Ahead of the Huskies’ first year back in the Big East, here’s a breakdown of what to expect from each of the conference’s 11 teams. Teams are presented in the order they were ranked in the Big East preseason poll.
Coach: Geno Auriemma (36th year). Last season: 29-3, 16-0 AAC; conference regular season and tournament champions.
The skinny: The Huskies return to the Big East after an undefeated run in the AAC (139-0, combined 14 regular season and tournament titles). Come spring, they’ll look to extend their Final Four streak to 13 straight appearances (21 overall) with an eye on bringing home a 12th national championship.
Need to know: UConn lost top scorers Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield but returns three starters (Christyn Williams, Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Anna Makurat) and top reserve Aubrey Griffin. Strong freshman class has been turning heads so far in practice.
Coach: Doug Bruno (35th year). Last season: 28-5, 15-3 in Big East; conference regular season and tournament champions. Plays UConn: TBA
The skinny: DePaul held a pretty firm hold on the Big East following conference realignment, winning five of the last seven tournament titles and at least a share of six regular season crowns. Enter UConn. Bruno, who has led his team to 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, is still looking for his first win over longtime friend Auriemma.
Need to know: The Blue Demons, ranked No. 19 in the preseason AP poll, graduated top scorer Chante Stonewall and point guard Kelly Campbell but bring back a trio of guards in Sonya Morris (15.6 points per game), Deja Church (10.8 points per game) and Lexi Held (15.4 points per game) who combined to average just under 42 points per game last year.
Coach: Megan Duffy (second year). Last season: 24-8, 13-5 (2). Plays UConn: TBA
The skinny: Duffy’s squad exceeded expectations last year in her first year in Milwaukee: Marquette came in ninth in the preseason conference poll before finishing with the second-best Big East record and falling to DePaul in the Big East Tournament championship game.
Need to know: Marquette returns three starters from last season, including top scorer Selena Lott (15.5 points per game), who was named to the All-Big East Second Team last year, and Big East All-Tournament Team selection Lauren Van Kleunen (11.8 points per game).
4. St. John’s
Coach: Joe Tartamella (ninth year). Last season: 19-12, 11-7 (t-3). Plays UConn: TBA
The skinny: In the conference’s second tier of teams, St. John’s was on the cusp of another 20-win season and postseason berth prior to the season being cut short.
Need to know: Returns two starters, both of whom were the top scorers from last year: Qadashah Hoppie (15.4 points per