The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU women’s basketball earns first preseason national ranking

Cougs check in at No. 24 in preseason AP poll, one of six Pac-12 schools ranked
WSU women’s basketball team dances to “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” by Shania Twain after winning an NCAA women’s basketball game against Oregon State, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

WSU women’s basketball joined half the Pac-12 Conference in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll as the No. 24 team in the nation.

This is the first time WSU women’s basketball has been recognized in the AP’s preseason poll.

It is also only the third week the Cougs have been ranked anywhere in the AP poll. The 2020–21 Cougs earned their first AP ranking at No. 25 in the nation after they upset No. 7 Arizona with an overtime layup from then-freshman phenom Charlisse Leger-Walker.

They earned their second AP ranking after winning four games in five days in Las Vegas to win the 2023 Pac-12 Championship. The Cougs checked in at No. 22 heading into the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougs return the majority of their roster from their 2022–23 Pac-12 Championship season, including preseason All-Conference selections guard Leger-Walker and center Bella Murekatete.

The Cougs also return a reigning All-Pac-12 Freshman in point guard Astera Tuhina as well as crucial veterans such as fifth-year sharpshooting guard Johanna Teder, junior guard Tara Wallack and center Jessica Clarke.

Reigning National Champion LSU earned the No. 1 preseason ranking for the first time in school history. The Tigers return iconic player Angel Reese and earned 35 of the 36 first-place votes.

The other first-place vote and No. 2 ranking went to historic powerhouse UConn. The Huskies tied Tennesee’s record by being ranked for 565 consecutive weekly polls. There has not been a single AP poll that has not included the Huskies since the 1993–94 season.

Catlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes fresh off their 55,000-person exhibition game to set the women’s basketball attendance record, earned the No. 3 ranking.

The fourth and fifth-ranked teams are two familiar Pac-12 foes, with UCLA at No. 4 and Utah at No. 5.

UCLA has perhaps the most talented roster in the conference with Charisma Osborne, Emily Bessoir and Londynn Jones returning to the Bruins.

Utah is home to Alissa Pili, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year and the only player to average more than 20 points per game last season.

The perineal Conference powerhouse Stanford Cardinal is ranked No. 15, their lowest ranking since 2015, according to ESPN.

No. 20 Colorado and No. 21 USC also earned rankings ahead of WSU.

The Cougs open their season at 4 p.m. Nov. 6 against Cal Poly at Beasley Coliseum.

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About the Contributors
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.
HAILEE SPEIR, Evergreen photo editor
Hailee Speir is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Hailee is a junior English education major from Spokane, Washington. Hailee started working for the Evergreen in fall 2021 as a photographer.