A Look At The Baylor Bears

An occasional look at


's opponents for the 2010-11 season. This week: Baylor

Next meeting: Very early in the 2009-10 season, most likely the second game, and probably at the

XL Center

, although those details will not be announced until September. It's the start of a home-and-series signed last year before the

Final Four

. UConn will return the favor with a game in Waco, Texas. Last season:

The Bears

(27-10) advanced to the

NCAA Tournament

for the ninth time and played in the Final Four for the second time in five years. The Huskies defeated them 70-50 in the national semifinals in San Antonio behind 34 points and 12 rebounds from Maya Moore. Baylor ended the year ranked No. 4 in the Coaches Poll and No. 18 in the AP Poll.


Who's gone, who's back: The Bears lose one senior of consequence, Morghan Medlock, but she was a critical part of the team. Coach Kim Mulkey will have an experienced group back, led by sophomore 6-8 center Brittney Griner, who turns 20 in October. Another sophomore, Shanay Washington, is the team's top defender. Senior Melissa Jones and sophomore Kimetria Hayden will also play a big role.

Griner was among the national and Big 12 leaders in scoring (18.4) and rebounding (8.5). She led the nation in blocks and set an


record for single-season blocks (223). She was an Associated Press All-America second-team selection, earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association honorable mention honors and was named national freshman of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In addition, she was an All-Big 12 first team selection, and its Freshman of the Year, Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Jones was second on the team in scoring (10.4), third in rebounding (6.3) and was the team's best free throw shooter (.815). She also led the team in steals with 46. Washington started in 32 games as a freshman and averaged 7.3 points.

Freshman Odyssey Sims, a left-handed 5-8 point guard, was's consensus No. 2 national recruit and is considered the nation's top incoming point guard. And Mulkey's daughter, freshman Makenzie Robertson, is a 5-8 shooting guard thought to have incredible range.

What's at stake: If the Huskies are intent to surpass


88-game winning streak, the longest in Division I basketball history, they will have to first hurdle the Bears – and Griner – to have the chance. It will be an interesting test for the UConn post, which will be without

Tina Charles

. Moore, sophomore center

Heather Buck

and freshmen Stefanie Dolson, Michala Johnson and Samarie Walker will likely collaborate to help get the job done.