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WSU women’s basketball picked sixth in Pac-12 preseason poll

After their best season in at least three decades, there are high expectations for the Cougs once again this season.

Syndication: The Register Guard Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Last season was one to remember for the Washington State women’s basketball team. Despite being a near unanimous last place selection in the preseason conference poll, the Cougs come together at the perfect time, finishing with a 12-12 record in a historically tough Pac-12 conference on their way to their second ever NCAA Tournament berth, and their first in 30 years.

This season, the Cougs appear primed to make another run at the postseason. The team returns their entire starting lineup from last season, including the breakout dynamic duo of Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker.

Fans are expecting a lot out of the Cougs this season... And so are the coaches of one of the top women’s basketball conferences in the nation.

On Tuesday, at Pac-12 media day in San Francisco, the Cougars were selected to finish sixth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll. The team finished with 70 points, 13 behind 5th place Arizona.

The sixth place projection is their highest since the 2009-10 season, when they were also selected sixth (out of 10 teams) in the Pac-10 preseason poll. Their 70 points is the highest point total in program history.

Elsewhere in the poll, it’s no surprise that the defending champs from Stanford come in with the top spot, picking up 11 of the 12 first place votes. Oregon, picked up the final first place vote in the poll (but only because coaches are not allowed to vote for their own squads).

Of course, the preseason poll is just a small part of the media day festivities. Head coach Kamie Ethridge made the trip to the Bay Area, along with player representatives Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker. All three made the media rounds for interviews... Both formal and informal. You can see a little bit of how they spent their time in San Francisco below.

WSU will tip off the season on October 24 against Saint Martin’s in an exhibition game. Their first regular season game follows on November 9 against San Jose State in Pullman.

Cougs Picked Sixth in Pac-12 Women's Basketball Preseason Poll - Washington State University Athletics
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference released its 2021- Pac-12 Women's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll on Tuesday, Oct. 12, and the coaches have picked the Washington

Expectations for Washington State women's basketball increase after breakthrough season; Cougars picked to finish sixth in Pac-12 | The Spokesman-Review
Seldom has the bar been raised so quickly, so unexpectedly, for a major sports program at Washington State University.

Men’s basketball media day

Tuesday the women had their time in the spotlight. Wednesday, the men will get their turn. Later today, WSU and the rest of the conference will take the stage at Pac-12 Network headquarters in San Francisco.

The good news is, you’ll have plenty of chances to see head coach Kyle Smith and players Efe Abogidi and Tyrell Roberts throughout the day. The trio will hold their media press conference at 11:45 a.m. and you can watch that live on the Pac-12’s free streaming network Pac-12 Insider. At 2:30 p.m. the Cougs will join the Pac-12 Network’s broadcast on set. Then, at 3:50 p.m. the team will be featured on ESPNU’s Pac-12 media day special.

Cougar Men set for Media Day in San Francisco - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougs will send Efe Abogidi and Tyrell Roberts to the annual media event.

What's next for Pac-12 basketball after stellar NCAA tournament run?
The conference hopes to build on the momentum generated in 2021 when it sent four teams to the Sweet 16, three to the Elite Eight and one to the Final Four.

More Links

Now healthy, Jesus Echevarria poised to play 'big part' on Washington State's defensive line | The Spokesman-Review
PULLMAN – Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan collected a first-down snap midway through the third quarter and tucked the ball, searching for room up the middle on a keeper.

Pac-12 power rankings: Washington State swaps spots with UW at eighth; Oregon clings to No. 1 | The Spokesman-Review
Ducks retain their edge over ASU, but the gap is closing.

First look: Washington State looks to extend winning streak versus Stanford to five | The Spokesman-Review
What is it? Washington State (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12), hoping to continue its midseason surge, plays the second game of a three-week homestand when it hosts Pac-12 North opponent Stanford (3-3, 2-2).