It’s a new era for UConn women’s basketball but expectations remain the same. The Huskies came in at No. 3 in the AP top 25 preseason poll, behind South Carolina and Stanford. The Gamecocks received 29 first-place votes while the Cardinal picked up one.
UConn will play five teams in the preseason top 25: South Carolina (No. 1), Baylor (No. 4), Louisville (No. 5), Mississippi State (No. 6), and DePaul (No. 20). Marquette and Tennessee received votes as well.
Considering the uncertainty with this year’s the team, No. 3 is a fair spot for the Huskies. UConn lost its top two scorers from last season in Crystal Dangerfield and Megan Walker and will rely on significant improvement from sophomores Aubrey Griffin and Anna Makurat along with a large, unproven freshman class.
However, with juniors Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Christyn Williams leading the charge and Geno Auriemma at the helm, the Huskies still have enough to be a top-five team in the country.
Last season, UConn started and finished at No. 5 in the AP Poll, though it moved around plenty during the season. The Huskies climbed to No. 1 last December after Stanford — who previously held the top spot — lost. However, they didn’t hold that position long and dropped to No. 3 after losing to Baylor a few weeks later.
After UConn’s loss to South Carolina in February, the Huskies fell all the way to No. 6, marking the first time they were outside the AP top five since 2007.
UConn has been ranked in every poll since the end of the 1992-93 season — 27 years ago. The Huskies have also reached No. 1 at some point in 21 of the last 26 seasons.