November 5, 2023 

2023-24 Atlantic 10 preview

A look at what to expect from all 15 schools

The Atlantic 10 returns 10 of its 18 All-Conference players and four of the five members of the All-Rookie Team from a year ago. In addition to the returning talent, there is an influx of new talent in transfers and freshmen. Each school welcomes at least one transfer and all but one welcomes at least one player without US collegiate playing experience.

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There’s also been a recent trend of new coaching talent, with eight of the conference’s 15 head coaches in their first three seasons coaching at their current institution. (St. Bonaventure’s Jim Crowley is in the first year of his second stint at the school.)

The newcomers – players and coaches alike – join a conference that has become increasingly competitive in recent years.

“Our depth has just gotten exponentially better,” A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said at Media Day on Oct. 26. “Every game is really, it’s just a fight every night that there’s an A-10 game in the regular season.”

This season the A-10 will move to an 18-game conference season and a new conference tournament venue, the Henrico Sports & Events Center in Henrico, Virginia.

Let’s break down what each team looks like heading into this season, in alphabetical order. You can click the links below to skip to specific teams. All statistics are from College Basketball Reference unless otherwise hyperlinked.

Davidson | Dayton | Duquesne | Fordham | George Mason | George Washington | La Salle | Loyola Chicago | UMass | Rhode Island | Richmond | St. Bonaventure | Saint Joseph’s | Saint Louis | VCU

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Davidson women's basketball huddles up before taking on Mason on Jan. 28, 2023.
Davidson women’s basketball huddles up before taking on Mason on Jan. 28, 2023. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 14-16 (6-8 A-10, 11th)

Preseason ranking: 7th

Percentage of minutes returning: 89.6% (2nd)

Percentage of points returning: 91.2% (2nd)

Last season, the Wildcats played at a slower tempo than they had in the past. With the five newcomers and players coming back from injury, head coach Gayle Fulks believes they’ll be able to return to playing with a faster pace. Davidson is returning the second-highest percentage of minutes and points in the A-10, and Fulks expects “big things” from Suzi-Rose Deegan, Elle Sutphin and Issy Morgan. The trio averaged a total of 38.0 points per game last season.

Key returners (last season’s stats):

G Suzi-Rose Deegan, 5’10: 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals.

F Tomisin Adenupe, 6’1: 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game

F Elle Sutphin, 6’3: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks. All-Conference Second Team.

G Issy Morgan, 5’10: 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals

G Maddie Plank, 5’11: 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists

Key losses (last season’s stats):

G Chloe Welch, 5’9: 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals (7 games)


F Eliza Buerk, 6’3: Won the Oregon School Activities Association 6A State Championship at Clackamas High School in 2023. Four-year letter winner and three-year varsity captain.

G Sylvie Jackson, 6’: Three-year captain and 1,000-point scorer at Louisa County High School. Threetime First Team Virginia High School League (VHSL) honoree. Helped her team win its first state championship in program history in 2021.

G Charlise Dunn, 6’2: Scored 15 points in 11 games at Virginia Tech last season. Has represented Australia on U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams.

G Chloe Oliver, 5’8: Led Champlain Saint-Lambert (Quebec, Canada) to its first Provincial RSEQ Championship in 2022.

G Katie Donovan, 5’11: Enrolled at Davidson for the spring 2023 semester. Averaged 11.4 points (51.8 FG%), 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists with the NBL1’s North Gold Coast Seahawks last season.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 11 vs. Wake Forest

Nov. 12 at UNC

Nov. 16 at Duke

Dec. 8 vs. High Point

Head coach: Gayle Fulks, 7th season

Coach’s perspective:

On her team’s foreign tour to Spain: It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for I think most of our program, just getting to be with each other, with no school going on, just getting that undistracted time with one another was a huge thing for us. We got to take in the art, the culture, [a] different style of basketball and just really get quality time with one another that is really hard to come by once the season gets going. You’re on the road traveling but you’ve got school, you’ve got scouting reports. …

And this was really just about bonding and getting an experience and getting us a headstart. And I think we learned a lot on the basketball side of things … that really helped accelerate our freshmen and newcomers’ integration into our system. So, it was incredibly beneficial and something that I think is going to serve us really well for the season.

I think one thing I’m really excited about is we have way more home games than we’ve had in years past. Seven of the 11 at home is a very big difference … And getting a chance to play at home against some quality opponents is going to be a huge deal for us. And then we set out to play three ACC opponents early on in our season to really test ourselves and get a chance to sort of see if this team is ready to step up and compete for seeding, NCAA, WBIT, but positioning ourselves for some quality wins early in our season.

We wanted to give our team an opportunity to kind of prove that we belong on that stage. So, I’m excited. I think that it’s a great balance, where we should be able to really develop a lot of toughness, playing against some of the best programs in the country, along with getting a chance to play at home and really build chemistry throughout our entire roster.


2022-23 record: 7-21 (5-10 A-10, 12th)

Preseason ranking: 9th

Percentage of minutes returning: 79.5% (5th)

Percentage of points returning: 79.8% (4th)

In Tamika Williams-Jeter’s first season at the helm, the Flyers had their first losing season since 2015-16. The season led to a lot of learning moments for her, her staff and her team but she believes the 10 losses of 10 points or less last season helped create a team hungry to win and create “legacy moments” that leave a lasting impact. After playing just 10 players last season and facing injuries throughout the season. Williams-Jeter added depth including four incoming freshmen and one transfer.

Key returners:

G Nayo Lear, 5’10: 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals

G Anyssa Jones, 5’10: 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals

F Arianna Smith, 6’2: 10.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists

F Mariah Perez, 6’3: 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks

G Destiny Bohanon, 5’10: 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals

F Shannon Wheeler, 6’: 6.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks

Key losses:

G Sydney Freeman, 5’8: 11.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steals

G Maliya Perry, 6’: 5.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists


G Denika Lightbourne, 5’9: Graduated Tallulah Falls High School as the school’s all-time leader in assists, steals and blocks as well as second-leading scorer. Played for the Bahamas Women’s National Team in 2022 and Junior National Team in 2017 and 2019.

G Lauren Pallotta, 5’9: Finished ninth in 3-point percentage in Ohio in 2020. Earned Special Mention All-State, First Team All-District and First Team All-Federal League as a senior. Also earned All-State, All-Region and Player of the Week honors in lacrosse.

G Ivy Wolf, 5’8: Averaged 14.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 60 games (two seasons) at Miami (Ohio). Third-Team All-Mid-American Conference (2022-23).

F Riley Rismiller, 6’4: Graduated Coldwater High School as the school’s second-leading scorer (1,309 points). Lettered in basketball all four years. Also lettered in volleyball.

C Eve Fiala 6’4: Recorded 1,014 points, 785 rebounds and 168 blocks in three seasons at Indiana Area Senior High School.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 8 at UConn

Nov. 16 at Ohio

Dec. 1 vs. Purdue

Dec. 20 at Vanderbilt

Head coach: Tamika Williams-Jeter, 2nd season

Coach’s perspective:

On how she hopes this season will be different than last season: I mean, more wins. It’s that simple. I think last year, we tried to create our identity and who we were … If you look at the second half of the season, or last fourth of the season, we actually, with six or seven kids, faired pretty well … considering the situation.

So really just building off of the end of the year, last year, where, if teams did beat us, it was in that last minute of the game. We lost a lot of close games last year. But we won a lot late in the season. And for me, it would just be building on the end of last season and just trying to gather more wins early in nonconference, of course, not going 0-fer in nonconference and then just really making a big statement in our conference play this year.

On her team’s nonconference schedule: So we got … a little bit of everything in our nonconference schedule, and it gives you a great variety of style of play. And everybody plays during the season, to create energy for [the] postseason. And for us, I think, just playing in our great conference gives you great looks, but I think we have a nonconference schedule put together that has some heavy hitters, we have some teams that throw jabs and kind of kill you softly. So the combination of those different types of variety of teams and programs ultimately helps you to be a better program and a better team, but also prepare you for [the] postseason.

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Megan McConnell (brunette) points down the court while teammate Tess Myers (blonde) runs down the court.
Megan McConnell (left) points down the court while teammate Tess Myers (right) runs down the court against St. Bonaventure on Jan. 11, 2023. Photo credit: Jason Cohn.

2022-23 record: 19-12 (8-8 A-10, 10th)

Preseason ranking: 5th

Percentage of minutes returning: 94.3% (1st)

Percentage of points returning: 96.3% (1st)

The Dukes return the highest percentage of minutes and points this season, but also welcome two transfers and two freshmen. Head coach Dan Burt believes that the additional depth will help the team build on last season, when, he noted, the team was finding themselves. “What we’re looking for, as we go through the early months of our season in October and November is really finding the lineups that work best for us,” Burt told The Next in late September. “Right now, we are legitimately two deep and sometimes three deep at every position. And I couldn’t tell you who’s going to start besides Meg McConnell.”

Key returners:

G Megan McConnell, 5’7: 11.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals. Second in the A-10 in rebounds per game. All-Conference Second Team. All-Academic Team.

G Tess Myers, 5’9: 11.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists

F Precious Johnson, 6’4: 10.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.5 blocks

G/F Amaya Hamilton, 6’2: 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.9 steals

G Naelle Bernard, 5’5: 9.4 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists

C Ayanna Townsend, 6’2: 10.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks


G/F Kiandra Browne, 6’2: Averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 58 games (three seasons) at Indiana.

G Jerni Kiaku, 5’7: 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game at North Carolina Central last season. MEAC Rookie of the Year.

G Gabby Grantham-Medley, 5’9: Attended North Hagerstown High School.

G Raymi Coueta, 5’8: Attended Cégep de Thetford in Québec.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 6 at Princeton

Nov. 18 vs Pittsburgh

Nov. 27 at Bowling Green

Head coach: Dan Burt, 11th season

Coach’s perspective:

“Last year we were finding ourselves. We won 19 games, and we were 8-8 in the league. And we had multiple games, I think it was eight games, if I remember correctly, where we lost by three possessions or less. And so we have to close out games better. We have to shoot from the free throw line at a much higher consistency level, that really hurt us.”

“I expect [the newcomers] to play right away. Jerni Kiaku was the Rookie of the Year in the MEAC last year and had a very good freshman year down in North Carolina [Centaral] in the MEAC. Kiandra Browne battled injuries but came very highly recommended from the staff at Indiana … so she brings a lot to the table.

Kaitlyn Ammons was, out of high school, a top 80 recruit nationally, and chose to go to DePaul and transferred back and had the redshirt year last year, and we’ve found her to be a very skilled 4/5 player. And so, we expected our transfers to have an immediate impact, but our two freshmen, Raymi [Coueta] and Gabby [Grantham-Medley] have really stepped up and we’re excited about what they’re going to bring and they’re gonna find time on the floor during the season also.”


2022-23 record: 19-13 (10-6 A-10, 4th)

Preseason ranking: 13th

Percentage of minutes returning: 10.7% (14th)

Percentage of points returning: 4.7% (14th)

The Rams return the second-lowest percentage of minutes and points in the A-10 but welcome eight new faces. In her first season at the helm, Bridgette Mitchell hopes that her team is able to grow in how they play together. She told The Next that all 12 players come in with energy, effort and focus every day.

Though the team hasn’t set any hard goals, they are focusing on being 2% better every day. “So if we can all commit to being 2% better each day in different areas,” Mitchell said. “Like you can’t be 100% better in everything. If we can commit to doing that, we’ll be surprised where we end. So, we don’t focus on the wins and losses, especially not with a building program. So we focus on, ‘Did we get better at this from yesterday?’”

Key losses:

F Kaitlyn Downey, 6’1: 10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals. All-Academic Team.

G Anna DeWolfe, 5’8: 18.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals. All-Conference First Team.

G Asiah Dingle, 5’6: 19.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.5 steals. A-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year. All-Conference First Team. All-Defensive Team.

F Megan Jonassen, 6’: 6.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists (19 games)

G Sarah Karpell, 5’7: 4.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Started all 32 games.

F Jada Dapaa, 5’11: 8.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 steals


G Miya Giles-Jones, 6’: Four-time conference Player of the Year and four-time All-State honoree at Terry Sanford High School. McDonald’s All-American nominee.

G Taylor Donaldson, 5’10: Averaged 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game in 72 games (three seasons) at New Mexico State.

G Taya Davis, 5’7: Averaged 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game at Garden City Community College last season after spending her freshman season at Odessa College.

G Emy Hayford, 5’8: 3.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 108 games (four seasons) at Pittsburgh.

G Mandy McGurk, 5’6: Averaged 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 63 games (three seasons) at Penn.

G Cassidy Mahaney, 5’8: Named 2022-23 First Team All-County while playing at Urbana High School. Previously played three seasons at The Academy of the Holy Cross.

C Aminata Ly, 6’4: Averaged 2.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 10.7 minutes per game in 75 games (three seasons) at Cleveland State.

F/C Kailah Harris, 6’1: Averaged 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in 40 games (four seasons) at Seton Hall.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 12 at Miami

Dec. 10 at Fairfield

Dec. 21 at Virginia

Head coach: Bridgette Mitchell, 1st season

Coach’s perspective:

I’m excited because we have players that have been working hard every day and we’re gonna shock some people. We’re gonna do our work every day and come up with some wins that people don’t expect us [to]. Nobody expects much of our team and so that’s what excites me every single day, I wake up knowing that nobody expects anything of us. So let’s go out there and shake ’em up a little bit, take them by surprise.

The whole reason that we came in and tried to do a competitive and balanced nonconference schedule is because we really want to compete for championships here. It’s been proven that championships can be won here in this program. And so with us, we want to do as much as we can to prepare in nonconference to win it, come conference, so we’re going to take some L’s we’re gonna get some close W’s, we’re gonna get some blowouts. Like we’re gonna get a blend of everything is our goal for [when we] schedule, a tough nonconference.

George Mason

Mason’s Sonia Smith drives to the basket against Rhode Island’s Sophie Phillips on Jan. 25, 2023. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 16-15 (8-8 A-10, 9th)

Preseason ranking: 8th

Percentage of minutes returning: 73.9% (7th)

Percentage of points returning: 77.1% (6th)

Just two years removed from a 0-14 A-10 record, George Mason won eight conference games and an A-10 tournament game for the second year in a row. The team finished at least .500 in conference play and had multiple players averaging double figures (Taylor Jameson and Sonia Smith) for the first time since the 2018-19 season. In head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis’ third season, the Patriots hope to continue to improve the team’s offensive output after averaging 60.5 points per game last season, 12th in the A-10. The team welcomes seven new faces and returns its top four scorers from last season.

Key returners:

G Taylor Jameson, 5’6: 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals

G Sonia Smith, 5’7: 11.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 steals

F Nalani Kaysia, 6’2: 8.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. All-Rookie Team.

G Paula Suárez, 6’: 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game

Key losses:

F Tamia Lawhorne, 6’: 5.7 points and 2.4 rebounds

F Riley Childs, 6’: 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game (16 games)

G J-Naya Ephraim, 5’9: 4.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.9 assists, started all 31 games.


G Kennedy Harris, 5’6: Averaged 31.4 points per game as a senior. 2023 VHSL Class 4 Girls Player of the Year.

G Brianna Hill, 5’11: McDonald’s All-America nominee and two-time Independent High School Champion with Example Academy. Salutatorian of her graduating class.

F Trinity Massenburg, 6’0: 2021-22 Maryland 3A State Champion at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

F Faith Okorie, 6’: Two-time Independent High School Champion at Example Academy. McDonald’s All-America nominee.

G Ta’Viyanna Habib, 5’11: Averaged 13.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game last year at Indian River State College (NJCAA).

G Carmen Williams, 5’10: Averaged 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 59 games (two seasons) at Radford.

G Page Greenburg, 5’9: Averaged 2.3 points in 6.3 minutes per game (19 games) at Brown last season.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 15 vs. Pittsburgh

Dec. 3 vs. Maryland

Dec. 18 at East Carolina

Dec. 22 at Towson

Head coach: Vanessa Blair-Lewis, 3rd season

Coach’s perspective:

We’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to be passionate. And we’re going to be exciting to watch. These young ladies have bottled up a lot from last season, the way it ended. Even though we got on a really great streak to end last season and going into the tournament and just having the excitement of winning the game. And I think they really were heartbroken of how it ended because we were really playing our best basketball at that point and just came up short. But they came into the summer with the end in mind. … They know that we have to play every single game on the schedule. But they’re excited about that end in mind, like getting back to that tournament and really doing well and proving themselves.

We think from our point guard position, Paula [Suárez] will be able to continue to step up and be more of a leader on the court as well as a scoring presence. Sonia [Smith] to continue to be established the way she has been scoring for us and provide a little bit more defensive effort and rebounding on that end. Taylor [Jameson], we expect her defensive presence to be able to continue to help us on that end, but offensively for her to be able to be a double-digit offensive player. Obviously, Nalani [Kaysia] coming back in off of [the All-Rookie team]. We expect for her presence down low to be consistent with her double-double performances that she put up last year. Also, Nekhu [Mitchell] who reached the starting lineup towards the end of the season and her ability to offensive rebound. But this summer, really working on her offensive game and her outside shot, being able to knock those down in clutch shots.

George Washington

George Washington huddles up before the team played Loyola Chicago
George Washington huddles up before the team played Loyola Chicago on Feb. 18, 2023. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 18-13 (9-7 A-10, 7th)

Preseason ranking: 6th

Percentage of minutes returning: 76.4% (6th)

Percentage of points returning: 70.6% (8th)

After struggling offensively during the 2021-22 season (51.6 points per game) the Revolutionaries averaged 64.4 points per game last season. George Washington led the A-10 in made 3-pointers per game last season. In addition, the team returns three of its top four scorers from last year.

Head coach Caroline McCombs looks forward to watching her team grow and continue to mature. “We’ve had some players on this roster that have been here for going into Year 3 with me and so, there’s some veterans that have been a part of this program,” she said. “So just sort of continuing to build upon our standard of excellence and just what that looks like day in and day out, and so I think for the growth of our program to continue, it’s just pouring into the younger players on our team, the leadership just leading by example, every day as well as just having good conversations of what it looks like to be a GW women’s basketball player.”

Key returners:

F Mayowa Taiwo, 6’: 7.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.0 steals. All-Defensive Team.

G Nya Lok, 5’11: 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists

G Nya Robertson, 5’7: 14.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. A-10 Sixth Woman of the Year. All-Rookie Team.

G Asjah Inniss, 5’9: 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals

G Essence Brown 5’11: 6.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists

Key losses:

G Mia Lakstigala, 5’11: 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals. All-Academic Team.

G Jayla Thornton, 5’10: 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds


G Madison Buford, 5’9: Averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals per game in 56 games (two seasons) at Hampton. Previously played at Colorado and Rend Lake Community College.

F Sara Lewis, 6’1: Averaged 10+ points in each of her four years at Woodward Academy. Helped the team to back-to-back state championships in 2021 and 2022.

F Kamari Sims, 6’1: Averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds per game and was an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland All-Conference selection as a junior at Riverdale Baptist School.

G Monica Marsh, 5’5: Scored more than 1,000 points at Plano West Senior High School.

F Jaylin Hartman, 6’2: Led Blair Academy in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks as a junior. Also led her team to a Mid-Atlantic Prep League Championship as a junior.

F Maren Durant, 6’3: Averaged 7.2 points 7.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 blocks per game in 108 games (four seasons) at Boston University. Second all-time in blocks (172) and fourth in rebounds (832) at BU. Three-time All-Patriot League Defensive Team.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 6 vs. Howard

Nov. 23 vs. West Virginia (San Juan Shootout)

Dec. 6 at Towson

Head coach: Caroline McCombs, 3rd season

Coach’s perspective:

We’re returning Nya Robertson, who was on the All-Rookie team last year, as well as the Sixth Woman of the Year and so, just her growth from her freshman to sophomore year is going to be really important for our program. And so, just looking for her to be an integral piece out there on the court for us. And Nya Lok our second leading returning scorer, really showed some signs of greatness later in the season, stepping up her role offensively, as well as being that defensive stopper that she always is for us.

Mayowa Taiwo in her sixth year here, [her] third year playing for me. Just having that experience, she’s on the All-Defensive team as well. And then Essence Brown, those four have really logged a lot of minutes, for our program, and so just, allowing them to be the leaders, that they are both, on and off the court I think is really important. We also brought in two grad transfers, to give us a little bit more experience in Maren Durant out of Boston and Madison Buford out of Hampton, so again, a post player and another scoring guard to add to our team.

On the team’s foreign tour trip to Italy: I think off the court, you really start to learn each other’s personalities. I think that’s really important. We got to spend a lot of time together. And there’s so many things that you learn about people and not just from playing basketball games, but just from that day to day, hanging out with them. So I think that we had a lot of players either in summer school or having internships this summer. So when we were back on campus, we had a pretty busy schedule this summer.

So I think being away kind of afforded us an opportunity to do things where we didn’t have school, we got to spend a lot more time together and really get to know each other. So I thought that was beneficial and then on the basketball court, there’s nothing like competing and going to war with your sisters playing those games. And so I thought that whether we didn’t do things right, or we did things right we learned in both of those areas. The pace of the game was a little bit faster and obviously with the shot clock and things like that. And so I think we just got a taste of playing at a high level and the physicality that the game at the college level brings.

La Salle

2022-23 record: 17-14 (8-7 A-10, 8th)

Preseason ranking: 12th

Percentage of minutes returning: 25.4% (13th)

Percentage of points returning: 14.5% (13th)

Though the Explorers return the third-fewest percentage of minutes and points, having lost seven of its top eight scorers from last year, La Salle welcomes nine new faces, including three Division II transfers. Head coach Mountain MacGillivray is excited about executing a more up-tempo offense than last season.

“I think this group is going to bring a lot of intensity to the floor, MacGillivray told The Next. “… And we [are] fortunate that we have a lot of players on this roster who can handle the ball and shoot the ball and run the floor and so we’re gonna be able to take advantage of that.”

Key returners:

G Molly Masciantonio, 5’10: 6.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.1 steals. Division I leader in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Key losses:

G Claire Jacobs, 6’: 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals

G Amy Jacobs, 6’: 4.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. Started 20 of the 31 games she played in.

F Gabby Crawford, 6’2: 6.0 points and 2.7 rebounds

F Mia Jacobs, 6’2: 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 21.6 minutes per game. All-Rookie Team.

G Charity Shears, 5’9: 7.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 steals

G/F Kayla Spruill, 6’: 12.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 steals. All-Conference Third Team.


G Makayla Miller, 5’7: Averaged 13.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game in 92 games (four seasons) at Ouachita Baptist (DII).

G Laia Monclova, 6’1: Balearic Islands Champion as a member of the U13, U14 and U16 teams. Averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game for Paterna last season.

G Aryss Macktoon, 5’10: Attended St. Timothy’s High School.

G Tiara Bolden, 5’11: Averaged 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game at Eastern Arizona College (NJCAA) last season. Started 25 games.

C Amber Bullard, 6’2: Averaged 15.6 points per game as a junior at The Christian Academy.

G Nicole Melious, 5’8: Scored 3,140 points in three seasons at Susan E. Wagner High School. Holds the New York City career and single-season scoring record (1,137 points).

G Gabby Turco, 5’10: Averaged 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 54 games (two seasons) at Saint Anselm (DII). Second Team All-NE10.

G Jolene Armendariz, 6’: Averaged 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 57 games (three seasons) at San Francisco State (DII).

C Hailey Chiles, 6’3: Averaged 17.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.1 steals and 3.7 blocks per game at Greenwood High School.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 29 at Penn

Dec. 3 vs. Virginia

Dec. 5 at Rutgers

Dec. 17 vs. Temple

Dec. 21 vs. Villanova

Head coach: Mountain MacGillivray, 6th season

Coach’s perspective:

We are trying to blend in nine new people. And so we’re excited to see how the chemistry forms and how that all comes together. So that’s going to be an exciting challenge to put a lot of new faces into the mix and have them all compete for one common goal.

In many ways, I’d like to continue the growth that we’ve had and continue to win more games than we lose and be on the positive end of the winning percentage. But, I would like to see this team really, really threatened by the end of the year to be a scary out in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and a team that people don’t want to play. To get ourselves in that position would be really nice with a team that is young, in terms of experience at La Salle University.

Loyola Chicago

Loyola Chicago's Sam Galanopoulos drives against George Washington's Nya Lok
Loyola Chicago’s Sam Galanopoulos drives against George Washington’s Nya Lok on Feb. 18, 2023. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 6-24 (1-15 A-10, 15th)

Preseason ranking: 15th

Percentage of minutes returning: 61.4% (10th)

Percentage of points returning: 61.8% (10th)

Last season was the Ramblers’ first in the A-10 and after winning its first A-10 matchup, the team finished the season on a 16-game losing streak. Going into her second second at the helm, head coach Allison Guth continues to focus on growth and the process. “We’re very process driven, we think the results will take care of themselves when we are … We’re setting out on this journey, and it’s about just getting better every day,” she told The Next.

Loyola Chicago returns five of its top seven scorers from last season and welcomes six new faces, including four transfers and two freshmen.

Key returners:

G Sam Galanopoulos, 5’8: 9.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals

F Sitori Tanin, 6’2: 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals. All-Academic Team.

G Kira Chivers, 5’3: 4.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals

F Sophia Nolan, 6’1: 6.2 points and 3.0 rebounds

Key losses:

G Maya Chandler, 5’7: 10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals

G Anna Brown 5’10: 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists


F Aaliyah Moore, 6’: Averaged 6.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 60 games (three seasons) at Saint Francis (PA). Named Second Team All-Northeast Conference last season.

G Alyssa Fisher, 5’7: Averaged 10.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 99 games (four seasons) at St. Francis Brooklyn. Named Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the NEC’s most improved player last season.

G Audrey Deptula, 6’: Averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a junior at Middleton High School.

G Thoranna Hodge-Carr, 5’8: Averaged 5.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 74 games (three seasons) at Iona. Two-time MAAC All-Academic Team honoree.

G/F Ali Berg, 6’1: Averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in 87 games at IUPUI (four seasons).

G Maddie Petroelje, 6’1: Averaged 13.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals as a junior at Hudsonville High School. Helped lead the team to a state title as a sophomore.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 12 vs. Cleveland State

Nov. 26 at DePaul

Nov. 29 at Northwestern

Dec. 21 at Iowa

Head coach: Allison Guth, 2nd season

Coach’s perspective:

There’s just a gamut of things that I’m thinking when we talk about growing. Identity-wise, we want to defend, rebound, and run and be able to score it. … And for us, second year here and some of the foundational pieces that we put in last year, I really wanted to play at a different pace, and I see us doing that, but I still think we have a ton of growth across the board, in terms of the way we share it and the way I think the game should be played.

I really think beautiful basketball is about sharing the basketball. So I think improving our assists, creating second chance opportunities on the offensive glass, those are all kind of focuses when we talk about running and scoring it.

We would love the season to be about the review and not the preview because I know you know where we’re picked in this league right now. And so I think for us, we understand that the target is on some other people’s backs when they go out and play. That can be a positive, not playing with that type of pressure, but we’d like to actually put some pressure on ourselves for having a standard we’re gonna hold ourselves to and really wanting to win, that’s what we want to do.

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2022-23 record: 27-7 (14-2 A-10, 1st)

Preseason ranking: 11th

Percentage of minutes returning: 6.5% (15th)

Percentage of points returning: 3.5% (15th)

After back-to-back A-10 championship game appearances and a 2022 NCAA Tournament appearance, the Minutewomen will look very different this season. Former head coach Tory Verdi left for Pittsburgh and the team’s top six scorers either transferred or finished their eligibility. UMass welcomes 10 new faces, including six transfers and four freshmen. The team got an early start to their season with 10 practices and a handful of games in Croatia over the summer. Head coach Mike Leflar believes that this opportunity allowed the team to learn what practice is going to look like and gave him the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of players individually.

Key losses:

G Sydney Taylor, 5’9: 16.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.9 steals. All-Conference First Team. All-Academic Team.

F Sam Breen, 6’1: 17.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals. 2021-22 and 2022-23 A-10 Player of the Year. All-Conference First Team.

G Ber’Nyah Mayo, 5’6: 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals. All-Conference Second Team.

G Destiney Philoxy, 5’7: 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals. All-Defensive Team.

F Angelique Ngalakulondi, 6’2: 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.9 blocks

F Makennah White, 6’2: 9.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals


F Bre Bellamy, 6’: Averaged 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 100 games (four seasons) at William & Mary.

F Avery Childers, 5’10: Averaged 17.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game as a senior at Robert C. Byrd High School.

G Tori Hyduke, 5’6: Averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in 67 games (three seasons) at Drexel. Previously played at George Washington.

F Mikenzie Jones, 6’1: Averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per game at Denver last season.

G Jermany Mapp, 6’: Averaged 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 67 games (three seasons) at Hampton.

C Chinenye Odenigbo, 6’5: Four-year letterwinner at Noble and Greenough School. Averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game as a junior.

G Allie Palmieri, 5’10: Scored five points and recorded six rebounds in seven games last season at Seton Hall. Played in 9 games at Boston College between 2020-22.

G Dallas Pierce, 5’9: Three-year letter winner at Sanford School. Led the team to the 2023 DIAA Girls Basketball Championship.

G Alexsia Rose, 5’7: Averaged 3.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 81 games (three seasons) at East Carolina.

C/F Lilly Taulelei, 6’3: Averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds with the Tokomanawa Queens last season. Averaged 5.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists at the 2022 FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 16 vs. Harvard

Nov. 23 vs. Green Bay (Cancun Challenge)

Nov. 24 vs. Washington State (Cancun Challenge)

Nov. 25 vs. Maryland (Cancun Challenge)

Dec. 1 at Yale

Dec. 6 at Boston College

Head coach: Mike Leflar, 1st season

Coach’s perspective:

For me, it’s just coming in, and communicating and establishing what’s important for me, and for our coaching staff, what our program, what I want it to look like, and represent on an everyday basis on the court, off the court. So I think establishing that is really, really important. And us doing those things every day, on the court and off the court. And as our team has already heard me say, I want us to be really competitive, really vocal and really together every day at practice and I’m hopeful that carries into games as well.

We had the opportunity to practice and play a couple games in Croatia in August, and I was really happy [with] the way everyone responded. I thought our freshmen did a great job learning, adjusting. And then I think Tori Hyduke and Bre Bellamy, both our grad transfers have done a nice job from like a leadership perspective, a consistency perspective. And then, just that game experience for them on the court goes a long way for our team.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's Mayé Touré puts up a shot within the restricted arc against George Mason on Jan. 25.
Rhode Island’s Mayé Touré puts up a shot against George Mason on Jan. 25. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 26-7 (14-2 A-10, 2nd)

Preseason ranking: 1st

Percentage of minutes returning: 49.6% (12th)

Percentage of points returning: 47.2% (11th)

After recording a program record in wins for the second season in a row, the Rams won a game in the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2016 and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2003. The team also won its first two WNIT games in program history, advancing to the WNIT’s Super 16 before falling to Harvard.

Though the Rams are in the bottom third in the conference in the percentage of points and minutes returning, the team welcomes five newcomers, including two transfers. Head coach Tammi Reiss hopes that the team is able to develop chemistry early and continue to allow the fewest points in the conference as they did last season.

Key returners:

G Sophie Phillips, 6’: 9.0 points and 0.9 rebounds. Led the A-10 in 3-point field goal percentage.

C Tenin Magassa, 6’5: 5.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game (14 games)

F Mayé Touré, 6’2: 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. A-10 Most Improved Player. All-Conference First Team.

Key losses:

G Dolly Cairns, 5’7: 7.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists

F Emma Squires, 6’2: 6.3 points and 2.4 rebounds

G Madison Hattix-Covington, 5’10: 10.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals. All-Conference Third Team.

G Sayawni Lassiter, 5’10: 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals


G Katie Ledden, 6’: Recorded 1,334 points and 677 rebounds at Rutgers Preparatory School. McDonald’s All-American Nominee.

G Teisha Hyman, 5’8: Averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals in 83 games (three seasons) at Syracuse. Named to the All-ACC Academic Team last season.

G Sophia Vital, 5’5: Named NEPSAC MVP as a junior. Part of the Tabor Academy team that won a NEPSAC Class AA Championship in 2022.

G Eva DeChent, 5’11: Averaged 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 6.1 steals per game at Putnam Valley High School as a junior. Earned New York State Class B Player of the Year twice. Putnam Valley’s all-time leading scorer (2,267 career points).

G Dee Dee Davis, 5’8: Averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 106 games (four seasons) at Manhattan. 2022-23 All-MAAC First Team.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 19 at N.C. State

Dec. 3 vs. Princeton

Dec. 6 at Providence

Dec. 10 at St. John’s

Dec. 28 vs. Harvard

Head coach: Tammi Reiss, 5th season (2022-23 A-10 Coach of the Year)

Coach’s perspective:

We are extremely deep like we were last year, however, we have a lot of talent this year. And so every day in practice right now it’s a different player stepping up, and I mean every day, there’s like two or three that just take over and then the next day it’s two or three different ones. And obviously, we are very strong in the post. We return everyone in the post. So from an experience standpoint and proven standpoint when you look at Mayé [Touré] and T, Big Tenin [Magassa] they are just, they anchor us. We know we can go inside and score anytime we want. And then our 4s have vastly improved. And so our posts kind of are — I know what we’re getting.

Right now, we have so many new guard faces, that it’s a new one every day, defensively and offensively. And we’re very talented, but again, they’re trying to learn our system. We have a lot of new faces, and I expect a lot from our guard play. So it could be anyone on any given night. Now from a talent standpoint, obviously Teisha Hyman’s very, very talented. I think people will be shocked at Sophia Vital, the freshman coming in. Just how savvy this kid is and how good she is.

And then Ines Debroise, the other point guard right now I think, from the standpoint of stability she knows our system, she’s really vastly improved as well. So, on any given night it could be a different player, and I love that. Again, it makes our practices super competitive. They’re all killing each other right now for playing time and a starting spot similar to last year. So, I’m hoping to play 10 deep, 12 deep, and it could be anyone but right now I say the givens that we know, Mayé and T inside.

On what excites her about her nonconference schedule: The mere fact that we get N.C. State at N.C. State, we get Princeton, we get Harvard, we get St John’s at St. John’s. We’ve increased our nonconference schedule to try to give us the ability to get an at-large bid. Now, we have to take care of business and we have to win some of these games.

But we have to start putting ourselves in a place — from a school standpoint, I want an at-large bid. I don’t want to have to worry about winning the A-10 tournament just to get to the NCAAs. And so when we sat down to kind of coordinate our schedule, that was our focus, was let’s get a nonconference that if we get some games and we can nab some of these, we have a chance to have an at-large bid.


2022-23 record: 21-11 (8-6 A-10, 5th)

Preseason ranking: 4th

Percentage of minutes returning: 80.8% (3rd)

Percentage of points returning: 85.4% (3rd)

The Spiders are looking to build on the success they had last season, reaching the postseason for the first time since the 2014-15 season and first time under head coach Aaron Roussell. The team is third in the A-10 in the percentage of points and minutes returning, including Addie Budnik who earned All-Conference Second Team honors and Maggie Doogan who earned All-Conference Third Team and All-Rookie Team honors last season.

Roussell hopes his team improves how they finish possessions on both ends of the court, with rebounding as a particular focus. The Spiders were ninth in the A-10 last season in rebounds per game and last in offensive rebounds per game.

Key returners:

G Grace Townsend, 5’5: 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals

F Addie Budnik, 6’2: 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.9 blocks. All-Conference Second Team. All-Academic Team.

G Katie Hill, 6’0: 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals

G Siobhan Ryan, 6’0: 8.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists

F Maggie Doogan, 6’2: 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.1 blocks. All-Conference Third Team. All-Rookie Team.

Key losses:

F Emilija Krista Grava, 6’2: 5.7 points and 2.0 rebounds


G Laren VanArsdale, 5’3: Averaged 13.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game in 81 games (four seasons) at Hampton.

F Anna Camden, 6’3: Averaged 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 111 games (four seasons) at Penn State. Tore her ACL on the first day of workouts in June 2023.

F Melissa Mwanza, 6’2: Averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds per game as a junior at Life Christian Academy.

G Ally Sweeney, 5’6: Four-year starter at Sparta High School. Led her team to a state championship in 2022. McDonald’s All-American nominee.

F Courtney Swider, 6’4: Part of the Tabor Academy team that won a NEPSAC Class AA Championship in 2022. Also played volleyball at Tabor Academy. Brother Cole plays for the Miami Heat, sister Kylie plays for Villanova. Mother played at the University of New Hampshire and father played at Fordham.

F Faye Parker, 6’3: Averaged 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 33 games (three seasons) at Penn. Played for Great Britain at the 2019 FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship Division B.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 6 at Duke

Nov. 24 vs. Drake (Drake Thanksgiving Invitational)

Nov. 30 at Villanova

Dec. 20 vs. Michigan State (Cherokee Invitational)

Head coach: Aaron Roussell, 5th season

Coach’s perspective:

I don’t know how much we want it to be different than last season, I think last year was a tremendous growth season for us. And really, I think the last four years have been. I think each year, we’ve progressively gotten better. I think the program has grown each year. And so I hate to say culmination, because I feel like there’s a lot of really, really good teams this year, outside of just us. But I do feel like we kind of have a good amount of talent, and I think we have good experience. So I think we can hopefully be a build. And getting back to the postseason last year was huge for us. And I think hopefully we can get back there again this year.

On what excites him about this season: I think just being a little bit of an older team. I think practice is a little bit different right now when you’re fine-tuning some things, rather than teaching a lot of things from scratch. I think that’s just a different comfort level as a coach. In addition, I think with that experience comes a lot of talent. But I think with that experience comes a lot of basketball IQ for our players. I think it’s a tremendously smart team that understands basketball, understands how to cut and so it’s not reinventing the wheel, or something, it’s not starting things from scratch. These guys are a really, really smart basketball group. And I think that’s been fun to coach for me.

St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure's Maddie Dziezgowski shoots a 3-pointer while Mason's Nalani Kaysia defends the shot
St. Bonaventure’s Maddie Dziezgowski shoots a 3-pointer while Mason’s Nalani Kaysia defends the shot on Feb. 9, 2023. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

2022-23 record: 6-26 (3-13 A-10, 14th)

Preseason ranking: 14th

Percentage of minutes returning: 52.3% (11th)

Percentage of points returning: 47.0% (12th)

As Jim Crowley enters the first year of his second stint with the Bonnies, he’s looking for growth in the direction of how they want to play; consistency; if his team is bought into what they want to do; and if they are establishing the culture that will last into the future. “We’ve worked hard to instill it. But now we’ve got to see it through the grind of a season through the ups and downs of the season and all the different things that come with it,” he told The Next.

Though St. Bonaventure is in the bottom third of the conference in percentage of minutes and points returning, there is only one player on the roster who has not played in a US collegiate game. “We’ve got a lot of veteran players and a lot of them in different roles,” Crowley said of who he expects to step up this season. “So I think we’ve got to do it by committee, but we really have liked the way that everybody is bought in and everybody’s improving.”

Key returners:

G Tianna Johnson, 5’10: 6.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals (10 games)

G/F Maddie Dziezgowski, 5’10: 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds

G Nadechka Laccen, 5’6: 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals

Key losses:

G Breauna Ware, 5’8: 6.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists

F I’yanna Lops, 6’3: 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocks

G Nikki Oppenheimer, 5’9: 7.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists


G Isabellah Middleton, 5’9: Averaged 14.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 40 games (two seasons) at Slippery Rock (DII).

G Tamar voor de Poort, 6’: Spent six seasons (three on the junior team and three on the senior team) with Averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game last season.

G Dani Haskell, 5’6: Averaged 12.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 64 games (three seasons) at Canisius. All-MAAC Third Team selection and MAAC All-Academic Team selection last season.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 16 vs. UAlbany

Dec. 2 at West Virginia

Dec. 16 vs. Youngstown State

Dec. 21 at Colgate

Head coach: Jim Crowley, 1st season (second stint, previously served as head coach from 2000-2016)

Coach’s perspective:

On how he hopes this season will be different for the returners: Well, obviously more success, and there’s a lot of ways that that can look. It can look [like] that they recognize that they got better, that they have a better experience, that they have learned more, that they have grown more as people and as players. So, I just — when I came in in the spring people were a little beat up. My hope is [that] the returning players, all our players, this spring while they may be a little physically beat up, mentally they’re still really excited about the game, the program and each other.

On what excites him about his nonconference schedule: I’ve been here before, I always get really excited about the local rivalries. And certainly, we have what’s called the Big Four out here in Western New York with Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara. Those games are always really exciting and we know if we’re going to continue to get better we’ve got to really get better regionally first. And then we have other great upstate New York battles with Binghamton and Colgate and Cornell. So, a lot of those games are really important to us as we move forward and want to try to improve ourselves, we want to do that regionally. And then getting to play a Big 12 team like West Virginia as well as a consistently good program like Youngstown State, those are all really good opportunities for us.

Saint Joseph’s

2022-23 record: 20-11 (9-7 A-10, 6th)

Preseason ranking: 2nd

Percentage of minutes returning: 65.3% (9th)

Percentage of points returning: 75.7% (7th)

After starting the season 9-0 last season, the Hawks finished the season 11-11. While head coach Cindy Griffin doesn’t want the 9-0 start to be any different, she would like to go further than the A-10 quarterfinals. Saint Joseph’s returns three double-digit scorers in Talya Brugler, Mackenzie Smith and Laura Ziegler. The team welcomes five newcomers, including Chloe Welch who spent five seasons at Davidson.

Key returners:

F Talya Brugler, 6’1: 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals. All-Conference First Team.

G Mackenzie Smith, 5’10: 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.9 steals. All-Conference Third Team.

F Laura Ziegler, 6’2: 11.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks. A-10 Rookie of the Year. All-Conference Third Team. All-Rookie Team.

Key losses:

G Katie Jekot, 5’9: 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists

G Olivia Mullins, 5’8: 8.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists


G Aleah Snead, 5’11: Averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.1 steals as a senior at Penn Charter High School. Inter-Academic League leading scorer as a junior and senior.

G Gabby Casey, 5’9: All-time leading scorer at Lansdale Catholic. 2023 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Player of the Year. As a senior, averaged 21.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 4.1 steals per game.

G Chloe Welch, 5’9: Averaged 8.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in 115 games at Davidson (five seasons — played in seven games last season before suffering an injury).

G Bridget Monaghan, 5’5: Averaged 14.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 91 games (four seasons) at the University of Scranton (DIII). Three-time All-American.

C Lizzy Gruber, 6’4: Holds the scoring and rebounding records at Gardiner Area High School. Miss Maine Basketball 2023.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 11 at Yale

Nov. 14 at Penn

Nov. 22 at Temple

Dec. 7 vs. Utah

Dec. 9 vs. Villanova

Head coach: Cindy Griffin, 23rd season

Coach’s perspective:

We’re still young in a lot of ways. But I think we want to grow just with more and more experience. I think that’s where we want to grow first, which we will. And then the other part is just from a technical offensive standpoint, we obviously lost our backcourt so we’ve got to grow in the maturity of handling the ball and putting us in great situations and decision making. So, I think that’s where we need to grow in terms of technique and strategy.

We want to shoot the three more often and with more accuracy. And that’s going to increase our offensive production. And we would like to see that, I think our defense has been steady and reliable. That’s got to continue. And then from the goals we want to have a winning record going into the Atlantic 10. Competing, we have a lot of road games which is going to be very challenging for us, but I think we’re ready for that. And then from the Atlantic 10 standpoint, we want to be champions. We want to be Atlantic 10 champions, and we want to play in [the] postseason. And we have the team that I believe can represent the Atlantic 10 in postseason play.

Saint Louis head coach Rebecca Tillett talks to her team in the huddle
Saint Louis head coach Rebecca Tillett talks to her team in the huddle on March 3, 2023, against Saint Joseph’s. Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next

Saint Louis

2022-23 record: 17-18 (10-6 A-10, 3rd)

Preseason ranking: 3rd

Percentage of minutes returning: 79.9% (4th)

Percentage of points returning: 79.4% (5th)

Last season, the Billikens entered conference play 4-11 and lost five of their first seven A-10 games, before winning 11 of their last 12 games and cutting down the nets in Wilmington. Though Brooke Flowers is now on the coaching staff after using her fifth year of eligibility last season, Saint Louis returns the other seven of its top eight scorers from a year ago. The team does not welcome any freshmen this season but does welcome three community college transfers. Tillett noted that this season her team hopes to “be a force early” and defend better earlier in the season.

Key returners:

G Julia Martinez, 5’10: 9.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals. All-Defensive Team.

F Peyton Kennedy, 5’11: 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists

G Kyla McMakin, 5’11: 17.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 steals. All-Conference Second Team.

PG Kennedy Calhoun, 5’5: 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals

G Camreé Clegg, 5’5: 5.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists

G/F Mia Nicastro, 6’2: 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds

Key losses:

F/C Brooke Flowers, 6’5: 12.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. Co-A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Division I leader in blocks last season. All-Defensive Team. All-Conference Second Team.


F Tierra Simon, 6’1: Averaged 5.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 27 games at Pearl River Community College last season. Played in 27 games at Prairie View A&M University during the 2021-22 season.

C Marcavia Shavers, 6’2: Averaged 7.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in 63 games (three seasons) at Pearl River Community College.

G Brooklyn Gray, 5’11: Averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals in 33 games at Wabash Valley College (NJCAA).

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 9 vs. Drake

Nov. 12 vs. Missouri

Nov. 20 vs. Wake Forest (North Shore Showcase)

Dec. 16 at Green Bay

Dec. 19 at Illinois State

Head coach: Rebecca Tillett, 2nd season

Coach’s perspective:

I think for us, we always say it’s like two simultaneous goals that we’re trying to achieve at the same time. So one is we’re always going to stay rooted in the fact that we want to empower young women to be strong, and, to be a leader in their field, whatever they choose that to be … And then at the same time, how do we tackle aggressive basketball goals. So, of course, we won a championship last year, and our team wants to do that, again, I think just as every other team in the A-10, wants to do that, too. And I think we have a huge respect for the process.

It’s something we’ve talked about a lot right now, especially when you’ve won one, sometimes the tendency is [that] you want to wish to be there sooner than it can ever take place, you have to go through all of the steps to get there again, and I think that’s something our team has had good conversations about from our leadership council and our staff and how we need to approach this season.

On the team’s nonconference schedule: [I’m] really excited about our opener against Drake’s high-scoring offense they have and we also like to score the ball. I’m hoping that we play some good defense that day or it might just be a great event for the fans to see a lot of athletes going for both teams. Having Missouri and Missouri State at home, I think could be really great rivalry games. And hoping that the St. Louis community really supports us in those games.

Super excited about the Hawaii tournament, which includes Wake Forest, and BYU, I think both from a competition standpoint, in those good opponents, and then also an investment of our department, to give our women that type of opportunity that, in its own ways will simulate the A-10 tournament and NCAA experiences.


2022-23 record: 7-22 (4-12 A-10, 13th)

Preseason ranking: 10th

Percentage of minutes returning: 69.7% (8th)

Percentage of points returning: 67.4% (9th)

Last season, the Rams struggled with injuries and recorded the team’s worst record since the 2017-18 season. Though the team was sixth in points allowed in the conference last season, VCU struggled on offense. The Rams averaged 56.9 points per game and shot just 27.0% from behind the arc, both third worst in the A-10.

Head coach Beth O’Boyle knows that last season taught her team valuable lessons that can be applied in the season ahead. “We have some really exciting newcomers that are part of the team and our returners, I think are healthy and have gotten a lot of great experience last year, although not getting, the results that we’re used to,” she told The Next. “But I think going through such a difficult season can kind of have two ways, it can make you want to break and jump ship or it can make you even more committed to getting better and I think — or I know that our team has definitely taken the choice of, hey, we’re gonna get after it and take some of those tough lessons that we took from last year and get better from them.”

Key returners:

G Sarah Te-Biasu, 5’5: 16.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals (20 games). All-Conference Third Team.

G Timaya Lewis-Eutsey, 5’8: 7.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals

G Mary-Anna Asare, 5’7: 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists

F Mykel Parham, 6’1: 3.2 points and 5.1 rebounds

Key losses:

G Janika Griffith-Wallace, 5’8: 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals

F/C Chloe Bloom, 6’2: 6.1 points and 3.4 rebounds (18 games)


G Mahaila Harrison, 6’: Attended DME Academy. McDonald’s All-American nominee.

F Valentina Ojeda, 6’: Averaged 14.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.6 blocks in 62 games (two seasons) at Independence Community College.

G Zoli Khalil, 6’: Attended Spotswood High School. McDonald’s All-American nominee.

G Natalia Tondi, 5’10: Averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 56 games (two seasons) at Florida Southwestern State College (NJCAA).

Lucía Sotelo Miguez*: From Ourense, Spain.

Nonconference highlights:

Nov. 14 vs. East Carolina

Nov. 19 at James Madison

Nov. 23 vs. St. John’s (San Juan Shootout)

Nov. 24 vs. Sacred Heart (San Juan Shootout)

Head coach: Beth O’Boyle, 10th season

Coach’s perspective:

On the team’s foreign tour trip to Croatia, Slovenia and Italy: It was an incredible experience for our program. We’re very fortunate that we have the resources to be able to do that. And I think when you’re trying to build genuine relationships and really strengthen your connection among your players and your coaches a trip to the other side of the world is just a fantastic opportunity.

And we had just some really fun moments together, whether we were in the bottom of the cave in Croatia or just making pizza and having good times in Italy, I think it was just the opportunity to spend so much time together in such a different place. And then the games were great too. We got to practice and compete against some high-level teams. And obviously, when you get to do that in August, I think it just gives you another head start to the season.

On how the team can build on what they accomplished on the trip: I think a piece of it is just when you get to know your teammates off the court. I think it has the ability to build a really great foundation on the court. And so just like we talk about hey learning who likes to go right and who wants to shoot threes and who wants to play off the bounce, that same piece is what you can get when you really get to know your teammates as individuals and as people. And that’s one of the biggest things that I think the summer does is, it’s twofold. You get to really learn about how your teammates like to play on the court and really who they are as people off.

* At the time of publication, Sotelo has no listed height or position.

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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