American, Navy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Howard, George Washington and George Mason women’s basketball previews
The Eagles are coming off a season in which they finished 22-9 and advanced to the Patriot League tournament championship game. Coach Matt Corkery has one of the youngest teams in recent memory with eight freshmen and sophomores. Senior guard Lisa Strack was second-team all-Patriot last season and is the Eagles’ top returning scorer (11.6).
First-team all-MEAC F Saadia Doyle is back for her junior season and has been named conference preseason player of the year. Doyle led the MEAC in scoring at 18.4 points per game last season and was second in rebounding (8.4). The Bison are picked to finish second in the conference after advancing to the MEAC tournament championship game last season.
Joanne Boyle begins her first season as coach, taking over for Debbie Ryan, who retired after 34 years, three appearances in the Final Four, 11 ACC regular season titles and three ACC tournament titles. Boyle coached at California from 2005 through last season, when she directed the Bears to Women’s National Invitation Tournament title, and graduated from Duke in 1985 as the program’s second all-time scorer and steals leader.
Picked to finish ninth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll, the Colonials return four starters and six of their top seven leading scorers in what’s the final season of Coach Mike Bozeman’s contract. Junior PG Danni Jackson led George Washington in points (10.4), assists (4.2) and minutes (32.2). Senior G Tiana Myers was the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.7 points per game and is 162 points from reaching 1,000.
Dennis Wolff begins his first season as coach after serving for one season as director of men’s basketball operations under Hokies men’s coach Seth Greenberg. Wolff was the men’s coach at Boston University from 1994 through 2009, winning three straight conference titles and making four postseason appearances for the first time in school history.
The Patriots are coming off a 13-17 season in which they lost in the second round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. George Mason has been selected to finish eighth in the CAA. Senior G Taleia Moton (Suitland High) led the Patriots in scoring (12.2 points per game), games (30) and assists (2.6 per game) last season. Junior G-F Amber Easter was George Mason’s third-leading scorer last season (9.9 points per game).
Coming off its first NCAA tournament appearance and first Patriot League title, Navy returns three starters from a team that finished 20-12. Sophomore F Jade Geif is the top returning scorer (9.6) and scored a game-high 16 points in the Patriot League final. Sophomore G Alix Membrano averaged 5.9 points per game last season, as did sophomore F Audrey Bauer.