1) Rickea Jackson — Mississippi State
Jackson was nothing short of sensational as a freshman. She averaged 15.1 points per game and was lethal from midrange. At 6-foot-2, Jackson can create her own shot and take advantage of mismatches. Look for her to continue to improve as a rebounder and defender.
The sky is the limit for Jackson and she should only shine brighter under the stewardship of head coach Nikki McCray - Penson. In addition to rebounding and defense, expect her to commit less turnovers and take better care of the ball. There is every reason to believe Jackson will post north of 20 points per game and be a factor on the boards.
2) Jasmine Walker — Alabama
The Crimson Tide is a team trending upward in large part due to Walker’s play. Walker can impact a game on both ends of the floor. She is consistent and versatile. Walker averaged 11.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 2019.
Like Jackson, Walker is formidable from midrange but can also command the paint. She is an outstanding defender who excels at forcing the issue. Expect her to do so at a consistent rate throughout the season.
3) Unique Thompson — Auburn
An experienced multidimensional threat, Thompson is a force in the paint and a tough defender. She is most reliable in big moments and creates opportunities for teammates. Thompson averaged a double-double in 2019 with 16.2 points and 11.4 boards per game.
Thompson is the Tigers’ driving force. She was named All-SEC First Team for a reason and should show no signs of slowing down.
4) KeKe McKinney — Kentucky
Though she is known for her defense, McKinney’s speed and vision cannot be overlooked. She boasts a well-rounded skill set. In addition, McKinney is a senior leader whose infectious energy galvanizes teammates.
Playing alongside star guard Rhyne Howard, the Wildcats boast an intimidating one two punch. Look for McKinney to top her 2019 total of 42 blocks while also emerging into a score first player offensively.
5) Victoria Saxton — South Carolina
Having learned from the best in both former star Gamecock forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and head coach Dawn Staley, Saxton is in prime position to make her name. Like McKinney, Saxton excels defensively. She recorded 43 blocks and 29 steals in 2019.
While Saxton did average just 5.4 points last year, expect that to change and in a big way. As the Gamecocks are known to play fast, look for Saxton to create her own shot both from midrange and in the paint.
In regards to Jackson, there is no questioning her offensive prowess. Expect her to show up more on the defensive end and have a monumental impact late in games.