Duke listed preseason No. 2 in USA Today Sports Coaches’ poll

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team earned the preseason No. 2 spot in the first USA Today Sports Coaches’ Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday.

Led by head coach Joanne P. McCallie, the Blue Devils earned their highest preseason ranking since 2005-06.

Duke received 735 points and was ranked second behind defending NCAA champion Connecticut, who received 31 of 32 first place votes.

Rounding out the top 10 was Stanford, Tennessee, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, Kentucky, California and Baylor.

The Blue Devils, who return all five starters and their top seven scorers from a year ago, will face five of the top 10 teams in the USA Today Sports preseason ranking, and will start their season tipping off against the ninth-ranked California Golden Bears on Nov. 10.

Closing out the top 25 was Triangle-rival North Carolina, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Penn State, Dayton, LSU, Michigan State, Colorado, Iowa State, South Carolina, Georgia, Purdue, Oklahoma State and UCLA.

Overall, Duke’s 2013-14 schedule includes eight ranked opponents – Connecticut (1), Maryland (6), Notre Dame (7), Kentucky (8), California (9), North Carolina (11), Oklahoma (14) and Purdue(23).

The Blue Devils will host two preseason games at Cameron Indoor Stadium beginning with Glenville State on Wednesday and Coker College on Sun. Nov. 3, before heading out West to open the regular season the following Sunday at Cal.

USA TODAY SPORTS TOP 25 COACHES’ POLL

Rank, School (2012-2013 record)

  1. Connecticut (35-4)
  2. Duke (33-3)
  3. Stanford (33-3)
  4. Tennessee (27-8)
  5. Louisville (29-9)
  6. Maryland (26-8)
  7. Notre Dame (35-2)
  8. Kentucky (30-6)
  9. California (32-4)
  10. Baylor (34-2)
  11. North Carolina (29-7)
  12. Nebraska (25-9)
  13. Texas A&M (25-10)
  14. Oklahoma (24-11)
  15. Penn State (26-6)
  16. Dayton (28-3)
  17. LSU (22-12)
  18. Michigan State (25-9)
  19. Colorado (25-7)
  20. Iowa State (24-9)
  21. South Carolina (25-8)
  22. Georgia (28-7)
  23. Purdue (25-9)
  24. Oklahoma State (22-11)
  25. UCLA (26-8)

Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt (21-12) 99; Gonzaga (27-6) 68; DePaul (21-12) 54; West Virginia (17-14) 53; South Florida (22-11) 37; Georgia Tech (14-16) 34; Kansas (20-14) 32; Florida State (23-10) 18; Wisconsin-Green Bay (29-3) 18; Marist (26-7) 17; Rutgers (16-14) 11; Creighton (25-8) 10; Saint Mary’s (23-11) 8; Syracuse (24-8) 8; Middle Tennessee (25-8) 6; Toledo (29-4) 6; Iowa (21-13) 4; Quinnipiac (30-3) 4; San Diego (22-10) 4; Delaware (32-4) 2; Minnesota (18-14) 2; Brigham Young (23-11) 1; Florida (22-15) 1; Pacific (27-8) 1; Southern Methodist (21-10) 1; St. John‘s (18-13) 1