clear
Sunday November 19th, 2017 7:13PM
8:34AM ( 10 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Led by South Carolina, UConn, women's hoops tips off Friday

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been five years since a team other than UConn started the season as defending champions. Coach Dawn Staley and her South Carolina Gamecocks have that honor this year.

After a thrilling Final Four that ended with the Gamecocks winning their first national championship, women's college basketball is ready to get started Friday.

South Carolina is among the teams looking to travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the Final Four next April. UConn, Stanford, Ohio State and Louisville will make the trip there this weekend to play a tipoff tournament at the site of the upcoming NCAA championship.

South Carolina returns only two starters this season, although one is star A'ja Wilson.

"I think when we first started practice we had a certain level of confidence and swagger," Staley said. "But that team that won last year and the team that we have this year are very different. I made sure they were aware of that very quickly."

Mississippi State ended the Huskies' 111-game winning streak on a last-second shot in overtime of the NCAA semifinal game. With the longest winning streak in NCAA history behind them, UConn will aim for a fifth national championship in the past six seasons.

"I think what happened last season is exactly what needed to happen," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Not because we need any extra motivation to win. I just think we need it to lift all the stuff we've been carrying around with us the last couple of years and just play free and clear and be like everybody else, and understand that losing is not the end of the world."

The top-ranked Huskies return a talented group led by three preseason AP All-Americans . Auriemma has another group of talented newcomers as well.

___

Some things to watch this season in women's basketball:

MILESTONE WATCH: Three coaches have a shot at joining the 1,000 win club this year with Auriemma (991), North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell (990) and Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer (977) all within reach of that mark. Only Pat Summitt and Tara VanDerveer have reached a thousand victories in women's basketball.

"I honestly had no idea I was that close, but that is incredible company to be a part of," Auriemma said last summer. "The fact that there are three of us within reach of that mark just goes to show we've all been in the game for a while."

TRANSFER EPIDEMIC: Once again a plethora of players switched schools this season, including stellar freshman Destiny Slocumb, who left Maryland to head to Oregon State. Notre Dame added Jessica Shephard from Nebraska, who was surprisingly granted immediate eligibility last week.

South Carolina will try to get Te'a Cooper eligible at semester break. She sat out last season at Tennessee with a knee injury then switched to the Gamecocks this summer.

FRESH FACES: There are a bunch of talented newcomers this season, starting with Tennessee's highly regarded freshmen group . The Lady Vols are led by Rennia Davis and Evina Westbrook.

"They are very talented young women and I think they came in here as highly touted freshmen," Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick said. "Some think they have a lot of pressure, but they don't see it as pressure."

___

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Prosecutor wants probe of detective in wrongful conviction
A Kansas prosecutor has asked for help in investigating a retired white police detective accused of preying on black women for sex over decades and pursuing the wrongful murder conviction of the son of one of the women
6:44PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Only if it serves the state: North Korea's online experience
For Kim Jong Un, North Korea's first leader to come of age with the Internet, the idea of a more wired nation is both dangerous and irresistible
6:15PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Family: Woman killed in church shooting shielded grandson
One of the people killed when a gunman opened fire at a small-town Texas church was a 56-year-old Sunday school teacher who relatives say threw herself in front of her 18-year-old grandson
6:13PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Doctor: Hernandez's brain was severely damaged by disease
A researcher says former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez had severe damage to parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, impulse control and behavior
5:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Researcher: Hernandez's brain severely affected by disease
A researcher says former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez had severe damage to parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, impulse control and behavior
4:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
NFL expects Goodell contract extension to be finalized soon
The NFL expects a five-year contract extension with Commissioner Roger Goodell to be finalized soon despite a threatened lawsuit by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
4:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
UConn women motivated, not dwelling on Final Four loss
UConn comes into the season off a loss, an unusual position after a 111-game winning streak
1:16PM ( 5 hours ago )
Chinese authorities say 3 Americans are under investigation
Chinese authorities are investigating three Americans following media reports that three UCLA freshmen were arrested for shoplifting ahead of their basketball game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai
5:50AM ( 12 hours ago )
A guide to the 2017-18 college hoops season
The stars, top teams and best nonconference games of the 2017-18 college basketball season
2:09AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
ACC trio headlines list of top seniors across country
ND's Bonzie Colson, UNC's Joel Berry II, Duke's Grayson Allen bring senior presence to ACC this season
2:41AM ( 1 day ago )
Scandal hangs over college basketball headed in 2017-18
College basketball enters 2017-18 season under the cloud of scandal following federal probe into recruiting practices
2:31AM ( 1 day ago )
No change at top of CFP rankings; Miami poised to make move
Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson keep top 4 spots in CFP rankings; unbeaten Miami moves up to No. 7
1:08AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
UConn trio headline AP women's hoops All-America team
UConn's Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier headline The Associated Press women's basketball preseason All-America team marking the first time a school has had three players on the squad
12:09PM ( 2 days ago )
Auriemma thinks Pitino should get another chance to coach
Geno Auriemma thinks Rick Pitino should get another chance to coach and that he's already suffered enough by losing his job at Louisville
3:24PM ( 1 week ago )
UConn women a unanimous No. 1 in AP preseason hoops poll
UConn is No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball preseason poll for the 12th time in the school's history
8:04AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
Prosecutor wants probe of detective in wrongful conviction
A Kansas prosecutor has asked for help in investigating a retired white police detective accused of preying on black women for sex over decades and pursuing the wrongful murder conviction of the son of one of the women
6:44PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Only if it serves the state: North Korea's online experience
For Kim Jong Un, North Korea's first leader to come of age with the Internet, the idea of a more wired nation is both dangerous and irresistible
6:15PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Family: Woman killed in church shooting shielded grandson
One of the people killed when a gunman opened fire at a small-town Texas church was a 56-year-old Sunday school teacher who relatives say threw herself in front of her 18-year-old grandson
6:13PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Judge jails, sets bail for top lawmaker in Catalonia probe
Spanish judge jails Catalonia's top lawmaker in rebellion probe stemming from an independence declaration, sets bail at $175,000
6:10PM ( 40 minutes ago )
The Latest: Academy won't comment on Louis C.K. allegations
Distributor reviewing release of Louis C.K. film
6:08PM ( 41 minutes ago )