Charlie Creme in a post at ESPN Women's Basketball gives an early look at a possible top 25 for next season. One might think that a program which finished 9th in the USA today final poll, 10th in the Associated Press final poll, has a solid core returning and has a great 2019 class would be picked higher than 25th by Creme, but one would be wrong:
Despite major injury losses, the Wolfpack put together a successful season that included a program-best 21-0 start. Repeating that will be difficult without Kiara Leslie (15.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG), but 6-5 freshman center Elissa Cunane (13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG) gives coach Wes Moore one of the best post players in the ACC around whom to build.
For sure, the loss of Kiara Leslie will impact State, but enough to state that a team which finished in the top 10 in the final polls of 2019 will drop to 25th for the start of the 2019-20 season? Guess he did not remember that Kaila Ealey and Grace Hunter will return, you know, Grace being State's best offensive player and leading scorer when she go hurt at the end of the Duke game. Guess he forgot that State has an outstanding 2019 class with six-one Camille Hobby likely being much better than Hoopgurlz thinks (three stars, scouts grade 90).
Putting Kaila Ealey, Aislinn Konig, Grace Hunter, Kai Crutchfield and Kayla Jones in the least around Elissa Cunane will in all likely hood make State better next season that this. Will the team start 21-0? Probably not, but it should have a shot a first place in the ACC.