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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.

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


Breanna Stewart, UConn


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