AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team finished last season No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings, and they’ll start this season even higher.

The media panel put the Longhorns at No. 3 to start the season in the poll released Tuesday. South Carolina, the defending national champions, was the unanimous No. 1 selection, followed by Stanford at No. 2.

Iowa checked in at No. 4 and Tennessee rounded out the top five. Connecticut is in the unfamiliar territory being outside of the preseason top five at No. 6.

The Longhorns won the Big 12 Conference tournament championship last year and have been in the Elite Eight in back-to-back years. The Longhorns were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season and lost to Stanford in the Elite Eight 59-50.

The Big 12 Conference head coaches disagree with the national media voters, however. Conference coaches selected Iowa State as the favorite to win the conference championship over Texas, albeit by just a point. In the AP Top 25, the Cyclones will begin the season at No. 8.

MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at

Rori Harmon and Aaliayh Moore were named to the preseason all-Big 12 team while Shaylee Gonzales, Taylor Jones and Sonya Morris were named honorable mention. Gonzales, a transfer from Brigham Young University, was named the West Coast Conference player of the year last season. Jones, a Forney, Texas native, transferred from Oregon State University and Morris transferred from DePaul.

The team will host its Orange-White Scrimmage at the brand-new Moody Center at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Admission is free and parking in the Manor Garage is also free. The Longhorns open the season with two exhibitions against DePaul and Wayland Baptist before officially beginning the season Nov. 11 against Louisiana.