12. Washington State Cougars
The Cougars enter Pac-12 play with a conference-worst 5-6 record, but have been competitive in what has been a tough non-conference schedule. Washington State lost in overtime at home to Oklahoma State, suffered a 10-point defeat versus then-No. 6 Maryland in Las Vegas and most recently lost a two point game at then-No. 18 Kentucky. Washington State, under head coach June Daugherty, is led by sophomore forward Borislava Hristova. Last season, Hristova finished on the All-Pac-12 Team and on the Pac-12 All-Freshman averaging 16.3 points per game last season. This season, she’s been just as productive averaging 14.7 PPG. The Cougars are also led by forward Louise Brown, who’s averaging 10.4 PPG and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Washington State looking to do better this season in conference play after finishing 5-13 in conference play and losing in the opening record of the Pac-12 Tournament versus USC last season. The Cougars struggled to match the talent of the other Pac-12 teams last season as the depth from the other teams proved to be too much. Washington State will open up Pac-12 play Tuesday at No. 9 and in-state rival Washington before heading to Oregon for games against the Ducks and No. 22 Oregon State Beavers this weekend. Last year’s team was really young, and the experience of last season to go along with a non-conference schedule should set them up for greater success in Pac-12 play.