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
, although those details will not be announced until September. It's the start of a home-and-series signed last year before the
. UConn will return the favor with a game in Waco, Texas. Last season:
(27-10) advanced to the
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 ESPN.com'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
. Moore, sophomore center