5 Minute Guide

SI's tip sheet for the new faces to watch, names to know and story lines to follow in 2009--10
November 23, 2009

The Distaff Dunker

Just as posterizing—the practice of dunking on an opponent viciously enough to deserve commemoration—started out as an NBA phenomenon, YouTubing such slams (the video equivalent) has become all the rage in the college game. That's partly because the embarrassment is being exacted at the expense of noted posterizers LeBron James, whose handlers worked to keep video of Xavier's Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron at his own camp this summer off the Internet, and Jerry Stackhouse, who got a face full of Kentucky's John Wall at a North Carolina pro-am in August. On the women's side, look for 6'8" skywalker BRITTNEY GRINER of Baylor to continue building a dunk reel. The Lady Bears have plays drawn up specifically for her to throw down.

Cinderellas Who Will Dance Deep Into March

IOWA STATE / Conference player of the year candidate Craig Brackins (20.2 points per game last season) and junior college transfer Marquis Gilstrap (22.6) give the Cyclones one of the best one-two scoring punches in the Big 12.

GONZAGA / The outfit that just missed the Sweet 16 last spring lost one rotation player (guard Jami Schaefer) but got back sharpshooting guard Tiffanie Shives (who missed 10 games with a knee injury) and added guard-forward Katelan Redmon, a transfer from Washington.

SI's All-Name Team

MEN

G JUST-IN'LOVE SMITH, Siena

G ALIBABA ODD, Delaware State

F BAK BAK, California

F PAWEL KIELBASA, Chicago State

C JARRID FAMOUS, South Florida

WOMEN

G NIKKI SPEED, Rutgers

G WHITNEY HOUSTON, Colorado

G WHITNEY HAND, Oklahoma

F BRITTANY SPEARS, Colorado

F ASHLEY SWEAT, Kansas State

Familiar Faces in New Places

ISIAH THOMAS / FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

After failing to turn around the NBA's Knicks in five years as an executive and a coach, the 48-year-old Thomas is taking on yet another major fixer-upper: The Panthers haven't had a winning season in nine years or reached the NCAAs in 14.

ELENA DELLE DONNE / DELAWARE

Having second thoughts about leaving her home state, the Wilmington native transferred from Connecticut in June 2008 and dropped hoops for volleyball (Point After, Nov. 16). The 6'5" pivot is rejuvenated, ready to make a resounding return to basketball—and could recapture her rep as the female LeBron James.

MICHAEL COOPER / USC

The 53-year-old former Laker hopes to invigorate the Trojans—who haven't reached the NCAA tournament since 2006—with the same run-and-gun game that helped his Los Angeles Sparks teams win 178 games and two WNBA championships in seven seasons.

It Must Be the Genes

Central Florida had to give up its $1.9 million sponsorship deal with Adidas because guard MARCUS JORDAN, the second of Michael's sons to play college hoops, wouldn't hang up his Nike Air Jordans.

Oklahoma is counting on 6'4" senior pivot ABI OLAJUWON, a daughter of Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, to fill a void in the post left by the departures of Courtney and Ashley Paris.

St. John's hopes that 6'7" senior swingman ANTHONY MASON JR.—son of former NBA forward Anthony Sr. and a big scorer from three-point range—will bounce back from a hamstring injury.

All-Americas / Men

[originallink:10861601:1004237]

FIRST TEAM
G Monica Wright 5'11" Sr. Virginia
G Alexis Gray-Lawson 5'8" Sr. Cal
F Jayne Appel 6'4" Sr. Stanford
F Maya Moore 6'0" Jr. Connecticut
C Tina Charles 6'4" Sr. Connecticut
SECOND TEAM
G Ashley Houts 5'6" Sr. Georgia
G Danielle Robinson 5'9" Jr. Oklahoma
F Alysha Clark 5'10" Sr. Middle Tennessee
F Kayla Pedersen 6'4" Jr. Stanford
C Jantel Lavender 6'4" Jr. Ohio State
THIRD TEAM
G Dawn Evans 5'7" Jr. James Madison
G Courtney Vandersloot 5'8" Jr. Gonzaga
F Jacinta Monroe 6'5" Sr. Florida State
F Danielle McCray 5'11" Sr. Kansas
C Ta' Shia Phillips 6'6" Jr. Xavier
PHOTODOUGLAS JONES/US PRESSWIRE (BRACKINS) PHOTOROBERT ROGERS/BAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY/AP (GRINER) PHOTOBOB DONNAN/US PRESSWIRE (THOMAS) PHOTOJEFF CURRY/US PRESSWIRE (OLAJUWON) PHOTOGREG NELSON (WARREN) PHOTOKEVIN TERRELL/US PRESSWIRE (WRIGHT)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)