My Top Five (in no particular order)
Breanna Stewart (UConn) - "Duh
" (could not find a clip with Lisa Kudrow/Michele Weinberger actually saying, "Duh," but you get the point)
Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina) - AP All-America Third Team; SEC POY; top returner on a team that should be ranked #2 in the preseason
Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame) - AP All-America Second Team; ACC Tournament MVP; All-ACC Defensive Team
Isabelle Harrison (Tennessee) AP All-America Honorable Mention; SEC Tournament MVP
Kaleena Mosqueeda-Lewis (UConn) - 13.5 points and 2.5 made threes per game on 41 percent shooting from three...when she was dealing with a multitude of injuries; incredibly versatile forward who also averaged nearly 5.5 rebounds per game and had a 2:1 A/TO ratio. Look at her numbers from her sophomore year, where she averaged nearly 18 points per game, while shooting 53 percent from the floor, 39 percent from three, and nearly 90 percent from the line. Expect a return to those numbers.
Moriah Jefferson (UConn)
Elizabeth Williams (Duke)
Brittany Boyd/Reshanda Gray (California)
Allisha Gray (UNC)
Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech)
Rachel Banham (Minnesota)
Aleighsa Welch/Alaina Coates (South Carolina)
Jazmine Davis (Washington)
Notes, Tidbits, and Random Observations
1) I went with Harrison over Elizabeth Williams because of the point guard issues. Tennessee has Ariel Massengale back from injury (who was a great playmaker; she only played in 19 games, but racked up 110 assists; her return will mean the ball will be fed to Harrison quite a bit). With Williams, Duke is missing Alexis Jones and has to rely on a career backup combo guard in Ka'lia Johnson. Plus, teams will be able to double down on Williams because outside of Rebecca Greenwell, none of the expected Duke starters has any outside shot or is a reliable threat from three.
2) With Alexis Jones and Diamond DeShields sitting out this year because of transferring (and Jones is injured), the list of potential candidates is noticeably shorter. If healthy and not transferring, those two would have been viable Preseason AA candidates, with DeShields a near-lock for any top five players.
3) With Cal, Boyd and Gray are kind of a combo deal. They are great returning players and should lead Cal to the top of the PAC 12, but they also must go above and beyond, with the graduation of Afure Jemerigbe and Gennifer Brandon, who were the #3 and #4 players for the Golden Bears last year.
4) Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray had incredible first seasons and both are their respective teams' returning leaders. But both were #2 players last year and must step into the shoes of the departed #1 players - Ty Marshall (graduation) and Diamond DeShields (transfer).
5) The last time Stanford did not have at least one player on the WBCA (née State Farm and Kodak) All-America teams was 2001. The last time an Ogwumike was not on that team was 2009. But both will happen this year.
6) Some teams are going to be highly rated/regarded, but are comprised of "players by committee" rather than individual stars - Texas A&M, Iowa, Nebraska, etc. For those teams, the sum is much greater than the individuals parts.