Party of five
Updated: November 29, 2004, 9:07 AM ETESPN.com
Sometimes you just need to start from scratch -- especially when all five honorees from last season graduated.But don't be fooled. The spots on ESPN.com's fifth annual preseason All-America team filled up quickly, beginning with ESPN.com preseason player of the year Seimone Augustus of LSU. And though Diana Taurasi is gone, another Husky helps highlight our selections. A look at our picks for the best five players in women's college basketball entering the 2004-05 season (listed alphabetically, with last season's stats):
Junior, G, 6-1, Baton Rouge, La.
2004 Kodak All-American, NCAA West Regional MVP; 2003 national freshman of the year, USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.
"Like Chamique Holdsclaw in college, Augustus is tremendously hard to defend, knows how to operate around the basket and just has too many weapons to hurt you with." -- Nancy Lieberman
"She's so comfortable on the court, and her ability to score from all over helps the offense of all of her teammates." -- Mechelle Voepel
Senior, C, 6-2, Stevens Point, Wis.
2004 Kodak All-American, All-Final Four team, NCAA Tournament record for rebounds (75); 879 rebounds is fourth all-time at Minnesota; school's career leader in field-goal percentage (61.7).
"She's the consummate big -- but also has the best footwork of any big in the game right now and raises the bar for the rest of the country." -- Nancy Lieberman
"She proved she could stay consistently motivated last season, and should do so again as soon as she comes back from a broken hand." -- Mechelle Voepel
Junior, F/G, 6-0, Cleveland
2004 second-team All-Big East, East Region All-Tournament team; led Big East in field-goal percentage (53.6, 177-for-330) in 2003-04; enters 2004-05 just 143 points shy of 1,000-point plateau.
"She can rebound, run the floor, handle the ball and go inside or outside on you. But her best trait might be her competitiveness." -- Nancy Lieberman
"One of those players who just finds ways to get things done and can come through in the big moments, which UConn will need." -- Mechelle Voepel
Senior, F, 5-11, Marysville, Kan.
Two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick; ranks second all-time at K-State with 1,724 points, second in double-doubles (36), third in rebounding (795), tied for sixth in 3-pointers made (113) and seventh in assists (305).
"With an athleticism and versatility reminiscent of Katie Smith, Wecker creates incredible mismatches for the defense." -- Nancy Lieberman
"She's on pace to break Nicole Ohlde's school scoring and rebounding records. And Wecker can guard posts or guards." -- Mechelle Voepel
Senior, G, 5-11, West Mifflin, Pa.
Only player in Big Ten history to twice win league defensive player of the year honors (2002-03, 2003-04); 2004 All-Big Ten first team by coaches and media, AP honorable mention All-American.
"She's always been a slasher; last season she really improved her outside shot." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Very versatile, strong player and solid defender who becomes the centerpiece for her team now that Kelly Mazzante is gone." -- Mechelle Voepel