UConn Tops in Big East Preseason Poll

On Wednesday, we mentioned that the Huskies men's team had been picked to finish ninth in the Big East by the conference's coaches. Not surprising given all that's happened since the spring. Even less shocking: the women's team are Big East favorites. They received 12 first-place votes and 194 points, ahead of defending regular-season champions Notre Dame.

“A lot of that comes from UConn tradition and past UConn teams being so successful as well as with the players we’ve brought in,” UConn preseason All-American guard Bria Hartley said according to SNY.com. “It’s nice to be thought of as No. 1 in the conference. We want to get that regular season title back and I know we’ll be a tough team for anyone to go up against.”

It's nothing new for the Huskies, who have seven national titles under coach Geno Auriemma, and won the Big East conference tournament five years running and seven of the last eight. It explains all the individual preseason honors, too.

Freshman Breanna Stewart was named rookie of the year, and Hartley, Stefanie Dolson, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis were named to the Big East first team.

“It sets up a lot of expectations and things that people want you to live up to,” Hartley said. “I don’t think Breanna is one of those players that lets things get to her head so I know she’ll live up to any expectations.”

This has been a recurring theme in recent days, starting with Auriemma who has said on various occasions that Stewart could be the best player to ever come through Storrs. We'll find out soon enough.

The complete Big East rankings are blow.

1. UConn (12) 194
2. Notre Dame (3) 182
3. Louisville 167
4. St. John’s 144
5. Rutgers 143
6. DePaul 138
7. Syracuse 105
8. Georgetown 104
9. South Florida 97
10. Villanova 78
11. Marquette 75
12. Cincinnati 61
13. Pittsburgh 31
(tie) Seton Hall 31
15. Providence 25

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