Oct. 22, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The 2009-10 University of Washington women's basketball team was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-10 Conference in a vote among league coaches.
Stanford, the defending Pac-10 champion and Final Four participant, was the clear favorite to defend their title in a near-unanimous vote. Arizona State, picked to finish third, also received a first-place vote.
Coach Tia Jackson said she was not concerned about the preseason poll. She remained confident that with the work her team put in over the summer and during preseason, they have the ability to make a statement.
"Overall, the Pac-10 is going to be a competitive conference this year," Jackson said. "It's really anyone's game. Somebody had to get picked last, and it just happened to be us. Regardless of the poll, we're going into the season ready to play our style of basketball."
Washington returns 12 players this season, including leading scorer Sami Whitcomb at 12.8 ppg, compared to last year, when the team had to balance the addition of eight newcomers.
The following is the complete poll, including total points (first-place votes are in parentheses):
1. Stanford (9) - 81
2. California - 67
3. Arizona State (1) - 64
4. UCLA - 63
5. USC - 48
6. Washington State - 33
7. Oregon State - 29
8. Oregon - 23
9. Arizona - 22
10. Washington - 20
Washington will open the 2009-10 season with a pair of exhibition games, starting Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. against Seattle Pacific University at Bank of America Arena. The regular season begins on Nov. 14 at Portland State.