The Associated Press released its women’s basketball preseason poll today, ranking the University of Iowa No. 9 and Iowa State University No. 12 in the country.

For the Hawkeyes, this is the highest preseason ranking since opening at No. 6 in 1996-97.

This coming season, Caitlin Clark will lead the charge, as she's coming off a freshman season where she put up 26.6 points and 7.1 assists per game, earning All-American awards. The Hawks also return all four other starters from last season, where the team went 20-10 and reached the Sweet 16, where they fell to No. 1 seed, UConn (shocker). The Huskies went on to the Final Four where they lost to Arizona.

The other four include All-Big Ten senior forward Monika Czinano -- who averaged 19.3 points per game, McKenna Warnock -- who put up 12 points per game and 8 rebounds per game, and juniors Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall.

They also add Iowa State transfer Kylie Feuerbach, who averaged 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 36 percent from the field in 2020-2021.

Iowa State comes in as the second highest-ranked team in the Big 12, as they reside five spots behind the ever-formidable Baylor Bears.

After posting a record of 17-11 this previous season, the Cyclones bring back senior Ashley Joens after she averaged 24.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season. Joens went on to win the Cheryl Miller Award for the nation's top small forward.

Two other starters also return to the squad in junior Lexi Donarski and sophomore Emily Ryan. Donarski posted 13 points per game while Ryan added 8.1 and dished out 5.9 assists per game to lead the Cyclones.

Iowa State dropped their second game in the NCAA tournament last year to Texas A&M on a buzzer beater by Jordan Nixon to knock the Cyclones out in the second round. A&M then fell to Arizona in the Sweet 16.

The two teams will face off with one another in Hilton Coliseum on December 8.

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