UConn women's basketball schedule slowly taking shape

Published on Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:34
Written by CARL ADAMEC

JOURNAL INQUIRER

The UConn women’s basketball team’s 2020-21 schedule is still a work in progress.

“We know we play Nov. 28-29, and we are good with that,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said on a Zoom call Wednesday. “We know we play at Tennessee, but we don’t know what day it will be. We know for sure that we are playing at Baylor, but we don’t know what day exactly. That is what we’ve got right now.”

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley told her local media that the Gamecocks’ game with the Huskies was still on.

With the Hall of Fame Challenge and games with Baylor, South Carolina, and Tennessee, that should put UConn at the NCAA’s 25-game limit for 2020-21, assuming that the Huskies play 20 league games in their return to the Big East.

UConn and Notre Dame announced Monday that it would not play this season and that their four-game deal would be extended to 2024-25.

“There is no rhyme or reasons for what happens,” Auriemma said. “You just kind of roll with it. I don’t know what the policy is in the ACC or why some teams can play and some teams can’t of you play a certain number of games. I don’t know. We were hoping that we would be able to keep our entire schedule as it was designed, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do that.

“We’re not the only one in that situation. We’re not the only one that is being affected by this.”

ELIGIBILITY EXTENSION

Winter sport athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I will receive both an additional season of competition and an additional year in which to complete it, the NCAA Division I Council decided Wednesday. The same flexibility was provided to spring and fall athletes after their 2020 seasons were seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Auriemma was caught off guard.

“How does that make any sense?” he said. “So you get to play a whole year of 26-27 games or whatever, and then you get another year next year? I think you’re going to have a lot of coaches who are going to have a problem with that. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have any seniors.

“I don’t like it. If you lose your season, I can see that. The fall sports guys, you lost your season, we’ll give that back to you. That makes sense. How are you going to let somebody play a whole season and then give them another year? You should have let Evina (Westbrook) play last year. That would have made more sense.”

Westbrook had her appeal for waiver to the NCAA transfer rule denied last November so she sat out 2019-20 after transferring from Tennessee.

TENNIS ANYONE?

Sophomore Anna Makurat was asked a question about tennis for the first time since she arrived at UConn Wednesday.

But never before had a Polish player won a grand slam event. That is until last Saturday when 19-year-old Iga Swiatek beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets to win the French Open title in Paris.

“I’m a tennis fan and a big fan of hers,” Makurat said of her fellow countrywoman. “She did an amazing job. She didn’t lose a set the whole tournament. She has an amazing future in front of her.”

Makurat added she has never met Swiatek.

“Maybe someday,” Makurat said with a laugh.

SITES SET

The NCAA awarded the 2025 Final Four to Tampa, Florida and the 2026 Final Four to Phoenix on Wednesday.

It will be Tampa’s fourth Final Four (2008, 2015, 2019). UConn won the 2015 title there and lost in the semifinals in 2008 and 2019). It will be a first for Phoenix.

The 2021 Final Four is scheduled for San Antonio, followed by Minneapolis in 2022, Dallas in 2023, and Cleveland in 2024.

The NCAA also awarded regional sites for 2023-26 Wednesday. The NCAA will go from four regional sites to two starting in 2023.

The 2023 regionals will be in Greenville, South Carolina and Seattle, followed by Albany, New York and Portland, Oregon in 2024, Birmingham, Alabama and Spokane, Washington in 2025, and Fort Worth, Texas and Sacramento, California in 2026.

The four regionals sites for 2021 are Albany, Austin, Texas, Cincinnati, and Spokane. The 2022 regionals will be held in Bridgeport, Greensboto, North Carolina, Spokane, and Wichita, Kansas.



Posted in Newington Town Crier, UConn on Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:34. Updated: Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:37.