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Posts tagged: Women's basektball ranks Gonzaga women No. 23

Everybody believes Brittney Griner is No. 1, or at least the 6-8 junior makes Baylor No. 1.

Minus Courtney Vandersloot, sportswriters (AP poll) and coaches (ESPN/USA Today poll) don't believe Gonzaga is one of the Top 25 programs in the nation, but the writers for do. They have Gonzaga in at No. 23 as the website Top 25 comes out as part of their season preview. (This goes on all week, so check back. And now there is ESPNW as part of the mix as well.)

Gonzaga gives Graves 10-year contract

Gonzaga gives Kelly Graves, who has taken the Gonzaga women's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament four times in five years, including the last three, a new 10-year contract

No. 3 Stanford holds off Gonzaga

Gonzaga gave third-ranked Stanford everything it could handle before fading down the stretch to lose 84-78, disappointing the second sellout crowd of 6,000 at McCarthey Sunday afternoon. The story is here.

GU women not ranked

Gonzaga women are just outside the Top 25 in the preseason AP poll. It’s 1-2 UConn and Baylor, which play an early-season game. LThat game is the Tuesday before Stanford visits McCarthey on Sunday (Nov. 21) so the Cardinal are still likely to be ranked No. 3 - still the highest-ranked team to visit. Tennessee is No. 4 and Xavier, which knocked the Bulldogs out in the Sweet 16 last March, is No. 5. Notre Dame, which meets GU in Seattle after Christmas, is No. 12. North Carolina, elminated by GU in the opening round of the NCAA tourney, is No. 15. The Tar Heels play WSU and could meet GU in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. Texas A&M, eliminated by GU in the second round, is No. 8. My vote is below.

Monster game for local seniors Lexi Bishop (Shadle Park) and Kelli Valentine (Mead) in Portland State’s exhibition game.

The latest “stink” between Tennessee and UConn. It’s a stink because of 24-7 sports and the internet.

Finishing up for our special college basketball special section, which will be on your doorstep in a week.

Interesting weekend ahead for women

A nice week coming up for women’s basketball. Idaho’s game on Wednesday is on ESPNU, 8 p.m. tipoff and on Saturday afternoon Eastern Washington tries to add to its historic season. The Eagles, assured of a share of their first Big Sky title, try to win it outright - and the host role for the league tournament next weekend. That’s the subject for this week’s women’s notebook (extended post). Then Gonzaga heads to the West Coast tournament, patiently awaiting the first two rounds to see who emerges from the first two rounds for their semifinal game Sunday morning. The title game is on ESPNU on Monday - but it’s at noon.

Gonzaga is up to No. 17 in both polls - and still considered a bubble team at best in ESPN’s bracketology, (and story) and still headed to Stanford (along with EWU) in the projections. I think Gonzaga’s in, but considering the numbers the Bulldogs put up against league foes, it would be best to leave nothing to chance. The Realtime RPI bracket is sending GU to Norman, Okla, as a No. 6, which is quite complimentary, and a possible second-round rematch with Texas A&M while EWU would go play Tennessee. The problem with that - no Oklahoma at Oklahoma ain’t gonna happen. Realtime has Gonzaga’s RPI at 31 and Strength of Schedule at 121, which is impressive considering their two “victims” last weekend are 302 and 304. However, Sagarin RPI has GU at 21, but Santa Clara and USF are 273 and 280, respectively. (When in doubt, go with NCAA RPI, which dropped GU four spots to 34 after 31 and 48 point wins. However, USF went from 301 to 298 after losing to the Zags and Portland, Santa Clara fell from 300 to 301.) In other words, ignore it all.

 Also, Tennessee junior Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) earned first team All-SEC honors and while Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt may never be pleased, her team still rebounded from last year’s disappointment to win the SEC without a senior on the roster.

More on Vandersloot, Gonzaga awards

When Kelly Graves took his turn on the West Coast Conference pre-tournament conference call he was asked to comment about all the honors his team swept.

Not surprisingly he couldn’t say enough about his players but on his fifth Coach of the Year award he joked, “When you get as heavy as me and as bald as me they feel sorry for you.”

How else to you respond to the embarassment of riches, both in talent and awards?

Joining Graves with more hardware are Player of the Year Courtney Vandersloot (21, pictured above), All-WCC Heather Bowman (30) and Vivian Frieson, honorable mention Tiffany Shives (34) and Newcomer of the Year Katelan Redmon. The unedited version of the story I filed for tomorrow’s paper is below.

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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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