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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Report: Tennessee open to playing UConn

The Associated Press is reporting that Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick approached UConn's Geno Auriemma during the recent Women's Basketball Hall of Fame weekend and said she'd consider playing the Huskies in the regular season. UConn's non-conference schedule for the upcoming season has already been finalized so the only way the teams would play would come in the NCAA tournament,

Hall of Fame Tennessee coach Pat Summitt pulled the plug on the UConn/Tennessee series after the 2006-07 as she was upset with Auriemma's tactics during the recruitment of Maya Moore.

UConn and Tennessee played for the first time on Jan. 16, 1995 and the Huskies' 77-66 win was one of the landmark victories in program history. After playing once during the regular season from 1995-99, the programs decided to play an annual home and home series during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons before scaling back to playing once during the regular season. The last game between the teams was a 70-64 Tennessee win on Jan. 6, 2007. UConn leads the all-time series 13-9 including wins in the 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2004 national championship games although Tennessee won the last three games in the series.

With UConn playing in a weakened conference with the Catholic basketball-centric Big East school venturing off on their own and the ACC scooping up some of the Big East's best women's basketball programs, it is even more imperative than in the past for the Huskies to put together the best non-conference schedule possible.

The Tennessee program the last couple of years in a far cry from the one which was a legit national championship contender every year but with the arrival of top recruit Mercedes Russell (the Gatorade national player of the year) joining a talented group of returnees, the Lady Vols figure to be a top 10 and perhaps even a top five team in the next season or two so a matchup between the teams in the 2014-15 is something that both schools would seem to benefit from. Personally, if I could pick a non-conference team for UConn to sign up to play a series with the list would start with Notre Dame but certainly a Connecticut/Tennessee matchup would generate plenty of buzz.

It doesn't hurt that Deb Corum, UConn's Senior Women's Administrator, who is in charge of the scheduling for UConn women's basketball came to Storrs after working for 19 years with the Southeastern Conference.

Stay tuned.


Blogger James Kerwin said...

Jim the Courant is reporting Tenn turned down UConn again--this makes more sense.
I agree with you Jim--the best TV is UConn and ND after what happed the last 3 years.

Pat was angry because she lost Maya not recruiting violations--she was losing Parker and needed Maya to keep them on top. Pat was a sore loser. Talk about violations she would have a shirt printed up with the players name on it before they ever committed. And too she;d have someone put a sign on the kids lawn saying she was going to Tenn. Those are violations.

8:05 PM 

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