Augustus, LSU earn top spot

Five months after reaching its first Final Four, LSU has been tabbed No. 1 in SLAM Magazine's preseason poll. SEC teams grabbed three of the top four spots in the magazine, which will hit newsstands later this month. Three Big East teams and two Big 12 squads also helped fill out the top 10. Tennessee, another Final Four participant last April, was ranked second, followed by No. 3 Baylor, fourth-place Georgia and No. 5 Texas. Rounding out the top 10 are No. 6 Connecticut, No. 7 Duke, eighth-place Stanford, No. 9 Rutgers and 10th-place Notre Dame. The Lady Tigers return four starters, including Kodak All-American Seimone Augustus and All-SEC point guard Temeka Johnson, from last season's 27-8 squad. Tennessee, Baylor, Georgia and Rutgers are all on LSU's schedule this season, including a Nov. 14 early-season tilt with Baylor on ESPN2. Both Tennessee and Rutgers suffered blows recently. Two-time All-Big East senior guard Cappie Pondexter on Friday announced she would miss the first half of the season for an undisclosed personal reason, though she ruled out major illness or substance-abuse problems. Also, top Lady Vols recruit Candace Parker might be forced to redshirt after experiencing pain and swelling in her left knee. Parker underwent her second surgery in 13 days Wednesday, and coach Pat Summitt said the dunking phenom might be forced to redshirt, depending on how her knee responds to post-surgery rehabilitation.