NEW YORK (AP) — When he took over in 2014, Kelly Graves set out to establish Oregon as one of the elite teams in women’s college basketball.
Fresh off their first Final Four appearance, the Ducks are ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the first time in school history. Oregon, led by sensational guard Sabrina Ionescu, received 25 of the 28 first-place votes from the national media panel to grab the top spot in the preseason rankings released Wednesday.
“I think it validates our vision that we had going in here,” Graves told the AP. “It validates the hard work from my staff that’s been with me the whole journey. On this stage we had a better opportunity to be in position we now are.”
No. 2 Baylor, the defending national champion, received the other three first-place votes. Stanford, Maryland and UConn round out the top five; the Huskies have been ranked in the top five for 239 consecutive weeks, since January 2007.