DURHAM, N.C. - The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 women's basketball poll on Saturday with Duke receiving 909 points on its way to a No. 3 national ranking. It is the highest preseason listing for the Blue Devils since the 2005-06 campaign, when Duke was tabbed No. 1 by the media.
Taking the top slot in the Associated Press poll was Baylor, while Connecticut, Duke, Stanford, Maryland, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisville and Georgia rounded out the top 10. Delaware, Oklahoma, California, St. John's, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee were listed 11-20, while Purdue, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Miami (Fla.) and DePaul closed the top 25.
A total of six teams on the 2012-13 Blue Devil schedule are listed in the preseason top 25 - Connecticut (2), Maryland (5), California (13), St. John's (14), Georgia Tech (22) and Miami (24).
Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie, who enters her sixth year with the Blue Devils, is coming off leading Duke to its third straight ACC regular season title and the first outright crown since the 2006-07 campaign. She has been selected the ACC Coach of the Year in two out of the last three years and owns a 141-32 record in five years with the Blue Devils.
As a team, Duke returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 27-6 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The Blue Devils return 88.7 percent of their scoring from a year ago, including All-America selections sophomore Elizabeth Williams and junior Chelsea Gray.
Other returning starters include Tricia Liston and Haley Peters, while Allison Vernerey, Richa Jackson, Amber Henson, Ka'lia Johnson and Jenna Frush lettered in 2011-12. Wells, who is out of Colton, Calif., returns for the Blue Devils, after missing the second semester last year.
Blue Devil fans will have their first opportunity to see Duke in action on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 p.m., in the annual Blue/White contest in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be free admission to all fans and the Blue Devils will sign autographs following the game.
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