Tier 1: Giants of the Game
1. Reigning Big East champion UConn is the current favorite, but recent roster changes could complicate their dominance. Three of five starters graduated, and junior point guard Paige Bueckers (14.4 ppg) is out for the season with a torn ACL. Yet, the team is no stranger to challenges after a previous injury-plagued season. Sophomore shooting guard Azzi Fudd (12.1 ppg) will be a key offensive player alongside junior point guard Nika Mühl, the 2022 BIG EAST DPOY. With promising recruits and solid returning players, UConn looks likely to maintain its position on top.
2. Led by Big East Coach of the Year Denise Dillon, Villanova is a powerful force coming into the season. The highest-scoring player within the conference and the second-highest nationally, senior forward Maddy Siegrist (25.3 ppg), 2022 BIG EAST Player of the Year, is crucial to the Wildcats’ offense. Villanova could secure the title by maintaining its defense and utilizing Siegrist’s strengths.
3. The Bluejays will look to continue their momentum with returning key players. With their defense leading to a third-place finish last year, Creighton needs to boost their offense. Junior forward Emma Ronsiek (11.6 ppg) will be a notable offensive presence, while senior guard Carly Bachelor (5.9 rpg) will be a defensive force. If the Bluejays continue to play off each other, their versatility could give them the edge.
Tier 2: Road to Redemption
4. Following an unexpected sixth-place finish last season, Seton Hall is looking to improve their standing despite losing three integral players. Senior guard Lauren Park-Lane (18.3 ppg) and starting graduate forward Sidney Cooks (15.9 ppg), unanimously selected to the 2022-23 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, are players to watch, ranking third and sixth within BIG EAST scoring. With such a strong offense and the team’s solid defense provided by Cooks and newcomer graduate forward Alexia Allesch, Seton Hall could finish in the top three.
5. Working with an offense ranked in the nation’s top ten and second in the BIG EAST, head coach Doug Bruno is focused on creating an even more technical team. After losing three of their highest-ranked offensive players, the Blue Demons will rely heavily on Aneesah Morrow, last year’s ESPN Top Freshman in the Country and BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. The star sophomore forward must dominate the court if DePaul hopes to remain a viable contender.
6. Marquette will return with a vastly different roster after substantial losses. Without starters graduate forward Lauren van Kleunen and graduate guard Karissa McLaughlin, the Golden Eagles will rely heavily on senior forward Chloe Marotta (7.3 rpg, 3.1 ast) and senior guard Jordan King (11.5 ppg, 4.4 ast). Highly ranked within the conference in scoring and assists, Marotta and King will be crucial to the team’s offensive success. Head Coach Megan Duffy hopes the additions of Mackenzie Hare and Emily La Chapell, both top-ranked high school players, will increase Marquette’s chances in the coming season.
Tier 3: Constants on the Court
7. St. John’s will return with most of its starting players but must strengthen its offense to retain its position. Senior transfer guard Mimi Reid is the player to watch: At Ole Miss, Reid carried the team in assists, ranking in the top ten of the SEC. With Reid on the offense and other high-scoring roster additions, St. John’s may build a capable offense, but its relatively weaker defense could hurt its ultimate standings.
8. Providence enters the season in the same position as last year. Senior forward Janai Crooms will be essential in maintaining Providence’s existing standing, finishing last season with a team-high of 13.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. The Friars are also banking on new graduate transfer, forward Logan Cook (13.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg). Providence could maintain its current conference standing or even pass St. John’s if they capitalize on incoming offensive power.
Tier 4: Holding onto Hope
9. Barely avoiding a last-place finish in 2022, Xavier has a long way to go. The Musketeers will focus heavily on five incoming freshmen and transfers to replace three key players. Freshmen guards Kaleigh Addie and June Ruiz Azkue are expected to lead the offense, while senior forward Nila Blackford (9 rpg), a Kent State transfer, is expected to be a defensive fixture. In recruiting offensively and defensively skilled athletes, Xavier hopes to edge out Georgetown and Butler.
10. The Hoyas’ conference performance will remain unchanged after losing only two starters: graduates Milan Bolden-Morris and Jillian Archer. Like last season, junior guard Kelsey Ransom (11.4 ppg) will be a central figure on the court. Georgetown hopes transfer Kristina Moore, a senior guard from the University of Florida, will turn defense into offense to build into the attack. Without much change, the Hoyas are expected to finish similarly to last season.
11. After ending the 2021-22 season with a 0-18 conference record and losing three impressive players, Butler’s potential standing is hard to predict accurately. In 2022, the Bulldogs underwent a massive overhaul with seven new players: three freshmen and five transfers. Freshman guard Jordan Meulemans is expected to transform the team after putting up 25.2 ppg in her senior year. Butler’s inconsistency and constantly changing team lineup mean the team is likely to finish near the bottom. However, promising transfers could prevent the Bulldogs from ranking last.