Caitlin Clark and the top 25 players in the women’s NCAA tournament
The grid is closed and we know everyone’s potential path to Dallas. But who will be the leaders in this journey for the best women’s college basketball teams?
For the third time this season, we’re ranking the top 25 players in the country, but we’ve limited it to the top players competing in the 2023 NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Some notable names are missing, including UConn guard Azzi Fudd. She was in our top three in the December rankings but has only played 12 games this season due to injury. Similarly, Ohio State guard Jaycee Sheldon made our latest list but only played nine games. Due to limited playing time, they did not meet the inclusion criteria. But fear not: Sportzshala will update the list to the Sweet 16, after which they and others can play their part in the rankings.
Players like Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles, whose injury status is still unclear, have been ranked based on what we’ve seen in their recent game.
This season’s National Player of the Year debate is mostly centered around Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and South Carolina’s Alia Boston, and both sides have passionate supporters for good reason. As point guard and post, they couldn’t be more different in their skill sets. Both excelled throughout the season at what they do best. But there can only be one in the first place.
Sportzshala’s Alexa Filippou, Charlie Creme and M.A. Vopel are assessing players as we prepare for the March Madness.
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1. Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Security guard | 6 feet | Jr
Statistics 2022-23: 27.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists
Clarke was the Big Ten Player of the Year and the league’s Tournament MVP for the second consecutive season. The essence of why Clarke is so good can be summarized as follows: she is No. 1 in Division I in assists and three-pointers (108) and second in average. With the ball in hand, Clarke has a choice of ways to split up the defense and almost always makes the right decision. She reads professionally even when she is in college. Her “logo triples” are a legitimate part of her game, not only in terms of stretching the defense, but also in how they can activate Hawkeyes and confuse the opponent. Clarke’s four triple-doubles this season – and 10 in her career – also reflect her strong work behind the boards, and she has also improved her defensive skills. — Bullshit
2. Alia Boston, South Carolina
Forward | 6 feet 5 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 56.8% from the field
Statistically, this is Boston’s worst freshman season. But do not even think that something is wrong with Boston’s game. She remains the most formidable quarterback in the game, and when South Carolina really needs a basket, Boston gets the ball. The drop in numbers has more to do with the Gamecocks facing less urgency in their games and having more solid lineup options this season. But in their biggest games against Maryland, Stanford, UCLA, UC Connecticut and LSU, Boston averaged 17.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. — Cream
3. Cameron Brink, Stanford
Forward | 6 feet 4 | Jr
Statistics 2022-23: 14.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.4 blocks
Brink continues to be a force for the Cardinal, leading in points, rebounds and blocks despite only averaging 24.5 minutes per game. Earlier this year, she recorded a triple-double and also set the program’s record for career blocks. With Stanford’s attack faltering in recent weeks, she might not be the only reliable option on this end of the floor, but she still needs to be the dominant person and stay out of the dirty trouble if the Cardinal wants to advance. for the third consecutive Final Four. — Philip
4. Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana
Forward | 6 feet 3 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 68.8% from the field
Holmes ranks second in Division I — and first among players in the Power 5 conference — in field goal percentage, which is why her teammates call her an automatic bucket. Once Holmes gets the ball where she wants it, chances are good that she will score a goal, or the defense will foul her, or both. Her 70.1 true shooting percentage (2-point, 3-point, free throw) and 40.3 player efficiency rating this season are both career highs. Holmes has blocked 56 shots and is the centerpiece of the best defense in the Big Ten. She plans to use the COVID-19 waiver to play her fifth year in Indiana next season. — Bullshit
5. Angel Reese, LSU
Forward | 6 feet 3 | sophomore
Statistics 2022-23: 23.4 points, 15.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 54.0% from the field
Few people expected such a season from LSU, and much of the success is due to Reese’s performance. After a very productive second season in Maryland, Reese moved to LSU and took her game to the next level. Her dominance in the ring is evidenced by her country-best 28 double-doubles. Reese also leads the nation in offensive rebounds and free throws per game. Keeping a low profile in Maryland, Reese has taken on her leadership role with the Tigers, whose success in the NCAA Tournament will largely depend on how she performs. — Cream
6. Elizabeth Keatley, Virginia Tech.
Forward | 6 feet 6 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 18.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks
One by one, the ACC Player of the Year is the centerpiece of a team that has emerged as the best in one of the toughest leagues. She is still effective on the bottom (56.3% from the field) and strong on the glass, averaging a double-double for the second time in her career. She put the Hokies on their back by scoring 42 points in their first-round loss to Florida on the Gulf Coast in last year’s tournament, but this time she’ll have more help with a Hokies team focused on a Final Four bid. — Philip
7. Diamond Miller, Maryland
Security guard | 6 feet 3 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals
A two-time All-Big Ten First Team, Miller has great length and speed on the perimeter, which she uses to her advantage on offense and defense. She’s creating inconsistencies internally and has hit double figures in every game but one this season, including a career-high 32 points against Baylor. One of her biggest wins of the season was her meteoric disappearance when she defeated Notre Dame in December. Miller is one of the top five players in the Big Ten in scoring, blocks and steals. She shoots 21% less from behind the arc than in her career, so this is an area for her to improve at the next level; she is predicted to be selected in the WNBA draft lottery in April. — Bullshit
8. Alia Edwards, University of Connecticut
Forward | 6 feet 3 | Jr
Statistics 2022-23: 16.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 57.3% from the field
With Fudd gone and the many injuries that UConn has endured, it’s hard to say where the Huskies would be without Edwards, who bounced back from a rough sophomore season to make her name in the All-American conversation. Geno Auriemma said his posting will determine how far his team gets in the tournament and if Edwards can play like her against the strongest opponents this season, including South Carolina (25 points, 10-of-14 shooting). UConn be in great shape. — Philip
9. Maddie Siegrist, Villanova
Forward | 6 feet 1 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 28.9 points, 9.3 rebounds
Caitlin Clark gets most of the headlines for her offense, but Siegrist enters March Madness as the country’s top scorer and she does it with incredible efficiency (51.8% from the field, 37.3% from 3, 85.1% from the line) . Siegrist has scored at least 20 points in every Wildcat game this season (and even scored 50 points against Seton Hall earlier this year), but her main goal going forward is to lead Villanova to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for first place. . for the first time since 2003. — Philip
10. Alyssa Pealy, Utah
Forward | 6 feet 2 | Jr
Statistics 2022-23:20.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 58.5% from the field
Coming out of nowhere to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pealy turned Utes from upstart program into a national title contender. She wasn’t even on the 15-player preseason all-conference team, but ended up leading the league in scoring as Utah shared the regular season Pac-12 title with Stanford for the first time in the program. Pealy had an outstanding freshman season at USC but struggled with injuries for the last two seasons before moving to Salt Lake City. She is a dual threat offensive player with an uncanny ability to finish at the post, but also shoots 42.9% from three-point territory. — Cream
11. Ricky Jackson, Tennessee
Forward | 6 feet 2 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 19.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 55.2% from the field
Jackson’s first few months in Tennessee (which included a two-game suspension in December) were a little rough, but she settled in and made a huge contribution to the rise of the Lady Vols. She managed to score at least 20 points in eight games in a row – with an efficiency of almost 60%, no less – before Tennessee lost to South Carolina in the finals of the SEC tournament. Jackson also stepped up with 26 points and 10 rebounds in Tennessee’s semi-final against LSU. Her talent is undeniable, and in the weeks before she is expected to be selected in the WNBA draft in the first round, there will be a lot of attention on her. — Philip
12. Haley Jones, Stanford
Security guard | 6 feet 1 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 13.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 43.1% from the field
Jones is one of Stanford’s most important and best rebounders and the Cardinal’s main facilitator. Even though she has had more clutch moments with Brink this season, Jones remains an important player at Stanford. She landed the decisive blow for the Cardinal in the semi-finals and final victories of the 2021 Final Four, leaving her place in Stanford history forever. Jones has struggled with her street shots this season but remains one of the most versatile hitters in the country with her ability to both threaten as a perimeter passer and threat after attack. — Cream
13. Ashley Jones, Iowa
Guard/Forward | 6 feet 1 | older
Statistics 2022-23: 21.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists
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