Few things in Baton Rouge are hotter than the 2023-24 LSU Women’s Basketball team. Indeed, the defending national champions are continuing to break barriers.
The LSU Women’s Basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the preseason for the first time in program history. Tigers fans learned such when the Associated Press released it’s women’s college basketball Top 25 poll on Wednesday.
LSU Women’s Basketball received 35 first place votes among the AP’s 36 voters. The dissenting voter cast a first place ballot for UConn.
The Huskies will open the new season ranked No. 2, just ahead of Caitlin Clark and Iowa at No. 3. South Carolina, the top team of the 2022-23 preseason, opens 2023-24 ranked No. 6.
Kim Mulkey’s squad stole the show last season, with their memorable run through the women’s NCAA tournament and victory over Iowa in the national championship game. The Tigers ended the season as the top team but without AP acknowledgment.
The AP Top 25 is not updated during or after the NCAA tournament.
LSU’s only other experience ranked No. 1 was a five-week period during the 2005 season. Before then, the Tigers’ best AP ranking was No. 2 in 1977. The Tigers also managed No. 3 rankings in 2004 and 2005.
Mulkey was very appreciative when commenting on the preseason rankings and acknowledging the expectations that come with such.
"“We appreciate the recognition of being the No. 1 ranked team going into the season and it is something we will embrace…[a] ranking doesn’t win championships, but it brings great awareness to our program and our school. We want to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the season.”"
Indeed, heavy lies the crown.
I think the LSU Women’s Basketball team is in for a tough season for the simple fact that remaining on top is often more difficult than getting there.
We watched the Tigers fumble through transition at times last season before catching fire during the postseason. LSU started clicking during the tournament and rode the momentum to capture their first women’s college basketball title in program history.
However, all the hype resides in Baton Rouge to start the new season. As such, I expect the Tigers will get every opponent’s best shot in 2023-24.
Nevertheless, I think Mulkey has her team in the right place. The LSU Women’s Basketball team has enjoyed the celebrity gained with last season’s title, but remain focus on what’s ahead.