Preseason Top 10 Recognition Continues For Aggie Women

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COLLEGE STATION -- Top 10 billing continues for preseason Big 12 Conference women’s basketball favorite Texas A&M.

The Aggies are ranked No. 7 in Women’s Basketball Magazine’s preseason top 25 preview and No. 10 in both the CSTV and CBSSports.com Preseason Top 25 polls. This is not the first top 10 preseason ranking for A&M leading up to the 2007-08 season. Last month, the Aggies received a program-best No. 6 preseason national ranking by SLAM Magazine.

Two additional preseason publications tabbed the Aggies among the nation’s top 25 including a No. 14 ranking by Street & Smith’s College Basketball Yearbook and No. 14 ranking by The Sporting News. USA TODAY listed A&M among its preseason “Sweet 16” along with defending national champion Tennessee, Baylor, Cal, Connecticut, Duke, George Washington, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Stanford and Wisconsin.

The Aggies open exhibition play against the Chinese National Team on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Reed Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets by calling The 12th Man Foundation Ticket Center at: (979) 845-2311 or 1-888-99-AGGIE.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE AGGIES

“The Aggies are aiming to begin this season in the same manner they ended last season: Red-hot. The Big 12 Conference team won 12 of its 15 final games last year. Back for Coach Gary Blair are 5-8 junior guard Takia Starks and 5-10 senior forward Morenike Atunrase. Incoming freshman point guard Sydney Colson, a 5-8 athlete from Houston’s Westside High, has NBA three-point range.” – Jacob Messer, Women’s Basketball Magazine

“Ever since coach Gary Blair took over the program four years ago, the Aggies have been on a steady upward climb. Last season’s campaign yielded a 25-7 record and a regular-season Big 12 co-championship. The Aggies could sweeten their position significantly with the return of their top six players – the top four of whom are perimeter players. Guard Takia Starks paced the team with a 14.2-point scoring average. Meanwhile, guards Danielle Gant, Morenike Atunrase and A’Quonesia Franklin all averaged about 10 points. Gant also led the team in steals and Franklin dished out a team-high 4.7 assists per game and ranked No. 1 in made three-pointers with 48. Also back is top rebounder La Toya Micheaux and forward Patrice Reado.” – Patricia Babcock McGraw, CBSSports.com

“The Aggies completed their most successful season in the program’s 33-year history, capturing a share of the Big 12 regular-season title and a school-record final national ranking of 16th. To no one’s surprise, Gary Blair was named Big 12 Coach of the Year. Blair will enter his fifth season in College Station with a lineup that includes his top four scorers from last year in 5-8 junior Takia Starks, 5-11 junior Danielle Gant, 5-10 senior Morenike Atunrase and 5-3 senior A’Quonesia Franklin. Junior center La Toya Micheaux and 6-0 senior forward Patrice Reado will provide an inside punch.” – Mike Flynn, The Sporting News

“The Aggies return all five starters from a team that went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They also return their top reserve, junior G-F Danielle Gant, who averaged 10.1 points. Texas A&M was the seventh-toughest team to score on last year, and Micheaux and Gant were all-Big 12 defensive team selections. Franklin is an excellent floor general; her assists-to-turnovers ratio was tops in the conference for the third consecutive year…The defense will be there, but can the Aggies make the shots when it counts, especially on the road?” – Dick Patrick, USA TODAY

2007-08 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL MAGAZINE PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1. Connecticut

2. Tennessee

3. LSU

4. Maryland

5. Rutgers

6. Georgia

7. Texas A&M

8. Stanford

9. North Carolina

10. Duke

11. California

12. West Virginia

13. Arizona State

14. Oklahoma

15. Baylor

16. Texas

17. Auburn

18. DePaul

19. Ohio State

20. Wisconsin

21. Pittsburgh

22. Florida State

23. Michigan State

24. Louisville

25. George Washington

2007-08 CBSSPORTS.com PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1. Tennessee

2. Connecticut

3. Rutgers

4. Maryland

5. Oklahoma

6. LSU

7. Stanford

8. Georgia

9. North Carolina

10. Texas A&M

11. Cal

12. Duke

13. Michigan State

14. Louisville

15. Baylor

16. DePaul

17. Texas

18. George Washington

19. Arizona State

20. Notre Dame

21. Illinois

22. Florida State

23. Ohio State

24. Pittsburgh

25. West Virginia

2007-08 CSTV PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1. Tennessee

2. Maryland

3. Rutgers

4. Connecticut

5. LSU

6. Stanford

7. Cal

8. Oklahoma

9. Georgia

10. Texas A&M

11. Duke

12. Arizona State

13. North Carolina

14. Pittsburgh

15. West Virginia

16. Michigan State

17. George Washington

18. Florida State

19. Louisville

20. Georgia Tech

21. Ohio State

22. Wisconsin

23. Baylor

24. Notre Dame

25. Auburn

2007-08 STREET & SMITH’S PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1. Tennessee

2. Connecticut

3. Maryland

4. Rutgers

5. Oklahoma

6. North Carolina

7. Duke

8. Georgia

9. Ohio State

10. Stanford

11. George Washington

12. LSU

13. Middle Tennessee

14. Texas A&M

15. California

16. Arizona State

17. Baylor

18. Vanderbilt

19. Michigan State

20. Xavier

21. North Carolina State

22. Notre Dame

23. Florida State

24. Texas

25. Pittsburgh

2007-08 SPORTING NEWS PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1. Tennessee

2. Connecticut

3. Maryland

4. Rutgers

5. Oklahoma

6. North Carolina

7. Duke

8. Georgia

9. Ohio State

10. Stanford

11. George Washington

12. LSU

13. Middle Tennessee

14. Texas A&M

15. Cal

16. Arizona State

17. Baylor

18. Vanderbilt

19. Michigan State

20. Xavier

21. North Carolina State

22. Notre Dame

23. Florida State

24. Texas

25. Pittsburgh

2007-08 USA TODAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW PRESEASON SWEET 16

(listed alphabetically)

Baylor

Cal

Connecticut

Duke

George Washington

Georgia

LSU

Maryland

North Carolina

Notre Dame

Oklahoma

Rutgers

Stanford

Tennessee

Texas A&M

Wisconsin