The LSU Tigers women’s basketball team (17-2, 5-1 SEC) entered the top 10 of the WBCA coaches’ poll on January 18th marking the first time that the Tigers have climbed into the top 10 since the 2009-2010 season
The rise has been almost meteoric with the Tigers struggling to break into the coaches poll as LSU was not ranked in the poll a month ago,
LSU’s resumé includes a tie for the most wins in the country with 17 and impressive wins over No. 7 Iowa State and No. 13 Georgia.
Almost as big as the ranking is the fact that LSU is ahead of such perennial powers as UCONN (9-4), Maryland (12-5), and Kim Mulkey’s former employer Baylor (11-4).
On one hand, it is not too surprising. All three teams have significantly more losses and the three teams are a combined 2-11 against teams currently ranked in the top 25, with one of those wins coming against each other. Frankly, LSU has played better this year than all three of them.
On the other hand, it is shocking. LSU was 9-13 last year. Those three powers had 8 losses combined. LSU started the season unranked, those three all were in the top 10.
Perhaps the biggest thing is that LSU is ahead of Baylor after just one year of Kim Mulkey leaving for LSU. While LSU took most of Baylor’s staff, most of the Bears players stayed.
Baylor has since struggled and for the first time in nearly a decade is not the favorite to win the Big XII.
This will not be the last time LSU is ahead of other women’s basketball powers in the Mulkey era, it is the first of many. And it will be the first of many top 10 rankings,