#8 — Rashidat Agboola, women’s basketball senior forward
For the women’s basketball team that qualified for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in the 2012-13 season, now-graduated guard Chantell Alford was the shining star. But 6-foot-1 forward Agboola provided strength in the paint for the Terriers, totaling a team-high 46 blocks and averaging nine rebounds per game — sixth best in school history for a single season. Agboola also averaged 11.7 points per game, and if the fact that she averaged nearly a double-double last season is any indication, she will be irreplaceable to this BU squad that is losing three of its top five scorers.
#7 — Kelvin Madzongwe, men’s soccer junior defender
Madzongwe was one of the best players for BU men’s soccer in 2011 — so good that he was named the 2011 America East Defender of the Year. Last season, he was en route to a season with similar success, but he tore his ACL three games in and was done for the season. He is back this year and healthy, though, and the co-captain’s skills and leadership will be pivotal to the team, which was selected to finish second in the Patriot League.
#6 — Madison Clemens, women’s soccer senior forward
Clemens, last season’s America East Offensive Player of the Year, was one of the chief reasons why the BU women’s soccer team won its sixth straight America East regular-season title in 2012, as the Reading, Pa, native scored eight goals in 19 games. Now, after being picked to finish as the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Year, Clemens is primed to be one of the top scorers on what is expected to be the best squad in the Patriot League.
#5 — Jayme Mask, softball senior outfielder
Mask emerged as a star last season for the Terriers, leading America East with a .399 average — sixth highest in program history — including a league-best .480 average in conference play. She also showed off some speed on the basepaths, tying the school record for stolen bases with 37. As a result of her stellar 2013 performance, Mask was named America East Player of the Year and was on the All-Region First Team. Her outfield defense and leadership will be major keys to the success of the Terriers in 2014.
#4 — Rich Peters, cross country/track and field senior
Peters is one of the most decorated current BU athletes: He has qualified for NCAA Outdoor Championships each of the past two seasons in the 1,500m run and was national runner up in the mile his sophomore indoor season. He holds the indoor school record for the mile (3:57.83) and the outdoor record for the 1,500m (3:40.05). Though traditionally a miler, Peters has excelled at longer distances too, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in cross country last season. He is the only runner in the Patriot League who competed at the NCAA Championships last season, and is an easy favorite to be atop the Patriot League in his senior season.
#3 — Maurice Watson Jr., men’s basketball sophomore guard
The 5-foot-10 Watson tore up the hardwood for the Terriers in 2012-13, living up to the hype as one of the most heralded recruits in BU basketball history. Last season, he led America East in assists per game (5.4), tied for first in total assists (162) and tied for second in steals per game (1.7). Watson was also the first BU player in more than 20 years to record both a points-assists double-double and a points-rebounds double-double. His extraordinary rookie season earned him CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshman All-America honors in addition to spots on the America East All-Conference Third Team and All-Rookie Team. While BU’s top two scorers, senior guard D.J. Irving and senior forward Dom Morris, will both return, Watson, with his impeccable hustle and playmaking ability — not to mention the fact that he now has a full year of collegiate-level play under his belt — will be the glue that holds together arguably one of the top teams in the Patriot League.
#2 — Danny O’Regan, men’s hockey sophomore forward
Drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, O’Regan stepped in and immediately made his presence felt on the 2012-13 BU men’s hockey team. The Needham rookie lead the team in scoring with 38 points (16 goals and 22 assists) in 39 games and was named to the 2013 Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team along with fellow BU classmate Matt Grzelcyk. With a year of experience under his belt, O’Regan is expected to once again lead the team in scoring in new head coach David Quinn’s debut season with the Terriers.
#1 Sarah Lefort, women’s hockey sophomore forward
Lefort emerged as a top scorer for national runner-up BU in her rookie campaign, netting 24 goals and 19 assists, tying Marie-Philip Poulin’s record for goals as a freshman. Her 1.16 points-per-game average was third best among all NCAA freshmen, and as a result, Lefort was named to the USCHO All-Rookie Team. She also earned Hockey East Rookie of the Month honors twice and was a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. As the Terriers seek a return to the Frozen Four, look for Lefort to step up even more in the absence of her former linemates Jenelle Kohanchuk, who graduated after the 2012-13 season, and Poulin, who will be representing Canada at the 2014 Olympics.