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Where is the BYU women’s basketball team picked to finish in its final season in the WCC?

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BYU Cougars forward Lauren Gustin (12) gets the pass as San Francisco Dons guard Lucie Hoskova (13) defends in West Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinal action.

BYU Cougars forward Lauren Gustin (12) gets the pass as San Francisco Dons guard Lucie Hoskova (13) defends in West Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinal action at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In the BYU women’s basketball program’s final campaign in the West Coast Conference, the Cougars have been picked to finish third in the preseason poll.

Gonzaga was selected to win the conference, followed by Portland. The Zags received nine of the 10 first-place votes cast by the league’s coaches, and the Pilots received the other first-place vote.

BYU is the defending WCC regular-season champions but it has lost a bevy of talent, including guards Shaylee Gonzales and Paisley Harding. Amber Whiting has taken the helm of the program, replacing legendary coach Jeff Judkins, who retired last spring.

Gonzaga returns many players from its conference tournament championship team, including Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong and WCC Sixth Woman of the Year Yvonne Ejim.

BYU forward Lauren Gustin, an All-WCC First Team honoree, was the only Cougar named to the preseason All-Conference Team. She led the league in rebounding last season, averaging 11.5 boards per game.

2022-23 WCC women’s basketball preseason poll
Place Team First-place votes Points
1 Gonzaga 9 81
2 Portland 1 71
3 BYU - 55
4 San Francisco - 54
5 Saint Mary's - 47
6 San Diego - 46
7 LMU - 39
8 Santa Clara - 29
9 Pacific - 17
10 Pepperdine - 11