LAS VEGAS — BYU women’s basketball was selected to finish second in the annual West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced today.
The Cougars received three first-place votes and finished with 75 points. Gonzaga was picked to be the 2020 WCC champions in the annual preseason poll of the WCC’s 10 head coaches.
Gonzaga (29-5, 16-2) claimed 78 points with seven first-place votes to finish atop the preseason poll winning the 2018-19 WCC regular season title. BYU (26-7, 15-3), claimed the tournament title last year and advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Championships.
BYU beat Gonzaga three times last year but the Bulldogs likely earned the nod due to the season-ending knee injury suffered by the Cougars’ Shaylee Gonzales, who was first team All-WCC last season.
Pacific (19-13, 10-8) earned its highest preseason poll placement since rejoining the conference in the 2013-14 season. The Tigers collected 61 points for third place, edging out a Saint Mary’s (21-12, 12-6) team that is picked fourth with 59 points.
Just one point separated fifth and sixth as Santa Clara (14-17, 6-12) claimed fifth with 40 points and Los Angeles area rivals LMU (18-15, 10-8) and Pepperdine (22-12, 12-6) tied for sixth with 39 points each.
San Diego, San Francisco and Portland round out the preseason poll with the Toreros (9-21, 2-16) collecting 27 points for eighth, the Dons (7-24, 2-16) collecting 18 points for ninth and the Pilots (13-17, 5-13) collecting 14 points for tenth.
Six programs placed at least one student-athlete on the preseason All-West Coast Conference Team with BYU trio of Brenna Chase Drollinger, Sara Hamson and Paisley Johnson leading the way. Gonzaga and Pacific both added two representatives in Jill Townsend and Jenn Wirth for the Bulldogs and Valerie Higgins and Brooklyn McDavid for the Tigers. Also earning Preseason All-Conference honors are Chelsey Gipson of LMU, Tia Hay of Santa Clara and Sam Simons of Saint Mary’s.
This is the second straight preseason honor for both Chase Drollinger and Hamson. Johnson was the MVP of the 2019 WCC Championships.
The preseason poll and All-WCC team were selected solely by a vote of the conference’s 10 head coaches.
West Coast Conference play begins on Saturday, Dec. 28.