Crack of dawn Staley and South Carolina are encourage in a smartly-diagnosed dilemma: No. 1 in The Connected Press Top 25 girls folk’s basketball poll.
It is miles the second consecutive season that the Gamecocks are the preseason favourite.
“With who we introduced encourage and who added for this season, we knew we would initiate up out amongst the hunted, and it’s something that our program is getting aged to,” acknowledged Staley, who goes into her 14th season as South Carolina coach. “Watching observe on each day foundation, I will glance that we now beget the pieces and the competitive fireplace to reach all of our targets. We beget about a more weeks to position these pieces together into a cohesive, successful team that can are residing up to this preseason ranking.”
The Gamecocks obtained 14 of the 29 first-plot votes from a national media panel in Tuesday’s poll. UConn become as soon as second, garnering 10 first-plot ballots. It is miles the 15th consecutive season that the Huskies were amongst the end five groups in the preseason.
Defending national champion Stanford become as soon as third, getting the assorted five first-plot votes. Maryland and North Carolina Bid rounded out the end five.
It is been a busy few days for Staley. The faculty announced a brand fresh, seven-year contract that pays her $2.9 million this season and develop to $3.5 million in the closing season. She also believes the $22.4 million deal would possibly perhaps perhaps presumably also silent sort an impact on her sport and in the equality of what girls and men folk’s coaches and athletes receive from their colleges.
Indiana is No. 8, the school’s perfect ranking ever in girls folk’s basketball. There is a quantity of enjoyment around Bloomington, with all five starters strolling again from a team that went to the Elite Eight closing year and had its sixth straight 20-salvage season.
“It is mountainous recognition for our program and a testament to our team and how they continued to recover throughout one of primarily the most complicated and interesting seasons we had in the history of girls folk’s basketball,” Indiana coach Teri Moren acknowledged. “We maintain we now beget powerful to show cowl and are having a behold ahead to what we all know will be a interesting season in every non-convention besides what we are going to glance in the Significant Ten.”
Michigan also tied its simplest ranking ever, coming in at No. 11. The Wolverines return three starters, together with Naz Hillmon, from the squad that misplaced to Baylor in time previous regulations in the Candy 16 closing season.
Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico called the ranking an honor and acknowledged her team become as soon as desirous to sort on the momentum from closing spring.
“We had been in a position to salvage steps ahead and develop as a program the previous few seasons, doing issues that had never been done earlier than,” she acknowledged. “Showing that consistency year in and year out is the signal of a mountainous program, no longer only a mountainous team.”
There are excessive expectations in Iowa this year: The Hawkeyes are No. 9 and Iowa Bid is No. 12.
Iowa, led by principal person guard Caitlin Clark, has its its perfect preseason ranking for the reason that team become as soon as sixth in 1996.
Iowa Bid coach Invoice Fennelly has a bulk of his starting five encourage, together with Ashley Joens and Lexi Donarski. It is miles the team’s simplest ranking in the preseason since 2001, when the Cyclones were eighth.
The Pac-12, Significant Ten and ACC every beget five ranked groups, tops in the nation:
Becoming a member of No. 4 Maryland, No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa and No. 11 Michigan is No. 17 Ohio Bid for the Significant Ten.
In the Pac-12, No. 3 Stanford is joined by No. 10 Oregon, No. 14 Oregon Bid, No. 20 UCLA and No. 22 Arizona.
The ACC has No. 5 N.C. Bid, No. 6 Louisville, No. 16 Florida Bid, No. 17 Georgia Tech and No. 24 Virginia Tech.
The SEC has four groups with No. 13 Kentucky, No. 15 Tennessee and No. 23 Texas A&M becoming a member of top-ranked South Carolina. The Significant 12 also has four capabilities ranked, led by No. 7 Baylor with fresh head coach Nicki Collen. The Bears are joined by the Cyclones, No. 19 West Virginia and No. 25 Texas.
The handiest non-Vitality 5 team in the poll is No. 21 South Florida out of the American Athletic Convention.
Georgia Tech is ranked for the third time ever in the preseason (2009, 2012). … Virginia Tech is in the preseason poll for handiest the second time ever, becoming a member of the 1999 squad that become as soon as ranked 17th.