ESPN Events: American Athletic Conference

Stewart, Hartley on Dawn Staley Watch List

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
On a powerhouse team like Connecticut, there’s bound to be more than just one superstar. This season, Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley are shining the brightest among a glittering field. They’ve led the Huskies to the No. 1 spot in the nation, with a 22-0 overall record and a 9-0 record in the American Athletic Conference.

In December, UConn picked up a huge 83-61 win over Duke in the Jimmy V Classic. Stewart and Hartley were standouts in that game, and both women have recently attracted national attention.

Stewart and Hartley have been named to the 16-player 2014 Dawn Staley Award Watch List. The Dawn Staley Award was established in 2013 by the Phoenix Club of Philadelphia to recognize the nation’s best guard in women’s Division I college basketball. Given annually, it’s awarded to the player who best exemplifies the skills Staley—a basketball hall of fame player and coach—was known for during her playing career, including ball-handling, scoring, and her ability to distribute the basketball.

Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame was last year’s inaugural winner. The 2014 award will be announced during Final Four weekend, and the award ceremony will take place in Philadelphia in April.

Stewart, a 6-4 sophomore, is averaging 19.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. Hartley, a 5-8 senior, averages 15.5 points and 4.8 assists a game.

For Cummings, Charleston Classic is personal

November, 14, 2013
For Will Cummings, there's nothing like playing at home ... or at least relatively close to home.

Temple's junior guard is looking forward to the Charleston Classic presented by Gildan for very personal reasons. For the 6-2, 175-pounder from Jacksonville, Fla., there aren't many games on the Temple basketball schedule near his home, which is why the eight-team tournament, which will be held from Nov. 21-24 at the TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., is special.

“I'm really looking forward to the tournament," said Cummings, who is averaging 17.5 points and three assists per game this season. "It's the closest game to my hometown. I'll have plenty of family and friends come up to the game. Charleston isn't too far from Florida.”

Temple will face Clemson in the opener on Nov. 21, which marks the beginning of one of the school’s toughest schedules in years. A member of the American Athletic Conference, the Owls have two games with defending NCAA champion Louisville, which includes a slate of NCAA opponents Cincinnati (twice), Villanova, Memphis, La Salle and Long Island.

This isn't lost on Cummings, however. “We’re playing all the big-name schools,” he said. “You always want to play the best. That's what really motivates you.”

Especially when you feel at home.