SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah women’s basketball team has its highest preseason ranking in school history.

The Utes come into the 2023-24 season ranked #5 in the preseason Associated Press rankings released on Tuesday. This is the highest preseason ranking for Utah in school history and the first time the Utes have been ranked to start a season since 2005. 

Utah is one of six Pac-12 schools starting the season ranked in the Top 25. 

The Utes are coming off a historic 2022-23 season including a Pac-12 regular season title and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

Utah is returning all of last year’s starting five including All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year, Alissa Pili as well as All-American Gianna Kneepkens.

Utah ended the season the nation’s No. 4 scoring team and ranked in the top 10 nationally in five major statistical categories. Utah was ranked for 13 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 10 during 2022-23 and was ranked in the AP Poll 19 consecutive weeks.

Utah is led by head coach Lynne Roberts, who is entering her ninth season. She was named the 2023 Pac-12 Coach of the Year. She led the Utes to its first ever regular season title and followed that up with its third Sweet 16 appearance in school history. She was named a Naismith Coach of the Year top four finalist. 

Utah was also picked to win the Pac-12 championship for a second consecutive season.