The Huskies return four starters from last season’s unbeaten national championship team, including All-Americans Maya Moore and Tina Charles. Hey, you can say they return five starters if you count Caroline Doty. So it was no surprise that they were the unanimous choice as the No. 1 pick in The Associated Press preseason poll, which was released today.
UConn, who sits atop the preseason poll for the second straight year and for the seventh time overall, received all 40 first-place votes. Stanford, which like the Huskies has reached the Final Four the past seasons and returns four starters led by Jayne Appel, Jeanette Pohlen and Kayla Pedersen, was second. Ohio State, Notre Dame and North Carolina rounded out the Top 5.
The Huskies will host the Cardinal at the XL Center Dec. 23. They will host North Carolina at Gampel Pavilion Jan. 9 and will host Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion Jan. 16 and travel to South Bend, Ind. March 1.
Big East rivals DePaul (No. 17), Louisville (No. 23) and Rutgers (No. 25) were also ranked.
While the Huskies again are in a familiar position heading into the season, coach Geno Auriemma commented on two other things this week regarding his team.
“Two things are written in stone for us,’’ Auriemma said. “Maya will try to get an assist or two for the year and Caroline will make an attempt to guard somebody. Now, if I say to you that that’s written in stone then Maya will get six assists one game because instinctively she’ll just make the right pass at the right time. But if I say to Maya, `Maya, try to average two assists every game’ then she won’t get any because she’ll try too hard to be a passer rather than a scorer. If I keep harping on Caroline … `Caroline, you can’t guard that way. You’ve got to guard this way.’ Then she becomes like all tied up in the thought of it rather than doing it. So some things you just have to let it play out. Just let them play.’’