The Bears had a national championship-caliber team stolen in 2019-20, but could be even better in 2020-21. Five of the top six scorers are back and transfers Adam Flagler and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua add to one of the deepest rosters in America.
Baylor loses three All-Texas players from a title-caliber season, but the reinforcements are talented. NaLyssa Smith is a top returner in the state and DiDi Richards swept the defensive awards. Getting young players up to speed will make or break the season.
ACU head coach Joe Golding is entering his 10th season at his alma mater and has built the Wildcats into a perennial contender in the Southland. The Wildcats have come a long way from the days of being the worst program in Division I.
One could be forgiven for viewing the 2020-21 season as a rebuilding year. But that’d be short-sighted when a program has posted four 20-win seasons in the last five years and is reloading for another run at the Southland title.
The Cardinals finished in the bottom 10 nationally in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin for the third year in a row, but Carson Cunningham believes a team with four returning starters can make a run at matching last year’s six Southland wins.
After coach Jeff Dow led a turnaround during his first year at the helm last season, UIW returns a few key contributors but will be mostly relying on a crop of 11 newcomers, creating a feeling of uncertainty entering the 2020-21 season.