The Washington Times - October 26, 2009, 11:22AM

It’s worth wondering how many voters subscribe to the “the defending champ is No. 1 until they lose” theory of preseason balloting.

Because that’s the best argument for why the Maryland women’s basketball team picked up a couple first-place votes in the ACC preseason poll.


The Terps were picked fifth —- about right, considering the quality programs ahead of them and the talent drain they endured after last season.

Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver, merely two of the best players in program history, were seniors. Two more starters didn’t return.

And it’s safe to say this year will be anything but a breeze once conference season arrives. It’s not quite a rebuilding year given coach Brenda Frese‘s recruiting acumen. But it doesn’t seem like a season designed for remaining entrenched in the top 10 from beginning to end.

Anyway, here’s the preseason poll fresh from Greensboro, with first-place votes in parentheses:

1. North Carolina (30)
2. Duke (10)
3. Florida State (2)
4. Virginia
5. Maryland (3)
6. Boston College
7. Georgia Tech
8. Miami
9. N.C. State
10. Wake Forest
11. Clemson
12. Virginia Tech

Preseason All-ACC team

Jessica Breland, Sr., F, North Carolina
Jacinta Monroe, Sr., F/C, Florida State
Carolyn Swords, Jr., C, Boston College
Jasmine Thomas, Jr., G, Duke
Monica Wright, Sr., G, Virginia

Preseason Player of the Year: Monica Wright, Sr., G, Virginia
Preseason Rookie of the Year:
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Fr., G, North Carolina

—- Patrick Stevens