It’s that time of year. Teams all over the country — all over the West Coast — have begun practice for the 2010-2011 season and leftcoasthoops.com is ranking the top five players at each position, as well as the freshmen, in our little corner of the hoops world.
Did I leave somebody out? Did I get them in the wrong order? Feel free to discuss.
1. Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga. Vandersloot will be the headliner for the Zags this year, who are replacing many of the mainstays who led them to the Sweet 16 last spring.
2. Jeanette Pohlen, Stanford. Pohlen has been the Cardinal’s point guard by necessity through the last three years and the senior has turned into a true floor leader.
3. Ashley Corral, USC. Corral plays without fear and sets the tone for the Women of Troy.
4. Dymond Simon, Arizona State. Simon is back on the floor after a year off recovering from an ACL to lead a Sun Devils team that wants back in the NCAA field.
5. Doreena Campbell, UCLA. Campbell is a senior looking to live up to the potential she’s shown throughout her career.
1. Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State. The WAC’s scoring leader last year (17.4 ppg), she has 287 career 3-pointers.
2. Davelyn Whyte, Arizona. The reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year will try to lead the Wildcats into the top half of the Pac-10 standings.
3. Laysia Clarendon, Cal. The Bears sophomore busted out with a 29-point performance in the WNIT against UC Davis and was third on the team in scoring last year and should be doing even more with the graduation of Alexis Gray-Lawson.
4. Jazmine Perkins, Washington State. The young guard from San Francisco will be asked to do even more now that Kiki Moore has transferred to Fresno State.
5. Jacki Gemelos, USC. No pressure on Gemelos, but the potential is there for her to return to the form that made her one of the top recruits in the nation.
1. Kayla Pedersen, Stanford. Simply one of the best, most underappreciated players in the country.
2. Markel Walker, UCLA. Walker, a sophomore, is versatile and looking to be a more consistent scorer.
3. Briana Gilbreath, USC. Gilbreath was the conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year last season and the team leader in rebounding, blocks and steals.
4. Gennifer Brandon, Cal. Lithe and athletic, Brandon showed signs of being a very nice player as a freshman last year.
5. Katelan Redmon, Gonzaga. Redmon, the Washington transfer, will likely take over the role as the Zags’ go-to scorer.
1. Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford. A national player of the year candidate. How much better can she get?
2. Jasmine Dixon, UCLA. Dixon made UCLA so much better last season, leading the team in scoring and rebounding after arriving on the floor in December. Undersized, but strong.
3, Louella Tomlinson, St. Mary’s. The NCAA blocks leader will close her career with the Gaels looking to make another postseason run.
4. Ify Ibekwe, Arizona. Ibekwe is the Pac-10′s best rebounder. Can she be a more consistent scorer?
5. DeNesha Stallworth, Cal. Stallworth follows up on a strong freshman season and will be one of the Bears’ leaders on the floor, not to mention its go-to post presence.
1. Paris Johnson, San Diego State. Johnson averaged 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds a game last year for the Aztecs. She’s a proven contributor on an NCAA caliber team.
2, Sarah Boothe, Stanford. Yes, Boothe sat out last season, but she is the heir apparent to Jayne Appel in the post for the Cardinal.
3.Kari LaPlante, USC. LaPlante averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds a game last season.
4. Kali Bennett, ASU. The Sun Devils could use a breakout season from Bennett in the post.
5. Regina Rogers, Washington. The UCLA transfer started 29 games last year for the Huskies and finished strong with a 23-point effort against Washington State late in the season.
1. Chiney Ogwumike
2. Cassie Harberts, USC
3. Lindsey Sherbert, Cal
4. Afure Jemerigbe, Cal
5. Sara James, Stanford
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