April 18, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. - California is already receiving high praise months before the start of the 2008-09 season. SportsIllustrated.com and ESPN.com ranked the Golden Bears sixth and seventh, respectively, nationally in their early looks at next season.
SportsIllustrated.com's women's basketball columnist Tracy Schultz announced her top 10 for 2008-09. The list mentions UConn first, Stanford second, North Carolina third, Rutgers fourth and Duke fifth. Teams six through 10 include, in order, Cal, defending national champion Tennessee, Oklahoma, Maryland and Louisville.
ESPN.com's Charlie Creme made predictions for a top 25. The Web site's top 10 features UConn at No. 1, followed by Maryland, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Stanford, Duke, Cal, Tennessee, North Carolina and Louisville.
Cal, which set a school record for wins with a 27-7 overall mark, finished the 2007-08 season ranked No. 10 by the Associated Press and No. 18 in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll. Led by first-team All-Pac-10 choices Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton, Cal returns all five starters next season.