FLORENCE, S.C. – Despite returning four starters from a Sweet Sixteen squad, Francis Marion University missed out on earning a preseason national ranking by just one point as the USA Today/ESPN Division II Women’s Basketball Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released this week.
Francis Marion garnered 110 points, while 25th-ranked Grand Valley State University picked up 111 points. Michigan Technological University, 27-7 last season, recorded 12 first-place votes and occupies the top spot in the preseason ranking.
The Patriot Women were 27-5 last season and ended the year ranked 14th nationally. FMU won its second consecutive Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship, made the program’s second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and led the nation in scoring offense for the second year in a row.
Francis Marion plays an exhibition game at Winthrop University on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Patriots will open their regular-season schedule on Nov. 15 at home against Converse College.