Coach Andy Landers thought GEORGIA would be special this year, but the preseason was trying. First he lost three veteran frontcourt players--junior Rebecca Rowsey (torn right ACL), sixth-year senior Ebony Felder (chronic knee problems) and sophomore Reicina Russell (personal reasons)--then his top freshman, Angel Robinson, last season's Miss Georgia Basketball, tore her left ACL in the team's opening exhibition. At least there's sophomore forward Tasha Humphrey (19.0 points), the co--national freshman of the year. If Georgia's preseason woes weren't enough, the schedule is a nightmare: two games against both Tennessee and LSU.
"I'm not sandbagging," USC coach Mark Trakh says. "I really don't think we're a top 15 team." Trakh is right. The Trojans are a top 10 team--provided Brynn Cameron's hip injury heals. Famed for how she shoots (most threes in the Pac-10) and whom she dates ( USC quarterback Matt Leinart), the sophomore guard will either return by conference play or redshirt this season. Still, Trakh has 10 other players back and admirable balance; in 2004--05 eight players led the team in scoring or in rebounding in at least one game. And USC has signed Stockton, Calif., guard Jacki Gemelos, arguably the nation's top high school player. Says Trakh, "I think a year from now we'll be legit."