From Arizona to Wazzu, a look at the Pac-12

2013-11-03T00:00:00Z From Arizona to Wazzu, a look at the Pac-12By Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 


Location: Tucson

Last year: 12-18 overall, 4-14 Pac-12

Coach: Niya Butts (74-83 in five years at UA)

Superhero: TBD. It will be more of a “Fantastic Four” with seniors Erica Barnes, Kama Griffitts, Ali Gloyd (29 points per game combined last year), plus Candice Warthen (11.7 points in 2011-12) returning from injury.

Sidekicks: Four-star freshman LaBrittney Jones — whose nickname is Batman, actually — and senior point guard Carissa Crutchfield (6.3 points per game).

Who’s gone: Four-time All-Pac-12 selection Davellyn Whyte (16.8), Cheshi Poston (5.0), Layana White (2.8) and Shereen Sutherland (1.3)

All in a name: Keyahndra Cannon

Overview: Since a WNIT appearance two years ago, things have gone downhill for the Wildcats, and losing an all-timer like All-Pac-12 perennial Whyte — who was drafted by the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars — doesn’t help things. But the UA has a solid core of returning talent and infusion of freshmen, so a bounce-back season might be in the cards.

Big number: 7. Years since Arizona last made the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have just one winning season in that span.

Set your TiVo: Feb. 9 vs. Arizona State, Pac-12 Networks

On the web:

Arizona State

Location: Tempe

Last year: 13-18, 5-13

Coach: Charli Turner Thorne (342-237, 302-197 in 16 years at ASU)

Superhero: Deja Mann (7.6 points in 2011-12). The 5-foot-7-inch guard missed all of last season with a knee injury; she was ASU’s third-leading scorer two years ago.

Sidekick: Joy Burke, a senior center, was the team’s leading rebounder last year (6.1 per game).

Who’s gone: Four of the Sun Devils’ top six scorers have moved on, including leading scorer Janae Fulcher (11.5 points), who graduated.

All in a name: Promise Amukamara

Overview: Last year was Thorne’s first since 2000 that the Sun Devils did not participate in postseason play. Mann coming back is a big plus, but losing so much talent from a team that struggled is never a good sign.

Big number: 24.7. Points per game returning from last year’s team, and eight of that comes from Amukamara.

Set your TiVo: Dec. 30 vs Syracuse, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Berkeley, Calif.

Last year: 32-4, 17-1

Coach: Lindsay Gottlieb (113-26, 57-14 in two years at Cal)

Superhero: Brittany Boyd is Cal’s best returning scorer; she averaged 12.5 points per game last season.

Sidekick: Gennifer Brandon (12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game last season)

Who’s gone: Layisha Clarendon (16.4 points per game), a two-time All-Pac-12 team selection, was drafted ninth overall by the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. Talia Caldwell (9.1) and Eliza Pierre (2.6) graduated.

All in a name: Mercedes Jefflo

Overview: The Golden Bears lost a bona fide star when Clarendon was drafted into the WNBA. She was an All-American and the No. 4 scorer in Cal history. Tough loss, but the talent cupboard is certainly not bare after last year’s first-ever Final Four berth.

Big number: 11.4. Rebounding margin Cal had, on average, over their opponents in 2012-13. It was the third-best mark in the nation.

Set your TiVo: Nov. 10 vs. Duke, ESPNU

On the web:


Location: Boulder, Colo.

Last year: 25-7, 13-5

Coach: Linda Lappe (114-73, 64-37 in three years at CU)

Superhero: Arielle Roberson, who got 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last year.

Sidekick: Brittany Wilson (8.3 points), the squad’s active leader in career scoring.

Who’s gone: Chucky Jeffrey, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection who averaged 13.7 points per game as a senior, was picked in the second round by the Minnesota Lynx.

All in a name: Jamee Swan, a Marana High School graduate

Overview: The Buffs return all but one contributor from last season, it just happened to be its best one — one of the Pac-12’s best — in Jeffrey. With so much returning, though, it’s hard to get too down on CU.

Big number: 12. Jeffrey ranked in CU’s career top-10 in 12 categories. .

Set your TiVo: Jan. 29 and Feb. 2 at and vs. Utah, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Eugene, Ore.

Last year: 4-27, 2-16

Coach: Paul Westhead (50-76 in three years at OU)

Superhero: Jillian Alleyne, the Pac-12’s second-leading rebounder with 11.9 per game.

Sidekicks: Laura Stanulis (8.2 points) and Lexi Peterson (11.0 points) return from season-ending injuries that limited them to six combined games. Katelyn Loper (12.4 in 2011-12) is a transfer from Hofstra.

Who’s gone: Sophomore guard Devyn Galland (6.9 points per game) transferred to Saint Mary’s.

All in a name: Janitah Iamaleava

Overview: Last year was a disaster of epic proportions — the Ducks lost 27 of 31 games. It can’t get much worse this year … right?

Big number: 75.6. Points allowed per game last year, the second-worst mark in the nation.

Set your TiVo: Jan. 13 at Oregon State, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:

Oregon State

Location: Corvallis, Ore.

Last year: 10-21, 4-14

Coach: Scott Rueck (327-143 in 17 years, 39-55 in three at OSU)

Superhero: Jamie Weisner, who as a freshman led the Beavers in scoring with 12.5 points per game.

Sidekicks: Junior guard Ali Gibson (9.1 points per game) and four-star freshman point guard Sydney Wiese from Pinnacle High in Phoenix.

Who’s gone: Patricia Bright (6.2 points, 1.75 blocks per game), Mollee Schwegler (5.5 points per game)

All in a name: Khadidja Toure

Overview: Most of the team is back, but most of the team wasn’t very good last year, either. If there’s improvement, it’ll probably be minimal.

Big number: 5.5. Oregon State blocked 5.5 shots per game last year, the 11th-best mark in the nation.

Set your TiVo: Dec. 29 vs. Notre Dame. Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Stanford, Calif.

Last year: 33-3, 17-1

Coach: Tara VanDerveer (891-203, 740-157 in 27 years at Stanford)

Superhero: Chiney Ogwumike, the Pac-12 player of the year and defensive player of the year. She averaged 22.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.72 blocks per game last season.

Sidekicks: Amber Orrange (10.8 points, 4.1 assists, All-Pac-12 team last year) and five-star freshman forward Erica McCall

Who’s gone: Joslyn Tinkle (11.8 points)

All in a name: Amber Orrange

Overview: Ogwumike might be the best player in the nation, and Stanford among the best teams. We’ve heard this before …

Big number: 52. Career double-doubles for Ogwumike, a Stanford career record.

Set your TiVo: Nov. 11 at Connecticut, ESPN2.

On the web:


Location: Los Angeles

Last year: 26-8, 14-4

Coach: Cori Close (40-24 in two years at UCLA)

Superhero: Atonye Nyingifa, who averaged 11.6 points per contest last year.

Sidekick: Point guard Thea Lemberger (8.6 points, 2.6 assists last year)

Who’s gone: Markel Walker (10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists per game), Alyssia Brewer (11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds pr game), Jasmine Dixon (8.2 points per game)

All in a name: Luiana Livulo

Overview: Between Walker, Brewer and Dixon, the Bruins lost 29.9 points, 20.5 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. So, it might be a bumpy season in Westwood.

Big number: 2.9. Three-pointers made per game by UCLA, the 323rd out of 343 in the nation.

Set your TiVo: Nov. 27 vs. North Carolina, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Los Angeles

Last year: 11-20, 7-11

Coach: Cynthia Cooper (first year at USC)

Superhero: Cassie Harberts (18 points, 8.2 rebounds per game) was an All-Pac-12 selection last season.

Sidekicks: Ariya Crook (13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds per game)

Who’s gone: Christin Marinacci (7.4 points), Kiki Alofaituli (4.9 points)

All in a name: Thaddesia Southall

Overview: Cooper, a WNBA Hall of Famer, inherits a roster with some talent already in place. The Trojans will improve.

Big number: 4. WNBA Championships Cooper won in five years with the Comets.

Set your TiVo: Nov. 25 vs. South Carolina, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Salt Lake City

Last year: 23-14, 8-10

Coach: Anthony Levrets (57-47 in three years at Utah)

Superhero: Forward Michelle Plouffe (17.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game) was All-Pac-12 and an honorable mention All-American last season.

Sidekick: Taryn Wicijowski (14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds per game)

Who’s gone: Iwalani Rodrigues (11.5 points per game)

All in a name: Malia Nawahine

Overview: Plouffe, a senior, keeps Utah in contention all on her own.

Big number: 43. Points per game, out of 59 total, that Plouffe, Wicijowski and Rodrigues averaged for Utah last year.

Set your TiVo: Nov. 15 vs. Nebraska, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:


Location: Seattle

Last year: 21-12, 11-7

Coach: Mike Neighbors (21-12 in first year at UW)

Superhero: Junior guard Jazmine Davis (19.3 points per game) is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection.

Sidekick: Aminah Williams (9.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals)

Who’s gone: Talia Walton (13.6), Kristi Kingma (13.5)

All in a name: Mercedes Wetmore

Overview: Davis is always good, and Williams is a star rebounder, but will that be enough?

Big number: 11.9. Turnovers forced per game last year, the seventh-best mark in the nation and second-best in the Pac-12.

Set your TiVo: Jan. 11 vs. Washington State, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:

Washington State

Location: Pullman, Wash.

Last year: 11-20, 6-12

Coach: June Daugherty (369-335, 56-129 in six years at Wazzu)

Superhero: Lia Galdeira (14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.77 steals per game)

Sidekick: Tia Presler (13.3 points, 4.3 rebounds per game)

Who’s gone: Carly Noyes (5.5 points per game)

All in a name: Shalie Dheensaw

Overview: The Cougars might have been even worse than their record last year, and don’t have much reason for optimism in this one.

Big number: 10. Pac-12 stat categories in which Wazzu was in the bottom three last year. The Cougs were last in 3-point percentage and assists.

Set your TiVo: Jan. 7 vs. Washington, Pac-12 Networks.

On the web:

Compiled by Zack Rosenblatt

Compiled by Zack Rosenblatt

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