NCAA women’s basketball tournament: Freshmen, transfers and early enrollees make up nation’s top 10 newcomers

From true freshmen to early enrollees to transfers, these 10 players made an immediate impact in women's college basketball this season.

Some of them are new to college and some of them are playing with a new team, but all of them will play a crucial role this month as the NCAA women's tournament tips off Sunday. 

Kierstan Bell, Florida Gulf Coast, G, 6-1, Soph.: After spending her freshman year at Ohio State, Bell led the Eagles as she became the unanimous Atlantic Sun Player of The Year. She is fifth in the country with 24.3 points per game and is one of a few players nationally to average a double double (10.8 rebounds).

Katie Benzan, Maryland, G, 5-6, Sr.: The Harvard transfer is the best sharpshooter in the game, leading the nation with a 50.6% 3-point percentage. The All-Big Ten second-team member averages 13.3 points a game, shoots 93.5% from the free throw line and leads the team with 1.6 steals a game.

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Cameron Brink, Stanford, F, 6-4, Fr.: The two-time gold medalist with USA Basketball (winning the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup and the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup) was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and All-Pac-12 honorable mention. She averages 10.2 points a game, shoots 58.2% from the field and ranks 13th nationally in blocks with 64.

Paige Bueckers, Connecticut, G, 5-11, Fr.:A candidate for National Player of the Year, Bueckers acts like a veteran, hitting clutch shots and rallying her team whenever necessary. She’s a tremendous facilitator, and has grown significantly as a defender. The Big East Player and Freshman of the Year,  Bueckers averages 19.7 points, 6.1 assists (ranking ninth in the nation), 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 53.9% from the field and 47.4% from deep.

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