UK Hoops Earns Top 10 Ranking in Major Preseason Polls

Nov. 1, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Following its third Elite Eight in the last four years, the University of Kentucky women's basketball team has earned top-10 preseason rankings by The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Poll. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Wildcats have been ranked in the preseason national polls.

The Wildcats are coming off a school record 30-win season and fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. After advancing to the 2013 Elite Eight, UK was picked No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 8 in the initial AP Top 25. UK's highest rankings in the preseason polls came last season when it was No. 6 in the AP and No. 7 in the coaches' poll.

The Wildcats have appeared in the AP poll 159 times in the poll's 39-year history. Since the middle of 2009-10, Kentucky has been ranked in the major polls 67 consecutive weeks. UK's longest streak in the AP poll is 68 consecutive weeks from week 11 during the 1979-80 season to week 17 of the 1982-83 season.

UK is one of six Southeastern Conference schools to be ranked in both polls along with Tennessee (No. 4/4), Texas A&M (No. 13/16), LSU (No. 15/17), South Carolina (No. 21/22) and Georgia (No. 22/24). The Wildcats will also face No. 2/2 Duke, No. 5/5 Louisville and No. 10/10 Baylor during the non-conference portion of the 2013-14 slate.

The Wildcats return 10 letterwinners and four starters from last season's NCAA Elite Eight squad. Kentucky will be led by All-SEC performers DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calf.), Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) and NCAA Tournament Bridgeport Regional All-Tournament Team honoree Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.). New faces to the roster are McDonald's All-Americans Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.). Freshman forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers will miss her freshman campaign due to a pulmonary embolism. The freshman class was ranked fifth by All-Star Girls Report, the fourth straight top 15 class by head coach Matthew Mitchell.

UK opens the 2013-14 season with an exhibition game against Eckerd College on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free, while supplies last.

Follow UK Hoops on Twitter and Instagram at @UKHoopCats and on Facebook by liking University of Kentucky Women's Basketball.

AP Top 25
1. Connecticut
2. Duke
3. Stanford
4. Tennessee
5. Louisville
6. Notre Dame
7. Kentucky
8. Maryland
9. California
10. Baylor
11. Oklahoma
12. North Carolina
13. Penn State
14. Dayton
15. LSU
16. Texas A&M
17. Nebraska
18. Purdue
19. Colorado
20. Michigan State
21. Oklahoma State
22. South Carolina
23. Iowa State
24. Georgia
25. Gonzaga

USA Today
1. Connecticut
2. Duke
3. Stanford
4. Tennessee
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. Notre Dame
8. Kentucky
9. California
10. Baylor
11. North Carolina
12. Nebraska
13. Texas A&M
14. Oklahoma
15. Penn State
16. Dayton
17. LSU
18. Michigan State
19. Colorado
20. Iowa State
21. South Carolina
22. Georgia
23. Purdue
24. Oklahoma State
25. UCLA