We’ll be doing pre-conference play grades for all of the Big Seven conferences, along with some short primers/reviews for the smaller conferences over the course of the next few weeks. Grades are given based on preseason expectations and not on a curve of any kind.
Grade: (A) – Hard to argue with the consistency after previous years of up and down performances.
Current RPI – 19
Top Scorer – Kristen Mewis (4 G, 5 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Close to lock, though need to do work in ACC to have a chance at a national seed with no quality wins right now.
Grade: © – Win over South Carolina should have been a big step forward, but program should be past dropping results against the likes of Furman, Davidson, and Charlotte
Current RPI – 108
Top Scorer – Liska Dobberstein (4 G, 0 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Not happening without a serious run in ACC play. So unlikely then.
Grade: (A) – Setting a frightening offensive pace, but who knows if they can stop anyone after just two clean sheets early on.
Current RPI – 12
Top Scorer – Laura Weinberg (7 G, 4 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Look to be in good shape for a high national seed, though strong seasons from the likes of Washington State and Marquette would help.
Grade: (A+) – Could’ve upgraded it to A++ if the Marquette game would’ve stood. Have been very convincing if not necessarily explosive offensively.
Current RPI – 5
Top Scorer – Tiffany McCarty (3 G, 2 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Looking real good for a top national seed with wins over Minnesota, UCF, and Florida. Needs to keep plugging along in league play though.
Grade: (C-) – They get a mulligan for the Ohio State loss on the road, but drawing with Villanova and losing to Fordham? Shown their youth early.
Current RPI – 73
Top Scorer – Becky Kaplan (6 G, 0 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Not nearly as safe as they’d like. Best win is over Alabama, which is OK for bubble purposes but may not be enough to push them over the top if they flounder in the league.
Grade: (B-) – Win over Florida was great, but they’ve been painfully spotty since. Other wins are hollow, while loss to South Florida was a puzzler.
Current RPI – 94
Top Scorer – Ali Brennan (2 G, 1 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Florida win should see them through if they are near the cut line, but they still have to win more than a few games to get there after inconsistent non-league results.
Grade: (A-) – Some serious pain early, but turned into a different club with Summer Green at their disposal. Will likely be thrilled with early results despite absences, injuries.
Current RPI – 14
Top Scorer – Summer Green (5 G, 2 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Looking good for a national seed at least with quality win over Notre Dame and draw against Florida but may need some more big results for a top seed in the Big Dance.
Grade: (C-) – All over the place early but have improved as of late. Most wins are seriously hollow though, and still looks far from being a contender.
Current RPI – 164
Top Scorer – Brittany Stanko (4 G, 0 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Doesn’t look very likely, with tons of ground to make up, even with plenty of chances to shoot up the RPI if they can win in the league. Closest thing to a quality win is victory at LSU.
Grade: (B) – What exactly are you supposed to grade them on? Most wins over the usual riffraff that gets clobbered on a yearly basis by Cavs, but wins over UNC Wilmington and SMU not bad.
Current RPI – 18
Top Scorer – Makenzy Doniak (7 G, 3 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – I’m going to guess that UNC Wilmington’s not going to be as high in the RPI as they are now, which means Cavs need to win early and often in the ACC to stand a chance of a high national seed despite gaudy W-L-T record.
Grade: (A-) – Surprisingly and quietly excellent. Four wins over uRPI Top 100 teams, though no real landmark wins to hang their hat on.
Current RPI – 15
Top Scorer – Shannon Mayrose (4 G, 1 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – UNC Wilmington probably won’t be seen as a quality win come the end of the season, but Illinois could move up into that range. Probably not in frame for a high national seed but could get a seed nonetheless with strong ACC campaign.
Grade: (B+) – Hasn’t been real pretty, especially early, but winning’s been the thing the past few weeks. Could be much better during league play.
Current RPI – 24
Top Scorer – Ally Berry (2 G, 3 A)
NCAA Tournament Prospects – Win over Illinois will likely appreciate in value over time, but loss to UNC Greensboro could be a backbreaker in the long-term. Probably in a good position to make it into the NCAA Tournament, but are really going to have to win a lot to get a strong national seed or maybe even any seed with lack of quality non-conference wins.
Preseason Predicted Order of Finish:
2. Wake Forest
3. Florida State
4. North Carolina
5. Boston College
7. Miami (FL)
8. Virginia Tech
11. NC State
Current Predicted Order of Finish:
2. Florida State
3. North Carolina
4. Boston College
5. Wake Forest
7. Virginia Tech
8. Miami (FL)
11. NC State