THOUGHTS AND COMMENTARY ON 2015-16 SEASON
Reflecting back on the 2015-16 NCAA women's basketball season...some thoughts and commentary.
CARDS CAME ON STRONG
After the 1-4 start, there was unrest and turmoil amongst a few of our staffers and our readership base. I remember what Coach Walz told me prior to the season starting that it might take this team a bit to establish an identity. He was right. Once it started to develop, though...they took off on a spirited and successful ride through the rest of the non-conference schedule and ACC. I go back to the win at Michigan State as the sign to me that this team could be special. Although distressing, the loss to Kentucky reminded me that all the wheels weren't quite rolling on the track correctly.
Myishia Hines-Allen and her season...who could have predicted that? The steady contributions from newcomer Briahanna Jackson. Asia Durr's emergence and the highly anticipated promise ahead for more excellence. Cortnee Walton grabbing every rebound in sight. Arica Carter reborn and vastly improved. The list could go on and on...the final analysis is although the season ended sooner than we wanted...we saw a dress rehearsal for what could happen in 2016-17. We wait in anticipation.
SEC? (Substandard expectations confirmed)
|Elite Eight evaded again for Mattie|
Final Four participants? Yeah, still looking. Elite Elite? One team and not the one most expected in Tennessee. Sweet Sixteen? Four entries..which matched the PAC 12 and was one less the ACC.
The SEC under performed and I suspected they would. The SEC record in the Big Dance? 13-8. Domination? Superiority? Nope, don't see it.
Preview of Coming Attractions
-- Can the PAC 12 have the unexpected but high level of success in tournament play that they had last year? Stanford, Washington, California, UCLA, Oregon State and Arizona State all look to be formidable foes next year.
-- The ACC looks to be a beast of a conference to be in next year as well. Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida State, Syracuse, NC State, Virginia, Miami and Duke are all top 25 potential.
-- IS the UConn reign over? They lose Stewie, Moriah and Morgan. Who fills those shoes? Katie Lou, Kia and Crystal? They'll benefit a bit from being in the AAC...but USF, Temple and Tulane are coming off 20+ win seasons and the rumor is Memphis and SMU should be feared next year.
-- Can we get a call here? Let's face it, women's college basketball refereeing could use an upgrade. The question is how do you improve it...short of cloning Dee Kanter, the Enterline family and Billy Smith 100 times? Pay? Training? Recruiting? Here's an idea...find 100 good high school women's basketball refs, offer them the next level opportunity and spend 3-4 months under tutelage under the good college basketball refs and the NCAA Officiating Committee. Paid training...with coaches' input and suggestions involved.
SOFTBALL AT IU TODAY
Fresh off the series win against Virginia Tech, Sandy Pearsall's Pitch and Catch Cards travel to Bloomington today to hurl and hit against the Hoosiers. You'll need a Big Ten Network Plus subscription to view this on on-line...which we think is moronic and unfair...but they didn't consult us.
After a Sunday where the bats weren't too prevalent but the Cards managed a split in the double-header, we're hoping that the hits come fast and furious for Sandy's squad and that the left-on-base stat is very low.
|THE PRIDE OF NEW EGYPT, NJ...KAYLA SOLES|
6 p.m. start time in case you want to head up to the Hoosier campus and catch the action.