IOWA CITY — The Associated Press released its women’s basketball preseason poll, which includes the University of Iowa at No. 9 nationally.
The No. 9 ranking is Iowa’s highest preseason position in 25 years; the Hawkeyes were ranked No. 6 in the 1996-97 preseason poll.
Iowa, who last started a season ranked in the AP Poll in 2018-19 (No. 13), finished the 2020-21 season 20-10 overall and advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes tallied an 11-8 Big Ten record, and return nine letterwinners, including all five starters — Caitlin Clark, Monika Czinano, Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin, and McKenna Warnock.
Clark was named National Co-Freshman of the Year, consensus All-American, the Dawn Staley Award recipient, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and unanimous First Team All-Big Ten. She won her third gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2021 FIBA U119 World Cup and was named the tournament MVP. Czinano also earned first team All-Big Ten honors. The pair led the nation in seven statistical categories, including Czinano ranking first in field-goal percentage (66.8) and Clark leading in points per game (26.6) and total assists (214).