Duke WBB ranked No. 2 in AP Poll as end of preseason nears

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

DURHAM, N.C. The Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team received final confirmation that they are the preseason No. 2 team in  the country as the beginning of the 2013-2014 season approaches.

The Associated Press (AP) released its 2013-14 preseason women’s basketball poll on Friday with the Blue Devils earning their highest preseason ranking since the 2005-06 season.

Duke has been preseason ranked in the top one or two of the AP poll rankings on three other occasions – No. 1 in 2002-03, No. 1 in 2005-06 and No. 2 in 2003-04.

The Blue Devils received 605 points and were ranked only behind defending NCAA Champion Connecticut, who received all 36 first place votes.

Rounding out the top 10 was Stanford at No. 3, Tennessee, Louisville, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Maryland, California and Baylor.

The Blue Devils will face five of the top 10 teams in the rankings and will start the season at ninth-ranked California on Nov. 10.

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

Overall, Duke will tip off against eight ranked opponents 2013-14 – Connecticut (1), Notre Dame (6), Kentucky (7), Maryland (8), California (9), Oklahoma (11), North Carolina (12) and Purdue (18).

After beating Glenville State 122-77 last week, the Blue Devils will finish exhibition play on Sunday when they host the South Atlantic Conference’s Coker College Lady Cobras out of Hartsville, S.C.

Head coach Jenny Finora leads Coker, a team that is coming off an 18-11 season in 2012-13, and whose roster includes Durham product Hailey Yohn, a 5-10 junior guard who averaged 6.8 points last year.