Talk Women's College Basketball
So what's on your mind? Will anyone challenge Seimone Augustus for Player of the Year honors? Does Geno Auriemma have another star in freshman Charde Houston? Send in your questions now and join The Show on Friday at 2 ET for an hour of "bracketology" from the other half of the bracket.
Graham Hays (2:10 PM)
Hey and welcome to our first women's college hoops chat in The Show. Hopefully we'll get this going on a regular basis and get some special guests in here. But for today, we're just talking basketball. What's on your minds?
Buck (Baton Rouge)
With LSU's size and speed do you think that they are a lock for SEC champions? And what about the tournament.
Graham Hays (2:13 PM)
I don't think anyone is a lock in the SEC Tournament, having to play that many quality teams in that short a span, but LSU is still the class of the conference. How many teams have been able to bring size like that off the bench? You don't get the feeling there will be many freshman jitters in the tourney, surrounded by Johnson, Augustus and co.
Jason (Roanoke Rapids,NC)
Who has the best chance of being upset in the first or second round, Uconn or Tennessee?
Graham Hays (2:15 PM)
Even as a 4 or 5 seed, and I'm betting both Tennessee and UConn end up around 3 seeds, I don't think they're good candidates for early upsets. You're talking about two teams that are getting better each week. I'm not sure either makes it to Indy, but barring a horrendous draw, I'd be surprised if they're out before the Elite 8.
dont count out the huskies..post season is when they shine..charde, barb,ann, jess, and ashley at thier best-which is coming- will beat any team in the country, dont you think?
Mike: Naugatuck, CT
Uconn has really come together and is playing as well as anyone in the nation...don't you think?
Graham Hays (2:17 PM)
I wouldn't go that far, but they're miles better than they were before Christmas. Charde Houston's emergence may be the month's biggest story (sorry to those who were enjoying a season without as many UConn stories). They still need to figure out the PG situation -- tough to win a title with Ashley Valley starting -- but if Thomas or Swanier come around and Turner settles down, they'll be there late.
Steve (Bangor, ME)
A lot of the traditional mid-majors powers (La Tech, Old Dominion, UCSB, etc.) seem to be having a rough go this year. Has the power in WCBB shifted even further toward the major conferences?
Graham Hays (2:20 PM)
That's a great point. There are still some really good mid-major programs out there, but it does seem like you're starting to see those traditional women's powers be replaced by the athletic programs with the big budgets. I don't think it's a bad thing for the growth of the game, but you do wonder if teams like ODU and LaTech will ever be top-10 regulars again.
Tennessee looks like a strong #2 seed right now. What makes you think they'll slip to a #3?
Graham Hays (2:21 PM)
Didn't mean to slight the Vols, pilight. I just meant I don't see either Tennessee or UConn slipping lower than a three seed by the time the tourney rolls around -- even if UConn isn't quite there yet.
tom (parkville, md)
I'm so happy my Michigan State Spartans have a top ten team! Do we have a legit chance at the national title, or are we still one level short of the top tier?
Graham Hays (2:24 PM)
That's the question we're all waiting to find out. Are Michigan State, Baylor, Ohio State, etc really on an equal level with Duke and LSU when it comes to a neutral-court tourney, or is there just a glut of 7-8 really good teams trailing an elite two or three. As for the Spartans, I like the balance they have, but teams that rely that much on two big posts aren't the best bets in a tourney. The bigs just seem to get in foul trouble more easily, and when it's one-and-done, that's tough. Then again, Bowen could shoot them through a lot of foul trouble! My guess is they don't make it to Indy, but that's not a slight.
Jeff (Atlanta (GA))
What's up with Georgia this season? They looked like a legit top 5 team early this season, but they've really fell off of late.
Graham Hays (2:27 PM)
Might be the toughest team in the country to get a read on. It seems like Georgia and Tennessee are LSU's toughest comp. in the SEC (no disrespect to Florida, Miss. St. or others), but they seem to be going different directions. Georgia just can't seem to find the consistency to match their talent -- see that loss to Kentucky. Sure, they could get on a roll at the right time, but those aren't the kind of teams I'd bet on in March. Top-five talent? Yeah, looks that way. Top-five results? Doubt it.
Tennessee, a #3 seed. Come on, they play the the hardest scedule in Women's College Basketball.
Graham Hays (2:28 PM)
I think Texas might have a few things to say about the toughest schedule.
Why is Monique Currie hardly being mentioned in POY talk? She's the best player on the #1 team, and Duke has exceeded just about everyone's expectations this year.
Graham Hays (2:30 PM)
I can't argue with you. I don't think she should win it ahead of Seimone, but she deserves more attention than she gets. Actually, it seems like Duke as a whole isn't getting a lot of attention, at least for a team ranked No. 1 and with that kind of recent history. But to lead that team the way she has after Beard left? I'd probably vote her second.
Being that I do not know a whole lot about WBB, has LSU's recruiting picked up tremendously or are they just evaluating talent better than in past years?
Graham Hays (2:33 PM)
Sue Gunter never had too much trouble getting talent to Baton Rouge, but players like Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles are rare finds for any program -- even Auriemma and Summitt. Once you get a foundation like Augustus, it's a lot easier to find the right role players to surround her with.
Is Vandy a tournament team? They seem pretty weak right now.
What's to make of Vanderbilt this season? Are they the most overrated team in women's college hoops history or will they be able to pull it together in time for the tournament?
Graham Hays (2:36 PM)
Do we have a couple of Vols fans in the crowd? :) Tennessee made Vandy look bad in the second half last Sunday, but the most overrated team in hoops history? Not so much, no.
DeLisha (Los Angeles)
When will the west coast get some love? The Pac-10 is having its best season in a decade and noone seems to notice.
Graham Hays (2:38 PM)
You look at some of the wins they've had against Georgia, UConn, etc and it's easy to see where you're coming from. And maybe it's the East Coast bias in me talking, but I still need to see these teams prove it in March. Losing Quinn for, I believe, six weeks certainly won't help UCLA, but the Bruins, Sun Devils and Wildcats could make some noise. And Stanford is, as always, Stanford.
Bob (Lubbock, Texas)
The Big 12 seems like a horse raise these days. Any comments on how Baylor, Tech and Texas will end the season?
Graham Hays (2:42 PM)
Can't forget about Kansas State and Iowa State, but the conference title probably does run through one of the texas schools. It'd be nice to see some of Baylors guards step up, but that's a petty complaint given the way Young and Blackmon are playing. To me Texas still looks like the best team on paper, but they're sure going through their stuggles right now. I'd say Baylor takes the regular season title but the Longhorns come up with a run in the conference tourney.
Henry (Pine Ridge,SD)
Do you think Candace Parker will play anytime soon? If she does play do you think Tennessee will win it all?
Graham Hays (2:44 PM)
I honestly think even Tennessee's training staff doesn't have a firm grasp on her status, so I sure don't. You hear about progress and then setbacks, again and again. At this point, I think you might as well write off this season.
Do you see Ohio State making it to Indy?
Graham Hays (2:47 PM)
They might go through there on the way to Purdue, but not for the Final Four. In some way, the Buckeyes to remind me of last year's Gophers, with the inside-outside combo of Davenport and Matter. But of course, Matter isn't the playmaker that Whalen was. Ohio State has a lot of people averaging about three assists a game. That's the sign of a good passing team, but it's also the sign of a team who might not have anyone to get the ball to Davenport and Matter in the clutch against a top-notch defense.
Jason (State College, PA)
Why do you think Penn State has been slighted by the AP and ESPN voters? How many more top 25 teams do we have to beat? Plus we are 6-0 in the Big Ten!
Graham Hays (2:49 PM)
I think it's a combination of Mazzante-Brungo hangover and those early season slips. People were waiting to see how they'd fare without those stars, and when they slipped, people wrote them off. But any team with Tanisha and Jess Strom (who may have improved as much as any player during a college career) will be a factor. They'll get their respect if they keep winning, but depth is still a concern.
Diana (West Palm Beach)
Who is the best freshman in the country? And which of the great freshman this year will have the biggest impact on the WNBA level?
Graham Hays (2:51 PM)
I don't know if she's the most valuable freshman this year, but Fowles for LSU will have WNBA scouts drooling for the next four years. And giving Charde Houston four years to work on a consistent three-point shot could be scary.
Dale (Columbus, OH)
Who's your pick for the final four?
Graham Hays (2:54 PM)
I think Duke and LSU are the chalk of the draw and they'll make it to Indy. And I do like UConn to rally behind Houston, Strother and Turner to get back there once again. As foolish as it may be, I think this is the year a real surprise mid-seed (not like the under-seeded Gophers last year) makes it all the way to the Final Four. If I had to narrow it to a few candidates: Maryland, Kansas State, Iowa.
What about Richmond? Before the GW game I thought they might make a #4 or #5 seed. Are they a threat to the power structure?
Graham Hays (2:55 PM)
I'll be honest, the Spiders are a team I'm still anxious to see. You see the 14-1 record and it makes you wonder. But I can't offer a fair judgment right now. However, I do think we saw last year that the selection committee is still very conservative when it comes to seedings. That could hurt a team like Richmond.
Monica (New Orleans)
If Duke played LSU today who would win?
Graham Hays (2:57 PM)
I'm sticking with LSU.
Emily (Minneapolis, MN )
Who do you think will be the top 4 WNBA draft picks this year?
Graham Hays (2:59 PM)
Wow, it's early. But I'd say in no particular order: McCarville, Ely, Sandora Irvin and Batteast.
Graham Hays (2:59 PM)
All right, thanks to everyone for checking in and sending in your questions. Hopefully we'll do this again in the coming weeks! Joe Lunardi is next!
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