Go ahead, accuse us of being resistant to change. That might be the easy explanation for why four of the following five players are holdovers from this list a year ago.
More likely, however, is that these point guards just keep getting better and continue to impress us. So that should have made our job easy, right? Think again. Nancy Lieberman argued that Jamie Carey and Dionnah Jackson should be bumped to our list of the best off-guards since both are such great outside shooters. She almost convinced us. But in the end, we knew we'd want these five running our offense before anybody else.
A look at the top five point guards in the nation (listed alphabetically, with 2003-04 stats):
Erin Grant, Texas Tech, 5-8, junior
"Excellent freshman season; showed us she's a great passer with an excellent sense of the floor." -- Nancy Lieberman
"An excellent play-maker from the beginning. Now, she wants to erase the perception that perimeter shooting is her weakness." -- Mechelle Voepel
Dionnah Jackson, Oklahoma, 5-9, senior
"Can shoot, run the floor, break you down off the dribble and is an excellent shooter in the halfcourt. Also has excellent speed in transition." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Underrated nationally, but not by pro scouts paying attention. Can get to the basket and one of the best defenders at any position." -- Mechelle Voepel
Temeka Johnson, LSU, 5-3, senior
"Excellent leadership. Can control (and push) tempo better than most. She's always attacking, always coming at you."
-- Nancy Lieberman
"Miniature but mighty, she really knows how to distribute. Also sure to have learned a lot after disappointment at the Final Four." -- Mechelle Voepel
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers, 5-9, senior
"A great scorer who can get the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. A very good defender and great passer." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Quick and versatile. But after sitting out, must reestablish herself quickly." -- Mechelle Voepel
Note: Johnson is a three-time honoree; Carey, Grant and Pondexter are repeat selections.
Honorable mention: Loree Moore, Tennessee; Dee-Dee Wheeler, Arizona.
ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman, ESPN.com columnist Mechelle Voepel and Melanie Jackson, who coordinates ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage, contributed to the selection process.