Outgoing Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is proud to be in San Antonio to celebrate the conference’s first NCAA women’s basketball championship since 1992. With , the forum is guaranteed its first champion since Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer, and the Cardinal won it all in 1992.
“I think this is a very gratifying moment for ourwomen’s basketball over the last decade,” Scott said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Last year would have been a special year as we had an exceptional team in Oregon. The conference has grown very deep.”
Scott credits the conference’s growth, which has had six different schoolsFour since 2013, to the increased television coverage with the Pac-12 Network for success. He said the league had five on TV during the year without streaming before creating the network.
“Now we’ve had over 100 games on the networks yearly2012,” Scott said. “That’s an investment and prioritization. Our coaches wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that national exposure and recognition are significant for recruiting. No league has more television coverage than the Pac-12.”
VanDerveer agrees. She said the league had great teams before the network, but manydidn’t see them. That resulted in lesser seedings in the . “The rest of the country has been able to see our teams and our players and our games,” VanDerveer said. “And I think that’s a credit to Larry Scott in the PAC 12, which we’re we’re excited to have been on television.”
END OF THE BUBBLE
Stanford dealt with the impact of COVID on the basketballthis season, which will finally end after Sunday night’s national championship game.
Sophomore forward Asthten Prechtel has many things she wants to do first outside of the restrictions required to complete the season during the.
“The main thing is I’ll be able to go home for a Santa Clara County established COVID-19 health and safety protocols in late November prohibiting practices and competitions. So the Cardinal hit the road and spent nearly ten weeks away from campus. Freshman forward Cameron Brink said she feels that’s been an advantage for Stanford in the bubble in ., which would be nice to see my family,” Prechtel said.
“We kind of knew what being stuck in a hotel was like for weeks on end,” Brink said.
Still, it’s been a very long season with plenty of isolation and restrictions.
“I just want to give my parents a big ole hug and can’t wait to hold my family, and I get emotional thinking about it,” Brink said. “But it’s just been so long, I miss my family.”
Arizonagets great advice from Tara VanDerveer, with the veteran Stanford coach working to support women, women’s basketball, and the Pac-12.
Barnes followed one tip, though the follow-through will have to wait until this offseason.
“She’s also talked me into getting a Peloton bike. Obviously, I don’t use it as much as her, but I’m trying,” Barnes said. “That’s the goal in the offseason.”
Not only has Barnes been busy coaching her Wildcats into their first national championship game berth, but she also gave birth to her second child, a daughter, last September.
AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg contributed to this report.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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