Tennessee No. 4 in AP preseason women's basketball Top 25

dek dek dek

From left, Tennessee's Nia Moore, Ariel Massengale, and Isabelle Harrison take a break from the interviews during media day at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

From left, Tennessee's Nia Moore, Ariel Massengale, and Isabelle Harrison take a break from the interviews during media day at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Holly Warlick at the 2013 Lady Vols media day

None

Tennessee didn’t receive any extra incentive with this year’s Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball preseason poll.

Instead, the Lady Vols’ ranking reflects an expectation.

UT is fourth in the first AP poll, which was released on Friday. The ranking is a far cry from the No. 20 they were given to start last season. The Lady Vols used that ranking as motivation and went 27-8, rising as high as No. 8 in the poll.

Tennessee’s 752 points were 38 more than No. 5 Louisville, which eliminated the Lady Vols 86-78 in the Oklahoma City Regional final last April. The loss ended their season in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season.

Defending champion Connecticut was No. 1, receiving all 36 first-place votes. Duke was second, followed by Stanford.

Tennessee was among six SEC schools that were ranked. The others were Kentucky (No. 7), LSU (No. 15), Texas A&M (No. 16), South Carolina (No. 22) and Georgia (No. 24). No other conference matched that total.

Along with the conference teams, Tennessee will play three other teams appearing in the preseason poll: Stanford, No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 12 North Carolina.

Led by coach Holly Warlick, last season’s Division I rookie coach of the year, the Lady Vols return two decorated players. Senior guard Meighan Simmons was the SEC co-player of the year last season. Sophomore forward Bashaara Graves was the conference’s freshman of the year.

Mercedes Russell, a 6-foot-6 freshman center, was ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2014 by ESPN HoopGurlz and Women’s Basketball Insider.

Tennessee hosts Carson-Newman in an exhibition at 7 p.m. on Monday. The season opener is Friday at Middle Tennessee State.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 4

manoffewwords writes:

LV's have 10 very goog players and very good coaches

They may go all the way !

wigmeister writes:

Let's play the games and let the chips fall as they may. I'll take the LV's!

MaxVolFan writes:

No reason why the lady Vols can't go undefeated during the regular schedule. Yes they have some challenges but are evenly matched with teams like UNC, Stanford and ND probably more talented at each position imo. The question is can they get over the final four dry spell and get to Nashville. I think they will . Just looking at the past 4 yrs and it was Griners Baylor and Skylars ND team standing in the way. Yes we didnt play Baylor last yr in the tournament but we were preparing to play them and I think we didn't have time to study Louisville and lost. We will be in Nashville.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

No reason why the lady Vols can't go undefeated during the regular schedule. Yes they have some challenges but are evenly matched with teams like UNC, Stanford and ND probably more talented at each position imo. The question is can they get over the final four dry spell and get to Nashville. I think they will . Just looking at the past 4 yrs and it was Griners Baylor and Skylars ND team standing in the way. Yes we didnt play Baylor last yr in the tournament but we were preparing to play them and I think we didn't have time to study Louisville and lost. We will be in Nashville.

Sure hope you're right! I agree that the LVs have everything they need to hang another banner IF everybody stays healthy. I'll have my fingers crossed every day that the LVs can uncharacteristically avoid the injury bug this season.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features