Utah women's basketball: Utes picked to finish 7th in Pac-12 poll

Published: Friday, Oct. 25 2013 1:35 p.m. MDT

Utah guard Paige Crozon (14) talks with head coach Anthony Levrets during the first half of the NCAA Women's Basketball game between Utah and BYU at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.

Ben Brewer, Deseret News

Utah women’s basketball coach Anthony Levrets does not put too much stock into rankings and external expectations. Even the Pac-12 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, in which his team was picked to finish seventh for the second consecutive season.

Rather, as he prepares for his fourth season at the helm, Levrets is focused on the continued growth of his team.

“Preseason polls are great things for the media and fans,” Levrets said. “We can't pay too much attention to what others think about our team and our prospects for the upcoming year. We love our group and believe this team has a chance to carry on and build on the great tradition that is Utah women's basketball.”

Under Levrets, the Utes won the 2011 Mountain West Conference Tournament championship, which led to an NCAA berth, and they have participated in the WNIT each of the last two seasons. Last spring, the Utah women played into April for the first time in team history, falling to Drexel, 46-43, in the WNIT championship game.

Returning to lead the Utes is senior Michelle Plouffe, a forward who led the team in points, averaging 17.2 per game, and rebounds, with 9.4 per game. Plouffe was named a Sporting News Preseason Third Team All-American.

Utah will open the season with an exhibition game against the University of Mary at the Huntsman Center on Nov. 1 at 5:15 p.m. The regular season will begin with a home game one week later, Nov. 8, against Denver at 8:30 p.m.

Pac-12 women’s coaches poll team (first place votes) Points 1. Stanford (11) 121; 2. California (1) 111; 3. Colorado 91; 4. Washington 85; 5. UCLA 80; 6. USC 77; 7. Utah 59; 8. Oregon State 51; 9. Washington State 50; 10. Arizona State 29; 11. Arizona 21; 12. Oregon 17.

Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.

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