The Sporting News Preseason Poll | Page 2 | The Boneyard

The Sporting News Preseason Poll

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EricLA

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Your typical Notre Dame bias, but a nice place from which to start. Notre Dame does not face a serious challenge to their #1 ranking until meeting Connecticut and Georgetown back to back in January.
how many times has UCONN ended the season #1 (by winning the NC) and we've argued they should be #1 the next year till they are knocked off? not only did ND get to the NC game, but they only lost 1 player. i'd still put Baylor at #1 but i have no issue with ND being there. having said that, the sporting news or whoever this poll is done by doesn't even amount to a molehill of beans as the two that are always listed are the ESPN/coaches poll and the AP poll.
 

tigger

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...and don't forget that the NCAA has its own RPI...
 
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Notre Dame will likely face Baylor on Nov 20 in the finals of the preseason NIT. Looking at the early matchups, I'd be very surprised if both don't win out. The game would be in Waco. I believe Notre Dame will likely play Duke in one of the island tournaments over the Thanksgiving weekend and plays Kentucky mid-December.

Good job. I missed seeing the Baylor possibility and totally overlooked Duke in the Junkanoo Jam.
 
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I honestly would be shocked to see Notre Dame #1. They lost some great players last year if memory serves me correct. And like someone pointed out, they made it to the championship game and lost and we beat them 3 out of 4 times. UCONN losing Maya could hurt our preseason rankings... however gaining KML who has been making a name for herself already, adding in addition to KML two new freshman, a sophomore in Johnson who is off an injury and hopefully can contribute, a "healthy" Heather Buck and Caroline Doty.... in a way... we are adding like six players to this roster. Depending on how you look at Buck.

I would be shocked if Stanford is not one of the top teams. They keep the Ogumeke (spelling?) sisters and have some other great players. They lost some good players like Kayla Pederson, but they have a good recruiting class coming in if memory serves me right.

Stanford, UCONN, Baylor, Notre Dame, Texas AM, Tennessee... should all be in the top six... just the order I do not know.

Notre Dame has the #24 recruiting class next year... #24... geesh...
 

Vowelguy

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I honestly would be shocked to see Notre Dame #1. They lost some great players last year if memory serves me correct.

No. Everyone except Bruszewski returns.
They had a few academic seniors that were actually red-shirt juniors.
 
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I'm not as high on Notre Dame as many of the other posters on this board. I know they bring everyone back except Bruszewski, but last year the Irish caught alot of teams by surprise. They got hot at the right time in the NCAA Tournament. This year they are going to have a big target on their backs. They will be the hunted not the hunter. How ND does will be determined by how well they handle the pressure.
 

MilfordHusky

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Just my opinion. Losing Maya obviously is a big loss to us but we also return 4 starters and get a 5th starter back as well as some much needed depth and growth of our 2 frosh starters. Look at SD's growth, I expect the same from Bria. I'd guess our team was fatigued in the FF, so having more depth is definately going to help offset the loss of Maya.

So they have 4 starters back, we have 5 back with CD. I'd say imho last year remains a fair comparison and we beat them 3 out of 4.
I'm with Drum. Maya had 2 effects. She made the team great. But others relied on her. I think we have more balance this year. And our players are ultracompetitive and talented. Tiff and Kelly have the experience. Stef and Bria have really improved. Caroline is back. We have 3 impact frosh, including the one player you would want after Maya's departure. I just don't see ND ahead of us. I think they are behind Baylor and Stanford as well.
 

UConnCat

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I was bullish on ND last year and I'm bullish on them this year. I do think ND will miss Becca, though. She brought interior toughness and underrated interior passing ability. She set some tough screens. Neither Peters nor Achonwa bring the same type of toughness. Still, basketball is a guard's game and ND's trio of starters have good size, can shoot from the perimeter and are a handful in the lane. McBride is back and she and Miller will be very good off the bench.

I wouldn't put ND at #1, but definitely top 3. We'll learn a lot when ND and Baylor play, as expected, in the finals of the preseason NIT.
 

EricLA

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I'm with Drum. Maya had 2 effects. She made the team great. But others relied on her. I think we have more balance this year. And our players are ultracompetitive and talented. Tiff and Kelly have the experience. Stef and Bria have really improved. Caroline is back. We have 3 impact frosh, including the one player you would want after Maya's departure. I just don't see ND ahead of us. I think they are behind Baylor and Stanford as well.
i'm with you 100%. the team has already been working hard post Maya. everyone needs to step up and they will.
 
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Sorry, but I can't understand anyone comparing last year to this year. Did you say that the Chicago Bulls were basically the same team after Michael Jordan left since they returned 4 of 5 starters?

This team may or may not be better than last year's. But it is clearly a much much much different team.

I'd say the Jordan analogy is invalid here. His team mates were mature at that age. They came back the same players.

It's different at the college level. These girls are on a steep growth path. Steph and Bria will come back much improved, different players. Kelly may improve her game also. Add to that Caroline whom we didn't have last year. With these girls improving and let's say KML as Maya's replacement we'll score nearly as many points.

So there is plenty of room for optimism. The team will improve steadily throughout the year and if they gel late we're looking at a chance for the NC.
 

Vowelguy

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I'd say the Jordan analogy is invalid here. His team mates were mature at that age. They came back the same players. It's different at the college level. These girls are on a steep growth path. So there is plenty of room for optimism. The team will improve steadily throughout the year and if they gel late we're looking at a chance for the NC.[/quote]

You misread my post. Maya was the central focus of everything last year. Almost by defintion, this year's team will be much much different.
 
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Ok.
So what do you think of my points?
 
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That is fair enough considering, I for one don't worry about such polls being that the team is so well rounded this season, I suspect other teams are not taking Uconn for granite this season...
 

EricLA

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Ok.
So what do you think of my points?
i'd say you are a moron... (KIDDING! channeling DD who has been notably absent of late and far too tame)...

people in general always try to find analogies to try to make their point. i think many would agree that Maya's value to UCONN last year was similar to Jordan's value to the Bulls when they were at their peak. however, i think your point is well taken that the kids who come to play at UCONN are on a much steeper learning curve. every player improves in one way or another. While Maya was great - Jordanesque, i think other players had a tendency to stand around and wait for her to do something.

in fact, that's exactly what happened in the first half of the NC game vs. STanford the year before and it wasn't until Maya started making some plays that the rest of the team started making plays too. but as Mil pointed out, i think, i foresee everyone on the team being forced to step up and take on more to replace what was lost with Maya's departure.
 

tigger

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That is fair enough considering, I for one don't worry about such polls being that the team is so well rounded this season, I suspect other teams are not taking Uconn for granite this season...

No offense Cafe, but it might be good if folks do take UConn for "granite" this year---that's pretty darn hard!!!;) This means, I would think, that people would be taking them VERY seriously. I'm sorry, I'm the kid of a schoolteacher and a newspaper publisher, so I just HAD to do that. No offense meant at all Cafe--all in good fun!:)
 

tigger

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I'm not as high on Notre Dame as many of the other posters on this board. I know they bring everyone back except Bruszewski, but last year the Irish caught alot of teams by surprise. They got hot at the right time in the NCAA Tournament. This year they are going to have a big target on their backs. They will be the hunted not the hunter. How ND does will be determined by how well they handle the pressure.

I've said it before, and I'm sayin' it again---I agree. I still say what they have is good to great, but they have zero depth on the inside. Basically, the only true front court players they have with any playing time are Peters and Ochonwa. The one loss of Becca will prove huge. Braker has virtually no experience and Wright is a frosh. Neither is/was very highly regarded or rated. And from these four, they just don't have match-up size.

Fouls, fatigue, and/or injuries would be literally fatal.
 

Icebear

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No offense Cafe, but it might be good if folks do take UConn for "granite" this year---that's pretty darn hard!!!;) This means, I would think, that people would be taking them VERY seriously. I'm sorry, I'm the kid of a schoolteacher and a newspaper publisher, so I just HAD to do that. No offense meant at all Cafe--all in good fun!:)
You beat to that idea. Most teams in WCBB will be taking UConn for granite. And running into them may well be worse than running into a stone wall.
 
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No offense Cafe, but it might be good if folks do take UConn for "granite" this year---that's pretty darn hard!!!;) This means, I would think, that people would be taking them VERY seriously. I'm sorry, I'm the kid of a schoolteacher and a newspaper publisher, so I just HAD to do that. No offense meant at all Cafe--all in good fun!:)

Maybe a grain of salt reference would have worked better....
 
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I've said it before, and I'm sayin' it again---I agree. I still say what they have is good to great, but they have zero depth on the inside. Basically, the only true front court players they have with any playing time are Peters and Ochonwa. The one loss of Becca will prove huge. Braker has virtually no experience and Wright is a frosh. Neither is/was very highly regarded or rated. And from these four, they just don't have match-up size.

Fouls, fatigue, and/or injuries would be literally fatal.

Have your opinion. As someone who has actually followed both Braker and Wright I think you underestimate them because of what I have to assume is Hoopgurlz lack of evaluation.

Braker had an ACL injury and stayed off the AAU circuit after. Hoopgurlz didn't rank her, Blue Star and ASGR did...both around 40. She had an additional knee surgery (clean-up I believe) last year that kept her from breaking rotation. If she did it would have meant ND had a 11 man rotation in the fall and 9 man in the Spring. Have never seen MM do that.
Wright is more interesting. Averaged 16pts, 15 reb her senior season in Iowa. Her team's last lost was to Stokes' Lin Mar by 3pts two years ago in the state final. Since then it was Wright's Des Moines East team that went undefeated, ranked #1 from beginning to end, and won the state title. Wright was the MVP of the tourney. Every mention of the top players in Iowa mention Stokes immediately followed by Wright. Pretty much unanimously described as tough, aggressive, likes contact, physical etc. As an ND fan am thrilled that MM has compared her to Bruiser on more than one occasion and think she is going to fill that toughness void. Also when Hoopgurlz offered thier combined rankings with BS and ASGR she came in around 50 even though she wasn't ranked by one of the three.

After ND graduated 4 starters in 2010 and MM claimed that last years team was better most were skeptical. They were indeed better. Same could be true of this team. Achonwa outrebounded Bruiser in less minutes and will out score her as well when they increase. McBride is back too. I'll allow for the same type of improvement that most fans attribute for their team and players to also be true of mine.

I think ND is probably top 5 regardless of what will transpire during the season. ND could have more losses in conference and not win the BE. They don't have a favorable schedule having to play all of the expected top 5 on the road. None of that really matters. They are going to be a tough out for anyone in the NCAA and can't imagine them being a preferred opponent.

Good luck this season. Looking forward to seeing KML and hopefully a healthy recovered Doty.
 

triaddukefan

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This is what I'm remembering of the top 10. I may have misordered #5-7, but it was definitely those 3 teams.
  1. Notre Dame
  2. Baylor
  3. UConn
  4. Tenn
  5. Stanford ?
  6. TAMU ?
  7. Duke ?
  8. Georgetown
  9. Louisville ?
  10. Miami



I would have Baylor as 1, followed by UCONN, Tenn, ND, Stanford, Miami, Duke, TAMU, Louisville, and Maryland.
 

EricLA

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I would have Baylor as 1, followed by UCONN, Tenn, ND, Stanford, Miami, Duke, TAMU, Louisville, and Maryland.
Miami could really be a sleeper this year. they were 2nd in the ACC last year and i don't t hink were ready for being the "hunted" so much and were a bit "unprepared" for the NCAA's. not that they didn't practice, or what not, but i just think it was all too new for them.

plus, you guys pounded them when you played, they got crushed by UNC in the ACC semifinals, and lost a close game to Oklahoma in the 2nd round of the NCAA's. i expect them to all be better this year, but they are unproven and i'm not ready to say they will be better than Duke this year. i take you are picking them to win the ACC?
 

EricLA

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good analysis rjp and thanks for sharing. we don't follow other schools as closely obviously as their fans and it's great to read an "inside" view of kids they have coming in especially when we aren't familiar with them. it's awfully easy to look at the HG rankings and dismiss someone, but we've seen over and over that often where they rate someone is not accurate when viewed later by how that player did in college.
 

triaddukefan

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Miami could really be a sleeper this year. they were 2nd in the ACC last year and i don't t hink were ready for being the "hunted" so much and were a bit "unprepared" for the NCAA's. not that they didn't practice, or what not, but i just think it was all too new for them.

plus, you guys pounded them when you played, they got crushed by UNC in the ACC semifinals, and lost a close game to Oklahoma in the 2nd round of the NCAA's. i expect them to all be better this year, but they are unproven and i'm not ready to say they will be better than Duke this year. i take you are picking them to win the ACC?


I think you have to put Miami as the clear favorite for the ACC. They return everyone... plus they have Pepper Wilson eligible to play this year... and a highly regarded PG prospect who was a high school all-american a couple of years ago... but had to sit out last year. Their two weak spots last year.. were the lack of a true PG, and size up front. They have that this year. That will enable Johnson to return to her natural position..... and they have the dynamic scorer in Williams at the 2. They will get a early gauge of how good they are as they go to Knoxville early in the season... maybe the first game.

That being said..... I expect Duke to be really good this year as well. I think we have top 3-4 talent... but its young... and everyone will have to play a different role than they did last year. Gray is a star in the making.... and E. Williams is a pretty decent freshman who will make an impact for us. The ACC is the second strongest conference in my opinion... should be an interesting race.
 

EricLA

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I think you have to put Miami as the clear favorite for the ACC. They return everyone... plus they have Pepper Wilson eligible to play this year... and a highly regarded PG prospect who was a high school all-american a couple of years ago... but had to sit out last year. Their two weak spots last year.. were the lack of a true PG, and size up front. They have that this year. That will enable Johnson to return to her natural position..... and they have the dynamic scorer in Williams at the 2. They will get a early gauge of how good they are as they go to Knoxville early in the season... maybe the first game.

That being said..... I expect Duke to be really good this year as well. I think we have top 3-4 talent... but its young... and everyone will have to play a different role than they did last year. Gray is a star in the making.... and E. Williams is a pretty decent freshman who will make an impact for us. The ACC is the second strongest conference in my opinion... should be an interesting race.
E williams is a pretty decent freshman? where's the sarcasm emoticon? lol. she's a beast and i don't know how many kids are on the end of season AA teams, but it wouldn't surprise me to see her make a 3rd team or get an honorable mention. i think she starts right away over Vernery don't you?

can you imagine the mass hysteria out of knoxville if miami should beat them? oh lordy that would be priceless.
 
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