Women's College Basketball: Some old, some new in women's hoops AAC
UNCASVILLE, Conn. - The first women's basketball media day of the American Athletic Conference , which took place Monday at the Mohegan Sun Arena, was a mix of déjà vu, reunions, getting-to-know-yous, and fond farewells.
The event was held at the March site of the women's conference tournament in the 10,000-seat venue that is also home to the WNBA Connecticut Sun.
For what is the more significant portion of the old Big East in the sport before the conference's official breakup on July 1, it is business as usual.
Connecticut, the defending NCAA champion and preseason national favorite, was picked by the conference coaches to win again while sophomore sensation Breanna Stewart became the latest Huskies star to grab preseason player-of-the-year honors.
"I'm not upset," Temple coach Tonya Cardoza said. "Everything is relatively new. Hardly anyone knows anyone."
But Cardoza is well known in these parts as a former longtime member of UConn coach Geno Auriemma's staff. The new alignment also has a unique reunion in the home-and-home schedule in which Cardoza and her close friend, Cincinnati coach Jamelle Elliott, a former Huskies star and assistant, will battle each other as well as their former boss in Auriemma.
Rutgers, which was picked fourth and finished 16-14, is heading to the Big Ten after this season, while Louisville, which lost to UConn in the national title game and is picked second, will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Tyler Scaife, who is Rutgers' nationally heralded newcomer, was picked preseason freshman of the year.
The other part of the former conference configuration that will still be known as the Big East will host its women's event Wednesday in New York City. Villanova in that 10-member group is now considered a potential preseason favorite pending the release of the Big East coaches poll.