UConn still No. 1 in AP women's hoops poll; Creighton enters
NEW YORK (AP) None of Creighton's players was even born the last time the Bluejays were ranked.
The team has its first ranking since 1992, entering The Associated Press women's basketball poll on Monday at No. 23.
''We had a lot of good teams over the years, we've been in some NCAA Tournaments, just haven't been ranked,'' said Jim Flanery, who has been head coach at the school since 2002. ''In some ways it's harder on the women's side to be there because you don't have the attrition of the NBA that you have on the men's side. Women's teams can be good and it's hard to be elite I think because you look on the men's side - Kentucky, Duke, UNC - they lose kids after one year, makes for more parity.''
While Flanery has the Bluejays in the poll for the first time in 25 years, UConn remained the unanimous top choice from the 33-member national media panel. The Huskies (31-0), who have been No. 1 for 14 straight weeks, have 106 consecutive victories. They play in the American Athletic Conference Tournament final Monday night.
Creighton also plays Monday in the Big East semifinals against Marquette.
''I'd rather be ranked later in the year as it's a better reflection of how good you are and how well you played,'' Flanery said. ''We had votes in preseason and started 1-3 and didn't get a lot of votes after that.''
The Bluejays' last appearance in the Top 25 came during the final three weeks of the 1992 season. That was a few months before Flanery became an assistant coach at the school.
After that 1-3 start, Flanery's veteran squad right the ship. Creighton reached a 4-4 mark, then won 19 of 21 games, with both losses coming against No. 17 DePaul. The Bluejays have found ways to win, trailing in nine of those victories at the half.
''If I knew what I was saying at halftime, I'd say that in the pregame,'' Flanery joked. ''We have been a slow starting team.''
Stanford made one of the biggest moves in the rankings, climbing four spots to No. 6 after winning the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cardinal were followed by Mississippi State, Oregon State, Duke and Florida State to round out the Top 10. The Blue Devils also rose four places by reaching the ACC Tournament final.
Temple dropped out of the poll.
To see the poll online: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/ap-womens-basketball-poll-week-18