The start of the women’s basketball regular season is just days away and the UConn Huskies have a schedule packed with good games. That got us thinking: Which game is the best this season? The DC Sports staff debated just that in this week’s edition of the Roundtable.
Matt Severino, Campus Correspondent
The women’s basketball team has done a lot of winning since 1995 when they captured their first national title. Since then, they have added 10 more to the trophy case. Last year, however, didn’t end with the Huskies cutting down the nets. For a team with far less expectations than in years past, Geno Auriemma worked his magic and led the team to yet another Final Four. For the first time in five years, the team has begun the new season not holding the title of “defending national champs.” Although the Huskies have a very realistic shot at winning it all this season, they have a chance in early February to reclaim the throne when they head to Colombia to take on South Carolina. Preseason rankings have the two teams listed 1 and 2 making this matchup a way-too-early candidate for game of the year.
Story Salit, Campus Correspondent
After failing to repeat as national champions back in April, the UConn women’s basketball team faces a difficult road to redemption. The Huskies are set to face 12 teams in the preseason AP top 25 rankings. Possibly the most difficult of these matchups is a mid-season trip to Austin to take on Texas, who is currently in the top 5 of the preseason rankings. The Longhorns boast a star-studded lineup including Big 12 Player of the Year Brooke McCarty and senior standout guard Ariel Atkins. Joining them are impact newcomers Jatarie White, a transfer center from South Carolina, and Chasity Patterson, a freshman point guard who was one of the top recruits in the nation. On paper, Texas seems prepared to give the Huskies a run for their money.
Kevin Arnold, Campus Correspondent
The Feb. 26 matchup with USF may be overlooked by most, but poses to be a good matchup nonetheless. This game should be emotional as it is Senior Day, meaning it’s the last time both Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse, two of the team’s biggest leaders, will play on their home floor. This also happens to be a conference game against a South Florida team that will open the season ranked 23rd in the AP Poll. As this is the last game of what is poised to be a big year, we will see just how well the Huskies are playing heading into the NCAA Tournament where they look to prove last year was just a fluke.
Jorge Eckardt, Campus Correspondent
The best game on the schedule for the UConn women’s basketball team is the Nov. 21 matchup against the No. 8 UCLA Bruins. UConn beat UCLA 86-71 in the Sweet 16 last year, so the Bruins will be looking for revenge. It will be the first away game for the Huskies and they will look to make a statement, especially having to fly cross-country. The Huskies will want to prove themselves as the top dog and the four-game stretch that ends with UCLA is the perfect opportunity to do so, as they play No. 10 Stanford, No. 20 California and No. 15 Maryland before they travel to Los Angeles. If they win the game against UCLA as well as the three previous ones, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this UConn team is no different that the previous championship-winning squads and is unaffected by their Final Four loss last year.