November 1, 2023 

2023-24 Patriot League preview

Seems like old times: traditional rivalries and the return of a dynasty highlight the season ahead

The Patriot League kicks off its season on Nov. 6 with a familiar defending champion in 12-time winner Holy Cross and a few contenders close behind in Colgate and Boston University. Challengers to the crown will have to go through Worcester. Just like old times.

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In a changing NCAA world of expanding and collapsing power conferences, the Patriot League remains the small but steady home of traditional rivals, talented players and coaches on the rise. It’s a sanctuary of sorts for fans of storied rivalries and old-school basketball.

While a host of home-and-home rivalries in NCAA basketball are being left in the rear-view mirror of a Brinks truck full of media rights money, the Patriot League promises to deliver another season of hardcourt battles among familiar foes.

What rivalries can fans look forward to this season?

The Turnpike Trophy contests between Holy Cross and Boston University this season will have even more edge after the two teams cranked it up a notch with an epic battle in the championship game.

A rematch in the final is possible despite a significant roster make-over for the Terriers. Boston’s Caitlin Weimar is the preseason Player of the Year and the toughest matchup in any lineup. She’ll have her say in the matter.

Boston University junior Alex Giannaros is the league’s best three-point shooter. The Terriers will look to Preseason Player of the Year Caitlin Weimar and Giannaros to make a push back to the title game. (Photo credit: Matt Woolverton)

Can head coach Maureen Magarity lead her squad to a repeat title? Fans can expect more fireworks as the preseason-favorite Crusaders look to defend their championship legacy with a veteran line-up led by senior Bronagh Power-Cassidy.

The heated rivalry between Bucknell and Lehigh gets spicier this year with the off-season transfer of junior guard Remi Sisselman who jumped from the Bison to the Mountain Hawks.

Supporters of the service academies will be treated to an Army-Navy clash whose history and tradition never disappoint, no matter what kind of season the teams may have. It’s all about who sings second.

A season ago, a league of youthful rosters grew in depth and experience both on the court and with its leadership on the bench. Those talented underclassmen are ready to take on significant roles after the departure of last year’s senior class.

Several of those graduates and a transfer moved on to Power 5 conferences—a recognition of the league’s top talent. The ACC, Big East, Big Ten and Pac-12 will all see former Patriot League members suit up for their respective teams this season.

The league’s 2022-23 Player of the Year Frannie Hottinger will lace up for Marquette this year while former Lehigh teammate Mackenzie Kramer takes her three-point game to Clemson. Boston University’s Sydney Johnson joins Georgia Tech this season. The Georgia native was First-Team All-Patriot League as a senior.

While current seniors Power-Cassidy, Weimar, American’s Emily Johns and Makayla Andrews of Lafayette will provide veteran leadership, it will be the conference’s younger players that determine team’s fortunes this season.

The sophomore class will make an impact. Look for second-year players Lily Fandre of Lehigh, Madison Schiller of Colgate, Reese Ericson of Army, Emma Theodorsson of Bucknell and Kaitlyn Flanagan of Holy Cross to step into the limelight this season as emerging stars.

A significant departure via transfer may leave a ripple effect in the pecking order this season: Bucknell’s Cecelia Collins left the Bison following her sophomore season to commit to Columbia University.

Can the Bison overcome her absence? The 6’0 guard was one of the best players in the league and earned Second-Team All-Patriot League selections in each of her first two seasons in Lewisburg. Bucknell fans may have to temper expectations.

What about the race to the top?

The preseason poll released by the league makes Holy Cross the favorite but a very talented Colgate team is not far behind. Can the Raiders handle the expectation?

American University returns the bulk of its rotation and may find itself in the mix for head coach Tiffany Coll’s second season as lead mentor. Lehigh’s coach Addie Micir is also in her second campaign and although the Mountain Hawks lost two of the league’s best players, they have an exciting young team in Bethlehem.

Boston University returns to the mix for another title run with a lot of fresh faces but now without the mantle of favorite. Can the Terriers finally claim their first Patriot League crown in a more comfortable role of underdog?

Let’s breakdown each team followed by our pre-season predictions. Here are all the details in alphabetical order:


2022-2023 record: 9-22

Conference record: 7-11 (7th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Tiffany Coll, 2nd season

Record at American: 9-22

Career NCAA record: 9-22

Tiffany Coll was named the 14th coach in Eagles’ history in June 2022, replacing long-time coach Megan Gebbia who left to lead Wake Forest in the ACC. Coll spent nine seasons on the bench with Gebbia, helping American to win three league championships.

Coll previously served as an assistant coach at both Lehigh and Navy. She helped Lehigh win two titles in her three seasons on the bench. She was an assistant coach for the Mids during the 2007-08 season.

Senior Ivy Bales is a key piece to the puzzle on both ends of the floor for American University. (Photo credit: American University Athletic Department)

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

F-Emily Johns, 6’1, SR: 12.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 46.4% FG, 27.2 MPG, 30 GP, 30 starts

G-Ivy Bales, 5’10, SR: 6.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 40.8 FG, 28.9 MPG, 31 GP, 31 starts

G-Kayla Henning, 5’7, SR: 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 33.1% FG, 18.3 MPG, 31 GP, 13 starts

F-Lauren Stack, 6’2, GR: 9.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, team-high 48.2% FG, 32.5 MPG, 31 GP, 31 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)
G-Sadie Stetson, 5’7, SR:
4.3 PPG, 1.8RPG, team-high 23 made three-pointers at 36.5%, 32 steals, 22.1MPG, 17 starts, (graduated; playing as a graduate transfer for Samford University)


F- Grace Koepke, 6’4, (Vernon Hills, IL), FR: Inside-out mobile forward. Effective shot contester and impact player as a rim protector. 1,000-point scorer for Vernon Hills High School. All-State honorable mention as a senior.

G-Lexi Salazar, 5’7, (Plainfield, IL), FR: Skilled playmaker and point guard with a scorer’s mentality and three-point range. All-State honorable mention as a senior.

OUTLOOK: American is on the rise. A year ago, the Eagles were forced to re-boot following the departure of head coach Megan Gebbia to Wake Forest and the graduation of four senior starters. What followed was a lesson in resolve and, after a challenging 0-9 start, a restoration of the championship culture that has produced three league tournament titles.

The Eagles bring the experience they lacked a season ago both in their line-up and coaching staff. Head coach Tiffany Coll begins her second season at the helm with the same assistant coaches she led a year ago.

The roster returns five players who started 14 games or more, including forwards Emily Johns and Lauren Stack, the team’s top two scorers and highest percentage shooters. If freshman post Grace Koepke is ready to contribute, Coll will have both the veteran play and the three-post rotation needed to compete at the top of the conference.

The non-conference schedule is friendlier this season and should allow the Eagles to build the early confidence that comes with competitive contests and notches in the win column. Last year’s ambitious slate included match-ups against Notre Dame, Arizona State, Villanova, DePaul and Virginia.

American had to take its lumps in the early going a year ago, but they endured and that experience is going to serve this year’s mission well.

So where do the Eagles need to improve?

Ball control and perimeter shooting will be key pieces to the puzzle for the Eagles. Last season, 23.2% of the team’s possessions ended in a turnover—worst in the league. The defense was up to the task, forcing turnovers on 20.8% of its opponent’s possessions, good for second in the league. If the team’s efficiency grows, the extra possessions produced by the defense should mean more wins.

Do the Eagles have the perimeter threats to make a push as a top team this year? American made just 68 three-pointers a season ago in conference play—good for seventh in the league. Three-pointers are neither a strength nor an emphasis in the Eagle offense and they attempted only 234 shots from deep; only Colgate took fewer threes.

If the Eagles can find the touch from deep with a little more consistency, Johns and Stack will see fewer doubles and dig downs from opponent’s defenses.

American begins the year without a clear answer to who will emerge as its top perimeter threats but it does return 92.4% of its scoring from a year ago. Will newcomer guard Lexi Salazar play a role as a three-point shooter? If Coll can find the puzzle pieces from distance in her offense, the Eagles will be a championship contender.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Coll’s veteran group conquers the league’s younger line-ups and finds itself in a three-way race to the top with Colgate and Holy Cross. The Eagles’ physical defense fights its way to the final and pulls off one of the greatest year-to-year turnarounds in league history.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: American’s senior leaders show their mettle but can’t find enough contributions from the perimeter to overcome the league’s top defenses scheming to force them to win over the top from deep. The Eagles bow out in the semifinals of conference playoffs.


2022-2023 record: 13-17

Conference record: 10-8 (5th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Missy Traversi, 3rd season

Record at Army: 29-30

Career NCAA record: 141-89 (29-30 at D1 Army, 83-37 at D2 Adelphi University, 29-22 at D3 Wheelock College)

Traversi enters her third season as the lead mentor for the Black Knights.

She spent five years as the head coach at Division II Adelphi University; coached the Panthers to an 83-37 (.692) overall record, an NE-10 tournament championship in 2017 and two NCAA Division II Tournament appearances.

Prior to landing at Adelphi, she spent two seasons (2014-16) as the head coach at Division III Wheelock College in Boston.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

G-Reese Ericson, 5’6, SO: 10.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.1 APG with team-high 93 assists, 36.4% 3PT FG, 43 3PT FGs made, 28.6 MPG, 30 GP, 22 starts, Patriot League Rookie of the Year

G-Lauren Lithgow, 5’9, SR: 7.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 33.2% FG, team-high 53 3PT FGs made, 30 GP, 30 starts, 29.7 MPG

G-Sam McNaughton, 5’7, SR: 5.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36.0% FG, 23.0 MPG, 30 GP, 16 starts

G-Trinity Hardy, 5’8, JR: 3.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 32.2% FG, 21 steals, 12.8 MPG, 20 GP, 4 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)
F-Sabria Hunter, 6’1, SR:
13.5 PPG, 12.2 RPG, team-leading 54.6% FG, 29.3 MPG, 30 GP, 29 starts, First-Team All-Patriot League

F-Kamryn Hall, 5’11, SR: 9.0PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 36.5% FG, team-high 38 blocks, 27.5 MPG, 29 GP, 23 starts, Third-Team All-Patriot League

G-Hope Brown 5’9, SR: 5.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 34.1% FG, 23.4 MPG, 28 GP, 18 starts


G-June Chatterley 5’8, (Aubrey, TX), FR: Shooting guard/wing. Played for Aubrey High School.

G-Anna Eng 5’5, (Croton on Hudson, NY), FR: Transfer from Fairfield University. Point guard and all-time leading scorer for Croton-Harmon High School. Averaged 3.8 minutes per game for Fairfield in 13 game appearances.

F-Nadia Dial 6’1, (Fort Mill, SC), FR: Combo wing scored 15.4 points and grabbed 9.2 rebounds per game as a senior for Fort Mill High School.

G-Carlee Casteel 5’7, (Rogers, AR), FR: All-time leading scorer for Rogers Heritage High School, posting 1,701 career points. Dynamic scorer with three-point range. Three-time 6A All-State.

G-Camryn Tade 5’9, (Southlake, TX), FR: Aggressive guard who scored over 2,200 career points for Carroll Senior High School. First Team All-State.

G-Taylor Wilson 5’11, (Bryn Mawr, PA) FR: Combo wing who can score at all three levels. 1,000-point scorer for 6A State Champion Archbishop Carroll High School. All-State Second Team.

F-Kya Smith 6’1, (Lubbock, TX), FR: Athletic forward with traditional post-game. Active rebounder and physical player. Starred for Coronado High School.

G-Fiona Hastick 5’11, (Reston, VA), FR: Combo guard/small forward, starred for Paul VI Catholic High School.

G-Soleil Montrose 5’10, (Irvine, CA), FR: Transfer from UTEP. Made six starts for the Miners in 22 game appearances. Averaged 3.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game last season. In her senior season for Mater Dei High School, the combo guard averaged 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

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OUTLOOK: Head coach Missy Traversi heads into her third season at the helm as the program moves from its transition phase to competitive expectation. The program showed promise a season ago with an upset on the road of fourth-seed Colgate in the quarterfinal round of league playoffs.

What’s the next step? Filling some big shoes in the post.

It’s going to be a challenge for the Black Knights to replace First-Team All-Patriot League forward Sabria Hunter and Third-Team All-Patriot League frontcourt mate Kamryn Hall.

The two combined for 18 rebounds per game and made Army one of the top offensive-rebounding teams in the league. The squad hauled in 32.2% of its misses on the offensive glass, good for second in conference play. Hall and Hunter were the top tandem in the league, combining for 102 offensive boards.

If the Black Knights can’t keep up that pace on the boards, where can they find those extra possessions? Defense.

Fans can expect to see Army resume its up-tempo attack on offense and extend its defense both in the full- and half-court. The offense will bring a pace of play that aims to wear opponents down and a defense that can produce turnovers for transition points.

That pace-and-space style will continue to mean more three-pointers. Army attempted 22 threes per game last season, trailing only Lehigh which attempted 27.6. The team posted a 29.1% mark from distance, fourth-best in league play.

League Rookie of the Year Reese Ericson has already stepped in to lead the engine of coach Traversi’s up-tempo style and has demonstrated the court vision to find teammates on time and on target. The sophomore is the top returning scorer on the team (10.0 ppg) and will need to be its top playmaker this season.

The offensive attack from deep will be led by Ericson (43-for-118), and seniors Lauren Lithgow (53-for-181) and Sam McNaughton (23-for-66).

Traversi brought in another large recruiting class and the Black Knights will need some contributions from their newcomers to repeat last season’s appearance in the semifinal round.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Black Knights improve their perimeter attack and grow their pressure defense into one of the top units in the league. Army finds success playing small ball and pushes its way back to the semifinal round.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Army struggles to defend the post and rebound with the bigger teams in the league. Inconsistent shooting drops the team to a sixth or seventh seed and a road game defeat in the quarterfinals.

Preseason Player of the Year Caitlin Weimar makes Boston University a title contender. (Photo credit: Matt Woolverton)


2022-2023 record: 24-9

Conference record: 17-1 (1st seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Melissa Graves, 3rd season

Record at Boston University: 41-23

Career NCAA record: 41-23

Graves enters her third season as head coach. Her presence on the benchmarks a second appearance in the Patriot League. She spent two seasons (2013-15) as an assistant coach at Colgate. The Raiders went 8-22 and 9-22 in those two campaigns.

She played four years at Notre Dame under Hall of Fame coach—and former Lehigh head coach—Muffet McGraw.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

F-Caitlin Weimar, 6’4, SR: 15.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, led team with 51 blocks, 30.2 MPG, 27 GP, 24 starts, First-Team All-Patriot League, Defensive Player of the Year

G-Alex Giannaros, 5’5, JR: 10.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 51.5% 3PT FG, 50 3PT FGs made, 25.9 MPG, 25 GP, 21 starts, Third-TeamAll-Patriot League

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)
G-Sydney Johnson, 5’9, SR:
12.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 30.2 MPG, 32 GP, 31 starts, First Team All-Patriot League, All-Defensive team (graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for Georgia Tech)

F-Maren Durant, 6’3, SR: 7.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 52.4% FG, 47 blocks, 25.6 MPG, 32 GP, 32 starts, Patriot League All-Defensive Team (graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for George Washington University)

G-Maggie Pina, 5’7, SR: 9.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 44.1% FG, team-high 51 made 3PT FGs, 27.9 MPG, 33 GP, 33 starts (graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for Northwestern)

G-Lauren Davenport, 5’11, JR: 5.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 35.6% FG, 20 made 3PT FGs, 19.9 MPG, 31 GP, 14 starts (transferred to BYU)

F-Sam Crispe, 6’2, SO: 5.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 43.8% FG, 19.2 MPG, 33 GP, 7 starts (transferred to the University of Utah)


G-Natalie Jasper 5’5, (Pittsburgh, PA), JR: Transfer from Georgetown. In two seasons with the Hoyas, she played in 16 games, shooting 35.7% (5-for-14) from the floor. She starred for The Ellis School in high school and is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,214 points.

G-Aoibhe Gormley, 5’8, (Quincy, MA), FR: Point guard with scoring ability who excels in the open court. A 1,000-point scorer for Thayer Academy and was named the NEPSAC Class A Player of the Year as a junior.

G-Aina Grane Torres, 6’0, (Molins de Rei, Spain), FR: Late addition to the incoming class. Played for Barca CBS Cadet U16 team.

G-Ines Monteagudo Pardo, 5’11, (Valencia, Spain), FR: Combo guard whose strength is on the defensive end of the floor. Member of Spanish National Team that earned a silver medal at the 2022 U17 FIBA Women’s World Cup. Played for the Valencia Basket Club.

G-Emelia O’Gilvie 5’8, (Boston, MA), FR: Walk-on guard who played for Boston Latin and St. Andrew’s during her high school career. Athletic combo guard who scored a combined 1,472 points in high school.

F-Anete Adler, 6’5, (Keila, Estonia), SO: Transfer from University of Rhode Island. Appeared in 10 games for URI, shooting 63.6% (7-for-11) from the floor.

G-Audrey Ericksen, 6’0, (Cary, NC), FR: Athletic wing with three-point range. Effective attacker off the dribble. A 1,000-point scorer for Green Level High School.

G-Sisi Bentley, 6’0, (Hartford, CT), FR: Versatile wing whose athleticism impacts both ends of the floor. Capable ball handler with improving mid-range shot. NEPSAC Class AA All-Star.

OUTLOOK: The heartbreak of a difficult loss can linger and there really is no medicine for the wound. You have to learn to live with it, learn from it, and get comfortable near it until you’ve earned a moment of redemption.

Last season, the Terriers posted an impressive 17-1 mark in conference play and hosted the league championship for the second time in three years while playing under the pressure of a preseason favorite expected to win the title. Ultimately, Boston University took it to the brink but couldn’t close the deal against a talented Holy Cross team in a contest decided in the final minute.

What does that performance have to do with Boston University’s season outlook? The year ahead has everything to do with how the program processes that loss.

What’s next for the Terriers? This season’s roster presents a significant reset with the graduation of five players and the transfer of two others. Eight new faces arrive for head coach Melissa Graves, including two transfers.

The program lost the bulk of its rotation but returns two talented starters in First Team All-Patriot League forward Caitlin Weimar and the league’s most accurate three-point shooter in Alex Giannaros, a Third Team All-Patriot League selection. Weimar has also been tabbed Preseason Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

Terrier guard Alex Giannaros shot 51.5% from three-point range last season. (Photo credit: Matt Woolverton)

Expect the offense to go through Weimar in the high- and low-post and for Giannaros to get all the looks her teammates can find for her. The junior sharpshooter shot 51.5% from deep (50-for-97) and 47.9% overall.

Transfers Natalie Jasper (Georgetown) and Anete Adler (Rhode Island) bring some veteran experience to the culture. The presence of Adler in the post should help Weimar stay at the four-spot for the Terriers and keep intact what is the most difficult match-up in the league.

The other returning Terriers have limited court experience: senior Sophie Beneventine (14.8 mpg), senior Kelsi Mingo (7.1 mpg) and sophomore Anastasiia Semenova (7.2 mpg) will see expanded opportunities.

What does that mean for this year’s team? Fans will see some freshmen play key roles in the rotation.

It’s a new start and a new set of expectations for Boston this season.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Terriers earn a top-four seed and a home game for the quarterfinals. They advance to the semifinals and add some valuable playoff experience for their young squad.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Terriers can’t find consistent offense and fall to the middle of the pack in conference play. They lose in the quarterfinal round of playoffs.

Sophomore Emma Theodorsson steps into a bigger role for the Bucknell Bison this season. (Photo credit: Bucknell Athletic Communications )


2022-2023 record: 13-17

Conference record: 9-9 (6th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Trevor Woodruff, 5th season

Record at Bucknell: 70-34

Career NCAA record: 342-179 (159-135 at D3 Misericordia Men’s Basketball, 113-10 at D3 University of Scranton Women’s Basketball)

Woodruff was named the league’s Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons as head coach.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

F-Isabella King, 6’0, JR: 7.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 41.8% FG, team-high 38 3PT FGs made, 34.5% 3PT FG, 27.2 MPG, 30 GP, 26 starts

G-Emma Theodorsson, 6’1, SO: 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 37.9% FG, 24.2 MPG, 27 GP, 21 starts

F-Grace Sullivan, 6’4, SO: 3.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 41.6% FG, 17 blocks, 11.7 MPG, 28 GP

G-Caroline Dingler 5’9, SR: 1.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 31.0% FG, 17.7 MPG, 29 GP, 11 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)
G-Cecelia Collins, 6’0, JR:
14.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 43.6% FG, 74.5% FT, 33.3 MPG, 22 GP, 21 starts, Second-Team All-Patriot League (transferred to Columbia)

F-Emma Shaffer, 6’2, SR: 10.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 44.2% FG, 28.4 MPG, 30 GP, 30 starts (graduated)

G-Tai Johnson, 5’8, SR: 8.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.0% FG, 28.3 MPG, 30 GP, 19 starts (graduated)

G-Remi Sisselman, 6’0, JR: 5.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 35.8% FG, 28 made 3PT FGs, 21.5 MPG, 29 GP, 8 starts(transferred to Lehigh)


G-Rosie Scognamiglio, 5’10, (Bradley Beach, NJ), FR: Shooter with three-point range and quick release who can also attack and finish with contact at the rim. Aggressive and active defender. Starred for St. Rose High School after one season at Pearl River High School. McDonald’s All-American nominee as a senior.

G-Ashley Sofilkanich, 6’3, (South Amboy, NJ), FR: Traditional back-to-the-basket low-post scorer who can run the floor. Can put the ball on the floor from the high post. Length on defense can be impactful. Played for Saint John Vianney and helped the program to its fourth straight Shore Conference championship as a senior.

G-Sophia Sabino, 5’9, (Rumson, NJ), R-SO: Transfer from Fordham University. Appeared in seven games for the Rams, shooting 33.3% from the floor (4-for-12) and adding five assists. The point guard was a four-year starter for Red Bank Catholic. Projected to return from injury to game action in January.

G-Ashley O’Connor, 5’9, (Sea Bright, NJ), SO: Transfer from Fordham University. Appeared in seven games for the Rams, shooting 50.0% from the floor (6-for-12) with two three-pointers. Combo guard who excels on the defensive end. Starred for Saint John Vianney in high school, earning Hoop Group Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

OUTLOOK: Bucknell’s consistency and success over its history make it a program with high expectations each and every season. It’s a legacy with both championship promise and pressure.

Last year, the program posted its first losing season since the Bison went 15-16 in 2012-13. It’s not a familiar spot for the program or its head coach, Trevor Woodruff. The fifth-year mentor’s last losing season was in 2008-09 as head coach for the men’s basketball team at D3 Misericordia University.

The immediate road ahead may be challenging.

The departure of rising junior Cecelia Collins via the transfer portal in the off-season is a significant loss for the team. Collins was the team’s best player and one of the top performers in the league during her first two years. She moves on to Columbia University as a potential starter for the regular-season champions of the Ivy League.

Bucknell supporters may have to temper their lofty expectations this season. But while there may be pressure for the team to post a winning record this year, there’s plenty of promise ahead with a sophomore class ready to step into the limelight and some freshmen performers who will see time in the rotation with a chance to make their own legacies in Lewisburg.

The play of the sophomore class will be key. Fans can expect to see Fordham transfer Ashley O’Connor step into a large role at guard, helping to establish the team’s defensive mindset. Senior Caroline Dingler will also assume a similar leadership role for Woodruff’s club, making an impact on the defensive end.

Freshmen Rosie Scognamiglio and Ashley Sofilkanich should see time in the rotation, too.

Bucknell will be challenged with non-conference matchups versus Penn State, Louisville, St. Joseph’s and Marquette. A .500 season would be a great foundation for a young team looking to grow. It won’t be easy.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Bucknell stays healthy all season and rides a thin rotation into a top-five finish in the league. The Bison win their quarterfinal playoff and earn valuable big-game experience for their young unit with an appearance matchup in the semifinals.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Bison struggle to find consistency on both ends all season, dropping into the lower half of the league and finding themselves on the road in the quarterfinal round and below .500 for the season.

Junior guard Taylor Golembiewski leads a Colgate team that returns its top six scorers for 2023-24. (Photo credit: Colgate Athletics Communications)


2022-2023 record: 16-14

Conference record: 10-8 (4th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Ganiyat Adeduntan, 3rd season

Record at Colgate: 22-38

Career NCAA record: 30-81 (22-38 at D1 Colgate and 8-43 at D3 Wheelock College)

Adeduntan enters her third campaign as lead mentor. Previously, she spent four years as the recruiting coordinator at George Washington University, helping the Colonials win an Atlantic-10 Conference championship in 2017-18.

Prior to George Washington, she spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Northeastern—her second stretch for the Huskies after getting her start on staff in college basketball as an administrative assistant there from 2010-12.

Between stints at Northeastern, Adeduntan gained college head coaching experience at the Division III level for Wheelock College in Boston from 2012-14.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)
G-Taylor Golembiewski, 5’8, JR:
12.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 40.1% FG, 30.6 MPG, 29 GP, 29 starts, Second-Team All-Patriot League

F-Tiasia McMillan, 6’0, SR: 7.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 46.4% FG, team-high 20 blocks, 26.7 MPG, 28 GP, 24 starts

F-Sophia Diehl, 6’1, JR: 4.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 39.3% FG, 16.8 MPG, 30 GP, 5 starts

G-Morgan McMahon, 5’10, JR: 8.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 79.2% FT, 34 assists, 21.7 MPG, 30 GP, 4 starts

G-Alexa Brodie, 5’6, GR: 7.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 35.6% FG, 30.6 MPG, 29 GP, 29 starts

G-Madison Schiller, 5’8, SO: 5.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 46.0% FG, 31.0 MPG, 29 GP, 28 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)

G-Jenna Paul 5’10, SR: 3.9 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 34.4% FG, team-high 24 made 3PT FGs, 14.4 MPG, 30 GP, 18 starts (graduated)


G-Amarah Streiff, 5’10, (Syracuse, NY), FR: Strong and physical wing capable of attacking the paint from the perimeter and scoring inside with contact. Capable three-point shooter. Scored 2,000 points for Bishop Ludden High School.

G-Ella Meabon, 5’8, (Fairport, NY), FR: Aggressive combo guard who excels attacking the paint. A 1,000-point scorer for Fairport High School.

F-Maryan Eniafe, 6’2, (Upper Marlboro, MD), FR: Physical post who can attack off the dribble. An improving finisher at the rim with strong hands and consistent presence on the offensive glass.

F-Grace Klag, 6’2, (Westfield, NJ), SO: Transfer from Bucknell. Appeared in four games for the Bison, totalling five minutes played while shooting 1-for-1 from the floor. Played for Westfield High School.

Sophomore Madison Schiller’s versatility could push Colgate into league championship contention. (Photo credit: Olivia Hokanson/Colgate Athletics)

OUTLOOK: Following a top-four finish a season ago, the Raiders bring back nearly all of their rotation and 93.3% of their offensive production. This year’s veteran squad also returns as the top defensive team in conference play for points allowed per game.

Credit the coaching staff for growing the team’s defense from a season ago.

Is Colgate a championship contender?

The moment has arrived for Coach Adeduntan’s team. The Raiders have all the ingredients to make a run to the championship. Junior guard Taylor Golembiewski leads the attack on both ends and heads a rotation that returns its top six scorers.

Named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, Golembiewski brings an intense and aggressive approach to the court that sets the tone for the group in Hamilton.

Expect to see a break-out campaign from sophomore guard Madison Schiller. Inexplicably left off last season’s Patriot League All-Rookie Team, the New Jersey product made 28 starts, shot 46.0% from the floor, hauled in 4.3 rebounds from the guard position and dished out 73 assists.

Schiller also played a vital role in Colgate’s improvement on the defensive end; she added 47 steals, tops of all freshmen in the league.

The Raiders have flipped the script from a year ago and now enter 2023-24 as one of the conference’s most experienced squads. Last year’s home loss in the quarterfinal round of playoffs should prove a valuable lesson moving forward. Can they make it count?

Let’s talk about the challenges.

Post play on both ends of the floor has been a weakness for the team. Any discussion of championship aspirations must include solutions in the post via scheme or personnel. Last season’s disappointing 55-50 loss to Army in the quarterfinals was largely due to the inability to handle Black Knight forward Sabria Hunter down low.

Can 6’2 freshman forward Maryan Eniafe make an impact? Is there a post-by-committee rotation that can push the Raiders to the next level?

Another potential hurdle: the non-conference schedule lacks ambition. The good news for Colgate fans is that there are lots of Ws to be had on the slate. Is it challenging enough for a team looking to make the next step up the playoff ladder? Aside from contests versus Miami and Georgetown, the Raiders’ line-up doesn’t seek enough tough tests to prepare it for league play.

Despite its areas of need, Colgate is a program to watch. The team has depth of talent, experience and a commitment to the defensive end of the floor. The ingredients are all there in Hamilton. And yes, the Raiders are a championship contender.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Raiders make a run to the league title game. Colgate shows itself as a top-three team with the talent and experience to beat anyone in the conference. A strong start in league play leads to a growing confidence and quarterfinal and semifinal wins at home give them the opportunity of a lifetime in the final.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The team loses some tight games in conference play and confidence gives ground to doubt, showing up in an inability to score late in games. They lose in the first round of the playoffs on home court again.

Senior forward Janelle Allen‘s veteran presence in the post is key to another Crusader title push. (Photo credit: Mark Seliger Photography)


2022-2023 record: 24-9

Conference record: 13-5 (2nd seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Maureen Magarity, 4th season

Record at Holy Cross: 51-28

Career NCAA record: 197-182 (146-154 at D1 University of New Hampshire)

The fourth-year mentor has brought the championship vibe back to the Hart Center. Magarity previously led the University of New Hampshire for 10 seasons. Her tenure produced a mix of five winning seasons and five losing ones.

Her Patriot League roots extend to a stint as an assistant coach at Army from 2006-10.

She was Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2021-22.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)
G-Bronagh Power-Cassidy, 5’10, SR:
13.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 45.8% FG, 39.9% 3PT FG, team-high 63 made 3PT FG, 30.5 MPG, 33 GP, 33 starts, Second-Team All-Patriot League

F-Janelle Allen, 5’11, SR: 10.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 45.8% FG, 22.9 MPG, 29 GP, 24 starts, Third-Team All-Patriot League

G-Cara McCormack, 5’3, SR: 9.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 32.5% 3PT FG, 41 made 3PT FGs, 23.7 MPG, 26 GP, 14 starts

G-Kaitlyn Flanagan, 5’8, SO: 6.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 42.2% FG, led team in assists (97), second in steals (37) 30.4 MPG, 33 GP, 33 starts, Patriot League All-Rookie Team

G-Simone Foreman, 5’9, SO: 5.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 41.3% FG, 78.6% FT, 15.5 MPG, 30 GP

F-Lindsay Berger, 6’2, JR: 9.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 52.7% FG, 78.7% FT, 24.7 MPG, 33 GP, 27 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES (last season’s stats)
G-Addisyn Cross, 5’7, SR:
4.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 31.8% FG, team-high 44 steals, 29.2 MPG, 32 GP, 32 starts, Patriot League All-Defensive Team (graduated)


G-Janie Bachmann, 6’0, (Holmdel, NJ) FR: Athletic combo guard who can defend one through four. Ability to post up smaller guards inside and attack a forward match-up off the dribble. A disruptive defender and exceptional rebounder from the guard position. Played for Saint John Vianney and helped the program to its fourth straight Shore Conference championship as a senior.

F-Simone Lewis, 6’0, (Lanham, MD) FR: Physical forward who can finish in the paint. Good length on defense and an aggressive presence on the boards. Played for Georgetown Visitation Prep.

G-Hannah Griffin, 5’6, (Conshohocken, PA) FR: Facilitating point guard with a good first step off the dribble. Averaged 10.5 points and 4.4 assists per game in her senior season for Gwynedd Mercy Academy.

OUTLOOK: The defending league champions have depth of talent, balance in the line-up and an experienced head coach pressing all the right buttons. It’s difficult to find a weakness in the Crusader program.

However, the departure via graduation of guard Addisyn Cross is significant. Cross was the team’s top defender, team leader in steals and a member of the Patriot League All-Defensive Team. The reliable Cross was counted on to defend the opponent’s top playmaker and set the tone for toughness on the perimeter.

It’s a luxury for a coach to be able to gameplan and pencil in a lock-down defender every contest but coach Maureen Magarity won’t have to give that up this season; she has options.

Point guard Kaitlyn Flanagan helped lead Holy Cross to a championship as a freshman. She started all 33 games for Crusaders. What’s next for the sophomore? (Photo credit: Mark Seliger Photography)

Expect sophomores Kaitlyn Flanagan and Simone Foreman to pick up the slack with increased responsibility on the defensive end for the most consistent defense in the league a season ago. In conference play, Holy Cross was third in points allowed (55.1 ppg) and second in field goal percentage defense, allowing just 37.9% from the floor.

The returners pack a veteran punch. The Crusaders bring back four starters from their regular rotation in Bronagh Power-Cassidy (13.6 ppg, 39.9% 3PT FG), Janelle Allen (10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Lindsay Berger (27 starts, 9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Flanagan (6.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 2.9 apg). Super sub senior Cara McCormack has 29 career starts as well and the line-up will be one of the most experienced in the league.

Power-Cassidy’s clutch play and shot-making ability as a team leader make Holy Cross the team to beat. But it’s the squad’s unassuming point guard who’s the one to watch as the season unfolds. This year’s squad becomes a little more dangerous with a year of experience under Flanagan’s belt.

Only two players started and played all 33 games a season ago: Power-Cassidy and Flanagan. Each brings a presence and competitive excellence to the court that matters in the big moments of a game. The returners have the chemistry and connection needed to handle the rollercoaster ride of a long season.

Will we see some fresh faces?

For the second season in a row, Crusader fans can expect to see some freshmen step into significant roles. Janie Bachmann, Simone Lewis and Hannah Griffin join a talented cast ready to contribute.

The Crusaders launch as the hunted this season and will require a different emotional approach as the chase for the championship begins. Can they avoid complacency?

They’re disciplined on both ends, unselfish, coachable and now carrying the confidence of champions. 12 championships to be exact.

Don’t bet against them.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Crusaders’ veteran line-up cruises to the top seed and outpaces all contenders on the way to defending their league championship, this time at home in the Hart Center.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The pressure to repeat and the weight of expectations as the preseason number one are too much for this year’s squad to overcome. Holy Cross falls to a third seed for the playoffs and drops a road game in the semifinals.


2022-2023 record: 10-19

Conference record: 7-11 (8th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Kia Damon-Olson, 7th season

Record at Lafayette: 61-101

Career NCAA record: 61-101

Coach Damon-Olson enters her seventh season in Easton. She has 19 years of assistant coaching experience at the D1 level with stops at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Fairleigh Dickinson, UMass, Penn State, and Cincinnati.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)
G-Makayla Andrews, 5’10, SR:
14.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 45.1% FG, 30.5 MPG, GP 29, 29 starts, Third-Team All-Patriot League

G-Abby Antognoli, 5’7, JR: 12.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 36.4% FG, 44 steals, team-high 33 3PT FGs, 36.0 MPG, 24 GP, 24 starts, Third-Team All-Patriot League

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)

G-Jessica Booth, 5’8, SR: 9.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 39.5% FG, 29.6 MPG, 16 GP, 16 starts,(graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for Elon University)


F-Natasha Chudy, 6’2, (Saratoga Springs, NY), FR: A five-year starter and triple-double threat for Saratoga Springs High School. A 1,000-point scorer and McDonald’s All-American nominee.

G-Grace Montgomery, 5’9, (Melbourne, Australia), FR: Athletic point guard with shooting range. Leading scorer for Toorak College. Served as captain for the Dandenong Rangers club team.

G-Teresa Kiewiet, 5’10, (North Mankato, MN), FR: Versatile scoring guard, posted 1,000 career points for Mankato West High School. Can score at all three levels.

F-Brynn Beffert, 6’1, (Hutchinson, MN), FR: A five-year starter for Hutchinson High School. A 1,000-point scorer who also eclipsed the 1,000-career rebound mark. Physical forward and low-post threat that runs the floor well. Named Class AAA All-State as a senior.

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OUTLOOK: Lafayette was picked eighth in the league’s preseason poll but following the top four teams, the trailing group could finish in any order. Can the Leopards break out of that pack and exceed the expectations of another lower-half finish?

There’s hope.

Last season, sitting at 1-5 in the league and 4-12 overall, the outlook didn’t look promising. What followed for Kia Damon-Olson’s club was a demonstration of resiliency and creative play that fueled a late-season push. The Leopards put together a four-game winning streak with big wins over American, Lehigh, Loyola (MD) and Colgate. They finished 6-6 in the remaining league games following that 1-5 start and landed as the eighth seed.

Did Lafayette find some answers in that stretch that will help them this season?

The Leopards are paced by Third-Team All-Patriot League selections Abby Antognoli and Makayla Andrews. The guard duo brings one of the best one-two punches in the league to a team that lacks both size and depth.

Junior point guard Abby Antognoli teams with Makayla Andrews to form one of the best guard duos in the league. (Photo credit: Lafayette Athletic Communications)

Antognoli (12.5 ppg and 3.0 apg) and Andrews (14.2 ppg and 6.6 rpg) will carry the Leopards as far as they can go. They each played heavy minutes a season ago—junior Antognoli played 36 minutes per game and senior Andrews notched 30.5. Will they get some help this season?

Lafayette will need to find more scoring depth. The team was ninth in the league in shooting percentage in conference play, converting 37.8% from the floor and scoring just 55.4 points per game.

Damon-Olson has struggled to land a post player that can score down low and draw defenders down from the perimeter. If freshmen forwards Tasha Chudy and Brynn Beffert can add to the squad’s depth of scoring inside, the Leopards can compete for the top of the group of teams outside of the first four.

Coach Damon-Olson doesn’t mind challenging her team with a competitive slate of games. The Leopards face some difficult road match-ups in their non-conference schedule with games at Syracuse, Rutgers and Notre Dame.

It’s not going to be a championship season for Lafayette, but the Leopard backcourt combined with their recruiting class may surprise a couple of conference foes along the way.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The Leopards’ new faces make a major contribution and the line-up develops the depth of talent needed to break into the top half of the league. The team fights its way into a fifth-place finish and positions itself for a competitive quarterfinal matchup in the playoffs.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: In a crowded field in the lower half of the league, Lafayette can’t find scoring depth or the consistent play needed to break free of the pack. The Leopards land as the eighth seed and lose the eight-nine game in the quarterfinals for the second year in a row.


2022-2023 record: 17-14

Conference record: 12-6 (3rd seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Addie Micir, 2nd season

Record at Lehigh: 17-14

Career NCAA record: 17-14

Micir returns for her second season as head coach and fifth overall on the Lehigh bench. She coached five years as an assistant with Dartmouth College, one season at Princeton, and three campaigns with Lehigh before being named head coach in April 2022.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

F-Meghan O’Brien, 6’1, JR: 3.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 39.0% FG, 14.2 MPG, 31 GP, 15 starts

F-Lily Fandre, 6’1, SO: 6.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 41.8% FG, 41.7% 3PT FG, 75.6% FT, 23.1 MPG, 31 GP, 28 starts, Patriot League All-Rookie Team

G-Ella Stemmer, 5’10, JR: 7.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 37.2% FG, 32.2% 3PT FG (46-for-143) 22.3 MPG, 31 GP, 10 starts

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)

F-Frannie Hottinger, 6’0, SR: 20.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 44.4% FG, 33.1 MPG, 31 GP, 31 starts, Patriot League Player of the Year, First-Team All-Patriot League (graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for Marquette University)

G-Mackenzie Kramer, 5’9, JR: 17.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, 44.2% FG, 42.7% 3PT FG, 76 made 3PT FG, 34.2 MPG, 29 GP, 28 starts, First-Team All-Patriot League, (graduated early, playing as a graduate transfer for Clemson University)

G-Anna Harvey, 5’7, SR: 5.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 36.2% FG, 30.4 MPG, 31 GP, 31 starts


G-Julianna Ouimette, 5’10, (Minocqua, WI) FR: Perimeter shooting threat and elite scorer. Moves well without the ball and plays both ends of the floor. First Team All-State as a junior and senior and a 2,000-point scorer for Lakeland Union High School.

G-Jessie Ozzauto, 5’10, (Algonquin, IL) FR: Athletic wing and three-point shooting threat. An All-State honorable mention pick as a senior for Huntley High School.

G-Gracyn Lovette, 5’10, (San Rafael, CA) FR: Athletic two-way player who can score at all three levels. Combo guard was named First Team All-State as a junior and senior for Marin Catholic High School.

F-Whitney Lind, 6’2, (Florence, KY) FR: Stretch-forward who scored 2,257 and hauled in 1,000 rebounds for Cooper High School. Can score inside or attack post match-ups on the perimeter. Posted 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in her senior season. A First Team All-State selection.

G-Remi Sisselman, 6’0, (Melville, NY) JR: Transfer from Bucknell. Made eight starts as a sophomore for the rival Bison. Played 21.5 minutes per game last season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest. Shot 35.8% from the floor and 27.2% from three-point range (28-for-103).

G-Colleen McQuillen, 5’10, (Cresskill, NJ) JR: Transfer from Fordham. Made 41 appearances over two seasons with the Rams. Averaged 10.1 minutes an outing, scoring 3.1 points and grabbing 1.0 rebound per game. 35.5% career shooting percentage from the floor, 37.6% (32-for-85) from distance.

Sophomore Lily Fandre is ready to expand her role for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. (Photo credit: Hannahally Photography)

OUTLOOK: Lehigh lost 60.2% of its offense with the departure of Frannie Hottinger (20.3 ppg), Mackenzie Kramer (17.2 ppg) and Anna Harvey (5.0 ppg). Can the program fill the shoes of the league’s top two scorers?

Kramer’s lightning-quick release and three-point shooting prowess will be missed. Her clutch shot-making ability heads to Clemson this season and leaves a hole in the Lehigh line-up that won’t be easily replaced.

Hottinger’s absence will hurt even more. Last season’s Player of the Year had her best campaign in Bethlehem, scoring 20.3 points and grabbing 9.5 rebounds a game. She’ll suit up for Marquette in the Big East as a graduate transfer.

Last year, Lehigh was eighth in the nation in three-pointers attempted, firing 27.4 shots from behind the arc. They were also fifth in the nation in made threes with 9.3 per outing.

The Mountain Hawks will employ a similar offensive style this year with an emphasis on the three-point line but won’t have the luxury of challenging opposition defenses in quite the same way without the scoring punch of Hottinger and Kramer.

There may be some more growing pains for second-year head coach Addie Micir.

So what’s the good news?

Sophomore Lily Fandre is ready for a breakout season. The 6’1 forward brings experience (she started 28 games last season) and can shoot from deep (43-for-103, 41.7%). She closed out her freshman campaign with her best game of the year, posting 16 points and six rebounds in the squad’s 71-54 road loss to Holy Cross in the semifinals.

Micir and her staff also landed one of the best recruiting classes in the league. The freshmen will get their chance to shine. Expect to see multiple freshmen in the rotation and keep your eyes on Julianna Ouimette.

Two transfers join the mix, too. Can the newcomers make an impact? Remi Sisselman left the Bucknell Bison behind for the chance to join Lehigh’s league-leading three-point shooting offense. Fordham’s Colleen McQuillen lands on campus after appearing in 41 games for the Rams. She shot 38.6% from distance as a sophomore and will look to fill a role in the offense as well.

If Lehigh aims to make a run to the top of the league, it will have to improve on the defensive end, especially its defense of the paint. The Mountain Hawks allowed 32.6 points per game and 49.4% of its opponent’s points in the paint last season.

In addition to seeking a better balance between offense and defense, Lehigh may have to go all-in on a young line-up this season—and that isn’t a bad thing.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Lehigh continues to play with pace and converts enough three-pointers to post a winning season. Coach Micir finds the right mix of freshmen and upperclassmen in the rotation to put the squad in position to reach another playoff semifinal.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Mountain Hawks’ offense can’t find its pace without Kramer and Hottinger and struggles early. The team falls out of the top four and finds itself on the road for the playoffs.

Loyola forward Lex Therien averaged a double-double last season, posting 15.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. (Photo credit: Loyola Athletic Communications)


2022-2023 record: 10-21

Conference record: 4-14 (9th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Danielle O’Banion, 3rd season

Record at Loyola: 15-45

Career NCAA record: 36-143 (21-98 at D1 Kent State University)

O’Banion heads into her third season at the helm of the Greyhounds. She brings 20 years of coaching experience at the Division 1 level with assistant coaching stops at Minnesota, Memphis, Kent State and Harvard. She adds head coaching experience from a four-year run at Kent State from 2012-16. Her teams went 21-98 during her tenure.

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)

F-Lex Therien, 6’1, JR: 15.4 PPG, 11.1 RPG, team-high 49 steals, 49.1% FG, 31.1 MPG, 31 GP, 31 starts, Second-Team All-Patriot League, 2023-24 Preseason All-Patriot League Team

G-Kelly Ratigan, 5’8, SO: 5.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 34.4% FG, 36.4% 3PT FG (36-for-99), 25.7 MPG, 30 GP, 22 starts

G-Laura Salmeron, 5’8, JR: 1.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 13.7 MPG, 20 GP, 4 starts

F-Koi Sims, 6’0, JR: 6.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 43.9% FG, team-high 18 blocks, 26.8 MPG, 20 GP, 19 starts (suffered a season-ending injury in January)

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)

G-Taleah Dixon, 5’10, GS: 13.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, team-high 44 made 3PT FGs, 32.3 MPG, 30 GP, 30 starts, (graduated)

G-Devyne Newman, 5’8, GS: 7.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 39.4% FG, 24.9 MPG, 20 GP, 13 starts, (graduated)

G-Bri Rozzi, 5’7, SR: 5.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 35.5% FG, 27.6 MPG, 27 GP, 23 starts, (graduated, playing as a graduate transfer for Canisius University)


C-Aminata Hernandez, 6’1, (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain), FR: Athletic forward who helped her team to back-to-back gold medals in the Championship of Cataluna.

G-Kimmya Hicks, 5’9, (Annapolis, MD), FR: Athletic and competitive shooting guard who can score at the rim. Quick, aggressive defender. Played for Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore.=

G-Kailey Kalet, 5’9, (Union Springs, NY), FR: Physical point-guard who capped her career for Union Springs High School with 1,307 points and 468 assists. A relentless defender who averaged 3.5 steals in her senior campaign. Named a NYSSWA First Team All-State selection last season.

G-Amandine Amorich, 5’11, (Montpellier, Herault, France), FR: Shooting guard and consistent three-point shooting threat. Can attack off the dribble and get to the rim. Played high school basketball for Cegep de Sainte-Foy Quebec.

G-Lily Bottomly, 6’2, (Canal Fulton, OH), FR: Four-year starter for Northwest High School where she led her squad to a D-2 State runner-up finish as a senior, averaging 18.3 points per game. Low-post scorer and physical presence in the paint.

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OUTLOOK: Loyola looks to build around junior forward Lex Therien and make a push to the top half of the conference. The two-time Second-Team All-Patriot League star is the heart of the Greyhound team on both ends of the floor.

Despite being the target of opponents’ defensive game plans, the New Jersey native continues to dominate inside. She had an explosive sophomore campaign, scoring 15.4 points, pulling in 11.1 rebounds and grabbing 1.5 steals per game.

Can Loyola take a step forward this season? Therien will need some help from her supporting cast. The departure of graduating senior Taleah Dixon (13.6 ppg, 44-for-139 on threes) opens the door for sophomore guard Kelly Ratigan to embrace an expanded role in the offense.

Ratigan started 22 games in her freshman season for the Greyhounds and should emerge as the team’s top three-point shooting threat. She shot 36-for-99 (36.4%) last year.

The guard rotation will feature some new faces from coach O’Banion’s recruiting class. Keep your eye on freshman point guard Kailey Kalet and combo guard Kimmya Hicks.

Loyola’s forward rotation is enhanced if Koi Sims can return from an injury suffered in January. The junior helped establish a formidable duo inside with Therien and helped the team to seven wins before her season ended. Sims reached the double-digit mark in rebounds in nine of the 20 games in which she played.

The outlook for the Greyhounds’ offense is uncertain. In conference play, the team produced 54.6 points an outing and shot just 38.7% from the floor. The scoring output was ninth in the league.

If Loyola plans to earn a higher playoff seed, they might have to push the tempo in search of more offense. Last season, the Greyhounds scored just 7.2% of their points on the fast break.

Look for the talented Therien to have a big season. Are they deep enough to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish? If coach O’Banion’s club can’t find a productive rotation to surround their star post, it could be a struggle in Baltimore.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: The freshman class steps into big roles and helps take the pressure off of Therien in the post while Ratigan emerges as a consistent scorer. Loyola finds itself in a pack of teams fighting for the middle in the league standings and lands a sixth- or seventh-seed in playoffs.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Greyhounds struggle to score and the burden on Therien is too much to carry. Wins are elusive and the team lands in 10th place.

Navy senior Sydne Watts leads a young team looking to improve in Annapolis. (Photo credit: Navy Athletic Communications)


2022-2023 record: 1-29

Conference record: 1-17 (10th seed in playoffs)

Head Coach: Tim Taylor, 4th season

Record at Navy: 16-57

Career NCAA record: 16-57

Taylor heads into his fourth season in Annapolis. He brings 12 seasons of experience as a D1 assistant coach with a two-year stop at Furman University (1998-2000), three stints at the University of Virginia (2000-05, 2009-12, 2016-2018), and a season at the University of North Carolina (2019-20).

KEY RETURNERS: (last season’s stats)
G-Sydne Watts, 6’0, SR:
12.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 37.1% FG, 28.1% 3PT FG (41-for-146) 31.3 MPG, 29 GP, 24 starts

G-Maren Louridas, 6’0, SO: 11.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 32.1% FG, 28.4% 3PT FG (56-for-197) 33.9 MPG, 30 GP, 30 starts, Patriot League All-Rookie Team

F-Kate Samson, 6’4, SO: 6.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 44.1% FG, 19.4 MPG, 30 GP, 27 starts

G-Tori Papahronis, 6’1, SO:] Injured in the opening game versus William & Mary last year. Named a Class 6A All-State First team for Edmond North High School as a senior.

BIGGEST LOSSES: (last season’s stats)

F-Lindsay Llewellyn, 5’10, SR: 12.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 36.2% FG, 66.7% FT, 29.5 MPG, 15 GP, 9 starts (graduated)


G-Kyah Smith, 5’9, (Richmond, VA), FR: High-energy playmaker with effective pull-up. Class 5 First Team All-State for L.C. Bird High School as a senior. Also played for Shining Star Sports Academy as a sophomore and junior.

G-Zanai Barnett-Gay, 5’8, (Glenn Dale, MD), FR: Defensive-minded guard who can successfully attack off the dribble and finish at the rim. Excels as a rebounder from the guard position. Played for Riverside Baptist School as a junior and senior. Started high school career at CMIT North.

G-Lizzie Holder, 6’1, (Stillwater, MN), FR: Transfer from Colorado. Appeared in two games, playing a total of seven minutes for the Buffaloes. An athletic three-point shooter whose length makes her an impact defender. Averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior for Stillwater High School; named Class AAAA All-State honorable mention.

G-Violet McNece, 6’0, (Chesterfield, MO), FR: Athletic wing that can stretch the defense with her three-point shooting. Played three seasons of high school basketball for Incarnate Word Academy, earning the Class 6 State Championship as a sophomore and junior. Played for Marquette High School as a senior.

G-Saran Moschella, 5’10, (Staten Island, NY), FR: Versatile shooting guard and impact defender. A 1,000-point scorer for Staten Island Academy and All-New York State Class A Third Team selection as a senior.

OUTLOOK: Expect Navy to improve. After a 1-29 season with key injuries and tough losses, there’s nowhere to go but up. The good news for the Mids is that their energy to finish last season—a 78-71 loss on the road in the playoffs to American University—was a strong as its opener against William & Mary.

The first big hurdle in last year’s difficult campaign arrived in that opening contest when 6’1 star freshman point guard, Tori Papahronis, went down with a season-ending injury. It was a significant blow to a young team that saw seven freshmen play on that day. The injury impacted both ends of the floor and the team never recovered.

Why will this season’s start be different?

The Mids did demonstrate their resiliency through adversity a season ago. An increased depth of talent this season and a now experienced sophomore class make Navy a team league opponents can’t overlook.

Navy head coach Tim Taylor added another solid recruiting class to his already young group. If the Mids can stay healthy this season, they’ll leap over a couple of league teams in the standings.

Senior Sydne Watts leads a group with something to prove. Watts started 24 games and led the team in scoring with a career-best 12.7 points per outing.

Where do they need to improve?

Offense. Navy’s attack struggled to score and handle the ball efficiently in the halfcourt, especially in conference play where the team averaged just 49.7 points per contest. The Mids’ scoring average for the season (52.8) ranked just 346 out of 361 teams nationally.

The turnover battle was reflective of a young and inexperienced squad. Navy placed last in league play for both turnover margin (-4.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Navy couldn’t find easy points a season ago, scoring just 8.6 points per game off turnovers while surrendering 17.7 points on its own miscues.

Taylor added more perimeter shooting and scoring ability in his recruiting class and just in time. Last year, the team shot 36.0% from the floor, scored only 21.1 points in the paint per game and posted just 3.6 points on the fast break.

Experience counts and its seasoned sophomore class will make Navy significantly better. Second-year Maren Louridas started all 30 games last year, led the team in minutes played (33.9) and attempted a team-high 408 shots.

Classmate Kate Samson made 27 starts at forward and shot 44.1% from the field on a 79-for-179 effort. The 6’4 Samson showed double-double potential.

Coach Taylor has earned a reputation as a creative game-planner on the defensive end and he’ll need to make use of those talents to push Navy forward, particularly in forcing turnovers. The defense produced steals on just 6.3% of opponent’s possessions—ranked 358 out of 361 teams.

The outlook is promising. Good health and a good start and this athletic Navy squad could find itself in a battle with league teams in the middle of the pack—and that’s a big step forward for a very young squad.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Navy’s recruiting class bring the depth to support an experienced sophomore group and help the Mids climb out of the league’s lower tier. Coach Taylor makes effective use of a roster depth he’s never enjoyed in his four-year tenure and Navy surprises with a playoff win.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Navy can’t overcome youthful mistakes for the second season in a row and the Mids battle to stay out of last place. A second consecutive season of struggle leads to another early playoff exit.


Playoff seeding:

  1. Holy Cross
  2. Colgate
  3. American
  4. Boston University
  5. Lehigh
  6. Bucknell
  7. Army
  8. Navy
  9. Lafayette
  10. Loyola (MD)

Note: statistics provided by CBB Analytics and Her Hoops Stats.

Written by Todd Goclowski

Todd Goclowski currently covers the Patriot League for The Next. Goclowski brings 25 years of coaching experience to his role as an analyst and writer, including 19 years of coaching women's basketball in the NCAA at the D1 and D3 levels.

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