In women's college basketball, the spotlight is often on the athletes at the Power Five schools. However, the athletes who play at schools in smaller conferences also deserve to have the spotlight on them. Here are a few of the top women's basketball players in non-Power Five conferences.
Tracey Hueston- Senior, UNC-Charlotte (American Conference)
Tracey Hueston is having a breakout year in her senior season with Charlotte. Hueston went from averaging only 11 minutes a game to averaging 22 minutes a game. She is also putting up 13.4 points a game for the 49ers. Hueston also has a field goal percentage of 50.3 percent. She also has a great ability to make herself open when not having possession of the ball.
Zaay Green- Senior, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Zaay Green is having a great season so far for the Golden Lions. The 6'2" guard is averaging 17.5 points and seven rebounds. She is also putting up six assists a night for UAPB. The former Lady Vol is amazing at driving to the hoop to create points for her team. UAPB is in third place in SWAC play, right behind Grambling and Jackson State. She has been brought up in many WNBA draft conversations, and some people have her possibly getting drafted in the third round. The last time a player was drafted from an HBCU was in 2022, and it was Ameshya Williams-Holliday out of Jackson State, who was drafted by the Fever in the third round.
Abby Beeman- Senior, Marshall (Sun Belt)
Abby Beeman is having a fantastic season with Marshall. So far, she is putting up 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds for Marshall. Beeman has a great ability to find her teammates open in tight situations. She is also averaging 6.1 assists a game, which is fourteenth in the NCAA. Marshall is also in first place in the Sun Belt conference, with a 7-0 record.
Anastasiia Boldyreva- Junior, Middle Tennessee (Conference USA)
Anastasiia Boldyreva is also having a breakout season this year at Middle Tennessee. Her minutes per game have doubled, going from 15 to 30, and her points per game have also doubled, going from 7.4 points to 14.2 points. Standing at 6'6", she has been a threat in the paint for Middle Tennessee. MTSU is having a historic season, defeating Tennessee for the first time in school history. MTSU is also in first place in C-USA, being undefeated in conference play.
Diamond Johnson- Junior, Norfolk State (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Diamond Johnson shocked the women's basketball world last season when she announced that she would be transferring from NC State to Norfolk State. She is averaging more points this season than ever before. Johnson is putting up 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Spartans. She is also averaging five steals a game this season.
These athletes have proven that the spotlight deserves to be on them as well. Although it can be difficult to find players outside of Power Five conferences due to a lack of media coverage, it continues to prove how important it is to work to keep expanding the coverage of women's basketball. Just because some athletes are at smaller schools doesn't mean they aren't as talented as players who are at the bigger schools, which we can see with these five players.