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vowelguy

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Yep - despite season-ending injuries to 4 players, they finished with 28 wins, and a trip to the Sweet 16. This year, they'll be even better.
Of the injured, are all back?
 
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Of the injured, are all back?
They are at full strength, and their sophomore 6'5" Center, Elissa Cunane, is the real deal. The Wolfpack will make sone noise this year.
 

bballnut90

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Having Notre Dame below teams like NC St, Kentucky, and Texas seems a little overly brutal. I think I’d bump them up at least a little bit. I know Minnesota pretty well. I’m not understanding the hype. It’d be nice if the season would play out this way, but I think they should be at least 5 spots lower.
I don't think so. Notre Dame basically lost its entire team from a year ago. Keep in mind, they had 4 seniors who were all highly ranked recruits and 4 year contributors, plus Jackie Young who was highly ranked and a big contributor all 3 years. None of the players they have returning were top notch recruits like the ones they lost, and none of them were good enough to make a significant impact off the bench. Transfers will help and Peoples/Brunelle will too, but this is going to be a massive drop off for Notre Dame. I think they're ranked appropriately.

Also, keep in mind Texas looks a lot better on paper this year. Collier will be a sophomore, Holmes should finally be healthy, and Higgs is healthy after her ACL. Talent wise they should be competing for a Final Four, but realistically they'll likely be in the mix for the Sweet 16. Anything less than that and Karen's job should be at risk.

Also, Kentucky has arguably the best sophomore in the nation in Rhyne Howard back, plus Texas transfer Patterson who was a top 5 recruit. They're always a solid team so I'd also put them over Notre Dame at this point.

I've always said don't underestimate Notre Dame, but this year I think they really do have an uphill battle with a completely new team.
 

jonson

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A couple of understated issues with the top teams: I'll skip all UConn's ?'s because they have been rehashed elsewhere extensively.

Both Oregon and Baylor are replacing their pg's. I don't know anything about Moore except that she played for USC. And I remember that Sadie Edwards started for USC. And just because Mulky hit a jackpot with Jackson is no reason to assume Cooper will do the same. Cooper is talented but she comes with baggage as this is school #3.

Baylor may have a wealth of size depth but that depth's experience in big games is limited to one player. This isn't a Dolson/Stewart/Stokes situation, at least not at this point. And Cox will be facing different defenders this season as she will surely draw several defenders that guarded Brown last season.

Neither team is coming into this season stronger than last.

The way I see it UConn starts the year a step or 2 behind both Oregon and Baylor but UConn has more upside going into the season, and a better history.
Moore has been on the Pac12 all-defensive team for the past two years and was honorable mention all Pac12 last year. In 2018-19 she had 166 assists (approx. 2.7 assist to turnover ratio), averaged 5.5 rebounds (5.9 in conference) and was USC's leading scorer at 14.8/game (a bit more in conference). She also had 74 steals. The assist numbers are about the same as Cazorla's (although the assist to turnover ratio isn't as good), the rebounds and steals quite a bit higher. On the other hand, Cazorla's shooting percentage was higher, especially from 3. And her court awareness was crucial. But Moore does bring some very good things to the table.

I actually think the biggest question/difference maker for Oregon will be whether or not Sedona Prince is granted a waiver. If so, that will go a long way toward providing some help for Hebard up front and, with the arrival of another freshman post (from Australia), provide the front-court depth that was lacking last year and really hurt Oregon following Hebard's knee injury late in the Pac12 season (as did the loss of the team's primary backup at guard--also late in the Pac12 season--but that's another story.)
 

bballnut90

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A couple of understated issues with the top teams: I'll skip all UConn's ?'s because they have been rehashed elsewhere extensively.

Both Oregon and Baylor are replacing their pg's. I don't know anything about Moore except that she played for USC. And I remember that Sadie Edwards started for USC. And just because Mulky hit a jackpot with Jackson is no reason to assume Cooper will do the same. Cooper is talented but she comes with baggage as this is school #3.

Baylor may have a wealth of size depth but that depth's experience in big games is limited to one player. This isn't a Dolson/Stewart/Stokes situation, at least not at this point. And Cox will be facing different defenders this season as she will surely draw several defenders that guarded Brown last season.

Neither team is coming into this season stronger than last.

The way I see it UConn starts the year a step or 2 behind both Oregon and Baylor but UConn has more upside going into the season, and a better history.
Moore had very good numbers at USC so I imagine she'll slide in well at Oregon. Oregon should be stronger though. They return pretty much everyone but Cazorla, so that's a full offseason to improve, plus they'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder this year.


And Baylor also has Smith who has experience in big games. She was outstanding in the championship game a year ago and likely draws a ton of attention offensively like Brown did. Would not be surprised if she leads the team in scoring this year.
 

triaddukefan

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I don't think so. Notre Dame basically lost its entire team from a year ago. Keep in mind, they had 4 seniors who were all highly ranked recruits and 4 year contributors, plus Jackie Young who was highly ranked and a big contributor all 3 years. None of the players they have returning were top notch recruits like the ones they lost, and none of them were good enough to make a significant impact off the bench. Transfers will help and Peoples/Brunelle will too, but this is going to be a massive drop off for Notre Dame. I think they're ranked appropriately.

.
Yet they still lost 4 times and didnt repeat.
 
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This seems more realistic than a lot of previous polls. I might have swapped UConn and Stanford top start the season, just until both get themselves sorted out and we see what's what. And I agree with others who say that ND is ranked too low, if for no reason other than just because.
 
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I can't remember the last time there is no SEC & ACC team in the top 6? ND was always top 5 since joining the ACC and Maryland, NC, & Duke before that. One of Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina,and Mississippi, State have been repping SEC in the top 5. Still 5 of 15 ACC teams and 5 of the 14 SEC teams are ranked top 20. The PAC12 also has 5 of their 12 teams ranked top 20 with the Big 12 only having two lead by #2 Baylor and Big 10 having 2 top 20 teams lead by #5 Maryland. UConn at #3 is the only non-Power 5 school in the top 20., but next year I'd say with UConn in the Big East will allow that conference to compete with the other 5.

Still living in Oregon, the Pac12 love is pretty cool. #1 Oregon, #4 Stanford, & #6 Oregon State will get few challenges until conference play. The Ducks preseason schedule play only 1 ranked team-#7 Louisville at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Isles pre-conference, but they do go to Storrs to play UConn Feb 3 for a Big Monday ESPN game. Stanford plays #15 Texas in Austin and a surprisingly #25 ranked Tennessee at home December 18. The Beavers go on the road to play #18 Miami November 29, but they could also play #21 Depaul and #9 Texas A&M in the preseason WNIT.

If those top PAC12 teams only lose to each other that may stick over the season with their top 6 rankings. Still early on, all 3 of those teams get November home exhibition games against Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Napheesa Collier and the rest of the US National Team which might make an impression on voters depending on results. I personally have tickets for the game in Corvallis November 4 and Eugene against #1 Oregon on November 9. Can't wait.
Good to see you here @domerduck. Glad you extended the party from McGraw's Bench.
 
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I'll also echo some others that Notre Dame is ranked too low. However you feel about Coach McGraw, she'll have her team prepared, and they will show up. I seriously doubt they'll be in the Final Four, but they will be top ten.
I dislike everything Notre Dame. So this year I am hoping that the ACC isn't dominated by 1 or 2 teams like it usually is. I would like to see 3 or 4 teams in the mix and where any of these teams can beat the other teams on any given night. In other words, ND could lose anywhere from 4 to 6 conference games this season and 2 or 3 OOC games.
 

nwhoopfan

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My take on Moore replacing Cazorla. Coach Graves repeatedly said Maite was their best perimeter defender. That is also a strength of Moore's, so they should be fine in that regard. Moore isn't a great 3 point shooter, but she's very quick and really hard to contain on the drive. Cazorla was quick as well but I think Moore has an extra gear. Will add a different element for them. Moore certainly has the talent to offset the loss of Cazorla, it's a matter of chemistry and fitting in w/ what the other 4 starters have established together. Oh, also Moore is a one woman fast break. And as noted she has a knack for coming up with steals.
 

TheFarmFan

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I don't think so. Notre Dame basically lost its entire team from a year ago. Keep in mind, they had 4 seniors who were all highly ranked recruits and 4 year contributors, plus Jackie Young who was highly ranked and a big contributor all 3 years. None of the players they have returning were top notch recruits like the ones they lost, and none of them were good enough to make a significant impact off the bench. Transfers will help and Peoples/Brunelle will too, but this is going to be a massive drop off for Notre Dame. I think they're ranked appropriately....
Agree. I would not put Notre Dame in the top 15 or 20 teams as of their opening night. But I think they will be by year end, because they have the most upside potential of any team in the country: lots of raw talent, almost no meaningful college minutes, and one of the best coaches in the country. That is a recipe for a transformation between November and March.

Also, Kentucky has arguably the best sophomore in the nation in Rhyne Howard back
Funny, I thought the best sophomore in the nation went to UConn and goes by the nickname Squeaks...

Re: Oregon, Moore played a bigger role for the Toejams than Cazorla did for the Ducks, but Moore was one of the PAC-12 players I feared most last season, because she is a threat from everywhere on offense and defense. With her plus four returning (and experienced) starters, I think the Ducks will be meaningfully better than they were last year. The only question mark is that she and Erin Boley have totally opposite styles, so I'm not totally sure how that will work. But otherwise, the Ducks should be extremely strong from the 1 to the 5.
 
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A couple of understated issues with the top teams: I'll skip all UConn's ?'s because they have been rehashed elsewhere extensively.

Both Oregon and Baylor are replacing their pg's. I don't know anything about Moore except that she played for USC. And I remember that Sadie Edwards started for USC. And just because Mulky hit a jackpot with Jackson is no reason to assume Cooper will do the same. Cooper is talented but she comes with baggage as this is school #3.

Baylor may have a wealth of size depth but that depth's experience in big games is limited to one player. This isn't a Dolson/Stewart/Stokes situation, at least not at this point. And Cox will be facing different defenders this season as she will surely draw several defenders that guarded Brown last season.

Neither team is coming into this season stronger than last.

The way I see it UConn starts the year a step or 2 behind both Oregon and Baylor but UConn has more upside going into the season, and a better history.
I know the Ducks well. Cazorla will be a loss but they have several to replace her minutes. Grad xfr Minyon Moore was by far Southern Cal's best player last year leading the team in minutes, points (14.8/gm), field goals, assists (5.9/gm), steals (2.6gm), free throws made (@77.4%), 2.7 A/TO, and even rebounds (5.5/gm) as their point guard. She played with her older sister at SC for 3 years who was 2nd or 3rd in all those categories. If she fits in well, she's in the same class as Sabrina and Ruthie so could be awesome. Also Taylor Chavez was their first sub in and is now a sophomore. She was hurt at the end of the season, but early on she went in for Maite seamlessly with a grea 3 point shot. With Australians Yaeger (jr) & Jaz Shelly (Fr), plus incoming Freshman from England, Holly WInterburn, that gives them three more guards in the rotation. so much deeper than last year.
 

bballnut90

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Agree. I would not put Notre Dame in the top 15 or 20 teams as of their opening night. But I think they will be by year end, because they have the most upside potential of any team in the country: lots of raw talent, almost no meaningful college minutes, and one of the best coaches in the country. That is a recipe for a transformation between November and March.


Funny, I thought the best sophomore in the nation went to UConn and goes by the nickname Squeaks...

Re: Oregon, Moore played a bigger role for the Toejams than Cazorla did for the Ducks, but Moore was one of the PAC-12 players I feared most last season, because she is a threat from everywhere on offense and defense. With her plus four returning (and experienced) starters, I think the Ducks will be meaningfully better than they were last year. The only question mark is that she and Erin Boley have totally opposite styles, so I'm not totally sure how that will work. But otherwise, the Ducks should be extremely strong from the 1 to the 5.

Agree regarding ND. Williams may end up being the best sophomore this year but I believe Howard won almost all NPOY awards and was the more consistent player. At any rate, no one should take UK lightly.
 

Orangutan

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ND is a year away from being a year away. 16 is probably too high but it makes sense based on respect for McGraw.

There is a better chance that ND's season is a total disaster than there is of a top ten finish in the polls. But hopefully I am wrong...
 
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So, a team (aka Oregon State) can be 6th in the Nation, yet only third in its own conference. And, OSU is 4-2 against Ionescu led teams. Problem is, Oregon has done better than OSU against other foes the last 2 seasons.
 

Plebe

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So, a team (aka Oregon State) can be 6th in the Nation, yet only third in its own conference. And, OSU is 4-2 against Ionescu led teams. Problem is, Oregon has done better than OSU against other foes the last 2 seasons.
Two of those wins were in Ionescu's freshman year, when Oregon wasn't even very good. Last year's game at Oregon State was marred by the injury to Hebard. And unfortunately for the Beavers, after that game they played as if they'd already accomplished all they wanted. So OSU limped into a Sweet 16 blowout against Louisville, while Oregon went to the Final Four.
 

nwhoopfan

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Last year's game at Oregon State was marred by the injury to Hebard.
You've gotten a lot of mileage out of that. OSU was up by more when Hebard got hurt than the final margin ended up being. And just a couple days before they battled the Ducks close in Eugene (it was a 9 point loss but was 5 w/ 1:55 left).
 
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My take on Moore replacing Cazorla. Coach Graves repeatedly said Maite was their best perimeter defender. That is also a strength of Moore's, so they should be fine in that regard. Moore isn't a great 3 point shooter, but she's very quick and really hard to contain on the drive. Cazorla was quick as well but I think Moore has an extra gear. Will add a different element for them. Moore certainly has the talent to offset the loss of Cazorla, it's a matter of chemistry and fitting in w/ what the other 4 starters have established together. Oh, also Moore is a one woman fast break. And as noted she has a knack for coming up with steals.
I know the Ducks well. Cazorla will be a loss but they have several to replace her minutes. Grad xfr Minyon Moore was by far Southern Cal's best player last year leading the team in minutes, points (14.8/gm), field goals, assists (5.9/gm), steals (2.6gm), free throws made (@77.4%), 2.7 A/TO, and even rebounds (5.5/gm) as their point guard. She played with her older sister at SC for 3 years who was 2nd or 3rd in all those categories. If she fits in well, she's in the same class as Sabrina and Ruthie so could be awesome. Also Taylor Chavez was their first sub in and is now a sophomore. She was hurt at the end of the season, but early on she went in for Maite seamlessly with a grea 3 point shot. With Australians Yaeger (jr) & Jaz Shelly (Fr), plus incoming Freshman from England, Holly WInterburn, that gives them three more guards in the rotation. so much deeper than last year.
Moore may well be great but even though I pick Oregon to win the title it is still an unanswered question. A new pg is always a question mark. Oregon has fewer than any other contender but I'd be more confident if the younger Sabally was playing and there wasn't a new pg.
 

nwhoopfan

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A new pg is always a question mark. Oregon has fewer than any other contender but I'd be more confident if the younger Sabally was playing and there wasn't a new pg.
Well...Ionescu. They had 2 PGs last year. They still have one of them. And the new one has been a starter in the Pac 12 for 2 years (and played starter minutes as a Fr.). So...I don't really see the concern there.
 

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