Hi 68 / Lo 50
|Volume 68, Issue 69, Wednesday, December 4, 2002
Early season is not an indicator
Womenis NCAA Basketball
The first few weeks of the basketball season are always tough to analyze. Teams can play great opponents and horrible ones, often back to back.
It usually isnit until the conference season starts up that teams can properly be evaluated. Strange things happen at early season tournaments and in December road games, as more than just a few teams can attest.
This all leads us to the heart of the South, where the Georgia Lady Bulldogs are having some big-time early season trouble.
Georgia is in for a nasty fall when the new Associated Press rankings come out next week. Right now, the Lady Bulldogs are No. 14. Unfortunately, they have lost twice since receiving that high ranking, and they might have done enough to land themselves right out of the rankings altogether.
A 70-49 thrashing at the hands of Arizona on Saturday was followed up by a 74-70 loss to Arizona State. The best news for Georgia: There are no more teams from the state of Arizona on the schedule this season.
Junior forward Christi Thomas (6-5) and sophomore center Kara Braxton (6-6) are both averaging just more than 15 points, but the mammoth frontline players need to get more help from the backcourt if Georgia is to reverse this losing trend.
Only one Conference USA squad is in the top 25, No. 25 Cincinnati. The Lady Bearcats are a familiar foe for Houston, which fought it out with its conference foes last year during the regular season and in the conference tournament.
Cincinnati has only one loss this season, coming at the hands of Mississippi State, another familiar face for the Lady Cougars, who were themselves handed a defeat by the Lady Bulldogs a week ago.
Cincinnati is 2-1 with consecutive victories since the season-opening loss. Houston will face the Lady Bearcats on Jan. 19 in conference play.
Watch out for the Wildcats
Kansas Stateis first loss of the season came against No. 5 Stanford earlier this week, dropping the Lady Wildcats to 5-1.
To make up for that loss, the Lady Wildcats went out and beat hapless Arkansas-Pine Bluff 115-37, breaking a number of school records in the win.
Kansas State looks to have the best team in its nearly 30-year history. Head coach Deb Patterson has her teamis sights set on a conference championship and a run at the national championship as well this season, and the team might achieve those goals.
Tennessee has likely lost the services of defensive star Brittany Jackson for most of the season. The sophomore forward damaged ligaments in her left knee late in the second half of a 75-40 victory over Saint Louis on Sunday.
Jackson is awaiting the results of an MRI, which should determine whether there is any chance she will return to the Lady Volunteers this season.
Jackson is the best defensive player on the Lady Volunteer squad, and leads the team in three-point field goals with 12 this season.
Houston, despite losing two of its first three games, received two votes in the latest coachesi poll. About 100 more votes and the Lady Cougars should be in the top 25.
The Lady Cougars have since won their last two games, including a blowout victory over Sam Houston State on Sunday.
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