Women's Basketball ranked No. 24 in USA Today/ESPN Preseason Poll
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's basketball team is ranked No. 24 in the 2007-08 USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top 25 Poll, released Wednesday.
The poll, which is conducted by a select group of Division I coaches, finds the Longhorns one of four teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 who were not ranked at the conclusion of the 2006-07 campaign. Texas is coming off an 18-14 season.
The Longhorns are under the direction of first-year head coach Gail Goestenkors, who had a tremendous 15-year run as Duke head coach prior to taking the Longhorns reigns this past April. Goestenkors welcomes back 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from last year's squad.
Defending NCAA champion Tennessee sits atop the USA Today/ESPN poll. Tennessee, who Texas plays in Knoxville on November 18, collected 26 first-place votes and 767 total points. The Lady Vols, 34-3 a year ago, rank ahead of Connecticut (714 points, four first-place votes), 2007 NCAA runnerup Rutgers (683 points) and Maryland (637).
UT is one of four Big 12 schools receiving a USA Today/ESPN preseason ranking, joining Oklahoma (6th), Texas A&M (11th) and Baylor (15th).
In addition to contests against No. 1 Tennessee and the three ranked Big 12 squads, Texas also will face No. 12 Arizona State during the regular season.
The Associated Press (media) preseason poll will be released on Nov. 3.
The Longhorns open up the 2007-08 season with two exhibition games. UT will face Trinity University, a Division III program from San Antonio, in the first exhibition on Thursday, Nov. 1 (7 p.m. CST) at the Frank Erwin Center, before playing the Houston Jaguars on Tuesday, Nov. 6 (7 p.m.), also at the Erwin Center. Both games are free to the public.
Last year, Texas met both these squads in exhibition play, defeating both Trinity (78-29, Nov. 7) and the Houston Jaguars (72-31 on Nov. 2).