South Carolina and Stanford gave the impression to be on a collision course for the ladies’s school basketball nationwide championship recreation final season earlier than UConn derailed the Cardinal within the semifinals. The Gamecocks and Cardinal have began this season ranked 1-2 — and maintain those self same spots in our inaugural Power Rankings for the 2022-23 season — and we’ll get to see the superpowers conflict on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ABC).
Earlier than then, two big-time early showdowns shall be performed Monday, as Indiana faces Tennessee (6 p.m. ET, ESPN2), and Texas travels to tackle UConn.
The Woman Vols fell of their opener to Ohio State, which is the most important mover from ESPN’s preseason Means-Too-Early Prime 25 (No. 17), touchdown within the prime 10 of the primary Power Rankings.
The Buckeyes, Huge Ten co-champs and a Candy 16 staff final season, confirmed off their defensive prowess towards the Woman Vols. We’ll see how that prepares Tennessee for dealing with one other Huge Ten title contender in Indiana.
Two fast notes: ESPN’s ladies’s school basketball Power Rankings are totally different than the polls, as we attempt to give a weekly snapshot of the large image. So groups’ motion — or lack thereof — may not at all times match what occurs within the top-25 polls. And with so many gamers, groups, coaches and video games deserving recognition, we additionally attempt to keep away from a college getting a number of awards in every week when attainable.
Hailey Van Lith and Mykasa Robinson put the sport out of attain as Louisville grabs the tight win over Belmont.
The junior guard has quite a bit on her shoulders this season in regard to Louisville’s success. However she embraces it. Van Lith is off to a powerful begin, averaging 21.7 factors, 5.3 rebounds and a couple of.7. assists — together with 25 factors on Sunday in a good 75-70 victory at Belmont.
An Elite Eight staff final 12 months, the Bluejays are off to a scorching begin with highway victories over South Dakota State and South Dakota. Junior guard Lauren Jensen — who made the successful 3-pointer in Creighton’s NCAA event second-round upset of Iowa final season — had a mixed 42 factors, six assists and 5 rebounds in these wins. On Tuesday, issues must be rocking at Creighton’s D.J. Sokol Enviornment as fellow top-25 staff Nebraska makes the quick journey from Lincoln to Omaha.
Kudos to the Buckeyes and Woman Vols for opening the season towards one another to interrupt up the cupcake parade. Ohio State’s followers rushed onto the court docket and celebrated. ESPN’s Charlie Creme famous within the preseason that Ohio State has one in all finest backcourts within the nation, and that led the way in which within the Buckeyes getting 16 steals.
After the Hokies beat Bucknell 67-41 on Friday, Brooks stated in his information convention, “I don’t have much, man … we didn’t play well.” However on Saturday, he Tweeted, “Classic example of high expectations. Sometimes the optics are not reality. Thought we played bad, watched the whole game film with the team and we played really well. Executed on D, just didn’t make as many shots. They did what asked! I apologized to them. Love this team!”
Right here at Power Rankings Headquarters, we commend Brooks for this. And we respectfully request all coaches keep away from phrases resembling, “We just weren’t very good,” “We’ve got a lot to work on” and “I have to do a better job coaching,” till a minimum of the second week of the season.
Earlier rating refers to place in ESPN’s preseason Means-Too-Early Prime 25.
1. South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0)
Earlier rating: 1
This week: at Clemson (Thursday), at Stanford (Sunday)
The Gamecocks obtained their new rings for final season’s NCAA championship and the SEC regular-season title. Then they took care of overmatched East Tennessee State by 70 factors. South Carolina adopted with an 81-56 win over a stronger opponent in Maryland. Coach Daybreak Staley has complimented her staff’s management, which ought to stop any letup at Clemson earlier than touring to Stanford.
Kiki Iriafen hits all seven of her area objective makes an attempt to attain a game-high 15 factors in Stanford’s win over Pacific.
2. Stanford Cardinal (4-0)
Earlier rating: 2
This week: vs. Cal Poly (Wednesday), vs. South Carolina (Sunday)
As soon as once more, the Cardinal’s bench is so deep you possibly can barely see to the top of it. Fifteen gamers have seen motion in all 4 video games. Together with very acquainted faces resembling Haley Jones and Cameron Brink, youthful Cardinal gamers are also making an affect. Sophomore ahead Kiki Iriafen leads Stanford at 12.8 factors per recreation. Freshman guard Talana Lepolo is averaging a team-best 6.5 assists, and he or she made her first begin on Sunday at Portland.
3. Texas Longhorns (1-0)
Earlier rating: 3
This week: at UConn (Monday), vs. Marquette (Saturday)
Vic Schaefer fell into the “coaches going a little overboard after one game” class when the Longhorns opened with a 68-45 victory over Louisiana. He was very sad about Texas’ 25 turnovers and stated (greater than as soon as) he needed to coach higher. However level guard Rori Harmon being out with a toe damage was the most important wrongdoer. We’ll see if Harmon is obtainable for UConn.
4. UConn Huskies (1-0)
Earlier rating: 6
This week: vs. Texas (Monday), vs. NC State (Sunday)
We’re rolling the cube right here a bit by bumping the Huskies as much as No. 4 after a 59-point blowout opening win towards Northeastern. We cannot know till our subsequent Power Rankings, after they’ve confronted two fellow top-10 groups, whether or not the Huskies deserve it. The matchup with the Wolfpack comes after UConn ended NC State’s season in a double-overtime Elite Eight prompt basic in March.
Iowa thrashes Evansville behind an enormous efficiency from Caitlin Clark.
5. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0)
Earlier rating: 5
This week: at Kansas State (Thursday), vs. Belmont (Sunday)
Drake took visiting Iowa to additional time on Sunday earlier than falling 92-86. An in depth recreation towards a longtime in-state rival is not that huge of a shock for the Hawkeyes, though it was quite a bit nearer than they wished. Monika Czinano had 36 factors and 11 rebounds, and Caitlin Clark 28 factors and 9 assists. The query Iowa nonetheless should reply persistently is how a lot assistance will the dynamic duo get?
6. Louisville Cardinals (3-0)
Earlier rating: 7
This week: vs. Gonzaga (Saturday)
Touring to Belmont early within the season was a manner for coach Jeff Walz to check his staff, as a result of the Bruins gave the Cardinals the battle he anticipated. Van Lith is off to a fantastic begin. Graduate switch guards Chrislyn Carr and Morgan Jones are within the beginning lineup and filling vital roles, which is precisely what Louisville wants from them.
7. Iowa State Cyclones (2-0)
Earlier rating: 9
This week: at Northern Iowa (Wednesday), vs. Columbia (Sunday)
With the likes of Ashley Joens, Lexi Donarski and Emily Ryan again, we already knew quite a bit concerning the Cyclones. The primary two video games gave a sign of how a lot 6-foot-6 switch Stephanie Soares can deliver. She has averaged 11.5 factors and 11.0 rebounds to date. If she’s even in vary of these numbers all season, it will likely be huge increase for Iowa State.
8. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)
Earlier rating: 17
This week: at Ohio (Thursday), vs. McNeese (Sunday)
Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell had been big in beating Tennessee, and perimeter play will dictate loads of the Buckeyes’ destiny. Sheldon already has 19 steals — tying a college document with 11 on Sunday in beating Boston Faculty — and Ohio State has compelled 64 turnovers in two video games. But additionally keep watch over senior ahead Rebeka Mikulasikova, who’s averaging 17.0 factors and 9.0 rebounds; her numbers had been 9.4 and 5.0 final season.
9. Tennessee Woman Vols (1-1)
Earlier rating: 4
This week: vs. Indiana (Monday), vs. Rutgers (Saturday)
Tennessee followers understandably freaked out a bit after the opening loss to Ohio State as a result of the Woman Vols’ hopes are so excessive this season. However it was an comprehensible defeat, contemplating it was the season opener on the highway towards a really opportunistic defensive staff. Jordan Horston’s damage was the most important concern within the win over UMass, however she is listed as day-to-day. Indiana shall be one other check.
Olivia Miles makes stunning dish for a basket
10. Notre Dame Preventing Irish (2-0)
Earlier rating: 8
This week: at Northwestern (Wednesday), vs. Ball State (Sunday)
Enjoyable household reality: The Irish have had a least one Mabrey sister within the lineup each season however one since 2012-13. Michaela (2012-16) is now a Notre Dame assistant, Marina (2015-19) performs for the Dallas Wings and Dara Mabrey (2020-present) led the Irish with 16 factors in Saturday’s win over California. Stat-sheet stuffer Olivia Miles is averaging 15.0 factors, 7.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 4.0 steals to date.
11. NC State Wolfpack (3-0)
Earlier rating: 11
This week: vs. Charlotte (Wednesday), at UConn (Sunday)
A few of the acquainted names of the previous few years, together with Elissa Cunane, are gone. However to date, the Wolfpack look related: sturdy protection; offense unfold out amongst a number of gamers. Guard Diamond Johnson is main the way in which at 13.0 PPG. Whereas it will not make up for dropping that Elite Eight heartbreaker final season, NC State has one other shot at UConn arising.
12. Indiana Hoosiers (2-0)
Earlier rating: 10
This week: at Tennessee (Monday), vs. Bowling Inexperienced (Thursday), vs. Quinnipiac (Sunday)
After opening with simple victories towards Vermont and UMass Lowell, the Hoosiers get some prime-time publicity towards the Woman Vols on Monday. We’re used to seeing Grace Berger and Mackenzie Holmes main Indiana. However freshman Yarden Garzon and transfers Sara Scalia (from Minnesota) and Sydney Parrish (from Oregon) are already making an affect too.
13. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0)
Earlier rating: 12
This week: vs. South Carolina State (Wednesday), at James Madison (Sunday)
As is the case with most groups within the first week, wins towards overmatched opponents do not inform us an entire lot but concerning the Tar Heels. However North Carolina has a powerful junior class, led to date by Kennedy Todd-Williams (17.0 PPG) and Alyssa Ustby (16.5 PPG). Issues will get extra attention-grabbing for the Tar Heels after they play Thanksgiving week within the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.
14. LSU Tigers (3-0)
Earlier rating: 14
This week: vs. Houston Christian (Wednesday), vs. Northwestern State (Sunday)
LSU was rated as having the very best 2023 recruiting class this previous week by ESPN, and the Tigers gained their three video games by a mixed rating of 343-125. Coveted switch Angel Reese (from Maryland) is averaging 21.3 factors and 14.3 rebounds. The whole lot goes nice for the Tigers — however they do not face a Power 5 staff till Dec. 18 versus Oregon State.
15. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0)
Earlier rating: 16
This week: at BYU (Tuesday), at Utah (Wednesday), vs. UT Arlington (Sunday)
Fifth-year senior Madi Williams is once more main a Sooners offense that we all know will rating loads of factors. Oklahoma has 23 3-pointers in two video games; the Sooners averaged 9.3 treys per contest final season. Though it’s early, this can be a huge week for Oklahoma, which is able to match up towards three groups that made the NCAA event final season, together with back-to-back video games in Utah.
16. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0)
Earlier rating: 13
This week: vs. South Carolina Upstate (Monday)
Reigning ACC participant of the 12 months Elizabeth Kitley is averaging a double-double (20.0 factors, 11.0 rebounds), as anticipated. With guards like Georgia Amoore and switch Ashley Owusu (from Maryland) to get Kitley the ball, the Hokies are going to be spectacular offensively. Cayla King (20.5 PPG) and Boston Faculty switch Taylor Soule (10.0 PPG) are also off to good begins.