The Oklahoma women’s basketball team enters the 2015-16 season ranked No. 18 in the preseason USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday.
The Sooners are one of three Big 12 teams that appear in the top 25. Fellow league members Baylor and Texas are ranked No. 5 and No. 11, respectively. Iowa State and West Virginia also received votes in the preseason poll.
The ranking marks the Sooners’ 15th all-time appearance in the preseason coaches poll under head coach Sherri Coale.
Oklahoma returns four starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s team that finished second in the Big 12 and made its 16th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 2015 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Peyton Little and 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Gabbi Ortiz along with All-Big 12 Second Team selections Gioya Carter and Kaylon Williams lead an experienced squad into the 2015-16 season.
Connecticut was the unanimous choice for No. 1 followed by South Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Baylor. Maryland, Florida State, Louisville, Oregon State and Ohio State round out the top 10.
Other OU opponents that are ranked or received votes: BYU (RV), Texas A&M (No. 16), Little Rock (RV) and Washington (RV).
The Sooners begin the season on Nov. 4 with an exhibition game against Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Lloyd Noble Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV on Fox Sports Southwest +.