Arizona women’s basketball picked to finish second in Pac-12 behind Stanford

Arizona women’s basketball picked to finish second in Pac-12 behind Stanford
Arizona’s Aari McDonald was named to the Pac-12 preseason team. (Source: Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona women’s basketball team has been picked to finish in second in conference play, the Wildcats’ highest selection since 2004.

The Wildcats received two first-place votes in the coaches poll and one in the media poll.

Arizona’s Aari McDonald, Cate Reese and Sam Thomas were named to the preseason all Pac-12 team. All three were Pac-12 selections last season.

McDonald, who was named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List Tuesday, was also named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List and became Arizona’s first preseason AP All-American last week.

Last season, McDonald won the Drysdale Award and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and to the WBCA All-American team after leading the Pac-12 in scoring (20.6 ppg) and steals (2.3 per game).

Reese, who was also named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List Tuesday, averaged 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She has 15 career double-doubles, the sixth-most in school history. Reese was a finalist for the Katrina McClain Award last season and was named to the watch list last week.

Thomas, a 2020 Pac-12 All-Defense selection, enters her senior season as one of the best defensive players in the country. She was the only player in the Pac-12 last season with 40 blocks and steals while also shooting 38% from three. She finished third on the team with 9.5 points per game and has started every game of her career.

Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll

Stanford (10) 120
Arizona (2) 103
Oregon 103
Oregon State 83
Southern Cal 69
Arizona State 61
Utah 52
Colorado 43
California 31
Washington 24
Washington State 15

Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll

Stanford (19) 248
Arizona (1) 225
Oregon 201
UCLA 200
Oregon State (1) 174
Arizona State 135
Southern Cal 130
Utah 94
California 76
Colorado 75
Washington 53
Washington State 27

Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team

  • Erin Boley, Oregon
  • Kennedy Brown, Oregon State
  • Aleah Goodman, Oregon State
  • Lexie Hull, Stanford
  • Haley Jones, Stanford
  • Taylor Jones, Oregon State
  • Brynna Maxwell, Utah
  • Aari McDonald, Arizona
  • Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA
  • Charisma Osborne, UCLA
  • Alissa Pili, USC
  • Sedona Prince, Oregon
  • Cate Reese, Arizona
  • Sam Thomas, Arizona
  • Kiana Williams, Stanford