#22 Depaul Women's Basketball Preview

DePaul Blue Demons

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #6 Big East
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The 2010-11 campaign for the DePaul women’s basketball program was an absolutely special one. They finished with a top ten ranking nationally and a run to the Sweet 16, where they fell to Duke but battled them to the wire. Expectations are still very high as Keisha Hampton and a strong freshmen class look to hit the ground running in the very loaded Big East. The Blue Demons got a jump on building the 2011-12 edition with a preseason trip overseas. The Blue Demons quest for that elusive Elite Eight berth continues and with a great deal of momentum in their favor.

2010-11:  29-7, 13-3
2010-11 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Doug Bruno (487-271 at DePaul,  487-271 overall)

Who’s Out:
The loss of Sam Quigley is huge. She was the veteran floor general and an honorable mention all-American last year. Quigley finished her collegiate career with 484 assists, which is good for second all-time in DePaul history. Deidre Naughton, the sixth year senior, will also be missed. She was the leading scorer for the Blue Demons in their Sweet 16 loss to Duke and just her overall leadership will be hard to replace.

Who’s In:
Chanise Jenkins and Brittany Hyrnko are both College Sports Madness Top 110 recruits. At 5-4 and 5-7 point guards, respectively, they anchor a four member recruiting class. Jenkins is the hometown girl out of Chicago, who brings a very dynamic mix of playmaking and shooting and should compete for starting time immediately. Alexa Gallagher is coming as a wing and she is highly rated in her position for wing players in the 2011 recruiting class.

Who to Watch:
Keisha Hampton is projected in the top two rounds of the WNBA Draft and will be counted on heavily to offset the losses of Quigley and Naughton in the rugged Big East. She gained valuable international experience as part of Team USA this summer for the 2011 World University Games. She can score from anywhere on the floor and, if she can balance out her turnover numbers just a little bit, the sky will be the limit for Hampton and the Blue Demons. Taylor Sikes, the Big East sixth woman of the year in 2010-11, should push her way into the fray for a job in the starting lineup.

Final Projection:
With a unanimous all first-team Big East selection in Keisha Hampton to anchor the Blue Demons they will be a candidate to beat anyone on any night just; like last season when they upset Stanford at home. The Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 11 against Tennessee highlights the nonconference slate. They get Arizona State at home as well, along with Connecticut in conference. Road trips to Notre Dame, Louisville and Georgetown will be treacherous, but will leave DePaul battle tested come March as the Big East is clearly the strongest basketball conference in women’s college basketball.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Taylor Pikes, Senior, Guard, 7.0 PPG
Chanise Jenkins, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Deanna Ortiz, Senior, Guard, 3.9 PPG
Keisha Hampton, Senior, Forward, 16.2 PPG
Alexa Gallagher, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#16 Keisha Hampton

Madness 2011 Women's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#63 Chanise Jenkins
#108 Brittany Hrynko