Photo by Derrick Mahone
Clayton State coach Dennis Cox says it is “an honor and a privilege” to be ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The Clayton State women’s basketball team will start this season where it left off last season — ranked No. 1.
In the recent released USA Today’s ESPN WBCA Div. II Top 25 Coaches’ poll, the Lakers were the choice for the top spot. The defending national champions earned 732 points and 27 of 28 possible first-place votes for the ranking.
This is the second preseason poll that has ranked the Lakers No. 1 in the nation in Division II. Last month, Clayton State was ranked No. 1 in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25.
“Being recognized by opposing coaches as the team to beat this year is very flattering, and we feel it an honor and a privilege to go out now and try to live up to our lofty expectations,” Clayton State head Dennis Cox said. “We are also humbled by it, because we know how much work it takes to finish on top, and we know that there are a lot of great teams in our league and around the country that are working hard to be the best as well.
“We are excited for the challenge.”
Cox got a look at his team on Tuesday when the Lakers rolled to a 99-55 win over the alumni team.
Saturday, the Lakers will play an exhibition game at Vanderbilt.
“We were looking for a challenge,” Cox said of the matchup against the SEC team. “This will be one of the few early games where we will not be the favorite. We are looking forward to the game. There is no pressure. We have nothing to lose. We will go up there at 0-0 and come back at 0-0.”
The season officially in the Spartan Challenge Tournament at Tampa on Nov. 11-12.