Street & Smith's Slots OU at No. 3

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 29, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. - The latest in the preseason basketball polls was announced on Friday and the Oklahoma women's basketball team was ranked No. 3 by Street & Smith's magazine. Street & Smith's placed OU behind No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 North Carolina.

Oklahoma was also ranked No. 3 in Athlon Sports preseason poll, while the Sooners were ranked No. 4 by Slam Magazine and No. 6 by Lindy's.  The combined average of the four preseason polls leads to a No. 4 ranking.

Street & Smith's also handed out preseason All-America nods, in the form of the 'Terrric 10', and Courtney Paris is among those honored.

Street & Smith's contributor Clay Kallam offered this commentary on the Sooners, "Begin with five starters back from a team that made it to the Sweet 16, including force-of-nature Courtney Paris. Add elite recruit Amanda Thompson, who will likely push one of those returning starters to the bench, and Coach Sherri Coale’s bright smile is more than understandable. Usually, players improve most between their freshman and sophomore seasons because they use the offseason to work on what they’ve learned about the college game. In her first year, Paris averaged 21.9 points and 15.0 rebounds while shooting 61.4 percent from the field. If she gets better than that, the Sooners may not break a sweat until tournament time."

Polls: Athlon | Lindy's | Slam | 2006-07 Schedule

The highest official preseason ranking on record for OU was No. 4 in the 2001-02 Associated Press preseason poll. The Sooners were also ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/Coaches preseason poll that same season.

The top-five ranking comes on the heels of the 2005-06 season, which was one of the most successful years in OU history. Last season the Sooners posted a 31-5 record, which included a 19-0 run through Big 12 play and a  Sweet 16 appearance.  OU was ranked No. 8 in the final 2005-06 COaches Poll.

This season, OU returns five starters and nine letterwinners, including 2006 consensus All-American Paris and 2006 All-Big 12 second team performer Leah Rush. OU also added five true freshman, who are headlined by McDonald’s All-Americans Abi Olajuwon and Amanda Thompson.

The women's basketball season will officially kick into gear on Oct. 18 at the Big 12 Media Days in Oklahoma City. The Sooners are among the first teams to participate at the media-only event.  Courtney Paris, Britney Brown, Leah Rush and head coach Sherri Coale are currently scheduled to attend.

OU opens its season by hosting the State Farm Tip-Off Classic at the Lloyd Noble Center on Nov. 12. OU will play DePaul (No. 19 in Street & Smith's poll) at 2:30 p.m., while Rutgers (No. 14) and Georgia (No. 10) will meet in the early game at Noon CST.  All four teams reached the Sweet 16 last season.

 Street & Smith's Preseason Top 25
 1. Maryland
 2. North Carolina
 3. Oklahoma
 4. Stanford
 5. Tennessee
 6. Ohio State
 7. Duke
 8. Connecticut
 9. Texas A&M
 10. Georgia
 11. Vanderbilt
 12. Arizona State
 13. LSU
 14. Rutgers
 15. Kentucky
 16. New Mexico
 17. Texas Tech
 18. Old Dominion
 19. DePaul
 20. Virginia
 21. George Washington
 22. Purdue
 23. Iowa State
 24. Pittsburgh
 25. Southern California

Terrific 10
Jessica Davenport, Ohio State
Sylvia Fowles, LSU
Tasha Humphrey, Georgia
Crystal Langhorne, Maryland
Erlana Larkins, North Carolina
Ivory Latta, North Carolina
Courtney Paris, Oklahoma
Candace Parker, Tennessee
Noelle Quinn, UCLA
Candice Wiggins, Stanford

High Honorable Mention
Jolene Anderson, Wisconsin
Marissa Coleman, Maryland
Katie Gearlds, Purdue
Devenai Hampton, California
Lindsey Harding, Duke
Tiffany Jackson, Texas
Crystal Kelly, Western Kentucky
Armintie Price, Mississippi
Jillian Robbins, Tulsa
Brooke Smith, Stanford

Honorable Mention
Matee Ajavon, Rutgers
Morenike Atunrase, Texas A&M
Alison Bales, Duke
DeWanna Bonner, Auburn
Jessica Dickson, South Florida
Janielle Dodds, SMU
Chrissy Givens, Middle Tennessee
Alicia Gladden, Florida State
Alexis Gray-Lawson, California
Kiera Hardy, Nebraska
Laura Harper, Maryland
Alexis Hornbuckle, Tennessee
Camille Little, North Carolina
Lyndsey Medders, Iowa State
Eshaya Murphy, USC
Allie Quigley, DePaul
Tyresa Smith, Delaware
Kristi Toliver, Maryland
Marcedes Walker, Pittsburgh
Abby Waner, Duke
Emily Westerberg, Arizona State
Mallorie Winn, Pittsburgh
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Purdue
Sharne Zoll, Virginia



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