UConn women’s basketball landed at No. 2 in the AP Preseason Poll, which came out on Tuesday. The Huskies were behind defending champions LSU and picked up one first-place vote.
Despite its season ending earlier than any other since 2005, expectations are high for UConn with Paige Bueckers back from a torn ACL along with the return of All-American Aaliyah Edwards as well as Azzi Fudd and Nika Mühl. The Huskies also get a healthy Ice Brady after she missed all of last season with a knee injury and brought in an impressive freshman class that includes point guard KK Arnold, do-it-all guard Ashlynn Shade, and wing Qadence Samuels.
LSU is the well-deserved No. 1. The Tigers have Angel Reese back after she took home 2023 Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors, then added two of the best players in the transfer portal in Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow.
UConn has eight teams on its schedule that made the preseason top 25: No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 South Carolina, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 Maryland, No. 16 North Carolina, No. 17 Louisville, and No. 22 Creighton.
NC State, Kansas, and Villanova all received at least one vote, too.
In other preseason news, Nika Mühl earned a spot on the watchlist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best point guard. Mühl was one of five finalists for the award last season after setting UConn’s single-season assists record with 284. Not included on the watch list is Paige Bueckers, who took home the honor back in 2021.