So after just about every preseason publibcation on the planet — really, I didn’t know there were that many — ranked West Virginia’s women’s basketball team, the one poll that matters came out Wednesday and included the Mountaineers at No. 22.
The Mountaineers received 139 votes to earn their first ranking in a major Top 25 poll since finishing the 1991-92 season at No. 14 in the AP poll.
â€œWeâ€™re happy to be ranked and get some national recognition,â€ Head Coach Mike Carey said. â€œIt represents all the hard work that weâ€™ve put in over the past few years. However, being ranked wonâ€™t win us any games. We have to work that much harder now knowing that weâ€™ll be taking everyoneâ€™s best shot.â€
A few other notes from the diesel-powered P.R. machine behind those Mountaineers:
>Â WVU was ranked in six major preseason publications (No. 12Â WBB Magazine; No. 14 Athlon; No. 15 CSTV.com; No. 23 ESPN.com; No. 24 Lindy’s; No. 25 CBSSports.com). Personally, I think we need to know how many minor publications ranked the Mountaineers, too.
> WVU was predicted to finish third in the Big East coaches’ poll last week and trailed only preseason No.Â 2 UConn and No. 3 Rutgers.
>WVU returns 364 career combined starts from seven players, the most combined returning starts of any Division I school this season.
>Â WVU returns all five starters from last year’s team that went 21-11 and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Mountaineers lost to Final Four-bound LSU, 49-43.
>Â WVU has seven seniors on this year’s team, the largest senior class in school history. Included are four all-conference players (Yinka Sanni, LaQuita Owens, Chakhia Cole and Meg Bulger) and one All-American (Bulger).