The women’s college basketball AP Poll Top 25 preseason rankings were released ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Defending champion LSU is the rightful No. 1 team in the country. The Tigers should be considering what they bring back, but another team might have something to say about that.
But without further ado, let’s dive into the preseason AP Poll top 25 rankings for women’s college basketball.
The defending champs lead the list of course. Kim Mulkey’s crew is loaded and ready to run it back for back-to-back national championships.
Welcome back to Angel Reese, one of the best players in the sport. She became a superstar during last year’s Final Four. Add in Flau’jae Johnson and you have quite a combo. Oh yeah, Hailey Van Lith transferred in.
Paige Bueckers, please come back healthy. That’s gotta be the mantra for UConn this year as the superstar’s been sidelined with injuries.
She could be the biggest difference maker for Geno Auriemma. The team needs depth behind the starting five, but at full strength, this is a national title contender once again.
Caitlin Clark, that is all right? Clark is the best shooter in women’s college basketball and is the biggest x-factor to winning it all.
She couldn’t carry the Hawkeyes by herself last year, but came darn close, falling to LSU in the title game. Look for Gabbie Marshall or Kate Martin to step up alongside Clark for a one-two punch.
The Bruins bring back eight players that were key to last year’s squad. Fifth-year guard Charisma Osborne and sophomore Kiki Rice headline the returning ladies.
Some of the big question marks of this team are its ability to consistently shoot. But UCLA gets plenty of second chances with its rebounding ability. The continuity should be a big factor for this top four team.
Head coach Lynne Roberts made this a slow build, but it paid off last year as the Utes earned some respect. Now, this is a preseason top-five team out of the Pac-12.
Gianna Kneepkens, Kennedy McQueen and Maty Wilke, who came in from Wisconsin, headline the Utes going into 2023-24. Along with UCLA, this is the favorite in the Pac-12 this winter.
Dawn Staley and company want to return to the top this year. There’ll be some stiff competition but this is a respected program despite roster turnover.
Kamilla Cardoso is the star of the team going into the winter, anchoring the center position. But can the Gamecocks get outside shooting to complement the presence down low?
7. Ohio State
Coach Kevin McGuff has a lot of weapons at his disposal going into the winter. Other than Iowa, this is probably the best team in the Big Ten this year.
Reigning Big Ten freshman of the year Coti McMahon is expected to step up big time and be the center of the offense. Transfer Celeste Taylor was a huge pickup for Ohio State as well.
Elizabeth Kitley and Cayla King are back for another year together. Throw in Georgia Amoore and the Hokies have quite the squad.
The biggest mark for Virginia Tech this year, just like last, is the ability to get production off the bench. Depth is a real question. That could keep the Hokies from making a deep run.
McKenzie Holmes is the key to this offense, especially with her ability to finish. If you stop her, you can limit the Hoosiers’ offense.
However, if Indiana gets consistency from Sara Scalia, Sydney Parrish and Yarden Garzon, the team could be dangerous. Keep the defense solid and this’ll be a really tough team.
10. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish had injuries derail their chances at a national title. But, the starting five is high quality this year.
It helps that Notre Dame has New Jersey talent. Freshman Hannah Hidalgo is primed to start right away and Kylee Watson presents a force down low. If the Irish push the pace this year, they could cause headaches for everyone else.
Rest of AP Poll Top 25
12. Ole Miss
16. North Carolina
18. Florida State
24. Washington State
25. Mississippi State
Others receiving votes: Kansas St 47, NC State 34, Kansas 26, Texas A&M 20, Iowa St. 18, Gonzaga 15, Duke 7, Nebraska 5, Miami 3, UNLV 2, Washington 2, Toledo 1, Oregon 1, Villanova 1, Arizona 1.
It won’t be too long now until basketball season starts. As it stands, we could see a rematch of last year’s NCAA finals, but others might have something to say about that!