CSU women begin season ranked 13th

From Staff Reports

With its first preseason game just days away, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team received some more good early season news on Tuesday. For the third straight year, the Lakers are preseason nationally-ranked in the official Division II Top 25 Coach's Poll.

The USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coach's Preseason Poll was released on Wednesday, and Clayton State checks in ranked 13th in the preseason poll. This is the second-highest ranking for the Lakers in the Division II Coach's Top 25. Last season, Clayton State was ranked 23rd, while the Lakers were ranked seventh in 2007-08.

This makes two preseason polls that has Clayton State nationally-ranked. Last month, the Lakers were voted 16th in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25.

Clayton State returns two starters and five letterwinners off last season's 26-7 squad that advanced to the NCAA Division II "Elite Eight" for the second time in three years. Add to that a stellar recruiting class of seven newcomers that should keep the Lakers at or near the top of the Peach Belt Conference this season.

The Lakers are the only team from the Peach Belt Conference ranked in the Division II Top 25 Coach's Poll. Francis Marion, Lander, Columbus State, Georgia College and USC Aiken each received votes. Michigan Tech, a fellow "Elite Eight" participant with Clayton State last year, was selected as the preseason No. 1 team in the Top 25.

Clayton State opens the 2009-10 season on Sunday with a much-anticipated preseason exhibition game at Georgia. The Lakers officially open the season on Nov. 25 against Albany State at the Athletics and Fitness Center.