The 2023-24 season is nearing the start for the Atlantic 10 women’s basketball. With that said, it is time for the return of the A10Talk’s Women’s Basketball Power Rankings! This season, Daniel Frank is teaming up with fellow contributor, Kaily Godek, to provide all of you with the power rankings for women’s basketball. This year, our voting committee consists of a record 10 members! Here are the results of this year’s preseason voting:
1. Rhode Island (7)
Upcoming Games: 11/7 vs. Sacred Heart, 11/10 vs. UMass Lowell
Season Outlook: The Regular Season Co-Champions are back and stronger than ever. Maye Toure is still with the team and Coach Tammi Reiss also used the transfer portal to restack her roster. Emma Squires, Madison Haddix-Covington, and Sayawni Lassiter all exhausted their final year of eligibility last season. The Rams announced over the summer of bringing Squires back to return as a student assistant coach. Fully expect to see these Rhody Rams right in the mix for an at-large bid come March, especially if they can cash in on their big game opportunities this season, with games against NC State, Princeton, Providence, St. John’s, and Harvard.
2. Saint Louis (2)
Upcoming Games: 11/9 vs. Drake, 11/12 vs. Missouri
Season Outlook: The reigning Atlantic 10 Tournament champions, fresh off their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, are back and return a strong core including Kyla McMakin, Julia Martinez, Peyton Kennedy, and plenty more. Head Coach Rebecca Tillet certainly has built a non-conference schedule that could put them in the conversation for an at-large bid, with games against Missouri, Wake Forest, BYU, Wichita State, and Drake.
3. Saint Joseph’s
Upcoming Games: 11/7 vs. Rider, 11/11 at Yale
Season Outlook: The Hawks are flying high entering the 2024 season with a core of four talented Juniors in Talya Brugler, Julia Nyström, Kaylie Griffin, and Mackenzie Smith who are now all upperclassmen. The Hawks also added former Davidson star Chloe Welch to bolster their guard rotation. While Saint Joseph’s was the surprise of the season a year ago, highlighted by a red-hot start to the regular season, this year the Hawks will go from the hunters to the hunted. The road ahead is tough, especially with games against Villanova and Utah on the horizon, but this group has the potential to be a very special team this year.
4. George Washington (1)
Upcoming Games: 11/6 vs. Howard, 11/10 at Manhattan
Season Outlook: Head Coach Caroline McCombs returns a very experienced squad this season, and the Revolutionaries think a top-four finish in A-10 play is well within reach. Preseason Third Team and All-Defensive Team Mayowa Taiwo is back for one last dance, along with Second Team Nya Robertson back for her second year in Foggy Bottom. In addition, grad transfer Maren Durant was All-Patriot League Defensive Team three times in her tenure at Boston University and looks poised to form a dynamic defensive duo with Mayowa Taiwo. Defense has always been the focus for the Revolutionaries under McCombs, but the real key to GW being able to reach their ceiling this year will be offensive production. Grad transfer Madison Buford should offer a boost in that department, as she averaged 9.2 points a game at Delaware a year ago. This is a team that has the composition to make a deep run in the A-10 Tournament in Richmond come March, they’ll just need to get all the pieces to fit together!
Upcoming Games: 11/6 at Duke, 11/12 vs. Delaware State
Season Outlook: The Spiders’ talented group of a healthy mix of upper and lowerclassmen are all a year older, and poised to take a big step forward this year. Seniors Grace Townsend and Addie Budnik lead the way, while young faces like Maggie Doogan represent the future of the Spiders. Richmond was dealt a tough blow in the offseason losing grad transfer Anna Camden from Penn State for the season when she tore her ACL on the first day of summer workouts, but her veteran leadership can still help guide this Richmond core back into the postseason.
Upcoming Games: 11/6 at Princeton, 11/11 at Howard
Season Outlook: Duquesne looks poised to be as strong this year as they have been since Dan Burt’s early days in Pittsburgh. The core three of Megan McConnell, Tess Myers, and Precious Johnson are now all seasoned upperclassmen, and ready to steer the ship. Indiana transfer Kiandra Browne will likely be a key contributor as well, and her postseason experience could help steer Duquesne back to the postseason for the first time since 2018.
7. George Mason
Upcoming Games: 11/6 vs. Bowie State, 11/9 vs. Marshall, 11/12 at William & Mary
Season Outlook: Expectations are starting to emerge for the Patriots, who have, in just a few short years, gone from a team that went winless in conference play to being expected to finish in the top half of the conference. They’ll receive a veteran boost with the return of graduate student Jazmyn Doster and seniors Taylor Jameson and Sonia Smith. Both Nalani Kaysia and Neku Mitchell looked poised to make a big jump in production this year, and a handful of transfers and freshmen all look like they’ll be able to contribute to the lineup immediately. George Mason has built a strong amount of momentum over the last few years, this could well be the season that the Patriots take that big jump forward.
Upcoming Games: 11/7 vs. SC Upstate, 11/11 vs. Wake Forest, 11/12 at #16 North Carolina
Season Outlook: Davidson has another quiet offseason, as roster cohesion has become an impressive measure of consistency for the ‘Cats in recent years. The top half of the Atlantic 10 as a whole looks poised to be quite strong this year, so it is in no way a knock to Davidson that they find themselves in the eight-spot this week. It is a logjam at the top, and all eight teams can put the pieces together and win the A-10 Tournament if the cards fall their way. Davidson’s non-conference schedule boasts arguably the toughest single-week stretch of any team in the league this year, as they will hoster Wake Forest, travel to North Carolina the very next night, and cap off the week at Cameron Indoor to face Duke. That stretch will tell us a lot about the mettle of this ‘Cats team – and could well see them shoot up these rankings with even just one win there.
Upcoming Games: 11/8 at #2 UConn, 11/12 vs. Lindenwood
Season Outlook: Tamika Williams-Jeter certainly picked the hardest possible opening game to their season, as Dayton will travel to Storrs to face #2 UConn in Paige Bueckers’s return game. But the homecoming for her will be sure to receive a warm welcome- not to mention she’s hoping that experience will pay dividends down the line, especially with opponents like Purdue, Wichita State, and Vanderbilt on tap later on. Graduate student Mariah Perez was named All-Conference Third Team preseason and will be a key piece of the puzzle for the Flyers this year.
Upcoming Games: 11/7 vs. Hofstra, 11/10 at William & Mary
Season Outlook: Sarah Te-Biasu returns for her senior season as a Ram, and it’s pretty safe to say that as she goes, so will VCU. She had arguably the best offseason of any A-10 player, as she represented Team Canada in the 2023 GLOBL JAM. Te-Biasu had 10 points and 4 rebounds in Canada’s victory over Louisville (Team USA’s representative) on July 13th and was a large part of Canada earning a Silver Medal in the event. As for VCU, there are several new faces in the mix, and Beth O’Boyle’s 10th season at the helm for the Rams, and how well and how quickly all those pieces fit together may well be the story of the season for VCU.
Upcoming Games: 11/6 vs. Adelphi, 11/10 vs. UAlbany, 11/12 at Miami (FL)
Season Outlook: The Rams have a new look this season. Anna DeWolfe transferred to Notre Dame in the offseason for her final year of eligibility, and Fordham hired a new head coach as well in the offseason. This will likely be a year of rebuilding and growth for a younger roster.
Upcoming Games: 11/6 vs. Saint Peter’s, 11/9 at Northeastern, 11/12 at Maine
Season Outlook: The Minutewomen have a lot of new faces this year on both the roster and coaching staff. Mike Leflar was named as the new head coach after Tory Verdi was hired as the head coach at Pitt. Leflar retained Lilly Ferguson, Stefanie Kulesza, and Kristin Williams from last year’s roster, and brought in ten new players to join them (six transfers and four freshmen). Kulesza, Williams, and Ferguson combined for 18.9 minutes averaged on the team last season. Leflar brought in six transfers – Bre Bellamy, Tori Hyduke, Alexsia Rose, Allie Palmieri, Jermany Mapp, and Mikenzie Jones – and four freshmen – Lilly Taulelei, Dallas Pierce, Avery Childers, and Chinenye Odenigbo. This team is a true wild card of what to expect from them this season. Expect Hyduke, Bellamy, and Taulelei to have immediate impacts on this team. Kulesza also made the shift over to playing as a forward in the offseason and expects an immediate impact on her new role.
13. La Salle
Upcoming Games: 11/6 at Coppin State, 11/9 vs. Maine, 11/11 vs. American
Season Outlook: The Jacobs sisters have all officially left the Explorers in the offseason by transferring out to different colleges/universities. La Salle retained six players from last season’s roster and is bringing in four transfers (from Division II or NJCAA) and five freshmen. This season could be interesting to see how well the returning players, the freshmen, and the transfers mesh and play together.
14. Loyola Chicago
Upcoming Games: 11/6 vs. UIC, 11/9 at Chicago State, 11/12 vs. Cleveland State
Season Outlook: The Ramblers enter year two of being in the Atlantic 10 Conference looking to improve on their disappointing 6-24 campaign a season ago, which saw Loyola Chicago drop their final 16 contests of the season. One thing is for sure: come conference play, this Ramblers team will be far more battle-tested than they were at this time a year ago, as they have matchups against #3 Iowa, Northwestern, and DePaul on tap.
15. St. Bonaventure
Upcoming Games: 11/8 at Niagara, 11/11 vs. Robert Morris
Season Outlook: The last few years have been tough sledding for the Bonnies under Jesse Flemming. Change has arrived in Olean in the form of an old friend: Jim Crowley. Crowley returns to the Bonnies after an eight-year tenure as the head man at Providence. He will look to recapture the magic of 2012, when he was named ESPN.com’s National Coach of the Year, leading St. Bonaventure to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, capping off the greatest season in school history at 31-4. Year one back will likely be tough for the Bonnies, especially with a small roster of only 10, but if all goes according to plan, St. Bonaventure will be on the upswing again soon.
Kaily “KG” Godek is a current student at Western New England University (WNE). She has been a supporter of UMass Athletics for over 15 years. Kaily focuses on both UMass Basketball teams and occasionally on the other Women’s Basketball teams in the conference. While writing for A10 Talk, she works in the athletic department at WNE. When she graduates from WNE she wants to go into Sports Broadcasting and Journalism. You can follow Kaily on X, formerly known as Twitter, @kgumass23.
Daniel Frank is an alum of George Mason University. The 2024 season marks their 9th season at A10Talk, where they are proud to be the content lead for Women’s Basketball coverage, as well as a senior contributor for Men’s Basketball content. In addition, this season will be Daniel’s 25th year following GW basketball, and their 7th following George Mason. You can follow Daniel on X, formerly known as Twitter, @n1a2v3y4.