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ASU women’s basketball ranked No. 18 in AP preseason poll

Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne calls a play during the second half of a second-round NCAA women's college basketball game against Tennessee, Sunday, March 20, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. Tennessee won 75-64. (AP Photo/Matt York)

With the season set to begin, the Arizona State Sun Devils women’s basketball team is ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press preseason poll.

The Sun Devils had one of the most successful campaigns in school history a season ago. They were co-champions of the Pac-12 (the other being Oregon State) after a season that saw them win 26 games — tied for third-most in program history. Also, head coach Charli Turner Thorne was named the 2016 Pac-12 coach of the year, and she is the all-time leader in wins in program history (302) and No. 3 in the Pac-12.

Their 25-6 record was good enough to earn them a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which is the highest seed the program has ever had. Despite all the success, they were upended in the second round by Tennessee, 75-64.

Last week, USA Today released their poll and ranked ASU at No. 16. During the league’s coaches meeting last month in San Francisco, ASU was predicted to take quite a step back from a year ago, as they had ASU finishing fourth in the conference despite having three returning seniors: Sophie Brunner, Quinn Dornstauder and Kelsey Moos.

ASU also had success during the offseason, as they were touted as having a top-10 signing class, with five freshmen joining the team: Sydney Goodson (Argyle, TX), Reili Richardson (Brea, Calif), Jamie Ruden (Rochester, Minn), Kiara Russell (Osseo, Minn) and Robbi Ryan (Sheridan, Wyo). The Sun Devils also added Sara Hattis, a graduate transfer from the University of Texas who will be eligible to play this season.

Notre Dame tops the AP Poll, followed by Baylor, Connecticut, South Carolina and Louisville.

ASU was one of four Pac-12 squads included in the rankings. Stanford is ranked 11th while Washington and Oregon State come in 17th and 25th, respectively.

ASU opens their season on Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. against Illinois State in Tempe.

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