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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3. USC Trojans

USC should be on this list but critics may argue that third is too high. However, this team should be on everyone's radar as they are undefeated.

The Trojans are currently ranked No. 6 which is their highest ranking since the 1994 season. Freshman phenom JuJu Watkins has helped lift the USC program to relevance and to become a contender once again. Watkins added her fifth 30-point game to her belt which is another record. She previously broke WNBA Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie's record earlier in the season. Currently, she is averaging 27.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.

Although Watkins gets a majority of the credit, this USC team is solid and chips in collectively. McKenzie Forbes is a queen of all trades because of her ability to space the floor with her 3-point shooting, find the open player on offense, and lock in on defense.

Rayah Marshall is a big-time threat in the post as she averages 2.1 blocks per game and forces opponents to alter their shot when they attack the rim. Not to mention, she is averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 56.6 percent from the floor.

USC does an excellent job of moving the ball and they are becoming a collective unit on all facets of the ball. The Trojans do a solid job of shooting from 3 but they do not depend on it and they force a lot of turnovers — a formula to upset any challenger.