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Gonzaga women get a little love

Graham Hays of ESPN hints that the Gonzaga women are a darkhorse to do the unthinkable - reach the Final Four and touts junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot. And Michelle Voepel of ESPN has five questions for the new season, one of which involves Tennessee and U-Hi grad Angie Bjorklund. Stanford is also part of the questions and there is one involving Baylor’s 6-foot-8 freshman, who dunked in an exhibition game. (By the way Baylor opens up at Tennessee on Sunday, ESPN2, 2 p.m., Idaho is at the Baylor Thanksgiving Tournament and GU sees Baylor in Vegas next month. WSU isn’t the only team facing Stanford, the Zags take a trip to Palo Alto at the end of the month)

While we’re at it, here’s our preseason feature on Bulldog senor Tiffany Shives to go with the preseason caps for GU, Washington State, Idaho and Eastern Washington.

The season opens this weekend. Here are the openers and home openers.

Friday: Gonzaga at last year’s mid-major power South Dakota State.

Saturday: Eastern at Portland

Sunday: UC Davis (and CV grad Heidi Heintz) at WSU

Monday: Gonzaga at Idaho.

Thursday: Idaho at Eastern; USC at Gonzaga.

It could be a great warmup season for 2010-11 when Spokane will spend two weekends in the postseason spotlight.

Keep reading for our preseason Top 25 and All-American team.


Here are the AP and coaches’ polls.

My vote
1. UConn
2. Stanford
3. Ohio State
4. North Carolina
5. Duke
6. Oklahoma
7. Notre Dame
8. Tennessee
9. Baylor
10. Virginia
11. Xavier
12. Michigan State
13. Florida State
14. Arizona State
15. Georgia Tech
16. DePaul
17. Texas
18. California
19. Mississippi State
20. Gonzaga
21. Middle Tennessee State
22. San Diego State
23. Marist
24. Vanderbilt
25. South Dakota State

Preseason All-Americans
F - Maya Moore, UConn
F - Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee State
C - Jantel Lavender, Ohio State
G - Monica Wright, Virginia
G - Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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