We’re 100 days wanting the beginning of the 2022-23 ladies’s faculty basketball season, and whereas fall practices are nonetheless a great distance off, a lot of the low season craziness has shaken.
A slew of high-profile transfers and a few main coaching modifications appear poised so as to add extra intrigue to the upcoming marketing campaign, plus the standing power UConn suffered a serious setback final week. With the calendar in August, listed here are 11 burning questions that appear to be shaping up subsequent season.
1. May the addition of Shaylee Gonzales assist the Texans return to the Ultimate 4?
In every of Vic Schaefer’s first two seasons in Austin, the Longhorns fell into the Elite Eight. Final yr, behind new star star Rory Harmon, the Texans entered the NCAA match because the second seed, coming inside half of their lead excessive seed of their area, Stanford. Now in her second season with the present, Harmon, a official Pan American nominee, is bound to get higher. Related development may be anticipated from sophomores Alia Moore and Diona Gaston. As well as, goalkeeper Alia Mataru, the group’s prime scorer from final season, is again in her first yr.
However maybe no addition throughout the nation may very well be extra vital than the addition of Texas Gonzales. Gonzalez was named to the primary group 3 times, averaging 18.3 factors, 5.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per sport final season. It helped Brigham Younger College rank as excessive as No. 15 within the AP Ballot, and finally carried the Cougars to a document 26-4 and NCAA match. The way it suits completely into the Texas backcourt stays to be seen, however Gonzalez’s dynamic playmaking might very effectively make the distinction if the Longhorns make their first last since 2003.
2. What’s a UConn cap with out Paige Bueckers?
Husky realized to play with out their star final season. The Bakers missed 19 video games after tearing his anterior tibial plateau and lateral meniscus in early December. Together with her out of the squad for practically 12 weeks, UConn went 15-4. Nevertheless, after the Bakers suffered a ruptured ACL on the finish of the season final week, the group they must do with out them this time round appears to be like totally different than the one which overcame their absence final yr. Heart Olivia Nelson-Ododa, guard Kristen Williams and winger Evina Westbrook all rolled into the professional ranks, which ought to put extra strain on freshmen Alia Edwards and Nika Mull, sophomores Caroline Ducharme and Azi Fahd Productions.
Fudd’s efficiency will probably be significantly necessary to UConn’s potential success. 1 recruit within the 2021 class, Fodd highlighted her offensive potential final yr, most notably in her Elite Eight’s win over NC State with 19 factors. With Bueckers out of the squad you’ll routinely be one of the best playmaker on the group. UConn remains to be within the prime 10 nationally, however its general outlook is affected by the harm of the highest 21 nationwide participant.
3. After a busy hiatus, can LSU replicate its success from 2021 to 2222?
Though the Tigers received simply 9 video games in 2020-21, Corridor of Fame coach Kim Mulke led the Tigers to 26 wins in her first season with this system. Nevertheless, a lot of main contributors, together with Sports activities Illustrated The second group left All-American guard Khayla Pointer, leaving the roster in flux. In Mulke’s first full season, although, LSU seems to have retooled, including 4 switch gate gamers together with AP’s All-American Angel Reese. Reese, a 6-foot-3-inch winger, averaged 17.8 factors and 10.6 rebounds when she was a sophomore in Maryland and would immediately grow to be the focus of Mulkey’s assault. , DiDi Richards and Lauren Cox throughout their final tenures at Baylor, then LSU ought to stay a full a part of the nationwide dialog.
4. Talking of Reese, the place does Maryland sit within the prime ten hierarchy?
Not for the reason that 2009-10 season have Brenda Fries and Terrapin missed the NCAA match. And whereas they starred once more final season, this was the primary on the present in three years that did not embody an everyday season title or convention championship. Then Maryland Reese misplaced star guard Ashley Uso (to Virginia Tech) and mentor Mimi Collins (to NC State) to the switch gate and appeared able to rebuild. Former Princeton star Abby Myers and seasoned USF guard Elisa Penzan had been among the many largest photographs taken for this system within the gate, and each might, in concept, carry Maryland again in competition for the convention title. As well as, goalkeeper Lavender Briggs, who arrived halfway by way of final season from Florida however didn’t play resulting from harm, additionally gives a shock assault, averaging 16.7 factors and 6.3 in 47 video games with the Gators.
5. Following the identical line of questioning, can Oso push Virginia Tech to the highest of the ACC?
North Carolina State, winner of the ACC title final yr, could discover itself taking a step again within the convention after the departures of Elisa Konany, Kai Crutchfield, Kayla Jones and Raina Perez. And Louisville, who reached the Ultimate 4 after one other stellar season, might fall again on Emily Engstler heading to the WNBA. That would go away the door open for Virginia Tech to strive for its first ACC crown. Coach Kenny Brooks’ group has made the NCAA Championship in every of the previous two years, and All-ACC runner-up Elizabeth Keatley is again in her first season. Add within the OSU, who averaged 17.9 factors and 5.6 rebounds per season in Maryland, and the Hawkeyes for one or two punches might make them one of the crucial tough groups to play within the convention.
6. What’s going to Baylor appear to be after so many massive names have left?
Nikki Colin Baylor’s coaching season ended abruptly, because the Bears misplaced, at house, to South Dakota, by double digits within the second spherical of the Massive Dance. Now, NaLyssa Smith and Queen Egbo star in Fever, whereas goalkeeper Jordan Lewis has additionally graduated and headed into the professional ranks. Colin has three of the highest 75 highschool gamers getting into her program, and Aiga Blackwell (the nation’s second highest participant final season) and Driona Edwards (16.8 scorer in ppg and double risk for Kentucky) spotlight the brand new addition to this system. Nevertheless, the query stays how the brand new group will match collectively.
7. Will continuity increase Iowa to its greatest yr in program historical past?
Invoice Finlay has coached the Cyclones for over 20 years, however solely twice throughout his tenure did this system attain the Elite Eight. It would not be absurd to see this yr’s group grow to be the third group to achieve this flip — and maybe the primary group in class historical past to prime it. Keepers Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski, the latter of whom was the twelfth Defensive Participant of the 12 months in 2022, may very well be probably the most influential backcourt of the convention (from each ends). Plus, the return of star winger Ashley Jones — who weighed in on turning into a professional — offers ISU a official all-American candidate. The trio are among the many greatest in the whole nation and will assist this season at Ames be unforgettable.
8. Will Tennessee be South Carolina’s largest competitor within the SEC?
Whereas Woman Vols will miss winger Rae Burrell, who now performs for the Sparks, this system has benefited from a stocked switch gate. Jordan Hurston, the middle’s prime scorer, is trying to construct on an excellent rookie season that has seen her common scoring double (from 8.6 to 16.2), and the group’s different 4 starters will doubtless all be transitional additions. Amongst these to look at is ahead Jasmine Franklin, who averaged 14.9 factors and 12.1 rebounds for Missouri in 2021-2022. striker Jillian Hollingshead, who struggled at instances when she was a freshman in Georgia, however was McDonald’s first American in 2021; and former Minnesota goalkeeper Jasmine Powell. Veteran expertise has, at instances, been capable of push the Gamecocks by way of final yr’s marketing campaign. Maybe Tennessee will show to be South Carolina’s largest take a look at this winter.
9. Is there any purpose to not want South Carolina to repeat?
Talking of nationwide heroes, the brief reply to the earlier query isn’t any. Changing star guard Destanni Henderson is actually among the many program’s prime priorities, however a lot of the Gamecocks roster has remained the identical, and it is honest to imagine that final yr’s Participant of the 12 months over Naismith, Aliyah Boston, will roll out one other dominant season. Whereas there are actually different faculties continuously getting into the season, South Carolina should enter the 2022-23 marketing campaign as a group to win.
10. What does Texas A&M have in retailer for the post-Gary Blair period?
In his 32 years as a university coach, Blair has endured solely two seasons of defeats, with final yr’s 14-15 marketing campaign being one in all them. Blair has been coach of Aegis since 2003 and has held the championship each season since 2005 earlier than his final sport on the sidelines. After he retired, the college robbed Johnny Taylor, final yr’s SEC coach of the yr, from Georgia to take over. Taylor led Woman Bulldogs to 4 NCAA championships in six makes an attempt and picked up a document 140-75 with the college. Simply final week, she was named assistant coach for the US ladies’s nationwide group on the twenty second World Cup, one other signal of her fame amongst her friends. It stays to be seen what gameplay Taylor will implement, however after a yr down, the arrow is pointing again at School Station.
11. What’s going to Rutgers appear to be because the C-Vivien Stringer period formally ends?
On the final day of April, the Scarlet Knights introduced that Corridor of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer is retiring after racking up 1,055 wins, 4 Finals and 28 NCAA Championships in 50 years of teaching. Stringer has been with Rutgers since 1995, and whereas she did not coach the group final season, she was the primary black feminine coach in NCAA historical past to win greater than 1,000 video games and has lengthy made her mark on this system.
New this season, former Penn State coach Coquese Washington will lead the Scarlet Knights contained in the Jersey Mike’s Enviornment, the place the courtroom was newly named in honor of its predecessor. Washington was a three-time Massive Ten Coach of the 12 months and led the Woman Lions to 4 NCAA Championships throughout her 12 seasons with the league. Rutgers has solely executed the Massive Dance 3 times up to now decade, which implies the dynasty program had methods to go to get these payments again. Besides, how Washington pursues the Corridor of Famer stays a matter to look at.
Extra faculty basketball protection:
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• 101 issues that outline the boys’s season