5 Women’s College Basketball Stars Who Are The Real Deal…And 5 Who Will Be Big-Time Flops.

The 2024 NCAA Women’s basketball season has been one of the most impactful seasons in recent memory. Many argue that the women’s season has been full of big-name stars more so than the men’s season.

With this in mind, here are five women college basketball stars who are the real deal and five who will be big time flops.

Real deal: Caitlin Clark, Iowa

IOWA CITY, IOWA- MARCH 25: Guard Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after drawing a foul late in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during their second round match-up in the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Championship at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 25, 2024 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
No shocker that the first player on the list is Caitlin Clark. Clark has brought much-needed attention to women’s college basketball and is widely known as the best shooter in the country. During the 2024 season, Clark broke the NCAA all-time scoring record for both men’s and women’s basketball with what will go down as a historic 3-point attempt. Clark is an absolute sniper on the floor and will be a weapon like no other in the WNBA.

Flop: Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: Charlisse Leger-Walker #5 of the Washington State Cougars runs on the court in the second half of the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament against the UCLA Bruins at Michelob ULTRA Arena on March 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cougars defeated the Bruins 65-61. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Charlisse Leger-Walker is arguably the best women’s basketball player in Washington State University history. She led the Cougars to a Pac-12 championship in 2023 and continued her success into the 2023-2024 season.

While on the watchlist for multiple awards, Leger-Walker injured her Achilles in a win over No.2 UCLA. An Achilles tendon injury is one of the most difficult injuries to overcome in sports, and now that she is graduating from WSU as an injured player, we may have seen the last of this amazing player who has succumbed to injury.

Real deal: Angel Reese, LSU

Angel Reese
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 09: Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers takes a free throw against the Ole Miss Rebels in the third quarter during the semifinals of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 09, 2024 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Angel Reese is one of the most passionate players in all of basketball. Her toughness, resilience, and leadership will prove to be valuable to any team that is lucky to have her.

She receives a bad rep from media sources complaining about her attitude, but passion is something that will continue to draw attention to women’s sports Her ferocity has helped her be second in the nation in rebounds. She is a consistently good player and rarely has a bad outing.

Reese has been painted into a villain role given her current perception by fans. Honestly, this is a classic “hate us because they ain’t us” situation given the fact that her intensity and passion are uncomfortable to fans who don’t follow women’s sports.

Flop: Cameron Brink, Stanford

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 10: Cameron Brink #22 of the Stanford Cardinal grabs a rebound over Kaitlyn Davis #24 of the USC Trojans in the second half of the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 10, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Trojans defeated the Cardinal 74-61. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)
Cameron Brink has been a cornerstone of the Stanford women’s basketball team and has helped lead the Cardinal to much success in the Pac-12. The 6’4 forward has found herself in foul trouble numerous times in her career and is overall still a raw prospect.

She has shown significant improvement from her freshman season, but as a senior her strength and ability to shoot are not on par with standards set by former women’s basketball players.

Real deal: Audi Crooks, ISU

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 22: Audi Crooks #55 of the Iowa State Cyclones runs back up court reacting after scoring against the Maryland Terrapins during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Stanford Maples Pavilion on March 22, 2024 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Audi Crooks exploded onto the scene with her 40-point performance in the 2024 women’s March Madness tournament. The 6’3 Center for the Cyclones went toe to toe with Stanford star Cameron Brink in an 81-87 Cyclone loss in the NCAA Women’s tournament and held her own.

Crooks is a larger player than we typically see in today’s game, and as a freshman Crooks led the team in scoring and was second in rebounding. Crooks still has time to develop into one of the most dominant post players we have ever seen.

Flop: Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 24: Kamilla Cardoso #10 of the South Carolina Gamecocks shoots a free throw against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the third quarter during the second round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Kamilla Cardoso is a 6’7 Senior Center for the South Carolina Gamecocks, who finished the 2023-2024 regular season undefeated. She is the team’s leading scorer averaging 13.9 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.

However, she is not fluid with her playing style, and it is easy to throw her off her game. In addition, she isn’t exactly a bright spot on a bad team and hasn’t done anything to stand out from her peers on the South Carolina roster.

Granted, the team is undefeated and full of talent but in order to be a star you need to be able to stand out from the pack; Cardoso just hasn’t done that yet.

Real deal: Lauren Gustin, BYU

MANHATTAN, KS – JANUARY 27: Lauren Gustin #12 of the BYU Cougars grabs a rebound against Gabby Gregory #12 of the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half at Bramlage Coliseum on January 27, 2024 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Lauren Gustin currently leads the nation in rebounds, averaging over 15 per game! Despite BYU finishing the 2024 regular season under .500, Lauren Gustin had a fantastic season, averaging 16.7 points per game as the team’s leading scorer.

Gustin doesn’t necessarily have the height advantage over other post players; standing at 6’1. Regardless, the senior’s tenacity and talent will translate well to a WNBA roster.

Flop: Lucy Olsen, Villanova

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 24: Lucy Olsen #3 of the Villanova Wildcats shoots the ball against Hanna Cavinder #15 of the Miami Hurricanes during the first half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 24, 2023 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Junior guard Lucy Olsen led her Wildcats team in scoring, averaging 23.6 points per game. However, her three-point percentage is below 30%, and her field goal percentage could definitely be better.

Some of her statistics have regressed since her freshman year, yet other areas have improved with more playing time. However, outside of shooting the ball, she hasn’t demonstrated the ability to contribute to the team in other aspects of the game.

Real deal: JuJu Watkins, USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 25: JuJu Watkins #12 of the USC Trojans defends and inbounds pass by
Zakiyah Franklin #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the second half of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Galen Center on March 25, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
A player that has dominated without much attention is JuJu Watkins.

Watkins is second in scoring in 2023-2024 behind none other than Miss Caitlyn Clark. Watkins has been tough on defense as well, and her leadership abilities have been demonstrated all season long. She is a well-rounded player and a future star wherever she ends up.

Flop: Phillipina Kyei, Oregon

TUCSON, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 04: Center Phillipina Kyei #15 of the Oregon Ducks talks with teammates during warm ups before the NCAAW game between Oregon and Arizona at McKale Center on February 04, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)
The University of Oregon has historically hung in the top 25 for women’s basketball; however, this season has been a forgettable one for the Ducks.

A bright spot on the team has been Kyei, who leads the team in rebounds per game. Kyei is also third on the roster in points per game.

She has been a force on defense, however there are many players in the conference alone that have outperformed her all season.

While on paper she averages a double-double per game, the 6’8 Center is not even considered one of the best post players in the PAC. She needs to make improvements in multiple areas of her game to be a star in her senior season.