Oct. 22, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Twelve-time defending Pac-12 champion Stanford Women's Basketball topped the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll for the 13th straight year, the conference announced Monday at Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media, held at Pac-12 Studios in San Francisco.
Stanford earned the maximum of 11 first-place votes and 121 points in the poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams, and the votes followed a point system of 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for first through 11th place votes.
California earned the remaining first-place vote and accumulated 109 points to land in the second spot. UCLA (100 points), USC (91) and Arizona State and Oregon State (67 points each) rounded out the top half of the poll.
The Cardinal reached its fifth straight Final Four last year, also winning its 12th straight Pac-12 regular season title and sixth straight Pac-12 Tournament crown en route. Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer enters her 27th season on The Farm in 2012-13, owning a 709-149 mark over that span, and an 861-200 overall record in 33 years as a head coach.
Stanford enters the 2012-13 campaign with a pair of program-record streaks ongoing. The Cardinal owns the nation's longest home winning streak, having won 79 games in a row at Maples Pavilion dating back to the start of the 2007-08 season, and has won a conference-record 78 straight games against Pac-12 schools.
After exhibition contests against Corban University (Nov. 1) and Vanguard University
(Nov. 3), Stanford opens the new season at Maples Pavilion Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. against Fresno State.
This year's Cardinal squad returns four starters from 2011-12's NCAA Final Four lineup that went 35-2 overall and 18-0 in the Pac-12, highlighted by a junior class featuring All-American and 2012-13 Wade Trophy candidate Chiney Ogwumike (15.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 58.3 FG pct., 45 blocks in 2011-12) and All-Pac-12 guard Toni Kokenis (9.5 ppg, 3.57 apg, Pac-12-best 2.24 assist-to-turnover ratio). Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle (8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 39.7 3-pt FG pct., team-leading 47 blocks) and sophomore guard Amber Orrange (4.8 ppg, 3.03 apg, 1.97 assist-to-turnover ratio), a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention last year, round out the returning starters.
That group will be bolstered by a pack of returners headlined by sophomores Taylor Greenfield
(3.6 ppg, 42 3-pt FGs, 36.5 3-pt. FG pct.), a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention, sharpshooter Bonnie Samuelson
(4.6 ppg, team-leading 51 3-pt FGs, 37.3 3-pt FG pct.) and guard Jasmine Camp
, who started four of the team's first eight games, highlighted by a 14-point, three-assist effort at Connecticut on Nov. 21 before a foot injury prematurely ended her season.
Also returning from injuries will be redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef, who saw action in just three games before a foot injury curtailed her season, and redshirt freshman guard Alex Green, who is returning from an Achilles' injury suffered last November.
Junior guard Sara James (1.5 ppg, 10 3-pt FGs) and sophomore forward Erica Payne (1.1 ppg, 50.0 FG pct.) will challenge for spots in the lineup this fall while the three-woman freshman class of forward Alyson Beebe (Santa Maria, Calif. / Saint Joseph), forward/center Tess Picknell (Medford, Ore. / South Medford) and guard Kiran Lakhian (Plano, Texas / Plano West) begin their careers on The Farm.
2011-12 PAC-12 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES' POLL
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Stanford (11) 121
2. California (1) 109
3. UCLA 100
4. USC 91
5. Arizona State 67
Oregon State 67
7. Utah 56
8. Washington 54
9. Colorado 49
10. Washington State 40
11. Oregon 20
12. Arizona 18