Oct. 29, 2003
WALNUT CREEK, Calif -- With five returning starters from last year's Pac-10 Champion squad, the Stanford Cardinal has been tabbed as the team to beat in the 2003-04 Pac-10 Conference race, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover women's basketball in the league.
Stanford, which finished 27-5 overall and 15-3 in Pac-10 play, won the 2003 Conference Championship, captured the Pac-10 Tournament trophy and advanced to second round of the NCAA Championship. The Cardinal garnered all 18 first-place votes and totaled 180 points as the media's undisputed pick to win it all. Arizona, which tied for second in the Pac-10 last season and was the Pac-10 Tournament runner-up, was tabbed to finish second in the preseason poll with 142 points. Just two points behind, Washington was picked to finish third in the league after tying for second place with the Wildcats last year. Both the Wildcats and Huskies participated in the 2003 NCAA Championship.
This is the fourth straight year Stanford has been picked by the media as the Conference preseason favorite, however, it marks the first time the Cardinal received every first-place vote since the 1997-98 season. The Pac-10 media poll has correctly predicted the Conference champion in five of the last six seasons.
Five returning All-Pac-10 players were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team: UCLA sophomore Nikki Blue, USC senior Ebony Hoffman, Washington senior Giuliana Mendiola (2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year), Arizona sophomore Shawntinice Polk (2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year) and Stanford senior All-American Nicole Powell.
2003-04 Preseason Pac-10 Women's Basketball Media Poll
Team (first place votes) Points
1. Stanford (18) 180 2. ARIZONA 142 3. Washington 140 4. Arizona State 121 5. USC 105 6. Oregon 90 7. UCLA 83 8. Oregon State 63 9. California 36 10. Washington State 20
2003-04 Preseason All-Pac-10 Team
Nikki Blue (UCLA), G, 5-8, So., Bakersfield, Calif.
Ebony Hoffman (USC), F/C, 6-2, Sr., Harbor City, Calif.
Giuliana Mendiola (Washington), G, 5-11, Sr., Lake Forest, Calif.
Shawntinice Polk (Arizona), C, 6-5, So., Hanford, Calif.
Nicole Powell (Stanford), F, 6-2, Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.