Greetings from America’s Heartland !! Lincoln, Nebraska is a nice little midwestern college town that is excited to have a Regional in their city. Even though the “Host” Nebraska got ko’ed from the event Monday, they’ve still sold over 9,000 tickets to the event. And their Head Coach Connie Yori is emphasizing to the folks in Lincoln to come out and support the event even though they won’t be seeing the home team play. BUT they will get to see the Huskies in action.
This even keeled group is very confident coming into this weekend’s play, but they also have a great deal of respect for the team they’re playing Saturday in BYU. The Cougars are just the third #12 seed to reach the Sweet 16 on the Women’s side, and as Stefanie Dolson said at the Friday Presser, they deserve credit for getting here and that’s why UConn will not over look them one bit.
The Cougars have three players in double figures, led by their 6’7″ post player in Senior Jennifer Hamson. Who just happens to be an All American caliber volleyball player. However it’s because she devoted an entire season to basketball only is the reason her numbers across the board have at least doubled, if not tripled. The WCC Defensive POY has 141 blocks alone this season. The expectations for UConn’s posters is to make a few perimeter shots and get her away from the basket.
5’11” Sophomore Lexi Eaton could have gotten scholarships in three sports (Hoops, Soccer & Track & Field) but here she is as the number two scorer on the WBB team at 17ppg. And her senior teammate Kim Beeston leads the team with 94 three pointers. There is a little bit of NBA DNA on this Cougar Team. It’s Junior Morgan Bailey. Here Uncle, Thurl played in the NBA for many years and was a part of the 1983 National Champs at NC State. And beating the Wolfpack and Nebraska in Pauley Pavilion, BYU shouldn’t be overlooked. The Huskies certainly won’t that’s for sure.
Perhaps the beat part of the weekend ? The 4 coaches here. Geno, Jeff Judkins, Gary Blair and Doug Bruno. All great to the media, good coaches…Two National Championship Coaches, a former NBA player and Geno’s best friend in the Coaching fraternity. Oh, and let’s not forget the venue. The Pinnacle Bank Arena is a spectacular building. And if Lincoln and the Nebraska folk support this event like they do the CWS in Omaha, well, it won’t be the last time they host a regional. Maybe we can talk Coach Yori into scheduling a home and home with the Huskies ?? lol
Best of luck to Coach KO and the Guys tonight at MSG…The joint will be jumping that’s for sure…Joe & Wayne take you thru the journey tonight at 6:50 (and hopefully Sunday)…Deb joins me here in Lincoln for the broadcast Saturday at 4pm ET…Hope you can join us :)
PS: the Blackberry BBQ wings at the Watering Hole on O Street was a fine choice last night !!