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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taking a stab at Big East preseason ballot

I have no say in how the Big East preseason poll will look when it is released tomorrow morning but that has never stopped me from taking a shot at how I think the poll could look.

I don't recall a year when I found the process as difficult at this year especially in the middle of the league.

Here we go
1. UConn: Eight of the nine returning scorers joined by nation's top recruiting class makes this a no brainer.
2. Louisville: The return of Monique Reid makes an already deep team all the more imposing
3. Notre Dame: Player of the Year Skylar Diggins returns along with Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa but the defending regular season champions lost some key pieces.
4. St. John's: Head coach Kim Barnes Arico is now at Michigan and Da'Shena Stevens is also gone but Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith lead a talented group of returnees.
5. Georgetown: Assistant coach Keith Brown takes over the reigns and has high-scoring Sugar Rodgers back to lead the way.
6. DePaul: Anna Martin is one of the top guards in the nation and the majority of the squad is also back.
7. Syracuse: With eight of the top nine scorers back and one of the nation's top recruiting classes could make the Orange's final Big East season a memorable one.
8. Rutgers: The return of Chelsey Lee, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, and Monique Oliver gives the Scarlet Knights a dynamic frontcourt combination.
9. Villanova: The top six scorers return from a team that reached the third round of the WNIT so a run at an NCAA tournament berth seems likely.
10. South Florida: The Bulls need to replace Jasmine Wynne but have the rest of the team back. If Andrea Smith returns to her pre-injury form, USF could soar up the standings.
11. Marquette: The Golden Eagles return all five starters including leading scorer Katherine Plouffe so it won't be a shock if they improve significantly on a 4-12 conference record.
12. Cincinnati: Former UConn assistant coach and player Jamelle Elliott led the Bearcats to their first postseason win in a decade but will need to replace a pair of graduated starters.
13. Seton Hall: Leading scorer Jasmine Crew is one of two starters the Pirates lost to graduation.
14. Pittsburgh: Coming off a winless season in Big East play, Pittsburgh's youngsters gained valuable experience and figure to end their Big East losing streak.
15. Providence: Susan Robinson Fruchtl, one of three new coaches in the Big East, has her work cut out for her with the Friars.

PREASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Kayla Alexander, Syracuse
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
Stefanie Dolson, UConn
Bria Hartley, UConn
Nadirah McKenith, St. John's
Anna Martin, DePaul
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn
Monique Reid, Louisville
Sugar Rodgers, Georgetown
Shoni Schimmel, Louisville
Shenneika Smith, St. John's

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Diggins

PRESEASON FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Breanna Stewart, UConn

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