Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

UConn once again the pick of Big East coaches

With the exception of last year when Notre Dame was the preseason pick to win the Big East regular season title and back in 2005 during the Cappie Pondexter days at Rutgers the trip to New York for the Big East women's basketball media day has not exactly been a suspense-filled excursion.

Year after year UConn is the pick to the win the Big East regular season title and the Huskies make the coaches look pretty good by backing up those lofty predictions.

Well, once again the Huskies are the overwhelming pick to win the regular-season title. Of the 14 other Big East coaches, 12 of them voted UConn first in the preseason poll.

"They are going to be really good and I don't know if anybody is going to be able to challenge them this year," Villanova coach Harry Perretta said. "Notre Dame lost a lot of players, Louisville maybe has a chance but they (UConn) could go undefeated this year because I think the other teams are good but I don't know if they are at that level right now."

Notre Dame, which is the defending Big East regular-season champion, was picked to finish second and received the other three first-place votes.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose Fighting Irish have eliminated the Huskies in the last two Final Fours, believes UConn is the class of the Big East this season.

"They will definitely challenge for No. 1 in the country," McGraw said. "It is going to be great when they play Baylor, I am anxious to see that one. I think they have great talent and great experience coming back. Bria Hartley is one of the best players in the conference and in the country. I think she is a really good leader for them."

Hartley and her teammates are motivated by the fact that Notre Dame won the regular season title and beat the Huskies twice along the way.

"If you look at the negatives from last year and you turn them into positives, use it from motivation and just learn from them," Hartley said.

Speaking of Hartley, she said she should return to practice on Monday after missing time with a sprained ankle. Freshman guard Moriah Jefferson returned to practice after missing Tuesday's practice with a strained groin.


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