Media vote Oregon State as Pac-12 regular-season favorite
In a polling of media members who cover Pac-12 women’s basketball, Oregon State was voted the preseason favorite to win the 2015-16 Pac-12 regular-season title. The Beavers received all but one first-place vote and 287 points to nab the top spot. Arizona State, who was second in the polling, received the final first-place vote and 247 points, just two points ahead of Stanford to round out the top three. Media members also selected a preseason All-Pac-12 team that features six players due to a tie.
2015-16 PAC-12 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL
|Team (First Place)||Points|
|1||Oregon State (23)||287|
|2||Arizona State (1)||247|
A trio of seniors and a trio of juniors comprise the media’s Preseason All-Pac-12 team. Oregon senior Jillian Alleyne (Fontana, Calif.) is the only player to make a repeat appearance on the squad after being voted to the team last year. Alleyne is a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree and is second all-time in Conference history with 1,344 rebounds. She also ranks 37th all-time in scoring (1,637). She is currently on pace to break the league’s career rebounding average record, averaging 14.5 rpg over her first three seasons.
2015-16 PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 (MEDIA)
|Sophie Brunner||Arizona State||F||Jr.||Freeport||Ill.|
|Ruth Hamblin||Oregon State||C||Sr.||British Columbia||Canada|
|Sydney Wiese||Oregon State||G||Jr.||Phoenix||Ariz.|
OSU’s Ruth Hamblin (British Columbia, Canada) and Sydney Wiese (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the Beavers to the program’s first-ever Conference regular-season title and the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament. Both were All-Pac-12 selections last year, helping Oregon State advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Hamblin was also the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.
Washington’s Kelsey Plum (Poway, Calif.) is one of the most prolific scorers in the country and is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection. She has scored over 700 points in each of her first two seasons and currently owns the second-best career scoring average in Conference history at 21.8 ppg.
UCLA senior Nirra Fields (Montreal, Canada) and Arizona State junior Sophie Brunner (Freeport, Ill.) were both All-Pac-12 picks last year, as well, with Fields earning a spot on the team for the second-straight year. Brunner helped the Sun Devils to a second-place finish in the Conference last year, just one game out of tying for first. The Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Bruins ended the season winning the WNIT title.
Led by 2015 Pac-12 Coach of the Year Scott Rueck, the Beavers are coming off the best season in program history, winning a team-record 16 league games to capture the Conference’s regular-season crown. It also won a team-record 27 games last year and four starters from that team return for the 2015-16 campaign.
ASU looks to vie for the Pac-12 title again this season, welcoming back four starters. The Cardinal were not the No. 1 seed in the Conference Tournament for the first time in the history of the event, but ended up winning the title again, also advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Fourth in the polling was California with 205 points. The Golden Bears will be without WNBA Draft picks Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd. It will be the first time in head coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s tenure she will be without either of them, but has a strong core returning.
Following Cal is UCLA in fifth with 203 points, then Washington with 167 points. The Huskies earned a NCAA Tournament berth last year for the first time since 2007. Two years removed from a surprising Pac-12 Tournament win, USC is seventh with 140 points, while Oregon enters year two with head coach Kelly Graves.
Ninth in the polling is Colorado with 88 points. The Buffs has just one senior on the squad and seven underclassmen. Accumulating 75 points and picked 10th, Washington State will have to deal without All-Pac-12 players Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley. Utah is 11th with 61 points and are under the direction of first-year head coach Lynne Roberts. Rounding out the polling is Arizona in 12th place with 36 points. The Wildcats welcome back three starters and look to overcome injuries in previous years.
The 2015-16 regular season is nearing, tipping off on Friday, Nov. 13. The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place March 3-6, 2016 in Seattle at KeyArena.