Busy weekend in the realm of women’s basketball
As mentioned in yesterday’s piece by Spencer Nusbaum, the NCAA decided that all Division 1 winter sport athletes will be awarded an extra season if they so choose due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on this upcoming season.
This may be the first in many important decisions the governing body will have to make over the course of the next months as winter sports, especially basketball, get under way.
However, this decision impacts many programs differently, some positive and others negative. For a UConn program that does not have any seniors, there will be no immediate decisions from players on whether to stay an extra year.
More from NCAA
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, April 6: Stanford defeats Arizona in a tightly contested matchup to win the national title
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 30: UConn and Baylor deliver a classic battle of storied programs
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 26: Louisville and Texas A&M survive and advance
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 23: Highlights from the first round of the NCAA Tournament
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 16: Tournament bracket released
Coach Geno Auriemma shed light on how it may impact his opponents, since many coaches will have to bring back players who were not a part of their future plans and could influence the recruits they are bringing in. Overall, he was against the move, saying, “But how are you going to let somebody play a whole season and then give them another year?”
While there will certainly be disadvantages for some schools, the overall flexibility the NCAA is granting players is a great step in the direction of player rights, which could translate to further advancements in terms of the future of college athletes getting paid.
In the WNBA, it is actually harder to be bad then good. Eight out of the twelve teams make the playoffs, leaving the other four an offseason of doubt and evaluation. Both the Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty have plenty of work to do.
For Atlanta, it’s a money problem. The main issue comes with Most Improved Player Betnijah Laney, as she is due for a massive raise (and has publicly stated she would like to stay) that would leave other role players on the outside looking in. This could include not resigning veteran point guard Renee Montgomery to make room for younger, less expensive players.
In New York it’s a production problem, or is it? Despite putting up horrid offensive efficiency numbers from both behind and inside the arc, the Liberty have reason to believe their system is built for success.
The analytically-minded squad were second in pace, first in free throws drawn rate, and first in three-pointers attempted on the shortened season, all signs of an offense that knows how to score a lot of points fast, once they start to make shots of course. With a full, healthy cast of characters in 2021, the Liberty think they can surprise some people.