Nov. 7, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Two nights away from the curtain rising on the 2012-13 women's basketball season, Stanford topped the Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll, the conference announced Wednesday.
The Cardinal received 12 of the 14 first-place votes from media members that cover the Pac-12, accumulating a total of 166 points. California received the remaining two first-place votes and ranked second with 155 points. UCLA (136 points), USC (123), Oregon State (106) and Arizona State (100) rounded out the top half of the poll.
Washington (80), Utah (72), Colorado (57), Washington State (47), Oregon (25) and Arizona (22) filled out seventh through 12th spots.
The results of the media's voting for the Preseason All-Pac-12 Team was also announced Wednesday. Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike was the team's only unanimous selection, and was joined by Layshia Clarendon (California), Jazmine Davis (Washington), Chucky Jeffery (Colorado), Markel Walker (UCLA) and Davellyn Whyte (Arizona). The team ended up with six members when two players tied for the fifth spot in the voting.
Stanford begins the 2012-13 campaign Friday night, hosting Fresno State for a 7 p.m. tip at Maples Pavilion, a place the Cardinal currently owns a national-best 79-game winning streak. The Cardinal closes the weekend Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest at Santa Clara.
The Cardinal registered a pair of exhibition victories last weekend over Corban University and Vanguard University.
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 2012-13 Associated Press Preseason All-American and 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.
Sophomores Taylor Greenfield
, a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention last year, and Bonnie Samuelson
also return, along with redshirt junior Mikaela Ruef
, who was limited to three games last season with a foot injury.
The Cardinal faces one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2012-13 beginning with Friday's opener. The campaign includes matchups with eight NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including national champion Baylor and fellow national semifinalist Connecticut. Stanford will face two NCAA Tournament teams at the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic from Nov. 16-18, taking on Baylor Nov. 16 and UT Martin Nov. 18, and will travel to SEC powers South Carolina (Dec. 19) and Tennessee (Dec. 22) before the Christmas holiday. The non-conference schedule, which also includes a trip to Gonzaga (Dec. 2), concludes Dec. 29 at Maples Pavilion with a highly-anticipated meeting between the Cardinal and the Connecticut Huskies on ESPNU.