The Mountaineers were picked to finish third in the Big 12 Conference, which is too low in Bussie's opinion.
"I think we are a lot better than that," said Bussie, who also could not believe WVU was not ranked in the preseason top 25. "We have a lot to prove this year. Our goal is to win the Big 12 championship and make the NCAA Tournament."
Carey said the Big 12 is the top-ranked conference based on RPI ratings. WVU had a 17-14 overall record and 9-9 conference mark last season, its first in the Dallas-based league.
"Not having her in crucial times, when we needed her to get a big score on offense or make a big play on defense, really hurt us last season," Carey said. "She is one of the best defensive centers in the country, and we missed that in critical times last year."
Bussie and senior guard Jess Harlee will serve as the Mountaineers' co-captains for the third consecutive season. Incidentally, Harlee also is returning from an ACL tear, although she appeared in 29 games before it happened.
"She is such a leader on and off the floor for our team," Carey said of Bussie. "She motivates the team. She is not so much a rah-rah kind of leader. She leads by her actions."
Bussie and Harlee are two of the Mountaineers' five seniors. The others are guards Christal Caldwell, Brooke Hampton and Taylor Palmer.
Caldwell (772 points) and Palmer (755 points) have an opportunity to join Bussie in the 1,000-point club, giving the Mountaineers plenty of options on offense.
Other key contributors for the Mountaineers are junior forward Averee Fields, junior forward Crystal Leary, junior guard Linda Stepney, sophomore guard Darius Faulk and sophomore guard Bria Holmes.
"We are looking forward to the season," Carey said. "We have a chance to be pretty good."