The BYU women’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference in the annual poll of the league’s 10 coaches.
The Cougars also had three athletes named to the preseason All-WCC Team: senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding, senior center Sara Hamson and sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales. BYU was the only school in the league with three players on the preseason team. It is a second-straight time Harding and Hamson to receive the recognition.
Hamson was the 2020 WCC Defensive Player of the Year while Gonzales returns after being named the 2018 WCC Newcomer of the Year. Harding was named to last year’s All-WCC First Team.
BYU, which finished 18-11 overall last year (13-5 WCC), was picked second with 73 points and collected two first-place votes. Gonzaga is once again the preseason favorite to win its 17th WCC regular season title. The Bulldogs received seven first place votes and 79 points.
After closing out the 2019-20 regular season on a two-win streak, the Cougars entered the WCC Tournament as a No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals, but suffered a 62-51 upset by sixth-seeded Pepperdine.
BYU was hoping to still make an NIT appearance before the pandemic forced the cancelation of the postseason.
WCC PRESEASON WOMEN’S POLL
First-place votes in parenthesis
1. Gonzaga (7) 79
2. BYU (2) 73
3. Portland (1) 64
4. San Diego 53
5. Saint Mary’s 44
6. Pacific 42
7. Pepperdine 28
8. Loyola Marymount 25
9. Santa Clara 22
10. San Francisco 20