Sooners make return to ranked status in preseason AP poll.
Oct. 27, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team landed 12th in The Associated Press' preseason women's basketball poll released Saturday.
Oklahoma returns seven players, including its starting five, from a squad that finished second in the Big 12 Conference and with 13th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
All-Big 12 First Team members Aaryn Ellenberg and Whitney Hand and the Big 12's Sixth Man Sharane Campbell lead a cast bolstered by the addition of three highly-rated newcomers. These Sooners will face their first preseason-ranked opponent on their home court in December.
Big 12 foe and reigning national champion Baylor was the unanimous vote for No. 1. The Sooners and Lady Bears meet twice in 2013 in nationally-televised games on Jan. 26 in Waco, Texas, and Feb. 25, in Norman, Okla.
Connecticut, Duke, Stanford and Maryland rounded out the top five. Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisville and Georgia completed the top 10.
Delaware, which won its first NCAA tournament game last season, scored its highest-ever preseason rank at No. 11, just ahead of Oklahoma.
California, St. John's and Texas A&M took spots 13 through 15.
Vanderbilt was No. 15. The Commodores and Sooners meet in Norman on Dec. 16. Vanderbilt dropped OU in Nashville last year, 78-66, for the first of three straight losses that ended the Sooners' six-year poll streak.
The Sooners were as high as No. 12 last season before falling out of the polls for the first time since the 2005-06 preseason in week six.
New Big 12 Conference member West Virginia was No. 16. The Mountaineers first conference opponent in their new league will be Oklahoma in Norman on Jan. 2. The return trip to Morgantown, W. Va., is Feb. 3.
Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee, Purdue and Georgia Tech were 17 through 21, respectively.
Oklahoma State came in at 22nd. The Sooners and Cowgirls face each other in the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Bedlam Series Feb. 10 in Norman and Feb. 23 in Stillwater.
Miami (Fla.) and DePaul completed the top 25.
Preseason AP Women's Basketball Top 25 (Oct. 27)
1. Baylor (40)
7. Notre Dame
8. Penn State
14. St. John's (N.Y.)
15. Texas A&M
17. West Virginia
19. Ohio State
22. Georgia Tech
23. Oklahoma State