Aug. 1, 2002
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Pepperdine Waves received seven first place votes to claim the top spot in the 2002-03 WCC women's basketball preseason poll. The Waves return three starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that went 23-8 and captured both the WCC regular season and tournament titles in 2001-02. The backcourt should be the strength of the Waves as seniors Damaris Hinojosa, Tamara McDonald and junior Shandrika Lee compose arguably the finest trio of guards in the WCC. Hinojosa, a three-time all-conference performer, led Pepperdine in scoring (13.6 ppg) and assists (3.8 apg) last season, while McDonald (8.8 ppg, 2.8 apg) and Lee (10.2 ppg, 2.4 apg) turned in solid numbers for the Waves.
San Francisco and Santa Clara share the second spot in this year's preseason poll with both teams returning three starters. First year Head Coach Michelle Bento will look to guide the Broncos to their fourth NCAA Tournament trip in the the last six years. Bento will have the luxury of senior leadership, especially in the frontcourt, as forwards Julie Butler (11.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Tammy Annas (10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), and Kendra Rhea (9.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) all return for their final seasons. The Lady Dons finished the 2001-02 campaign with an 18-12 record and a bid to the WNIT, the teamıs eighth postseason appearance in the programıs history. All-conference forward Carey Sauer (11.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg), and 2001-02 WCC Freshman of the Year Toni Russell lead a USF squad that led the WCC in 3-point accuracy (.392) while limiting WCC opponents to a .389 field goal percentage in 2001-02.
Loyola Marymount was voted fourth, just a single point away from tying USF and SCU for second place. All-conference senior guard Kate Murray (13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) enters the 2002-03 season just four points shy of the 1,000-point plateau. The Lions also return one the nationıs premier shot blockers in junior center Adrianne Slaughter (10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg), while sophomore wing Mary Turner (7.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg) looks to rebound from a knee injury that sidelined her at the end of last season.
Saint Mary's was predicted to finish fifth after the departure of all-conference twins Jerkisha and Jermisha Dosty. Senior forwards Katie Davis (12 ppg 4.1 rpg) and Julie Morris (8.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) will get an opportunity to shine without the shadow of the Dostys. San Diego, Gonzaga and Portland were picked sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
2002-03 West Coast Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
|2.||Santa Clara (1)||37|
( ) first place votes