Oct. 22, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- The first-ever Pac-12 Media Day for women's basketball was held Monday at the Pac-12 Networks studio in downtown San Francisco. Head Coach Kevin McGuff and senior guard Kristi Kingma represented the Huskies.
Coach McGuff and Kingma circulated and met with media as well as filming content for the Pac-12 Networks. The Pac-12 Networks are scheduled to air 61 women's basketball games this season, giving the conference unprecedented national exposure.
Washington was particularly involved in Monday's events with the site of the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament in Seattle this year. The 2013 Pac-12 Tournament will take place March 7-9 at Key Arena. The tournament will be at a different time and place than the men this season and all games will be carried live on TV.
Kingma returns for her fifth year after missing all of 2011-12 with a knee injury. When speaking to the media, Kingma explained how the injury was a blessing in disguise.
"I really learned a lot from having the year off," said Kingma. "It gave me a chance to see basketball from the other side and appreciate what I have. I learned that I am tougher than I thought I was and how much I love basketball. Now when we have a tough practice, I think back to last year and how I would have given anything to be back on the court."
Kingma also remarked on the new culture that Coach McGuff and his staff have instilled in their year and change at Washington.
"Our coaches have created a culture where the team feels like family. We are working extremely hard and although the coaches push us, we know they have our back."
Coach McGuff understands that every new coach wants to change the culture, but his challenge was finding a tangible way to measure if it was working.
"I gave every player on the team three goals at each game," said McGuff. "If it was the star player, the goals might have been points, rebounds and blocks, but even if it was someone not expecting to play, they had goals too. That person might have the goal of being the first off the bench during timeouts for a high five because being a good teammate is important to what we are doing here too."
Both Kingman and McGuff were also impressed with the new Pac-12 studios. Located in downtown San Francisco, the studios have been open less than a year and come equipped with top-of-the-line technology.
As part of the media day, the coaches' poll for the preseason was announced. Washington was picked eighth in a conference that is expected to be tightly bunched. Stanford was picked to win the Pac-12, followed by California, UCLA and USC.
The full results to the poll are below.
2011-12 PAC-12 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES' POLL
Team (First Place) Points
1. Stanford (11) 121
2. California (1) 109
3. UCLA 100
4. USC 91
T5. Arizona State 67
T5. Oregon State 67
7. Utah 56
8. Washington 54
9. Colorado 49
10. Washington State 40
11. Oregon 20
12. Arizona 18