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November 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Baylor tops preseason coaches’ poll

KMulkey.jpgBaylor is the clear leader headed into the 2011-12 NCAA women’s basketball season, also topping the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll that was released on Tuesday. The Bears received 17 of the 31 possible first-place votes.
Baylor topped the Associated Press poll released on Saturday.
And as a side note: Can I say, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey’s rants about who she will and will not sleep as an analogy for not playing defending NCAA champion Texas A&M is way more entertaining than Tennessee coach Pat Summitt-Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma’s “she knows” tiff? Is it a prerequisite to say outlandish things if you’re perceived as the No. 1 team in the country?
But I digress. While Gonzaga is the overwhelming favorite to win an unprecedented eighth West Coast Conference title in preseason picks, the Zags weren’t ranked nationally in either preseason poll. Blame it on the post-Courtney Vandersloot era, GU totaling 70 points in the coaches’ poll.
Pac-12 favorite Stanford was picked fifth by the coaches and Southern California, which is led by senior G Ashley Corral (Prairie High), was ranked 23rd. UCLA was unranked, the Bruins losing coach Nikki Caldwell to LSU.
And speaking of the Aggies, Texas A&M ranked sixth in the poll that features six teams that were unranked at the end of the 2010-11 season.
The USA Today/ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The board for the 2011-12 season: Courtney Banghart, Princeton; Frank Bennett, Lipscomb; Rae Blair, Texas-San Antonio; Matt Bollant, Wisconsin-Green Bay; Matt Corkery, American; June Daugherty, Washington State; Tonya Edwards, Alcorn State; Jose Fernandez, South Florida; Ronny Fisher, Presbyterian; Beckie Francis, Oakland (Mich.); Stephanie Glance, Illinois State; Bonnie Henrickson, Kansas; Tom Hodges, Morehead State; Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee; Jim Jabir, Dayton; Andy Landers, Georgia; Joe Mathews, Towson; Suzy Merchant, Michigan State; Lynn Milligan, Rider; Sherri Murrell, Portland State; Kathy Olivier, UNLV; Kelly Packard, Ball State; Raegan Pebley, Utah State; Mike Petersen, Wake Forest; Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford; Susan Robinson-Fruchtl, St. Francis (Pa.); David Six, Hampton; Paul Thomas, Saint Mary’s; Joi Williams, Central Florida; Nancy Wilson, College of Charleston; Jody Wynn, Long Beach State.
Here’s the complete poll (Rank / School / 2010-11 record):
1 Baylor (34-3)
2 Notre Dame (31-8)
3 Tennessee (34-3)
4 Connecticut (36-2)
5 Stanford (33-3)
6 Texas A&M (33-5)
7 Miami (Fla.) (28-5)
8 Duke (32-4)
9 Louisville (22-13)
10 Maryland (24-8)
11 Georgetown (24-11)
12 Georgia (23-11)
13 Florida State (24-8)
14 Penn State (25-10)
15 Kentucky (25-9)
16 Oklahoma (23-12)
17 Rutgers (20-13)
18 DePaul (29-7)
19 North Carolina (28-9)
20 Texas (19-14)
21 Purdue (21-12)
22 LSU (19-13)
23 Southern California (24-13)
24 Wisconsin-Green Bay (34-2)
25 Michigan State (27-6)
*PHOTO CREDIT: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey during NCAA tournament practice in Dallas by LM Otero of The Associated Press

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