5 women's college basketball programs ready to emerge as contenders this season

The 2023-24 women's college basketball season is almost 10 games in and several teams could emerge as contenders this season.

NCAA Women's Basketball: Cal Poly SLO at Southern California
NCAA Women's Basketball: Cal Poly SLO at Southern California / Kirby Lee/GettyImages
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The 2023-24 women's college basketball season is full speed ahead and has already been filled with surprises. Despite well-known favorites like South Carolina, LSU, and Stanford being in the top 10 in polls, there may be other teams in contention for the title.

LSU started the season on the wrong foot after being upset by Colorado in the season opener. Shortly after, Angel Reese was benched for two games and missed four games in total. Now the Tigers are 8-1 and are starting to get back into their groove.

South Carolina is still ranked No. 1 after defeating Duke Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. UCLA has snuck into the No. 2 ranking while Stanford (No. 9) is reminding the world that they always have a chance to run the table.

Last but not least, UConn will be without Azzi Fudd, who tore her ACL. The Huskies may have Paige Bueckers back but it will take time for her to return to form. Right now, UCONN is 4-3 and seems to have fallen a notch.

Although LSU, South Carolina, Stanford, and Iowa are considered the favorites, there are a few others ready to take a step forward and challenge the power structure.

5. Texas Longhorns

Texas (No. 5) is the first program that is ready to emerge as a contender because of their physicality, defense prowess, and ability to score.

Taylor Jones is leading the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game and Rori Harmon (13.4), Madison Booker (11.8), and Amina Muhammad (10.4) are also chipping in with double-figures. The Longhorns receive scoring contributions from a majority of their roster and Schaefer often goes deep into the bench.

Harmon is the heart and soul of this team when it comes to ensuring that the ball moves and their defensive intensity remains consistent. She can score in bunches but leads by example and makes sure that the team focuses on both sides of the floor. Texas is physical and does not shy away from crashing the glass and they have the pieces to give anyone problems.