Tipoff: Top 10 women's players of 2018-19

Tipoff: Top 10 women's players of 2018-19

Our college basketball writer is also an AP women's basketball voter. This week he breaks down the top 10 women's players going into the season:

1. Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon

It's not exactly a stretch to call Ionescu the Russell Westbrook of women's college basketball. The 5-foot-11 junior guard set the NCAA career record with eight triple-doubles in her first two seasons and is an early NPOY favorite.

2. Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame

Ogunbowale's Final Four MOP honor was certainly earned last season during the Fighting Irish's title run. She hit buzzer-beating game winners in the national semifinals and championship game to cap a season where she averaged 20.8 points and 5.7 rebounds.

3. Asia Durr, Louisville

The Cardinals move on without program mainstay Myisha Hines-Allen, but they'll still have Durr. The 5-10 junior guard, who averaged 18.7 points and shot 41.5 percent from deep last year, tied Ionescu for the most preseason All-American votes

4. Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn

Samuelson could finish her college career as a three-time first-team All-American this season. The 6-3 senior wing has been the epitome of consistent for the Huskies, and she set career highs in rebounds, assists and three-point percentage last year.

5. Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State

Losing key players like Victoria Vivians and Morgan William might set most teams back. That the Bulldogs have the 6-7 McCowan for one more season might even be enough to get them to an third straight national title game after consecutive runner-up finishes.

6. Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Gustafson was the runaway winner for Big Ten Player of the Year honors last season after averaging 25.7 points and 12.8 rebounds. Those numbers ranked her first and fifth in the nation, respectively.

7. Kalani Brown, Baylor

The daughter of former NBA champion P.J. Brown, the 6-7 Baylor senior center put up 20.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season for the Bears. She anchors a formidable frontcourt that also includes 6-4 Lauren Cox and 6-3 Queen Egbo.

8. Napheesa Collier, UConn

Collier has started 74 consecutive games for UConn after being the first player off the bench during the Huskies' NCAA title run in 2015-16. The 6-1 forward was a third-team All-American last season after averaging 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.

9. Kitija Laksa, South Florida

Laksa was productive a year ago, putting up 21.1 points per game on 40 percent shooting overall and a 38 percent mark from three-point range. Her production might have to take another leap now that her running mate, Maria Jespersen, has graduated.

10. Sophie Cunningham, Missouri

Cunningham's aggressive style of play doesn't exactly make her a fun matchup. The 6-1 senior guard matches that aggression with ability. Not only did she average 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and three assists, but she shot 46 percent from deep a year ago.

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