Category Archives: American Athletic Conference

On Fenway, Fallon And Mohegan Sun

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Jimmy Fallon, Stefanie Dolson, The Tonight Show, UConn men's basketball, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

As we await the decision of A’ja Wilson this afternoon on ESPNU at 3 p.m. ….

The national champion UConn women and men will be heading to Fenway Park on April 22 to be honored by the world champion Red Sox. It is still unclear what kind of ceremony will take place before the game; you know, the first ball thing, who throws it, who catches it…But the Huskies will be there to share and get to see a baseball game. And what is better than that?

Stefanie Dolson [of the Washington Mystics] is still likely to show up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, at some point, but as you can tell from watching NBC this week the show is already on a hiatus and in repeats. UConn is enlisting the help of NBC Connecticut executives in trying to put the gig together. If you recall, Stef asked Fallon to ‘Hit her up” during her impromptu address to the nation following UConn’s win over ND in the national championship game. Fallon did just that was using the first two minutes of his monologue one night latter to talk about the “Lady” Huskies and Dolson’s invite He invited her to play some one-on-one and XBox. Let’s hope it happens. And now, the WNBA can even help make it happen. It’s legal now.

The Mohegan Sun Arena and the American Athletic Conference will be announcing a one-year extension to their agreement to stage the conference tournament at the casino on Thursday morning. Let’s face it. the tournament would be there FOREVER, but no one is quite clear what UConn’s future is in the AAC and why would Mohegan Sun want a multiple-year deal with the AAC knowing its championship game might between East Carolina and Tulsa someday?

Notes From UConn’s AAC Tourney Win

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, UConn women's basketball Date:

The battle for the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament was fought at the conference level this week.
On Saturday, two of the favorites, Stanford and South Carolina, suffered losses in the semifinals, events that could impact UConn and Louisville, in different ways, next week when the brackets are announced.
Stanford was defeated by unranked USC in the Pac 12 semifinals. The Trojans won the title Sunday. The Gamecocks lost to Kentucky in the SEC semifinals. The Wildcats lost to Tennessee on Sunday.
Things seem open now for Louisville (30-4) to grab a possible No. 1 seed at its home, KFC Yum! Center, and insure UConn’s assignment to the Lincoln, NE, regional.
However, ESPN’s bracketologist, Charlie Creme, has been sticking by his guns, continuing to place UConn as the No. 1 to Louisville’s No. 2 in Kentucky.
For that to happen, however, the committee would essentially need to rank the Cardinals last among the No. 2 seeds, setting up a 1-8 scenario with UConn.

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UConn Wins AAC Tournament In A Breeze

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Louisville women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

It is the great misfortune of Louisville to operate in this time and place; the Big East, the American Athletic Conference, the era of UConn. It must be disheartening.
There’s really nothing fair about it. The Cardinals have played in two national championship games in seven years. They have played in conference championships. They have produced Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel. Their young coach, Jeff Walz, is about to embark on his USA Basketball career.
It’s been quite the program, ranked third nationally, winner of 30 games this season, a fresh powerhouse in sport grown stale.
There is only one thing the Cardinals haven’t been able to do, no matter how hard they try, the venue they play, what motivational fires they flame. They can’t beat UConn. And until they do, they can’t get what they need.
Well, they didn’t beat them Monday in the first AAC Championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.  Nope, not even close.
Scoring the first eight points in the opening 1:17 set the scene UConn’s scorching of the Cardinals, 72-52, before a boisterous, partisan crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

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Clarification Concern Dayeesha Hollins

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Cincinnati women's basketball Date:

Cincinnati head coach Jamelle Elliott, the former UConn player and assistant coach, reached out to me this morning to ask that I clarify something I reported in the Hartford Courant last week about one of her seniors, Dayeesha Hollins.

Plagued by knee injuries, Hollins decided to end her playing career in January. But she did not leave the program, which was how I had previously described it.

Hollins remained with the team, attending practices and games. And she participated in the program’s Senior Night festivities, something was very important to the player and her coach,

UConn Rolls Into the Semifinals

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, UConn women's basketball Date:

In about a month, UConn will have an answer for those who predicted months ago it would add a ninth national championship to the collection.
Give them time. The Huskies are working on it.
The Huskies’ quarterfinal in its first American Athletic Conference was simply the first step in a process they hope ends holding scissors on a step ladder after the national championship.
One down, eight to go.
And as expected, Cincinnati provided gumption but no true obstacle. The Huskies beat the Bearcats, 72-42, at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Next for the Huskies (32-0) is No. 4 Rutgers (22-8) which defeated SMU, 68-49, in Saturday’s first quarterfinal.
UConn was led by sophomore Breanna Stewart, the newly anointed AAC player of the year. She scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half when the Huskies took a 37-17 lead.
Bria Hartley added 17 points and five assists. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 12 points and Stefanie Dolson chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds.
The fun-loving Dolson also improvised a move mimicking Auriemma, forced dance out of the way to get away from falling players in front of his bench during the second half.
Jeanise Randolph led Cincinnati with 14 points, shooting 6-for-11. The Bearcats (13-18)

The Huskies have beaten Rutgers twice this season by a combined 67 points. On March 1 at Gampel Pavilion, UConn celebrated Senior Day with a 72-35 win.
The Scarlet Knights were without sophomore Kahleah Copper (turf toe) in the last meeting. She scored 20 against the Huskies in the game first game at the Rutgers Athletic Center.  Copper led the Scarlet Knights with 22 against SMU.
UConn had defeated Cincinnati by a combined 90 points in their two regular-season games, including a 57-point drubbing at First Third Arena on Jan. 1.
By that time, Cincinnati no longer had its ignition switch – guard Dayeesha Hollins – who left the program in late January after appearing in 16 of UC’s 18 games. She was their leading scorer (13.3) at the time, a two-time all-conference second-team selection has totaled 1,088 points.
And the Bearcats offense was never able to truly compensate, although Friday’s 54-52 first-round win over Central Florida did offer some consolation for another frustrating (13-18) season. They last eight of their last 11 games after Hollins left.
But Cincinnati plays hard for Elliott, one of the grittiest UConn players ever and just one of the five with 1,000 rebounds.
And for the first 10 minutes the Bearcats were in the small area code, an accomplish not to be underestimated in this season of AAC routs.
When Jeanise Randolph scored with 10:07 to play in the first half, UConn’s lead was just 17-13. But it would be another 5:36 before the Bearcats would score again.
It was during that drought UConn broke the game open. Stewart scored six of the next 10 points to increase the lead to 27-13 before Alyesha Lovett’s hoop gave the Bearcats some air.
After that, it was Mosqueda-Lewis’ turn. Held scoreless in the first 16 minutes, she started with two free throws and ended the half scoring seven of UConn’s last 10 points to redirect the focus to again to Rutgers.

Mohegan Sun Wants To Be AAC’s Longtime Home (As Long As UConn Stays)

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun, Mohegan Sun Arena Date:

After lobbying so hard for the chance to host postseason women’s basketball, the Mohegan Sun Arena isn’t about to let it go after one season.
Chris Sienko, general manager of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, reiterated Saturday the facility wants to remain the home of the American Athletic Conference – for as long as UConn is there.
The tournament is here for just this season; the AAC has the option to renew for next season.
“It’s more of a mutual thing, but if they don’t want to return it’s their right,” Sienko said. “I’m sure they will assess the tournament after its completion [Monday] and make a decision [about the future] in a short period of time.”

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Complete List Of AAC Awards

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference Date:

Here is a complete listing of AAC Awards announced today

American Defensive Player of the Year
Stefanie Dolson, UConn, Sr., C

American Most Improved Player of the Year
Asia Taylor, Louisville, R-Sr., F

American Sportsmanship Award
Stefanie Dolson, UConn, Sr., C
Tia Gibbs, Louisville, R-Sr., G

American Sixth Player of the Year
Rateska Brown, Temple, Jr., G

All-Conference First Team
*Stefanie Dolson, UConn, Sr., C
*Bria Hartley, UConn, Sr., G
Moriah Jefferson, UConn, So., G
*Breanna Stewart, UConn, So., F
Sara Hammond, Louisville, Jr., F
Asia Taylor, Louisville, R-Sr., F
*Shoni Schimmel, Louisville, Sr., G
Ariel Hearn, Memphis, So., G
Kahleah Copper, Rutgers, So., G
Courtney Williams, USF, So., G
*Keena Mays, SMU, Sr., G

All-Conference Second Team
Jeanise Randolph, Cincinnati, Sr., F
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn, Jr., F
Kiah Stokes, UConn, Jr., C
Bria Smith, Louisville, Jr., G
Betnijah Laney, Rutgers, Jr., G/F
Tyler Scaife, Rutgers, Fr., G
Alisia Jenkins, USF, So., F
Inga Orekhova, USF, Sr., G
Akil Simpson, SMU, Sr., F
Feyonda Fitzgerald, Temple, Fr., G
Natasha Thames, Temple, R-Sr., F

All-Freshman Team
*Zykira Lewis, UCF, Fr., G
Bianca Quisenberry, Cincinnati, Fr., G
Saniya Chong, UConn, Fr., G
Emmonnie Henderson, Louisville, Fr., F
Breigha Wilder-Cochran, Memphis, Fr., G
Mooriah Rowser, Memphis, R-Fr., G
*Tyler Scaife, Rutgers, Fr., G
Ariadna Pujol, USF, Fr., G
*Kiara Perry, SMU, Fr., G
*Feyonda Fitzgerald, Temple, Fr., G
Taylor Robinson, Temple, Fr., C
 

 

UConn Places 4 On AAC Team; Dolson Top Defender

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, UConn women's basketball Date:

After sweeping the first regular season in American Athletic Conference history, No. 1 UConn received a slew of league awards Thursday.
Four Huskies, seniors Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley and sophomores Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart, were named the AAC’s first team Thursday by the league coaches.
Dolson, who became just the fifth player in program history with 1,000 rebounds, was also chosen as the AAC’s defensive player of the year and shared its sportsmanship award with Louisville’s Tia Gibbs.
UConn’s Kelly Faris was the Big East’s defensive player of the Year last season. She was the first to win that award since Ashley Battle in 2002-03.
Guard Saniya Chong was named to the all-freshman team. And juniors Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiahh Stokes were named to the second team.

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Television Schedule For AAC Tournament (And How You Find ESPN3)

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, UConn women's basketball Date:

Here is the television schedule for the upcoming American Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena…

The first- and second-round games are only on ESPN3, a streaming video service.  To see which devices you can use click here.

Just click on this link for the address that gets you there and look for the event you want to watch.. If your signal is strong, you will be able see it like you are watching on television. If it is not, then you will need to be patient, call ESPN, listen to Bob Joyce and Debbie Fiske on the radio or follow me on Twitter.

First Round – Friday
FR1 – 6:00 PM ET #8 Cincinnati vs #9 UCF – ESPN3
FR2 – 8:00 PM ET #7 Memphis vs #10 Houston – ESPN3
Quarterfinals – Saturday
Q1 – 12:00 PM ET #4 Rutgers vs #5 SMU/Temple – ESPN3
Q2 – 2:00 PM ET #1 UConn vs FR1 Winner – ESPN3
Q3 – 6:00 PM ET #2 Louisville vs FR2 Winner – ESPN3
Q4 – 8:00 PM ET #3 USF vs #6 SMU/Temple – ESPN3
Semifinals – Sunday
FR1 – 1:00 PM ET TBA vs. TBA – ESPNU
FR2 – 3:00 PM ET TBA vs. TBA – ESPNU
Championship Game – Monday
FR1 – 7:00 PM ET TBA vs TBA – ESPN

Geno Asks His Team To Enjoy Its AAC Moment

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, UConn women's basketball Date:

UConn did not shrug its shoulders with disinterest Monday night after wrapping up the first American Athletic Conference regular-season championship.
It took no less joy in the enormity of the accomplishment, even though no conference team came within 17 points (Louisville on Feb. 9) of beating it on the way to 18-0.
“We talked about it in the locker room,” Geno Auriemma said. “I think that is one of the dangers of playing at Connecticut, especially when a team comes back after winning the national championship the year before.
“You know, from September, all the talk is about winning another national championship. And before you know it, you forget to celebrate all the little things that happen along the way.
“So I reminded them [Monday] just how much this team has accomplished in the 31 games of the regular season. Take a look where we’ve won, who we have beat, how we have played; playing with six guys, seven guys. It’s something to be proud of, although it’s not something we talk about very often.
“We don’t stand on a podium and say we are great, but we have done a lot of great things this year. Sometimes we need to take a step back and take a look at it.”