I am rather neutral regarding the 5th starter when the season starts. I do think, however, that Edwards will likely be a starter when we play taller ranked teams both during the season but especially in the tournament. Not having enough real size with athleticism and versatility has really hurt the team when playing teams like Baylor.I think some of the starters are obvious. Others are not, though some are more likely than others. Before I explain my choices, recall that some players (Kaleena and Kiah) didn't start, but played major minutes. Conversely, some players limited by injuries (Caroline and Brit) started, but weren't able to play major minutes. I think a more meaningful exercise would involve ranking players by minutes played, minutes played in the first 2-3 quarters, and minutes played against ranked teams. Teams do not always start their best 5 players.
Christyn and Olivia will start. They are our most experienced players and arguably our two best players. Both have started for 2 years already. Evina also has started for 2 years, though not at UConn. If her health is ok, I think she starts.
That gives us 3 starters. I see what Anna adds in terms of moving the ball, scoring, and defending. She was a starter last year and did nothing to lose her starting position. I see her as the 4th starter.
The 5th starter is a really tough call. Aubrey, as the most experienced of the other returners, seems like a viable possibility and would likely play the PF slot. However, Geno may want to consider keeping her for the "energy player off the bench."
In terms of the newcomers, I think Paige and Aaliyah are the most likely to be starters. However, more than 300 teams would love to have Mir or Nika in their starting lineups. I don't see that for the Huskies.
So, who is the 5th starter? It may depend on how Geno wants to play. Looking at skills and size, I think Aaliyah may be our most natural PF. If Geno wants to go with a traditional, bigger lineup, she starts. If Geno is comfortable going smaller, or Evina has limited minutes, he may go with Paige as a starter.
I recall Geno and Sue noting that, the day Diana arrived on campus, she was the best player on the team. I heard the same about Maya. I don't recall the same about Stewie, but it may have been true. As much talent as there is on our team, I think Paige may be our best player from early on. She may defer a little, but she plays with an edge. She will be sensational soon. Paigemania comes to Storrs in the autumn of 2020.