Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Page 2

Naismith Trophy watch list

A whopping 50 players on this list.

Day one was fun, now done

Day one saw some big performances already, including an…..

Upset:

Missouri State 77, No. 23 Minnesota 69

More results:

No. 2 Baylor 97, New Hampshire 29

No. 3 Stanford 92, Eastern Washington 27

No. 4 Maryland 119, Wagner 56

No. 6 Texas A&M 78, Little Rock 35

No. 8 South Carolina 103, Alabama State 43. Gamecock freshman Aliyah Boston debuted with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks.

No. 9 Louisville 75, Western Kentucky 56

No. 16 Notre Dame 60, Fordham 55

No. 17 Michigan State 85, Eastern Michigan 50

No. 20 Arizona State 87, Air Force 56

No. 21 Syracuse 66, Ohio 54

South Dakota 80, Northeastern 76

Tennessee 72, East Tennessee State 68

Marquette 70, Morgan State 48

Cincinnati 68, Utah 62

TCU 66, Robert Morris 61

Penn State 73, Towson 67

Drexel 66, Quinnipiac 62

Georgia Tech 69, Houston 38

Florida 72, Grambling 65

Duke 93, High Point 57

Virginia 84, Bucknell 60

Rutgers 77, South Alabama 56, for C. Vivian Stringer’s 500th win with the Scarlet Knights.

Missouri 97, Western Illinois 89 (OT)

USC 69, CSUN 53

All scores

Tomorrow’s schedule

The season is upon us

Games have been played, are playing, and are still yet to be played. The season is off and running!

Season looks:

The top 25 storylines of the year.

John Wooden Award preseason watch list:

Thirty great players on this list.

College player news:

These five freshmen could impact the game in a big way.

College coach news:

Legendary coach Muffet McGraw is on a tenacious mission to close the gender gap.

Ready??? Let’s go!!!

College team news:

CBS Sports power rankings.

Southeastern Conference: locked in and loaded.

The past is the prologue in the MEAC.

Oregon’s depth is the key to their National Championship aspirations, but they have a lot to prove after their No. 1 preseason ranking.

The Ducks will face numerous ranked opponents in conference play.

Why Stanford looks even better than expected for the year.

Both the Cardinal and Team USA learned from their exhibition Saturday.

No. 18 ASU’s strength has swung back to the perimeter, as they look to build off last year’s Sweet 16 appearance.

University of Washington season preview.

A new era has begun at Penn State, but what will that look like?

Utah hopes to stay healthy after injuries derailed them last year.

Syracuse season preview.

Who will replace Asia Durr at Louisville?

The Cardinals will redshirt two freshman, including McDonald’s All-American Nyah Green.

UCLA and USC will get a boost from youngsters.

TCU is hungry for an NCAA Tournament appearance.

LSU returns a top-notch defense.

It’s a season of rebirth for Duquesne.

FGCU will be battle-tested with a tough non-conference slate.

Oklahoma State looks to boost their rebounding with a taller lineup.

A youth movement has Pitt energized.

George Washington’s starting lineup is unclear.

Harvard has a fresh but uncertain future.

Mississippi State had a wake up call tonight.

Sac State will shake up their strategy.

Miami will capitalize on their strength and depth.

Liberty is finding balance to enter the season.

College player news:

ESPN’s picks for the top 25 players.

Maryland’s seniors stuck it out through trying times. Now it’s time to reap their rewards.

Terp Sharkira Austin dedicated herself to making a big sophomore jump, and she wants bigger things this season.

Christyn Williams will need to be loud on court to get the Huskies back to the Final Four.

How one player went all in for South Carolina coach Dawn Staley on her position change.

Amid unusual circumstances, Kiara Lewis is getting her time to shine at Syracuse.

Amaya Finklea-Guity is painting a path for the Orange.

After a long wait, this Iowa State freshman could be key at point guard.

A pulmonary embolism has sidelined Notre Dame guard Abby Prohaska indefinitely.

Playing for the Buckeyes is a dream come true for Jacy Sheldon.

The five best returning shot blockers.

College coach news:

Coach’s Chair: Susie Gardner, Mercer University.

Tennessee hopes Kellie Harper can return the Lady Vols to prominence.

In year two, Lindsay Whalen has NCAA Tournament aspirations for the Gophers.

Lisa Stone hopes toughness makes St. Louis hard to beat.

Coach Lance White looks forward to the season in Pitt’s rebuild.

New coach Megan Duffy is putting her stamp on a young Marquette team.

Much has changed the last 25 years, but Cyclone coach Bill Fennelly has not.

San Diego State coach Stacie Terry is at a crossroads with the program.

International news:

Emma Meesseman is that kid from Belgium who won it all.

Coach’s Chair: Susie Gardner, Mercer University

Coach Susie Gardner celebrates Mercer's win of last year's Southland Conference Championship. Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics.
Coach Susie Gardner celebrates Mercer's win of last year's Southland Conference Championship. Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics.
Coach Susie Gardner celebrates Mercer’s win of last year’s Southland Conference Championship. Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics.

Susie Gardner enters her tenth season at Mercer’s head coach coming off of two consecutive Southern Conference Tournament titles. The Bears have amassed 20 wins in five of the last six seasons, including a program-best 30 wins in 2017-2018. Her 144 wins make her the most winning coach in program history, and have turned Mercer into a mid-major powerhouse.

A standout at Georgia from 1982-1986, Gardner was the graduate assistant for the team before becoming an assistant coach at San Diego State University. She earned her first head coaching job at Austin Peay State in 1995, and went on to be the head coach at Arkansas for three seasons. Gardner was an assistant coach at Florida from 2007-2010.

On her current staff is former Bear standout Sydni Means, and Drew Landers – the son of Gardner’s former college coach, Andy Landers.

When you came to Mercer, you knew you had a task in rebuilding the program. How did you approach that, and what steps did you take and follow in your first two years?

I didn’t realize it was going to be that big of a rebuild when I took the job, honestly. I came back to Mercer in the state of Georgia, where I had been a player, and knowing the high school coaches in the area. Mercer had huge success in the 70’s; there was a tradition, but it was far back. I knew our senior women’s administrator, and even though we knew it would be a rebuilding time, we felt like it was something we could get accomplished. I had great support from our administration. I didn’t expect to win only two games (the first year) and then six (the second). It was difficult to recruit at first, but then we had a couple of great recruiting years.

To what do you attribute in turning the program around?

I had really good assistant coaches who were young and believed in me, and believed in what we were doing. We won 20 games my third year, but it didn’t really get turned until my fourth year. We had recruited Sydni Means and Khalia Lawrence; that was a talented class. The following year we signed Amanda Thompson and Keke Calloway. When that crew came in, they brought the culture with them. We had no seniors and no juniors – only freshmen and sophomores – and we were picked fifth of eight in the Southern Conference. But we tried to win the conference with that young team. Honestly, those two classes got this thing turned to where we are now. Those won four So Con regular-season championships and took us to the NCAA Tourney for the first time in school history.

What kept you going through the grind, and through all the losses the team experienced?

I’ve tried to block those days out, honestly. It was bad, awful, really bad basketball to the point where I didn’t care if anyone came to our games or not. I didn’t want them to have that be their first impression of Mercer women’s basketball. I have had several players of the year. We’ve also been able to schedule very well. They bring good teams to Mercer and that brings the fans. Early on we brought too good of teams. Like in my third year we brought Notre Dame, and we weren’t ready for that.

What are the three most important tenants of a successful program?

Culture is one. We’re real big on culture and creating that. What happens when you’ve been there long enough is that it gets handed down from year to year, so you don’t necessarily have to preach it so much after a while. Players say, “that’s not what we do here.”

Then there’s hard work, which means everything from recruiters watching film to players working. It’s a work ethic that you feel like you are outworking everyone, because you’re grinding.

Third, respect for your teammates, respect for your coaches, respect for the game, and respect for those who came before you.

How did coach Andy Landers lay the foundation for your coaching career? What did you learn from him?

I was with him early on in his coaching career, and at that point he was not the most complimentary guy. He had a high level of expectations: he wanted to win the SEC, and we won it three out of my four years there. He wanted to be the best team in the country, and he always had great players. He had a strong work ethic and he was very demanding,

Being his GA taught me so much. I had no idea what went on behind the scenes, what coaches did in preparing for practice and recruiting, and all the other things that you don’t see. There wasn’t a better coach to work for.

You had a few stops on your coaching journey before arriving at Mercer. Was there any one place where you learned a lot, or did a culmination of experiences foster your growth as a coach?

I think each place was unique and gave me a unique understanding. When I was a head coach at 23 it was just me – no trainer or assistant coach. I had to drive the van and tape the ankles and all those things you hear about. I have an appreciation for all the jobs that the support staff does for us. Then at San Diego State I learned how to scout, as (then-coach) Beth Burns is in family tree of Tara (VanDerveer). We also got a program turned around in a mid-major to become a national power that got ranked in the top 25.

Arkansas got me to finally reach my dream of being a had coach in the SEC, but I also learned the value of hiring the right people, and being in a state where you know people. I didn’t know anyone there, and realized it’s important to be in a place where you know people. Working for Amanda Butler at Florida made me remember what it’s like to be an assistant. As a head coach, you never get a chance to stop. Working there gave me a chance to slow down.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

For sure it would be to don’t dive into my job 24/7, and to take time to enjoy life and your friends and your family. To take a little bit more time to do things that you love outside of coaching. Amanda Butler – one thing I learned from her – she kind of pointed out that I didn’t have a lot of balance.

What is one thing coaching has taught you that you didn’t count on?

Coaching has taught me that even though I am very set in my ways, that changing and evolving creates and helps longevity in this profession.

What is the best thing about coaching?

I know everyone talks about the relationships and all that, but truly, the best thing is the relationships that you form. Even deeper than that is seeing a player come in as a freshman who doesn’t know what they want or what they want to study, and seeing them leave as confident. I try to be a strong and confident woman in this world, and I try to be a good role model for them in that respect. I do see now the important of being that female role model. If I have to stand up for something on campus, I will.

Is Mercer going to stay home for you?

I reached that goal of being a head coach in the SEC. There’s value at every level. There are positives to being at a BCS school and positives to being at a mid-major. I’m at peace here, and I’m happy with what we’ve build here. But I never close the door on anything.

If you had a chance to have the perfect day off, what would you do?

Play 36 holes of golf, then probably try to go fishing at dusk when it’s getting a little bit darker.

Southeastern Conference: locked in and loaded

Rhyne Howard may be the best player in the SEC this season. Hannah Phillips/UK Athletics.

The SEC has always been one of, if not the toughest conference in the nation in which to play, and this year will be no exception. From top to bottom, it will be a dogfight to the finish. There won’t be any easy games.

In order of predicted finish, here is a look at each team, after many offseason roster changes throughout the league:

Chennedy Carter has been a scoring machine since she arrived at Texas A&M. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics.
Chennedy Carter has been a scoring machine since she arrived at Texas A&M. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics.

Texas A&M

Coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, the Aggies enter the year with high expectations. The AP ranked them No. 6, and Chennedy Carter was tabbed SEC Player of the Year, while teammates Ciera Johnson and Kayla Wells earned preseason all-SEC nods. Last season Carter led the conference in scoring with 23.3 points per game. She was later named first-team all-SEC and AP All-American for the second year in a row.

Impressive, right? The problem that I have with Carter is her defense. She can be lazy and one-dimensional on that side of the ball. But if she improves that aspect of her game, Texas A&M will be cutting down the nets at the conference tournament.

Wells is the glue to this team. She was the most improved scorer last season in the SEC, averaging 15.1 points per game on 48 percent shooting. If she disappears into Carter’s shadows, the chances of the Aggies winning the conference will be lost. They have all their soldiers back, and they have the best chances of taking the league title.

Senior Tyasha Harris is ready to lead a young Gamecock team this season. Photo courtesy of South Carolina Athletics.
Senior Tyasha Harris is ready to lead a young Gamecock team this season. Photo courtesy of South Carolina Athletics.

South Carolina

Questions coming into the year: 1. Can Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan (preseason all-SEC) keep her emotions in check and be the consistent scorer that coach Dawn Staley has been searching for? 2. Can the No. 1 recruiting class – Zia Cooke, Aaliyah Boston, Leticia Amihere, Brea Beal, and Olivia Thompson – live up to the hype? 3. Staley returns six letterwinners, including all-SEC and honorable mention All-American Tyasha Harris. I really would like to see Harris be a little more selfish on the offensive end this year. Also returning will be Destinee Henderson and Lele Grisett.

The Gamecocks start the season in the top 10 ranked in every poll, and their expectations are high. Staley had said earlier this season that this team has 10 potential starters. I predict them to finish second in the conference, but they could ride that baby out if Herbert-Harrigan decides that she wants to be an All-American.

Rhyne Howard may be the best player in the SEC this season. Hannah Phillips/UK Athletics.
Rhyne Howard may be the best player in the SEC this season. Hannah Phillips/UK Athletics.

Kentucky

Coach Matthew Mitchell thinks that this team could have a special season, and I agree. They have all the key components to compete for a league title: versatility, depth, team chemistry, and my pick for SEC Player of the Year, Rhyne Howard. Voted by the media and coaches, Howard has been tabbed preseason all-SEC First Team as a sophomore. She is coming off a season where she was named National Freshman of the Year by ESPN, USBWA, and WBCA. She is big, long, and can shoot the three with ease. She finished last season as Kentucky’s leading scorer with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. She was the only freshman in the country last season to finish with 500+ points, 70+ three’s, 75+ assists, and 65+ steals. Yes, they lost all-everything Maci Morris and speedy guard Taylor Murray to graduation. But this season, the Wildcats will gain Chasity Patterson, Texas Longhorn transfer Keke McKinney, and Nae Nae Cole as experienced players. Returning is Blair Green, Jaida Roper, and Arizona State transfer Sabrina Haines, who sat out last year with Patterson. I predict that this team will finish third and that Howard will win SEC Player of the Year.

Chelsea Dungee averaged 20.5 points per game last season for the Razorbacks. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Athletics.
Chelsea Dungee averaged 20.5 points per game last season for the Razorbacks. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Athletics.

Arkansas

Not too long ago, the Razorbacks had property at the bottom of the SEC, so their rise to the top 25 of the AP’s preseason poll, and my fourth pick here, might be jarring. But this team is exciting, fearless, and chock full of talent. They are coming off a 22-win season – the most wins ever for this program. Coach Mike Neighbors returns four out of his five starters from last year’s team, including top scorer Chelsea Dungee. She was named to the all-SEC Preseason First Team, and is a match up nightmare. If a smaller guard is put on her, she will post up. If a post player is sent to guard her, she will use her speed to get by them.

Also back is TCU transfer Amber Ramirez, and with the other returnees, the Razorbackjs could end up at the end of the season competing for an SEC title. Last year, they beat South Carolina in the second round of the tournament en route to the championship game, where they ran out of gas against Mississippi State. All I know this season is that this team will not be playing on the opening day of the conference tournament with lower-finishing teams.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs are coming off a 2018-2019 campaign that saw them earn their second conference title in program history on a 15-1 record. They also won their first-ever SEC Tournament title while earning a third straight Elite Eight appearance.

The Basketball Gods are on Mississippi State’s side. The NCAA granted a waiver that allowed Jordan Danberry, third in scoring (13.1 ppg), to come back as a graduate student. With her on the court, the Bulldogs are an immediate threat to contend for the SEC title. Danberry will be joined by juniors Chloe Bibby and Andra Espinoza-Hunter. Promise Taylor, who made all-SEC Freshman Team in 2018, will be eligible after transferring from Ole Miss. Coach Vic Schaefer and his staff signed the highest-ranked class in program history with four Top 100 players: Rickea Jackson, JaMya Mingo-Young, Aliyah Matharu, and Jayla Hemingway. Add 6-6 Yemiyah Morris from Cochis Community College, and this team will be big and exciting. Sidney Cooks will have to sit out this year after transferring from Michigan State.

LSU

The Tigers return four starters and nine letterwinners, led by all-SEC First Team Ayana Mitchell, who averaged 13.5 points per game and 10.5 rebounds last year. Junior Khalya Pointer was the only other player to start every game of the 2019 season, and she lead the team with 131 assists while averaging 12.5 points per game. In the post, redshirt junior Fasstine Aifuwa returns as the second-most consistent scorer at 46.9 percent from the field. LSU brings in the No. 20 recruiting class, led by Tiara Young, the Louisiana Player of the Year, and Dominique Davis, who made All-Louisiana’s First Team. Jalayshia Thomas will also be eligible this season.

On Nov. 9, the Tigers will host Florida State in an early-season battle. With the 2020 Final Four set in nearby New Orleans, LSU has made it clear that they do not want to be spectators, but how far they do go depends on Mitchell. She is an offensive nightmare who can jump out of any gym. I predict the Tigers to finish sixth in the conference, with the possibility that they could slide up to the fifth slot.

Tennessee

First-year head coach and former Lady Vol great Kellie Harper is working with a group of players who are excited and ready to begin what they’ve spent all summer working toward. It is a squad with a solid mix of high-profile newcomers, such as No. 2 recruit Jordan Horston, and a group of experienced players, which includes the talented Rennia Davis. They are hungry to return Tennessee to prominence.

Davis, named to the preseason all-SEC team last week, led the Lady Vols in scoring last year and ranked first in the conference in free throw shooting. Also returning is sophomore guard/forward Rae Burrell, and guard Zaay Green. Graduate Lou Brown, who transferred from Washington State last year but tore her ACL in preseason, has been granted another year of eligibility and will anchor the post. Redshirt junior Jaiden McCoy,from Florida State Community College, will be someone to keep an eye on. Freshmen Tamari Key and Emily Saunders will help Brown in the post.

Georgia

The Lady Bulldogs return six of their top eight scorers from last year’s team, led by junior guard Gabby Connally. She has started 30 straight games for the team and has played in all 63 matches over the last two years. Also returning is junior guard Maya Caldwell, Que Morrison, and 6-4 redshirt junior Jenna Staiti. Two-sport starter Chloe Chapman (basketball and soccer), should make an immediate impact once soccer season is over. Georgia will also have the services of redshirt junior, Mikayla Coombs, who transferred from UConn last year. Maybe a year with coach Joni Taylor will give Coombs the confidence she lacked with the Huskies.

Taylor has stated that she wants her program to be elite, and she fully expects everyone to realize their potential and handle expectations gracefully. After Staiti, Georgia does not have another player on the roster that stands taller than 6-2, which will emphasize the role of guards.

Auburn

Auburn returns three starters and eight letter winners from a year in which they finished 22-10 overall and 9-7 in conference. They also made it to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four seasons.

Preseason second team all-SEC junior forward Unique Thompson returns as the second-leading scorer. A total of seven newcomers are on the Tigers’ roster, with five freshmen who are eligible to play this season. Honesty Gray-Lawson, who was dismissed from Baylor, will have to sit out this season according to NCAA transfer rules. Auburn does bring in the 71st Prospect in the ESPN top 100 in Lauren Hansen, from Long Island, New York. I expect her to contribute immediately. Senior guard Daisa Alexander was also selected to the preseason all-SEC team, and returns as the team’s leading scorer, at 12.6 points per game.

The Tigers are known for their full-court press, which can be very disruptive to opponents. On the other side of the ball, however, can they find enough offense to get them to the top of the league?

Missouri

The Tigers lost a lot of big-scoring personnel in Sophie Cunningham, Lauren Aldridge and Cierra Porter. But coach Robin Pingeton said her team has embraced a new era, understand who they are now and will continue to grow.

New Missouri will rely heavily on its four seniors: Hannah Schuchts, Jordan Roundtree, Jordan Chavis, and Amber Smith. They also have a trio of freshmen that Pingeton is high on – most notably, Aijha Blackwell. She is a top ten recruit with USA National Team experience who averaged 24.2 points per game in high school. Pingeton said Blackwell is the most explosive athlete she ever coached.

Hayley Frank will also get playing time. Coming out of high school, she was known for being a scorer who is very physical, with a high basketball IQ. The Tigers also welcome three transfers (seniors Shug Dickson and Shannon Dufficy, and junior Ladazhia Williams). They will have to sit out this year according to NCAA transfer rules. This team should finish tenth this season.

Alabama

Last year the Crimson Tide was the 11th-youngest team in the country and this season they return 11 players from that roster. That includes four starters and 84.4 percent of their shooting. Three players redshirted last season: Jordan Lewis (injury), Amber Richardson (sat out), and Shelby Gibson (transfer rules). Lewis averaged 13.5 points per game before she suffered a wrist injury last December. Cierra Johnson returns for her senior season after scoring 457 points in her first year with the program. She led the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game after transferring from Shelton State Community College. Junior Jasmine Walker returns after averaging 12.4 points a game and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. That is impressive, but they should finish no higher than 11th in the conference.

Vanderbilt

Fourth-year coach Stephanie White is one that I am rooting for. I think she has finally put together a team that fits her identity. There is cautious optimism for White’s program, despite a 7-23 season a year ago and just two wins against SEC competition. Vanderbilt has five active upperclassmen back on the roster and an influx of highly-touted freshmen expected to raise the level of play.

Redshirt-senior Mariella Fasoula is back after pacing the Commodores with 15.9 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. The 6-5 forward is second-team all-SEC Preseason selection. Junior guard Chelsie Hall (9.8 points per game), junior forward Autumn Newby (6.7 rebounds per game), and two exciting freshmen Demi Washington and Koi Love, and there is a squad. White said this is the most competitive group she’s had at Vanderbilt, as they are more athletic and more versatile. But even so, I predict them to finish 12th in the SEC.

Ole Miss

I love me some coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. Her energy is so contagious. I do expect her to compete for an SEC title sometime in the near future, but it won’t be this season for the second-year coach, who is still in rebuilding mode.

Her thoughts on having a team with several newcomers:

“It’s exciting! I think every year you have a new team no matter what, even if you have experienced players because roles change, expectations change. With this group, it is fun. I can tell you that I am having a lot of fun. Last year I did not realize I was stressed. I guess because I was kind of new in the fire, but now I see how much fun I am having. It is definitely a difference.”

On replacing scoring:

“I think we will have a few surprises. Deja Cage is looking really well. Val Nesbitt is pretty electric at the Point Guard Position. Sarah is another promising freshmen. Rest assured, what is going to make us better is the fact that my staff and I, we’ve had the experience playing in the SEC for a year now.”

The Rebels should finish 13th this season.

Florida Gators

For the first time since taking over for predecessor Amanda Butler in 2017, the Florida Gators’ roster is made up of coach Cam Newbauer’s players, which means that they embody his culture. , in turn, this is Newbauer’s culture. Two seasons under Newbauer has netted just 19 victories versus 42 losses, including a 6-26 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Last year, after going 11-19 in his first season, the Gators rolled nine new players into the program and went 8-23.

Florida is still in makeover mode, with four new promising freshmen in Brylee Bartram, Faith Dut, Lavender Briggs, and Nina Richards. Center Emer Nichols, who sat out last season, is back, as is fourth-year guard Kiki Smith and redshirt junior guard Danielle Rainey. The team is still young, but I look for them to be competitive. However, I predict they will finish last in the league.

SEC Preseason first Team

Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
Rennia Davis, Tennessee
Ayanna Mitchell, LSU
Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan, South Carolina
Jordan Danberry, Mississippi St.

Second Team

Unique Thompson, Auburn
Amber Smith, Missouri
Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M
Kayla Wells, Texas A&M
Mariella Fasoula, Vanderbilt
Gabby Connally, Georgia
Jordan Lewis, Alabama
Amber Ramirez, Arkansas

Preseason Player of the Year: Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Freshman of the Year: Aaliyah Boston, South Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year: Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan, South Carolina

Coach of the Year: Mike Neighbors, Arkansas

Two more sleeps

College team news:

MAC power rankings.

A highly-ranked recruiting class is keeping Mississippi State strong.

Ohio State is ready to run again.

Oregon State is excited to square off against Team USA this week.

Missouri isn’t expecting a post-Sophie Cunningham letdown.

For Nebraska, the expectation is to play so hard that the gas tank must be refilled.

An in-depth look at the Huskers.

Wisconsin looks to build on its showing in last year’s Big Ten Tournament.

It’s all or nothing for Virginia when it comes to experience.

Expectations remain the same for Robert Morris.

Virginia Tech is turning to new faces.

UConn expects Tennessee to support Evina Westbrook’s transfer. What a joke.

College player news:

Khadijah Sessions previews South Carolina.

Preview of Marquette’s returning players.

UConn forward Batouly Camara will have knee surgery tomorrow and miss the start of the season.

A Michigan State player-by-player breakdown.

Despite the pain, it’s go hard or go home for Spartan Victoria Gaines.

Rider star Stella Johnson has her sights set on a MAAC title and the WNBA.

North Alabama’s Brittany Panetti stands tall in the post, while teammates Ivy and Emma Wallen hope to close their college careers with memorable seasons.

College coach news:

Coach Mike McLaughlin’s focus in turning around Penn? Culture.

International news:

Lauren Jackson’s pathway for retired female athletes.

Liz Cambage took a while to have confidence in her abilities.

Now it’s time for the USA National Team to take it to the next level.

NCAA says “no” again

Transfer and medical hardship waivers denied all week by the NCAA, including:

Evina Westbrook’s transfer waiver to UConn was denied, and the school will appeal.

What’s next for the Huskies now?

The season:

The essential guide to the 2019-2020 college season.

How Sabrina Ionescu’s decision to stay defined the season.

College team news:

Maryland anticipates a quick transitional offense.

Iowa has reloading questions.

Some thoughts on Drake.

Gonzaga always had an “in” with international talent.

Clemson is looking to establish an identity.

A new back court could be key for Stony Brook.

There are a lot of unknowns for Virgina this year.

Nebraska looks to build on last season with a more experienced team.

Green Bay must overcome injuries and a difficult schedule to start the season.

St. John’s is determined to reach the NCAA Tournament after sitting at home last year.

Nevada has added motivation after being picked to finish ninth in their conference.

College player news:

The Gamecock newcomers came up big in tonight’s exhibition.

With no Asia Durr, who will be Louisville’s alpha.

The “grandma” of Syracuse hoops hopes to cash in on experience.

Megan Walker is the ex-factor for UConn.

College coach news:

Geno Auriemma pauses to reflect as he enters his 35th season.

Amy Williams’ first head coaching job was at a small Oklahoma start-up.

Danielle Atkinson is the essential hire as coach for Hofstra.

Recruiting news:

No. 2 prospect Angel Reese has committed to Maryland.

USA Basketball news:

The USA has earned a berth in the 3X3 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament.

A’ja Wilson is one of the younger players who will benefit from the National Team training initiative.

Skylar Diggins-Smith’s first game as a mom will be with Team USA.

Bonus:

Kara Lawson’s career continues to shine on and off the basketball court.

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