Geno Auriemma and his Connecticut Huskies are back in a familiar place – No. 1 in the poll.
Connecticut received all 36 votes Friday in The Associated Press’ women’s basketball poll, marking the ninth time that the Huskies are the top team in the preseason. Five of those years UConn went on to win the
“I don’t know that being preseason No. 1 necessarily gets you anything except some attention,” Auriemma said. “But it’s always nice when people want to talk about your players and program.”
Connecticut, which also was the preseason No. 1 in 1995, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’03, ’08, ’09, and ’10, opens Nov. 9 against Hartford before facing No. 3 Stanford two days later.
Duke is second in the poll – its best ranking since the Blue Devils finished at No. 1 in the final poll of 2007. The Blue Devils are led by talented guard Chelsea Grey, who is working her way back from a dislocated kneecap in February that ended her season.
Stanford, led by senior Chiney Ogwumike, is third followed by Tennessee.
Louisville matched its best ranking ever at No. 5. The Cardinals return four starters from last season’s team that shocked the women’s basketball landscape by knocking off Baylor in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals before falling to UConn in the title game.
“It’s an honor and shows what we’ve been able to do here in our six years,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “I think we’ve laid a very good foundation and we’re not just a team that’s had one good year, we’re a program. We’re a program that’s here to stay and compete for years to come.”
South Carolina is No. 22. Georgia is No. 24, giving the SEC six teams in the Top 25. Kentucky is No. 7, Louisiana State is No. 15 and Texas A&M is No. 16.