American

Coach: Melissa McFerrin (first season as head coach).

Last season: 16-14, 9-5 Patriot League.

Data: Former Mystics general manager McFerrin, who was an assistant coach on Minnesota's Final Four team last season, takes over a team that reached the Patriot League title game for the first time in school history last season. Two of the top three scorers from that team have departed, but conference first-team preseason selection Chanel Hunt returns. Hunt led the Eagles last season in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg).

George Mason

Coach: Debbie Taneyhill (103-89 overall and at George Mason).

Last season: 18-11, 11-7 Colonial Athletic Association.

Data: With the departures of Jen Derevjanik, Vernessa Neamo and Laura Kooij, George Mason must find a way to replace 64 percent of its offense. It won't be easy because half of the players on the roster are freshmen. The Patriots' leading returning scorer is Lauren Hediger (6 ppg). Julie Flanders (2.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) is the only returning starter. Freshmen guards Keyhana Wakefield and Casey Quigley (Lake Braddock) are expected to contribute right away.

George Washington

Coach: Joe McKeown (408-145 overall, 340-125 at GW).

Last season: 22-8, 14-2 Atlantic 10.

Data: The Colonials' inexperience will hinder them early, but look for GW to again be one of the top contenders in the Atlantic 10. Until the younger players grow into their roles, senior forward Anna Montanana (12 ppg, 7.6 rpg) will carry the team. Jessica Simmonds, a 6-2 transfer from Providence, faces the tall task of replacing Ugo Oha in the middle.

Georgetown

Coach: Terri Williams-Flournoy (first season as head coach).

Last season: 13-15, 7-9 Big East.

Data: Now that Rebekkah Brunson has left Georgetown for the WNBA, the Hoyas have a gaping hole to fill in its front court. As a result, Georgetown will be a more guard-oriented team. The tandem of Mary Lisicky (12.6 pgg) and Bethany LeSueur (8.3 ppg) will carry the Hoyas, but other scorers need to materialize. Kieraah Marlow, a 5-10 freshman forward, could develop into a force in the low post.

Howard

Coach: Cathy Parson (246-137 overall, 63-54 at Howard).

Last season: 11-17, 11-7 MEAC.

Data: The Bison's top returning scorer, guard Christina Aden (10.6 ppg), likely will miss the season because of a torn Achilles' tendon. Fortunately, Simone Agee is back after missing last season because of a stress fracture. Agee, a senior guard, averaged 11.1 points and 6 rebounds two years ago. She was also the team's top defender with 52 steals. Agee teams with point guard Daisha Hicks (8.9 points, 3.3 assists) to form a potent back court.

Maryland

Coach: Brenda Frese (85-61 overall, 28-31 at Maryland).

Last season: 18-13, 8-8 ACC.

Data: Guards Shay Doron (13.5 ppg, 2.2 apg) and Kalika France (11.7 ppg, 6 rpg) will lead the Terrapins again, but watch for Maryland's talented freshmen to emerge as the season unfolds. The front court receives a boost from two all-Americans, 6-4 Laura Harper and 6-3 Crystal Langhorne. Eight of the 12 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores.

Navy

Coach: Tom Marryott (13-17 overall and at Navy).

Last season: 13-17, 6-8 Patriot League.

Data: Marryott, who had the interim tag removed from his title in May, has his work cut out for him. Navy's career scoring leader, Courtney Davidson, is just one of three 1,000-point scorers from last season's roster he has to replace. Senior forward Abi Campbell is the leading returning scorer at 7.5 ppg. Former Washington Mystics player Maren Walseth joins Marryott's staff. The Midshipmen play 11 of their first 16 games away from home.

Virginia

Coach: Debbie Ryan (591-240 overall at Virginia).

Last season: 13-16, 6-9 ACC.

Data: The Cavaliers will try to regroup after their first non-winning season since 1978. Virginia's streak of 20 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances ended after the Cavaliers failed to advance past the ACC tournament quarterfinals. On the bright side, three of the top four scorers from last season are back. Virginia's strength will be its front court with forwards Brandi Teamer (11.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Kate Kreager (Chantilly, 7.7 ppg, 4 rpg).

Virginia Tech

Coach: Beth Dunkenberger (65-50 overall, first season at Virginia Tech).

Last season: 23-8, 10-6 Big East.

Data: Dunkenberger inherits a veteran team. Four starters are back from last season's team, which advanced to the NCAA tournament's second round. Dawn Chriss (St. John's High), who improved her scoring average by seven points last season, could be even more of a contributor this season. The switch to the ACC from the competitive Big East should not be a problem for the Hokies.

Senior forward Anna Montanana likely will carry the Colonials until younger players mature. Still, GW should be a top contender in the Atlantic 10.Mary Lisicky, above, and Bethany LeSueur are likely to provide big points for the Hoyas, but other scorers will need to develop to help them.Dawn Chriss (St. John's High), who improved her scoring average by seven points last season, could help the Hokies even more offensively this year.