EXPECT A RETURN TO FORM AS A FAMILIAR TEAM RETURNS TO DOMINANCE
The Huskies add the nation's top recruit (6'1" wing Megan Walker) along with 6'6" Duke transfer, Azurá Stevens, who's been compared to Kevin Durant for the way she plays and for joining a superteam. UConn will not lose in 2017--18.
The Cardinal, a surprise Final Four team a year ago, is solid and deep. Junior 6'4" forward Alanna Smith and 6'3" sophomore Nadia Fingall will form one of the best frontcourts in America.
Senior guards Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty make up the best backcourt outside Storrs. Big 12 freshman of the year Joyner Holmes, a 6'3" forward out until December because of an undisclosed rules violation, has star potential.
Coach Jeff Walz has his top two scorers back: junior guard Asia Durr (19.2 ppg) and senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen (13.9). Freshman Dana Evans headlines a top five class.
5 MISSISSIPPI STATE
The national runners-up lack the depth of last season but the team's top three scorers return—senior wing Victoria Vivians, senior point guard Morgan William and 6'7" junior center Teaira McCowan.
6 OHIO STATE
All-America senior guard Kelsey Mitchell, who has 2,553 total points as a collegian (24.5 ppg), needs 974 to break Kelsey Plum's women's D-I scoring record.
7 NOTRE DAME
Center Brianna Turner will miss the season because of a torn left ACL, so Stanford transfer Lili Thompson, a 5'7" point guard, and junior scoring guards Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale must take the lead.
Coach Kim Mulkey has a huge frontcourt featuring 6'7" junior center Kalani Brown and 6'4" sophomore forward Lauren Cox.
The Blue Devils are led by the senior backcourt of Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell who, combined, averaged 34.7 ppg last season.
10 SOUTH CAROLINA
Final Four MOP A'ja Wilson is back for her senior season but the defending champs lost a combined 40.8 ppg.