Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies are starting this season where they left off, atop the poll.
It's the 11th time that the Huskies are the top choice in The Associated Press preseason poll which was released Tuesday. UConn went on to win the national championship in seven of those years, including the last two seasons. Connecticut is one short of the record held by Tennessee.
"I think it's part of the culture that we have hopefully created here where the expectations are really high," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Not just the outside world's expectations, those are our expectations. We want to be viewed, year in and year out, as one of the best teams in the country."
The Huskies received all 32 first-place votes from the national media panel Tuesday and will be trying for an unprecedented fourth straight national championship this year.
"It's certainly not something you take for granted, but at the same time when you've been in that situation enough times, you get to appreciate a lot of those times we weren't number one and won the national championship," Auriemma continued. "That's when you realize that the key is finishing the season number one, not what you're ranked in the preseason. But as the famous Lefty Driesell once said, 'you tend to finish where you're picked'. I kind of like that."
UConn also was the preseason No. 1 in 1995, '99, 2000, '01, '03, '08, '09, '10, '13 and '14. The Huskies open Nov. 16 at No. 6 Ohio State.
South Carolina was second with Notre Dame, Tennessee and Baylor rounding out the first five. The Gamecocks were also No. 2 in the preseason poll last year.