Oct. 27, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford Women's Basketball will open the 2012-13 campaign ranked fourth in the Associated Press Preseason Poll, the AP announced Saturday.
The announcement marks the fifth straight season in which the Cardinal women have opened a campaign ranked in the AP's top five. Stanford opened last season in the fifth slot after earning rankings of second, second and third in the falls of 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Baylor topped Saturday's preseason poll, receiving all 40 first-place votes, followed by Connecticut and Duke. Maryland took the fifth spot to round out the top five.
Stanford, which on Monday was tabbed by Pac-12 coaches to capture its 13th straight conference title, will face off with Baylor Nov. 16 at the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic in an early-season marquee matchup. Connecticut visits Maples Pavilion, the site where the Cardinal ended the Huskies' NCAA-record 90-game winning streak in December 2010, on Dec. 29 for a contest that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
In all Stanford faces four members of the preseason Top 25, as Pac-12 rival California checked in at No. 13 and Tennessee, which Stanford will visit Dec. 22, opened at No. 20.
This year's Cardinal squad returns four starters from 2011-12's NCAA Final Four lineup that went 35-2 overall and 18-0 in the Pac-12, highlighted by a junior class featuring All-American and 2012-13 Wade Trophy candidate Chiney Ogwumike (15.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 58.3 FG pct., 45 blocks in 2011-12) and All-Pac-12 guard Toni Kokenis (9.5 ppg, 3.57 apg, Pac-12-best 2.24 assist-to-turnover ratio). Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle (8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 39.7 3-pt FG pct., team-leading 47 blocks) and sophomore guard Amber Orrange (4.8 ppg, 3.03 apg, 1.97 assist-to-turnover ratio), a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention last year, round out the returning starters.
Sophomores Taylor Greenfield
, a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention last year, and Bonnie Samuelson
also return, along with redshirt junioor Mikaela Ruef
, who missed all but three games last season with a foot injury.
Following exhibitions Nov. 1 and Nov. 3 against Corban University and Vanguard University, respectively, the Cardinal will open the 2012-13 campaign at home Friday, Nov. 9 against Fresno State.
Associated Press Preseason Top 25 (First-Place Votes)
1. Baylor (40)
7. Notre Dame
8. Penn State
14. St. John's
15. Texas A&M
17. West Virginia
19. Ohio State
22. Georgia Tech
23. Oklahoma State