Women’s basketball is on its way to win the first Big East championship.

The women’s basketball team has all the pieces in place to win the Big East Tournament this year.

USF was immediately recognized before the season when senior Jessica Dickson was selected Big East Pre-Season Player of the Year, chosen as an All-American candidate, nominated for the Wooden Award list and selected the top wing player by ESPN.com.Dickson has lived up to expectations. She became the program’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season.

Before the end of the season, Dickson will likely surpass Charlie Bradley’s record of 2,319 points scored in a career, making her the most dominant offensive player the Bulls have ever had.

But Dickson, a likely top-five selection in this year’s WNBA Draft, isn’t alone.

Dickson and Shantia Grace are the most prolific scoring duo in the conference, averaging a combined 36.8 points per game. Grace has been described by Louisville coach Tom Collen as the most explosive point guard in the Big East Conference.

And with the improved play of Nalini Miller, USF may be the most dangerous team in the conference come March.

The Bulls are just as strong. With Miller – the team’s all-time leader in blocked shots – and Rachael Sheats on the perimeter, the Bulls have two of the best stoppers in the conference. Sheats has recorded 42 steals on the year, tying her for 10th in the Big East.

Coach Jose Fernandez has prepared his team by rounding out his non-conference schedule against some of the best teams the nation has to offer: Michigan State, Louisiana State, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Vanderbilt.

Each of those teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.

The Bulls have a record of 16-5 this year and are in a three-way tie with Rutgers and Louisville for third place in the conference with a 6-2 record. Marquette (7-2) and Connecticut (9-0) lead the Big East.

If the Bulls are able to finish in the top four in the Big East, they will receive a first-round bye in the tournament, increasing their chances to capture the title.

Last year, Dickson averaged 21.8 points per game against Big East foes. But with the improvement of the team’s offense, Dickson has been able to improve her all-around game while still averaging 16.9 points.

She is averaging two more rebounds per game and needs just four blocks, 10 assists and 14 steals to surpass her totals from a year ago.

After last season’s stunning 72-66 loss in the first round of the tournament to Notre Dame, USF is determined to play well at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut once tournament time arrives.

Grace has already proven she can play under pressure, scoring 24 points against the Fighting Irish and 17 against Southern California.

Even with defenses keying in on Dickson, she still averaged 17 points during postseason play.

The women’s basketball team will claim the first Big East Conference championship in USF’s history because its chance is only two months away. With an improved Dickson, the women’s basketball team is the most unstoppable on campus.

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