There might be tons of upsets all through the 2023-24 school basketball season, after all, however we’re betting the final groups standing subsequent April might be some acquainted names. Don’t @ us.
Right here’s our official 2023-24 Girls’s Faculty Basketball season preview.
1. LSU: No person can predict what Tigers coach Kim Mulkey might be sporting whereas prowling the sidelines, however all people is aware of All-American Angel Reese is an unstoppable power. Louisville switch Hailey Van Lith is a standout, and the backcourt is top-shelf.
2. Connecticut: Paige Bueckers is again and wholesome and can be a part of Azzi Fudd within the nation’s high backcourt. Help machine Nika Mühl is one other high guard, whereas ahead Aaliyah Edwards is a big-time expertise up entrance. If she will get assist in the paint, UConn might cling one other banner.
3. Iowa: Should you don’t find out about Caitlin Clark, you need to have been watching hockey all final winter. The high-scoring guard is likely one of the nation’s greatest, however she wants assist. Guards Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall are high candidates, however Clark is the large present.
4. UCLA: Guards Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice are the large names, however the Bruins welcome again eight gamers from final yr’s rotation and add 6-7 middle Lauren Betts from Stanford. Ahead Emily Bessoir is able to bust out.
5. South Carolina: Daybreak Staley’s Gamecocks are actually Remaining 4 fixtures, and there’s no cause to assume they received’t get there this yr. Oregon switch Te-Hina Paopao is a big-time guard, and Kamilla Cardoso might be unstoppable inside.
6. Utah: No person knew concerning the Utes earlier than final yr, however they know now. A Candy 16 look and the return of all 5 starters, led by star ahead Alissa Pili, means Utah will entice far more consideration this time.
7. Ohio State: The Buckeyes might have a while for the offense to develop, however OSU will play some nasty D from day one. Including a backcourt ballhawk like Celeste Taylor from Duke will make Ohio State even harder to deal with.
8. Texas: Some would possibly assume it is a bit excessive for the ’Horns, but when ahead Aaliyah Moore’s knee is healed, it may not be excessive sufficient. Rori Harmon is a two-way dynamo at guard, and Shaylee Gonzales is one other harmful backcourt weapon.
9. Indiana: Sure, Grace Berger is gone, however have you ever met Mackenzie Holmes? If not, get acquainted together with her. She’s an enormous menace inside, and may opponents double her, there are a bunch of shooters outdoors to loosen up the D.
10. Virginia Tech: The Hokies are loaded with expertise, and if all people will get alongside like final yr, look out. Middle Elizabeth Kitley will crew with standout guards Georgia Amoore and Cayla King in a tricky, inside-out combo, whereas Minnesota switch Alanna Micheaux will assist loads inside.
11. Tennessee: It’s arduous to imagine the Vols haven’t received the SEC in 10 years, however this crew will mount an enormous problem. Ahead Rickea Jackson is a standout, whereas 6-6 pivot Tamari Key can lock down the center. Belmont level guard switch Destinee Wells can dish and rating.
12. Notre Dame: It’s all concerning the backcourt in South Bend, and the highest guard is Olivia Miles—offered her knee is healed. Sharpshooter Sonia Citron is a good weapon, whereas freshman Hannah Hidalgo may very well be particular instantly.
13. Baylor: These Bears will pile up the factors, because of a roster loaded with bucket-getters. Guard Sarah Andrews leads the way in which, however Darianna Littlepage-Buggs, Aijha Blackwell, Jada Walker and Dre’Una Edwards can all fill it up.
14. Mississippi: Not all people on the Insurgent roster began at Ole Miss, however followers are certain completely happy they got here to campus. Marquesha Davis, Madison Scott, and Snudda Collins are the core of a tricky defensive unit fortified by proficient transfers.
15. Louisville: Sure, the Playing cards misplaced Hailey Van Lith to the portal, however they added slick level guard Jayda Curry to a crew with high-scoring guards Sydney Taylor and Kiki Jefferson. U of L will miss Van Lith, however this yr’s aggregation will be particular.
16. North Carolina: The Tar Heels are deep, skilled and harmful. Anticipate newcomers Lexi Donarski and Maria Gakdeng to contribute instantly, whereas Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby are again after incomes first-team All-ACC honors a yr in the past.
17. Florida State: Ta’Niya Latson’s harm late final yr damage the Seminoles significantly. However she’s again, together with high-scoring Makayla Timpson and Sara Bejedi, an inside-out tandem. Look out for switch guard Alexis Tucker.
18. Maryland: You by no means have to fret concerning the Terps making sufficient outdoors pictures. They’ll launch. The arrival of switch Jakia Brown-Turner will make Maryland much more harmful. Shyanne Sellers is a nice distributor, however depth may very well be an issue.
19. Colorado: All people’s speaking about Coach Prime and the CU soccer crew, however the Buffs must be robust on the hardwood, too, thanks to 6 high returnees, most notably guard Jaylyn Sherrod and ahead Quay Miller.
20. Stanford: The Cardinal misplaced a ton of gamers from final yr’s squad, and Tara VanDerveer’s rotation might be skinny, however ahead Cameron Brink is a star, and Talana Lepolo has loads of potential on the level.
21. USC: The large information might be made by the newcomers. Former Ivy League snipers McKenzie Forbes and Kayla Padilla have expertise, however the huge title is freshman JuJu Watkins, who is sort of unstoppable off the dribble.
22. Creighton: Defending the Bluejays is hardly a simple job as a result of they transfer the ball so effectively and find yourself with a bunch of open three-pointers. 4 key gamers—Lauren Jensen, Morgan Maly, Emma Ronsiek and Molly Mogensen—are again to fireplace away.
23. Washington State: The Coogs are hoping to get their first-ever NCAA tourney win this yr, and a deep returning solid, led by Charlisse Leger-Walker, might effectively make it occur. Wazzu is knocking. It’s time to get by way of the door.
24. Nebraska: Cornhusker followers want to neglect the top of final season, however the returning duo of Jaz Shelley and Alexis Markowski ought to make ’23-24 memorable. Montana State switch Darian White is first-rate.
25. Kansas State: Gabby Gregory determined another yr in Manhattan was a good suggestion, and which means huge issues for the Wildcats. If 6-6 middle Ayoka Lee is wholesome, Ok-State might be a significant Large 12 issue.
Images through Getty Pictures. LSU portrait by Marcus Stevens.