Without Gonzales, BYU Women Picked Second In WCC Preseason Poll

Oct 2, 2019, 2:56 PM | Updated: 2:57 pm
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Jeff Judkins talks with guard Paisley Johnson (13) at the Marriott...
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Jeff Judkins talks with guard Paisley Johnson (13) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

PROVO, Utah  – The West Coast Conference announced their Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday and the defending tournament champion BYU Cougars were picked to finish second.

BYU received three first-place from the poll voted on by the WCC’s 10 head coaches. The number one team in the poll was the defending regular-season champion, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who posted a 29-5 record a season ago.

The margin between Gonzaga and BYU was narrow in the poll. Gonzaga ended up with 78 points to BYU’s 75.

Head coach Jeff Judkins enters his 19th season and his roster this year might be one of his best during his tenure. The Cougars return seven of their top players from a team that won 26 games a season ago. BYU had three players selected to the Preseason All-WCC team in senior guard Brenna Chase Drollinger, junior center Sara Hamson, and junior guard Paisley Johnson. This is the second straight year Chase Drollinger and Hamson have received preseason honors in the conference.

Expectations are high for BYU this season, but they could have been even higher had the Cougars not lost their top player in guard Shaylee Gonzales to a season-ending ACL injury this past July.

Gonzales was the WCC Newcomer of the Year last season as a true freshman leading BYU to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to suffering an ACL injury, Gonzalez was a U19 World Cup Team trial participant for Team USA.

BYU opens up the 2019-20 season on the road against Pac-12 foe Washington State in Pullman on Saturday, November 9th.

2019-20 WCC Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Pts.
1. Gonzaga  (7) 78
2. BYU (3) 75
3. Pacific 61
4. Saint Mary’s 59
5. Santa Clara 40
T6. LMU 39
T6. Pepperdine 39
8. San Diego 27
9. San Francisco 18
10. Portland 14

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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