South Carolina is the early favourite, however a handful of applications might problem the reigning champs after offseason lineup boosts.
After spending all of final season sitting at No. 1 within the AP ballot, reigning champs South Carolina return because the early favorites to repeat. But there are a handful of applications that appear primed to mount a problem due to offseason lineup boosts.
Read on for Sports Illustrated’s preseason prime 25 for the 2022–23 season, which kicks off Nov. 7.
1. South Carolina
Aliyah Boston, final season’s National Player of the Year, returns for her senior season, which signifies that coach Dawn Staley’s reigning champions are as soon as once more the staff to beat.
The Cardinal backcourt will look completely different following the departures of sisters Lexie and Lacie Hull, and Anna Wilson. But senior guard Haley Jones leads a roster stocked with expertise.
The Longhorns, who reached the Elite Eight final 12 months, haven’t been to a Final Four since 2003, however the addition of again-to-again WCC Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales from BYU might assist them take that subsequent step.
Caitlin Clark, the nation’s main scorer final 12 months (27.0 ppg), returns for her junior season alongside proficient fifth-12 months put up participant Monika Czinano (21.2 ppg), however the Hawkeyes’ key will likely be getting defensive stops.
Paige Bueckers will miss the complete season after an offseason ACL tear, however coach Geno Auriemma will likely be aiming for his fifteenth straight Final Four behind two freshmen who had been prime-5 recruits, forwards Ice Brady and Ayanna Patterson.
6. Notre Dame
After a heartbreaking Sweet 16 loss, the Fighting Irish ought to come again
robust behind guards Olivia Miles (who final 12 months turned the primary freshman to put up a triple double within the historical past of the boys’s or girls’s tourney), Sonia Citron and Dara Mabrey.
The (*25*) misplaced three starters from final 12 months’s staff, however coach Jeff Walz nonetheless has good junior guard Hailey Van Lith and has added two distinctive switch guards in Morgan Jones (Florida State) and Chrislyn Carr (Syracuse), along with bringing in a stable recruiting class.
8. Iowa State
Continuity may very well be the important thing as senior wing Ashley Joens offers the Cyclones a robust All-American candidate. Plus, junior guards Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski might show to be the Big 12’s finest backcourt.
Though Rae Burrell is now on the WNBA’s Sparks roster, the Lady Vols are nonetheless loaded due to freshman wing Justine Pissott, key veteran returners and the transfers introduced in by coach Kellie Harper.
10. NC State
Wes Moore’s program is coming off its first Elite Eight look since 1998. The Wolfpack deliver again three vets—junior guard Diamond Johnson, senior wing Jakia Brown-Turner and senior middle Camille Hobby—who will maintain this staff within the ACC fray.
11. Virginia Tech
The Hokies, seeking to bounce again from a gap-spherical match departure, add two-time All-American guard Ashley Owusu from Maryland and grad scholar ahead Taylor Soule, who averaged 16.0 factors for Boston College final 12 months, to a staff led by senior middle Elizabeth Kitley, the reigning ACC Player of the Year.
12. North Carolina
The Tar Heels gave the eventual-champion Gamecocks all they may deal with within the Sweet 16 final 12 months and return 4 starters, together with junior guard Deja Kelly, who was fourth within the ACC in scoring final season with 16.5 ppg.
The Hoosiers adopted up their finest season in program historical past in 2020–21 with one other excellent one final 12 months (24–9). Indiana will now compete for the Big Ten title behind grad scholar guard Grace Berger and senior ahead Mackenzie Holmes.
In Jennie Baranczyk’s second season as coach, the Sooners return all key gamers from final 12 months’s 25–9 squad. Sharpshooting guard Aubrey Joens—the sister of Iowa State star Ashley—joins what needs to be a excessive-powered offense.
15. Ohio State
The Buckeyes have two key scorers again in senior guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell, however they’ll want manufacturing from the paint in the event that they need to construct off their end as Big Ten co-champions.
Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey led the Tigers to 26 wins in her first season with this system. This 12 months’s retooled roster will function Alexis Morris and Maryland switch Angel Reese.
The Terrapins misplaced 5 gamers to the switch portal however restocked by pulling 5 out of it, together with grad scholar ahead Brinae Alexander, who was all-SEC final 12 months at Vanderbilt.
Coach Adia Barnes continues to be one of many sport’s preeminent recruiters and tacticians. While the Wildcats misplaced within the second spherical of final 12 months’s NCAA match, a roster wealthy with budding expertise ought to have them able to take one other shot.
After shedding two first-spherical picks within the WNBA draft, the Bears received’t dominate the Big 12 as they did final season. But coach Nicki Collen enters Year 2 with 5 returners plus some excessive-profile transfers and a prime-notch recruiting class led by guard Bella Fontleroy.
One of the Ducks’ frontcourt stars from final 12 months, Nyara Sabally, turned professional, however 6’7″ senior ahead Sedona Prince is again and can function anchor. An excellent recruiting class options two McDonald’s All-Americans in guard Chance Gray and ahead Grace VanSlooten.
The Bluejays, after an exciting run to their first Elite Eight, deliver again eight gamers, together with Lauren Jensen, who shot 43.7% from three final 12 months. While coach Jim Flanery will miss Tatum Rembao, this system has excessive expectations.
The excessive of upsetting Kentucky in final 12 months’s match didn’t maintain the Tigers from shedding Ivy League Player of the Year Abby Meyers to Maryland. But they’ll deliver again their subsequent two main scorers, guards Julia Cunningham and Kaitlyn Chen.
Katie Abrahamson-Henderson arrives as coach from UCF, the place her staff received a faculty-file 26 video games final 12 months. She introduced a trio of gamers along with her and secured fifth-12 months wing Audrey Warren (Texas) from the switch portal.
After making the WNIT semis final March, the Bruins enter this season with maybe the nation’s finest freshman class, highlighted by Premier Basketball’s No. 2 recruit, guard Kiki Rice.
The Bruins have pulled first-spherical NCAA match upsets in again-to-again years and can look to take one other step ahead. Two key gamers, junior guards Destinee Wells and Tuti Jones, return to an offense that likes to shoot the three-level ball.
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