Fresh off a 20-14 season that ended with a second-round WNIT appearance, there is a lot of optimism coming from Hofstra.
All-CAA, second-team selection Shante Evans (13.3 ppg) returns, along with junior guards Nicole Capurso (9.7 ppg) and Candice Bellocchio (7.9 ppg).
But it won't be easy for the Pride. Picked to finish fourth in the CAA, Hofstra will have to figure out how to handle preseason favorite and defending CAA tournament champ James Madison, which returns four starters.
Old Dominion and Delaware were picked second and third.
Old Dominion, a traditional CAA powerhouse, won the conference regular season title last year and returns three double-digit scorers, including Tia Lewis (11.2 ppg, 7.6 reb).
Delaware returns the conference's best player in Elena Delle Donne, the reigning CAA player and rookie of the year. Delle Donne is fresh off a season where she averaged 26.7 points. Among the highlights of her season was a 54-point game.
But the Blue Hens lost Tesia Harris. Harris transferred to St. John's.
With Evans, a preseason All-CAA first team selection who led the conference in rebounding (9.5) and an experienced backcourt returning, the Pride has the capability to finish among the top three.
In addition to its top three scorers, the Pride also returns experienced players in forwards Marie Malone and Isoken Uzamere and guards Candace Bond and Aamira Terry.