South Carolina, UConn, Stanford women top preseason Top 25

Dawn Staley, South Carolina, and South Carolina have returned to a familiar position: No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll. It’s the second straight season in which the Gamecocks have been the preseason favorites.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

“With who we brought back and who added for this season, we knew we would start out among the hunted, and it’s something that our program is getting used to,” said Staley, who is going into her 14th season as South Carolina coach. Every day I watch practice, it is clear that our team has the tools and the fire to achieve all of their goals. There are still a few weeks left to bring these pieces together and make this a successful, cohesive team capable of living up to the preseason ranking. “

The Gamecocks received 14 of the 29 first-place votes from a national media panel in Tuesday’s poll. UConn was second, garnering 10 first-place ballots. It’s the 15th consecutive season that the Huskies were among the top five teams in the preseason.

Stanford, the national champion defense team, was third. He also received five of the first-place votes. Maryland, North Carolina State completed the Top Five ..

It’s been an exciting few days for Staley. Staley was busy these days as the school revealed a seven-year contract for $2.9 million. It will increase to $3.5million in her final season. She also believes the $22.4 million deal should make an impact on her sport and in the equality of what men and women’s coaches and athletes receive from their schools.

HOOSIER HYSTERIA

Indiana is No. 8 is the highest school ranking in women’s basketball. There’s a lot of excitement around Bloomington, with all five starters returning from a team that went to the Elite Eight last year and had its sixth straight 20-win season. It’s a great honor for our program, and a testament of our team’s ability to improve during one of the most challenging and difficult seasons in women’s basketball history,” Teri Moren of Indiana said. We believe that we still have much to prove. And we look forward to the Big Ten’s challenging season. “

RISING WOLVERINES

Michigan also tied its best ranking ever, coming in at No. 11. The Wolverines return three starters, including Naz Hillmon, from the squad that lost to Baylor in overtime in the Sweet 16 last season. Kim Barnes Arico,

Michigan’s coach, called it an honor and stated that her team is eager to continue the momentum built from last season.

” We have taken steps to grow and improved as a team over the last few seasons. This has allowed us to do things that were not possible before,” she stated. It is a sign that a program excels, and not just an excellent team. “

HEARTLAND HOPES

There are high expectations in Iowa this year: The Hawkeyes are No. The Hawkeyes are No. 9 while Iowa State is No. 12.

Iowa, led by star guard Caitlin Clark, has its its highest preseason ranking since the team was sixth in 1996.

Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly is back with a large portion of his starting five, which includes Lexi Donarski and Ashley Joens. It’s the team’s best ranking in the preseason since 2001, when the Cyclones were eighth.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

CONFERENCE WATCH

The Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC each have five ranked teams, tops in the nation:

Joining No. 4 Maryland, No. 8 Indiana, Number. 8 Indiana, No. 11 Michigan is No. 17 Ohio State for the Big Ten.

In the Pac-12, No. The No. 3 Stanford team is joined by the No. 10 Oregon, No. 14 Oregon State, No. 20 UCLA and No. 22 Arizona.

The ACC’s No. 5. N.C. State No. 6 Louisville, No. 16 Florida State, No. 17 Georgia Tech and No. 24 Virginia Tech.

The SEC boasts four teams that include No. 13 Kentucky, No. 15 Tennessee and No. 23 Texas A&M joining top-ranked South Carolina. The Big 12 also has four programs ranked, led by No. Nicki Collen, the new coach at 7 Baylor. They are joined by No. 19 West Virginia and No. 25 Texas.

The only other non-Power Five group in this poll is No. 21 South Florida out of the American Athletic Conference.

TIP-INS

Georgia Tech is ranked for the third time ever in the preseason (2009, 2012). … Virginia Tech is in the preseason poll for only the second time ever, joining the 1999 squad that was ranked 17th.

By editor