averaged 14.7 points per game while leading the Conference with 5.97 assists per game. Gray had a career season last year, averaging 16.8 ppg and 8.8 rpg. The duo led the Bears to a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

Davis’ selection to the preseason squad this season is her third straight. A staple in the Huskies’ lineup since arriving on campus, she is attempting to earn a spot on the All-Pac-12 team for the fourth-straight year, which would make her the first-ever Husky to achieve that feat. In 2012, she was the first Husky to be voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches since 1988.

Alleyne and Orrange are first-time honorees on the all-preseason team. Alleyne was the nation’s rebounding leader last year, averaging 16.2 rpg. She helped the Ducks return to the postseason for the first time since 2010, advancing to the second round of the WNIT. Oregon will have a new head coach at the helm, with Kelly Graves taking over this season.

Orrange also had a strong 2013-14 campaign. She was the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.3 ppg, but also directed the offense, averaging 4.5 apg, while helping the Cardinal to its sixth NCAA Women’s Final Four in seven years.

UCLA was fourth in the polling with 144 points, followed by WASHINGTON (126) and ARIZONA STATE (111). The Bruins welcome the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation this year, while ASU is looking to build on a successful campaign that saw the Sun Devils advance to the NCAA Tournament after a two-year absence.

Defending Pac-12 Tournament Champion USC was picked to finish seventh, collecting 106 points, with WASHINGTON STATE garnering 98 points for eighth in the polling. Ninth were the Ducks with 74 points, followed by UTAH in 10th (57), COLORADO in 11th (42) and ARIZONA in 12th (22).

The 2014-15 regular season tips off Friday, Nov. 14. The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament is slated to be held Thursday-Sunday, March 5-8 in Seattle’s KeyArena. For more information, the latest news and the full schedule, visit pac-12.com.

2014-15 PAC-12 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL

Rank Team (First Place) Points
1

California (9)

194

2 Stanford (7) 190
3 Oregon State (1) 162
4 UCLA 144
5 Washington 126
6 Arizona State 111
7 USC 106
8 Wasington State 98
9 Oregon 74
10 Utah 57
11 Colorado 42
12 Arizona 22

2014-15 PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 (MEDIA)

Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown

Jillian Alleyne

Oregon

F

Jr.

Fontana, Calif.

Brittany Boyd    

California G Sr.

Berkeley, Calif.

Jazmine Davis    

Washintgon G Sr.

San Jose, Calif.

Reshanda Gray

California F Sr.

Los Angeles, Calif.

Amber Orrange

Stanford G Sr.

Houston, Texas

Comments | More in Pac-12, Polls, Washington | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kelsey Plum, Sydney Wiese

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