6-5 Bianca Blanaru of Romania; 6-3 Nike McClure of Tenino, Wash.; 6-2 Lousie Brown of Australia; and 6-2 Ashley Bolston of Medford, Ore.
They join WSU's returning Six-Foot-Plus Club of 6-4 senior center Shalie Dheensaw; 6-1 junior forward Mariah Cooks; and 6-3 sophomore Ivana Kmetovska.
At Pac-12 Media Day on Wednesday, Daugherty said Dheensaw and Cooks had exceptional off seasons and that Kmetovska caught her attention as well.
Dheensaw started all 34 games for the Cougars last year and was the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker. She also averaged 7.3 points per game. Cooks came off the bench to average more than 16 minutes, 6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Kmetovska played in just 12 games in 2013-14, averaging three minutes per outing, but Daugherty thinks she could be a significant contributor this season.
Regardless of height, the key to the Cougars' season looks to be integrating the seven freshmen with the eight returning vets.
“We just have to keep building our team chemistry. We have four returning starters and that’s a really good start, but we also have seven new freshmen, so we need to get them on pace with the rest of the girls,” said Presley, a senior guard who joined Daugherty in San Francisco for the conference's media day.
Presley, pictured above, added, “If we can find a way to get the team chemistry with all 15 of us, with the new girls and the returners, I think we’ll have a really good season.”
Last season the Cougars finished 17-17 (9-9) and earned a berth in the WNIT. Three players from that squad have graduated: 34-game starter Sage Romberg and heady role players Brandi Thomas and Hana Potter.
“I’m very fired up, I tell you what," Daugherty said in San Francisco. "We’ve gone through some practices, gone through some scrimmage situations. We’ve got several new faces but Tia and the upperclassmen are really doing a great job of leading this group, so we’ve got the chance to be really special, and we’re very excited about that.”
With all the new faces in the program, it will be critical to "stay together as a team through adversity, through all the bumps, the highs and the lows,” Daugherty said.
She said two areas of emphasis this season are 1) solidifying the front line, where she believes the team will be more physical and skilled than a year ago, and 2) improving on defense, where the Cougars ranked second-to-last in the Pac-12 after allowing an average of 75.9 points per game -- or 1.6 points more than the Cougar offense averaged.
Daugherty said her players have bought into their roles on defense, and the combination of improvement in those two areas points to this being a special season.
The defensive shortcomings last season took some luster away from the third-highest scoring offense in the Pac-12.
Daugherty's two leading scorers from last season -- Presley (19.0 points per game) and junior Galdeira (18.5) -- as well as assists leader Dawnyelle Awa are back.
“It seems crazy that two dynamic scorers can play together and on the same team but we found a way to make it work,” Presley said of her tag-team with Galdeira. “When she’s playing really well, I feed off of it, and I think the same when I’m playing well, she does the same thing, so it’s been great playing with Lia.”
THE TALLEST COUG: 6-5 FRESHMAN BIANCA BLANARU OUT OF TIMISOARA, ROMANIA.