Baylor Athletics Press Release:
WACO, Texas – The Baylor Lady Bears will begin their 2020-21 campaign ranked No. 4 in the nation by the Associated Press, according to its poll released Tuesday.
The preseason nod marks the 320th-straight week that Baylor has been ranked in the AP Top 25, which is second only to UConn’s streak of 510 weeks. The last time the Lady Bears were not ranked in the preseason poll came ahead of the 2003-04 season, marking the 17th-straight year to begin the season ranked. Coincidentally, the 2003-04 Lady Bears were the team to start the streak of 320 weeks on the 11th week of that season.
The Lady Bears are still the defending NCAA champions after their win in Tampa in 2019. The 2019-20 NCAA postseason was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Lady Bears were a projected No. 1 seed to attempt to defend their title.
South Carolina checked in with the No. 1 spot, UConn is ranked second and Oregon checked in at third. The Big 12 also had representatives in the preseason Top 25 with Iowa State checking in at 15 and Texas receiving votes.
Tuesday’s poll marks the eighth time in program history and the fifth-straight season that Baylor notched a top-five preseason ranking from the AP.
Baylor returns honorable mention All-American junior post NaLyssa Smith and reigning National Defensive Player of the Year DiDi Richards to lead the squad. Richards is day-to-day with a nervous system injury, but she is improving since her collision with fellow senior Moon Ursin on Oct. 24.
The Lady Bears have seven players left over from the national championship team in 2019, including junior center Queen Egbo. Egbo was selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 team along with Richards and Smith, while DiJonai Carrington and Sarah Andrews were named Big 12 Preseason Newcomer and Freshman of the Year, respectively.
The Lady Bears are set to begin the delayed 2020-21 season Nov. 25 at home vs. Central Arkansas.
AP Top 25 Poll
|1||South Carolina (0-0)||1||Southeastern Women||749 (29)|
|2||Stanford (0-0)||7||Pacific 12 Women||698 (1)|
|3||Connecticut (0-0)||5||American Athletic Women||695|
|4||Baylor (0-0)||3||Big 12 Women||663|
|5||Louisville (0-0)||6||Atlantic Coast Women||597|
|6||Mississippi State (0-0)||9||Southeastern Women||589|
|7||Arizona (0-0)||12||Pacific 12 Women||575|
|8||North Carolina State (0-0)||8||Atlantic Coast Women||556|
|9||UCLA (0-0)||10||Pacific 12 Women||499|
|10||Oregon (0-0)||2||Pacific 12 Women||472|
|11||Kentucky (0-0)||16||Southeastern Women||464|
|12||Maryland (0-0)||4||Big Ten Women||395|
|13||Texas A&M (0-0)||18||Southeastern Women||383|
|14||Arkansas (0-0)||24||Southeastern Women||354|
|15||Iowa State (0-0)||Big 12 Women||284|
|16||Indiana (0-0)||20||Big Ten Women||278|
|17||Northwestern (0-0)||11||Big Ten Women||275|
|18||Oregon State (0-0)||14||Pacific 12 Women||240|
|19||DePaul (0-0)||15||Big East Women||185|
|20||Ohio State (0-0)||Big Ten Women||165|
|21||Gonzaga (0-0)||13||West Coast Women||137|
|22||Notre Dame (0-0)||Atlantic Coast Women||125|
|23||Syracuse (0-0)||Atlantic Coast Women||120|
|24||Missouri State (0-0)||23||Missouri Valley Women||95|
|25||Michigan (0-0)||Big Ten Women||65|
Others receiving votes:
Texas 24, South Dakota 21, Florida State 12, North Carolina 10, Arizona State 6, Princeton 5, Marquette 4, South Dakota State 3, Boston College 2, South Florida 1, Rutgers 1, Tennessee 1, Duke 1