Preseason Top 15

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HuskyFan1125

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I know for certain there will be transfers announced in the coming weeks for several of those teams listed.
 

CocoHusky

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If the changes go into effect before the seasons start, would that make midseason transfer eligible right away?
No way of telling this is the NCAA they will do what makes the least sense.
 

nwhoopfan

hopeless West Coast homer
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Then we have, for the second year in a row, the big question: center? So many possible answers, you’d have to think one will work out pretty well. Will be interesting to see how Kennedy Brown, Taylor Jones, and Andrea Aquino’s skill sets are all utilized by Rueck. Maddie Washington and Janessa Thropay will be seniors, but their contribution levels next season may depend on the newcomers. Jelena Mitrovic and Patricia Morris will round out the front court, both are centers. The starting 5 is wide open it seems, as is depth at both positions. Super excited to see how that situation situates itself.
You're missing Taya Corosdale. She like much of the team was up and down this year. I was hoping for bigger contributions from her, but she'll definitely be in the mix next season, likely the starter at the 4 at the beginning of the year.
 
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You're missing Taya Corosdale. She like much of the team was up and down this year. I was hoping for bigger contributions from her, but she'll definitely be in the mix next season, likely the starter at the 4 at the beginning of the year.
I had noted her in the earlier part. I locked her in starting at the 4. I love her game, she just needs to work on her shooting, and increase her percentages. Plays tough and rebounds well.
 

nwhoopfan

hopeless West Coast homer
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I had noted her in the earlier part. I locked her in starting at the 4. I love her game, she just needs to work on her shooting, and increase her percentages. Plays tough and rebounds well.
Oops, my bad.
 

vowelguy

Boneyard contrarian since 1998
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UConn will still be so dangerous next season.
UConn finished the regular season as the 4th-6th best team, and it loses its two -by far- best players. But yet it's gonna be #3?
 

Orangutan

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UConn finished the regular season as the 4th-6th best team, and it loses its two -by far- best players. But yet it's gonna be #3?
Massey and 538 both had UConn third in their pre-tournament power rankings.

As we saw with how senior-laden the All-American teams were, all the top teams will be losing great players.

Williams is a superstar waiting to happen for UConn, imo.
 
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As a Louisville fan, I hope that those of you who rank us 9-10 are correct, but I think that may be a little high. We need to find a shooter somewhere. I feel good about a front court of Shook, Dunham and Jones, and I think that Evans will become a star next year (as will Dangerfield for UConn). But someone has to score the basketball from outside. Maybe Nyah Green? Not sure our three freshmen guards (Robinson, Robins and Duvall) will be up to the task. Hope I'm wrong. The wild card is Norika Konna from Japan. She's a 5-11 shooting guard who played on the Japanese national team.
 
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Being 3rd in a 14 team conference isn't bad. I wouldn't be surprised if Texas A&M win the SEC next season. There are two things that basically bothers me about A&M. The heavy reliance of the starters and the lack of rebounding at times. Obviously you know more about your team than I do so you can clarify this. Also I saw you guys only had one recruit coming in (Green). .
The over-reliance on starters is a perennial complaint about Blair even when we don't have the injuries we had this year. But as much as I love Jada Walton and how she stepped up, objectively I think we're stronger if Aaliyah Wilson (13.8 ppg, albeit vs mostly vs weak nonconference opponents but 17 vs Syracuse) is back and we're rotating some combination of Carter, Washington, Wilson, and Wells even if we don't go deeper. IMO, Wells ended up having a better year than Rennia Davis.

wrt rebounding, we got dominated by ND with Shepard and Turner. But I don't see any pair of bigs comparable in the SEC. Jones and Johnson were #2 and #7 in rpg last season. in the SEC. Most of the players above them graduated if we only rank players coming back it would be
  1. Jones
  2. Ayana Mitchell
  3. Unique Thompson
  4. Johnson
The main backups will be two transfers, 6-5 Anna Dreimane and 6-4 Ashley Hearn. 5-11 Cheah Real-Whitsett is an energetic undersized fan favorite who rebounds well for her size but isn't an offensive threat and needs to develop on D. But I expect she'll get playing time, especially if the transfers aren't as good as I hope they will be. But for me the bottom line on front lines is that as much as I love watching Herbert Harrigan, SC and MSU are going to need freshmen and role players to step up, which is more of a crapshoot than expecting Jones and Johnson to be at least as good as they were by this past season.

So while I get the concern about too many minutes for starters, I think the depth will be better, and I don't think it's too biased to think the starting 5 will be the best in the SEC.

Nationally is another story.
 

Fightin Choke

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5 seems ambitious for Notre Dame even if Young comes back. But I am thinking/hoping there will be some additions to the roster before next season. So that may change things.

The lineup would be something like: Nixon-Peoples-Young-Patterson-Vaughn. With a bench of: Brunelle, Cosgrove, Gilbert, and Prohaska. (Totally guessing on which two guards would start next to Young).

One one hand, that's 6 HS All-Americans. On the other, it's one proven starter, two rotation players (Prohaska and Vaughn) and the rest unknown quantities as college players.

But I hope you are right! I'm thinking ND will be more in 10-15 range with Young and in the 15-25 range without.
I'm a little more bullish on the Irish's fortunes than @Orangutan, but not as confident as @bballnut90. If Jackie returns, the Irish should be top 10. Muffet will figure out the puzzle. If Young doesn't return, then Muffet may lack the pieces necessary to complete the puzzle, so ND is 11-20. I really do not see ND lower than that.
 

cockhrnleghrn

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Thanks, BBall, posters like you are what makes the BY so interesting. I see South Carolina as the team to beat next year depending on what Dawn can do with the Freshmen.
It will take some time for the freshmen to gel, but I think that will occur by the time of conference play. Te’a Cooper has also announced she will be back. She is a big sister type of influence on the team as she has matured greatly since her time at UT. I expect Dawn to add a great rebounding grad transfer. She tried to get Anriel Howard for that role this year. It will be easier to get that for next season.
 
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I think UConn falls off next year (though not for long). Walker, ONO, and Williams are largely unproven to me. Who else do they have besides those three. Unless Walker grows substantially during the summer, she still can't shoot (Neither can Williams). Dangerfield (a very short player) will be your only proven player.
Baylor should be the best team again next year with Cox and a strong sophomore class.
Oregon falls off without Ionescu if she goes pro.
I don't see Notre Dame staying elite next year but they could. It depends if Young returns.
State might be in rebuild mode.
I think people are under ranking USC. They have a lot of returning players with a strong incoming freshman class that brings size. USC could be top 3 next year.
 

bballnut90

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I think UConn falls off next year (though not for long). Walker, ONO, and Williams are largely unproven to me. Who else do they have besides those three. Unless Walker grows substantially during the summer, she still can't shoot (Neither can Williams). Dangerfield (a very short player) will be your only proven player.
Baylor should be the best team again next year with Cox and a strong sophomore class.
Oregon falls off without Ionescu if she goes pro.
I don't see Notre Dame staying elite next year but they could. It depends if Young returns.
State might be in rebuild mode.
I think people are under ranking USC. They have a lot of returning players with a strong incoming freshman class that brings size. USC could be top 3 next year.

Did you watch the regionals? Walker and Williams were fantastic and appear well prepared to take on a larger role. ONO is unproven but should improve big time over the summer. UCONN isn't going anywhere.

Baylor/Oregon/UCONN should be the cream of the crop. South Carolina I have at 4 but they're a massive notch lower. They has all the pieces to be in that top group but I'm not sure they'll get there next year. They weren't close to being at that level this year. The roster has a lot of good but unpolished players like Harris, Herbert Harrigan and Cooper. Harris needs to improve her shooting, Cooper needs to play cleaner/improve decision making, and HH needs to improve offensively inside. If those players make strides and Boston is the real deal from day 1, SC will be a force.


Side note--even if Oregon loses Ionescu, they're still a Final Four favorite IMO. The offense will be built around Sabally/Hebard and they have a stellar 3pt shooter in Boley who will take on a larger role. In the backcourt their backup PG guard, Chavez, has looked quite solid in the games I've seen and could take over PG duties. They also have the younger (and allegedly better) Sabally who could make a splash. Sabrina makes them a title favorite, but they're still elite without her.
 
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I think Sabrina and Maite are part of what make Ruthy so good. Ruthy is a tremendous finisher, but she gets a lot of easy buckets because Ionescu and Cazorla are so good at passing out of the pick and roll. I’m guessing the younger Sabally comes off the bench next season, but if she is as good as advertised, they will be really dangerous, with or without Sabrina. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ionescu leave. She seems to be a me first person. Especially if the win the title this season.
 
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Did you watch the regionals? Walker and Williams were fantastic and appear well prepared to take on a larger role. ONO is unproven but should improve big time over the summer. UCONN isn't going anywhere.

Baylor/Oregon/UCONN should be the cream of the crop. South Carolina I have at 4 but they're a massive notch lower. They has all the pieces to be in that top group but I'm not sure they'll get there next year. They weren't close to being at that level this year. The roster has a lot of good but unpolished players like Harris, Herbert Harrigan and Cooper. Harris needs to improve her shooting, Cooper needs to play cleaner/improve decision making, and HH needs to improve offensively inside. If those players make strides and Boston is the real deal from day 1, SC will be a force.


Side note--even if Oregon loses Ionescu, they're still a Final Four favorite IMO. The offense will be built around Sabally/Hebard and they have a stellar 3pt shooter in Boley who will take on a larger role. In the backcourt their backup PG guard, Chavez, has looked quite solid in the games I've seen and could take over PG duties. They also have the younger (and allegedly better) Sabally who could make a splash. Sabrina makes them a title favorite, but they're still elite without her.
I didn't watch the regional. The last UConn game I saw was against Baylor, where ONO, Williams, and Walker were all non existent (Williams did have a few threes in the 2nd half). Of course things change, lol.
I still don't think Walker can actually shoot. She doesn't have a pull up game and shoots poorly from the 3, particularly in high pressure games (Baylor). I am critical of her also because many on this board still think she's going to be the next Maya Moore, but I don't see that happening at all. No hate to her, but people on this board inflate Walker to a player that I don't think she is. She can rebound though well from the wing position.
Good points though. I still think you aren't rating USC high enough, but maybe I'm an SEC homer. They will have a strong veteran presence with real freshmen talent, particuarly inside, something they sorely missed this year. I'm hoping Jackie Young returns because I'm such a fan of her game. She's the actual best player on that team, not Arike (though Arike is very good obviously). Young is more consistent and can get to the rim better than Arike.
 

bballnut90

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I didn't watch the regional. The last UConn game I saw was against Baylor, where ONO, Williams, and Walker were all non existent (Williams did have a few threes in the 2nd half). Of course things change, lol.
I still don't think Walker can actually shoot. She doesn't have a pull up game and shoots poorly from the 3, particularly in high pressure games (Baylor). I am critical of her also because many on this board still think she's going to be the next Maya Moore, but I don't see that happening at all. No hate to her, but people on this board inflate Walker to a player that I don't think she is. She can rebound though well from the wing position.
Good points though. I still think you aren't rating USC high enough, but maybe I'm an SEC homer. They will have a strong veteran presence with real freshmen talent, particuarly inside, something they sorely missed this year. I'm hoping Jackie Young returns because I'm such a fan of her game. She's the actual best player on that team, not Arike (though Arike is very good obviously). Young is more consistent and can get to the rim better than Arike.
I'd highly suggest watching a recent game (or 2). Or just look at any stats. Walker is UCONN's best 3pt shooter by percentage at 40%. She also just went 4-7 in the Elite 8 against Louisville. In other big games she's shot:
2-5 vs. SC
1-3 vs. Louisville
1-3 vs. Notre dame
1-1 vs. UCLA
2-5 vs. Baylor

Add those up and in games against Sweet 16 opponents she's shot 11-24, or 45.8%. She's hit 48 on the year, close to 1.5 per game. She shoots well from 3.

She isn't the type of player who will create her own shot from the perimeter or score off the dribble, but UCONN rarely has kids who do that. Their offense emphasizes passing and catch/shoot rather than 1 on 1 play or creating offense off the dribble.

I don't read every thread on here but I haven't seen anyone comparing her to Maya Moore....she's a very different player than Maya and I don't think she's ever going to come close to Maya's level, but she's much better than you're giving her credit for. She also is playing second fiddle to KLS/Collier and will show off more of her offensive arsenal next year when she's a go to player.


I have SC at 4....would you put them above Oregon/UCONN/Baylor? I wouldn't. SC wasn't a very strong team this past year and has a long way to go before they'll be a title contender IMO.
 

jonson

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I think Sabrina and Maite are part of what make Ruthy so good. Ruthy is a tremendous finisher, but she gets a lot of easy buckets because Ionescu and Cazorla are so good at passing out of the pick and roll. I’m guessing the younger Sabally comes off the bench next season, but if she is as good as advertised, they will be really dangerous, with or without Sabrina. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ionescu leave. She seems to be a me first person. Especially if the win the title this season.
So, on the one hand, Hebard gets a lot of easy baskets because Ionescu is so good at the pick and roll. On the other, Ionescu is a "me first" person. To me, at least, that doesn't exactly compute.
 
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I didn't watch the regional. The last UConn game I saw was against Baylor, where ONO, Williams, and Walker were all non existent (Williams did have a few threes in the 2nd half). Of course things change, lol.
I still don't think Walker can actually shoot. She doesn't have a pull up game and shoots poorly from the 3, particularly in high pressure games (Baylor). I am critical of her also because many on this board still think she's going to be the next Maya Moore, but I don't see that happening at all. No hate to her, but people on this board inflate Walker to a player that I don't think she is. She can rebound though well from the wing position.
Good points though. I still think you aren't rating USC high enough, but maybe I'm an SEC homer. They will have a strong veteran presence with real freshmen talent, particuarly inside, something they sorely missed this year. I'm hoping Jackie Young returns because I'm such a fan of her game. She's the actual best player on that team, not Arike (though Arike is very good obviously). Young is more consistent and can get to the rim better than Arike.
Well said. I'm more a wait and see about the skills and development of the Uconn players and their ability to fill the huge gaps due to graduation.
 
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So, on the one hand, Hebard gets a lot of easy baskets because Ionescu is so good at the pick and roll. On the other, Ionescu is a "me first" person. To me, at least, that doesn't exactly compute.
Absolutely computes. Part of her “me first” is the triple double. That ain’t happening unless she is getting assists to Ruthy in the pick and roll.

Generational talent? Absolutely

Me>Team player? Absolutely
 
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I'd highly suggest watching a recent game (or 2). Or just look at any stats. Walker is UCONN's best 3pt shooter by percentage at 40%. She also just went 4-7 in the Elite 8 against Louisville. In other big games she's shot:
2-5 vs. SC
1-3 vs. Louisville
1-3 vs. Notre dame
1-1 vs. UCLA
2-5 vs. Baylor

Add those up and in games against Sweet 16 opponents she's shot 11-24, or 45.8%. She's hit 48 on the year, close to 1.5 per game. She shoots well from 3.

She isn't the type of player who will create her own shot from the perimeter or score off the dribble, but UCONN rarely has kids who do that. Their offense emphasizes passing and catch/shoot rather than 1 on 1 play or creating offense off the dribble.

I don't read every thread on here but I haven't seen anyone comparing her to Maya Moore....she's a very different player than Maya and I don't think she's ever going to come close to Maya's level, but she's much better than you're giving her credit for. She also is playing second fiddle to KLS/Collier and will show off more of her offensive arsenal next year when she's a go to player.


I have SC at 4....would you put them above Oregon/UCONN/Baylor? I wouldn't. SC wasn't a very strong team this past year and has a long way to go before they'll be a title contender IMO.
Fair points. I’m biased against Walker lol. But we’ll see next year who she really is—she’ll be exposed in my opinion.
I would rate SC over UConn and Oregon if Ionescu doesn’t return. Again, Dangerfield is the best player on next year’s team, and that doesn’t impress me.
 
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Fair points. I’m biased against Walker lol. But we’ll see next year who she really is—she’ll be exposed in my opinion.
I would rate SC over UConn and Oregon if Ionescu doesn’t return. Again, Dangerfield is the best player on next year’s team, and that doesn’t impress me.
Your more optimistic then most Gamecock fans lol. I think SC could be very good. I’ll rate them somewhere in the top 10 for now. I think the SEC will come down to SC and A&M, with Miss St, Kentucky,and Tennessee (depending on who they hire) will round out the top 5. The major thing SC should focus on is getting the #1 seed in the Greenville region next year. Wouldn’t have to travel far at all and the final four will be in New Orleans which is even better considering that’s SEC country. Much more affordable for fans.
 

bballnut90

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Following up on this...
Tier 1 teams (title favorites):
1. Oregon-Ionsecu is back so they should be the prohibitive front runners alongside Baylor. Everyone is back aside from Cazorla, plus they bring in the younger Sabally. Ionescu will be the heavy favorite for all POY awards next year and anything less than a title will be a disappointment for Oregon.

2. Baylor-they'll be loaded once again with their sophomore class plus Cox. Big losses are Brown and Jackson, but the development of players like Smith, Landrum, Egbo and Decosta should help offset that. So much talent on the roster and Kim has done a stellar job developing her current players.

Tier 2 Team (title contender)
3. Connecticut-they lose 2 greats but still have a very good core of Dangerfield, Williams and Walker. Look for ONO to make strides in the offseason. Aside from that, the cupboard is very thin but UCONN is UCONN. They'll likely add a good grad transfer (or 2) in the offseason.

Tier 3 Teams (Final Four contender)
4. South Carolina-after an up and down season they should be back in Final Four form 2 years post A'ja. They return good backcourt play plus Herbert Herrigan upfront and bring in the #1 class.

5. Notre Dame-this is assuming Jackie Young returns. Notre Dame will still be strong with a young roster that will be centered around Jackie Young. Muffet is among the best when it comes to developing talent, so I don't see Notre Dame dropping out of the top 7-8 unless Young goes pro.


Tier 4 (could be a Final Four team or could struggle)
6. Oregon State-up and down year for OSU that finished with a disappointing Sweet 16 showing. They have almost everyone back and should get a boost from Aquino.

7. Texas A&M-everyone is back for the Aggies. Question is will they run a more balanced offense or will it be the Carter show?

8. Maryland-everyone is back for the Terps including potential POY candidate Kaila Charles.

9. Stanford-they lose Smith but will be strong with a great cast of players returning in addition to Jones and Belibi.

10. NC State-they have a good roster back and should get a boost from their injured players returning. Leslie is a big loss.

11. Mississippi State-can't see them dropping too far down with Schaefer at the helm. They lose 4 starters but returning 2 stud outside shooters in AEH and Bibby. Also had some good contributions from Scott this year and look for Promise Taylor to make an impact in Starkville.

12. Florida State-a lot depends on who is coaching them, but no question Tennessee has top 10 talent on its roster. A starting 5 of Horston, Westbrook, Green, Davis and Collins could be outstanding.

13. Louisville-massive losses with Carter, Durr and Fuerhing. Much depends on if Walz stays and how the team adjusts without Asia.

14. Miami-all key contributors are back aside from Hoff.

15. Tennessee-made a smart choice to part with Holly. Appear to be losing Westbrook though and Holly's replacement is unknown. Really hard to say how this team stacks up with so many unknowns going into next season. Could be top 10 or fringe top 25. Should be better than this year though.

Others to keep an eye on:
Kentucky-Howard is back and Patterson is eligible
MTSU-bring in 2 former top 10 players in Rellah Boothe (coming off ACL) and Anastasia Hayes
UCLA-good talent returning, although lose Drummer and Burke. Onyenwere could lead UCLA into top 10.
Syracuse-stud PG is back
Texas-really talented roster with Holmes/Sutton/Collier/Higgs all back. Horrendous coaching though.

Teams that may suffer the biggest drop offs include:
-Notre Dame
-Mississippi State
-Louisville
-Connecticut
 
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TheFarmFan

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Following up on this...
9. Stanford-they lose Smith but will be strong with a great cast of players returning in addition to Jones and Belibi. If Sniezek decides to use her 5th year at Stanford, the Card could get a big boost in the backcourt.
Sharp analysis generally, but I said this at least once before if not here then in another thread: unless someone transfers or quits, there's no scholarship spot for Sniezek even if she got a redshirt year. And rumor is that she's already indicated a plan to grad transfer. Moreover, IMHO, Williams is already a net positive running the point vs. Sniezek because Williams can generate so much more offense on her own and it offsets being a slightly less able facilitator. And with a logjam of shooting guards and wings both on our team (Carrington, Wilson, Hulls x2, Jerome (in her ideal position)) and coming in (Jones, Jump), Williams at the 1 is a much better use for her than at the 2. So I respectfully would disagree with this analysis.

To me, how far Stanford's season goes next year will depend on Dodson making a big leap (har har) over the summer, Fingall coming back from the ACL injury looking at least as good as she was before she went down, and/or Belibi or Prechtel being able to be a strong starting post player by mid-season. We will rise or fall on the basis of our posts, because that's where we lack both depth and seasoned execution.
 
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