Hey University of Connecticut women! Will you ever lose another game? Will it be in this decade? Inquiring minds want to know. The Lady Huskies, current and national champions, are on a hot streak. They have won 57 straight games dating back to last year, all of which have been by double digits. At 18-0, the Lady Huskies are on pace to shatter its 70 game winning streak, set in the 2001-2003 season.
One can only image how easy it is being the beat writer that covers this team. We all know that they are going to prevail. Most likely they will win big, since winning is what they do best.
There are very few teams that can even come close to matching UConn’s intensity and skill level. Connecticut fans can thank head coach Geno Auriemma for that. Not only is this guy a winner but he’s a genius. Since his hiring in 1985, UConn has an overall win-loss record of 705-122; six NCAA National Championships; 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight 15 times and the Final Four 10 times; 15 Big East Conference Tournament championships; and 17 Big East Conference Regular Season titles.
Recruiting the right players is a major key for UConn’s success and coach Auriemma is the mastermind in that process. Players such as Kerry Bascom, Rebecca Lobo (WNBA retired), Nykesha Sales (WNBA retired), Diana Taurasi (WNBA), and current Lady Huskies standout Maya Moore, have made UConn the power house of women’s college basketball.
Kerry Bascom played the forward and center position for Connecticut from 1987-1991. Under her leadership, UConn would win the Big East Conference Regular Season title and Tournament title for the first time in 1989, as well as the club’s first NCAA tournament bid. During her stay, Bascom became the first Lady Husky to be selected as an All-American, scored a then team record 2177 points, and led her team to its first Final Four appearance in 1991. She also won Big East player of the year three years in consecutive seasons from 1989-1991.
Before Rebecca Lobo became a basketball analyst, she was a pretty good basketball player. The former WNBA great played center from 1991-1995. Lobo became the focal point of the Lady Huskies throughout her college career. During her senior year, Lobo along with Nykesha Sales (UConn’s All-time leading scoring), would help lead the team to a 35-0 record and its first NCAA Division I championship as well as winning three major college basketball player of the year awards (Naismith Award, Wade Award and NCCA Woman of the Year).
If you want an idea of who comes closest to being the prototypical women’s basketball player, Diana Taurasi is your woman. This two-time WNBA champion, league MVP and former Rookie of the Year of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury played point and shooting guard for UConn from 2000-2004. Taurasi is an assassin on the court. Her relentless style fueled UConn to three consecutive NCAA Division I championships from 2001-2004. Taurasi received just about every player award possible during her college days. The Lady Huskies were so dominate during Taurasi’s term that they compiled an impressive 139-8 record. Enough said!
With forward Maya Moore as the current darling for coach Auriemma and UConn, the team is 93-2 (and counting) since her arrival in 2007. My question is, who is going to beat this squad? It’s not like the remaining top 25 teams are slouches. In fact, out of the current top five teams under UConn, only Duke has two losses. Unfortunately, UConn was the team to hand Duke its second loss with an 81-48 blowout on January 18, 2010. The competition is definitely there but maybe the University of Connecticut is just that good. I guess we’ll just have to wait until March to find out.
By Keith Madyun