- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The Minnesota Lynx sit atop the first Associated Press WNBA poll.

The defending champions received 10 first-place votes from the national media panel Friday.

“We take a lot of pride in that we are the inaugural No. 1,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I’ve talked to our four captains who have been the foundation of building this special time in our history. Things like this to add to our legacy.”

The Phoenix Mercury garnered the other four top votes to place second in the inaugural poll. The teams will play in Minnesota on Saturday as the league tips off its 20th season this weekend.

“Minnesota is a great team. They proved it last year by winning the WNBA championship and I’m sure they’re favorites to win it this year,” said Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi. “Out4Redemption is for ourselves, and for the things we want to get done, and we’re going to go out there and worry about ourselves this season.”

Chicago, New York and Indiana round out the first five teams in the poll.

Los Angeles is sixth, followed by Dallas, Washington, Seattle, Connecticut, Atlanta and San Antonio.

Taurasi was chosen by the media as the preseason player of the year.

“This is huge,” she said. “The media are the people who follow every game and follow our careers. There’s interest in a preseason award and that means a lot, so now I have to go out there and play.”

Taurasi, who sat out the 2015 WNBA season to rest, was also part of the five-member preseason all-WNBA team. The Mercury star was joined by Minnesota’s Maya Moore, Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne, Los Angeles’ Candace Parker and New York’s Tina Charles. Moore was the only unanimous choice among the group.

“I’m just grateful to have had the opportunity to be healthy and play well enough just to consistently show my best and people are acknowledging that,” Moore said. “Everybody on our team can take joy in whenever we have an individual recognition. There’s no question that it’s connected to the success of my team.”

Breanna Stewart was a unanimous choice to be the rookie of the year.

The first regular season poll will come out on Tuesday, May 24.

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