BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team was selected as the No. 13 team in the nation with 428 points in the preseason Associated Press poll, the highest preseason ranking since the Bears were tabbed No. 9 prior to the 2008-09 season.
"We are excited to be recognized in the preseason AP poll, and there's no question our players have worked hard to earn respect for Cal women's basketball on the national level," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "Our focus, however, is on the opportunities that lie ahead of us this season, and the continued work ethic it will take day in and day out to achieve our goals. We're looking forward to taking the floor in Haas Pavilion very soon in front of our tremendous Golden Bear fans."
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 schedule are listed or receiving votes in the preseason top 25 - Duke (3), Stanford (4), Kansas (RV), Georgetown (RV), UCLA (RV) and USC (RV).
The Bears had previously been selected 14th in this season's Athlon Preseason Top-25 poll and Lindy's Preseason Top-25 poll, in addition to being picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Cal went 25-10 last season and finished as the Pac-12 regular season and tournament runner-up in the first year of Coach Gottlieb's tenure with a 13-5 conference record in 2011-12. Nearly every player from last season's NCAA Tournament Second Round squad returns, including All-Pac 12 selection Layshia Clarendon and All-Freshman Team selections Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray.
The Golden Bears take on Vanguard in an exhibition Thursday at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion before officially opening the season Nov. 9 against Lehigh to start a six-match season opening homestand.