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WSU women picked to finish seventh in preseason Pac-12 polls

Middle of the pack is pretty good in one of the best women’s basketball conferences in the country.

PULLMAN, WA - FEBRUARY 20: Washington State Cougars Women’s Basketball versus the University of Arizona Wildcats at Beasley Coliseum - Washington State guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (5) Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Once again this season, the Pac-12 is projected to be one of the top women’s basketball conferences in the nation. And, once again this season, the Washington State Cougars are expected to compete for another finish in the top half of the Conference of Champions.

On Tuesday, during Pac-12 media day in San Francisco, Washington State was picked to finish seventh in the conference preseason polls by both the media and the coaches. The team finished just one point behind sixth place Oregon State in the coaches poll and 11 points behind the sixth place Beavs in the media poll. The Stanford Cardinal were unanimous first-place finishers in both polls.

Last season, the Cougars shocked the conference by finishing a program-best second in the conference with an 11-6 record. This season, WSU returns fifth year head coach Kamie Ethridge, fresh off of a contact extension, as well as five of their top six leading scorers from that 2021-22 campaign. The returners are led by All-American guard Charlisse Leger-Walker, who has led the Pac-12 in total points over the last two seasons. The younger Leger-Walker sibling was also named to the preseason All-Pac-12 team by the media earlier this week.

Leger-Walker made the trip to the bay area on Tuesday for Pac-12 Media Day, along with senior center Bella Murekatete and head coach Kamie Ethridge. Here’s a closer look at what the trio had to say:

We’ll get our first chance to see the Cougs in action in just four days. WSU will host Westmont out of California in their exhibition contest this Sunday in Pullman. The season will tip-off for real on November 7, also at home in Beasley Coliseum, when Loyola Marymount visits WSU.

Cougs Picked Seventh in Preseason Pac-12 Polls - Washington State University Athletics
The Pac-12 Conference released its 2022-23 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Coaches and Media Preseason Polls Tuesday, October 25, and the Washington State women's basketball team was selected to finish seventh in both polls.

Washington State women picked to finish seventh in Pac-12 | The Spokesman-Review
The Washington State women got some added motivation Tuesday.

Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day

The women had their time in the spotlight on Tuesday. Today, the men will take center stage. Head coach Kyle Smith, along with TJ Bamba and Mouhamed Gueye, will be in the bay area to represent the Cougs. You can watch their press conference at 11:45 a.m. on Pac-12 Insider and they will join the live Pac-12 Network broadcast at 2 p.m. on the main network. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on Pac-12 Insider when commissioner George Kliavkoff takes the stage for opening comments.

Please note that you can play a drinking game where you take a sip every time the words “Big 12,” “Big Ten,” and “media rights” are mentioned during that Q&A session, but is not liable for any damages incurred from becoming too drunk at 10 a.m. on a work day.

More Links

With slot Renard Bell sidelined, Washington State shifts outside receiver De'Zhaun Stribling to inside position | The Spokesman-Review
PULLMAN – After standout slotback Renard Bell went down with an injury, Washington State took stock of its receiving corps.

Utah football: Why Utes are wary of WSU’s high-tempo offense and QB - Deseret News
This week, coach Kyle Whittingham and several players compared Washington State’s up-tempo offense to USC’s — and Cougar quarterback Cameron Ward to Trojan QB Caleb Williams. Utah and WSU meet Thursday in Pullman

Pac-12 power ratings: The Big Four, the potential for a tie and how to make the championship game matchup | The Spokesman-Review
Eight weeks down, four teams have the inside track for the two berths in the Pac-12 championship game.