The UC women's basketball team has officially closed the door on the non-conference portion of its schedule as the BIG EAST games loom ahead. And although the 'Cats have one conference game under their belt, last month's contest against Louisville, from now on it's all BIG EAST all the time, starting with this week's road trip to University of South Florida and West Virginia.
So what have we learned about this team?
First of all, they don't give up. Fighting Texas until the last shot at the Maggie Dixon classic in San Diego was a good example. Also, the tough Crosstown Shootout match against then-4th ranked Xavier showed that the Cats will be in it, until the end.
Second, a half season has done Jeanise Randolph and Chanel Chisholm a world of good. Jeanise was a beast under the basket in the Miami game against taller opponents, and staffers on the basketball team told me that Chanel gained a lot of confidence during that San Diego swing. Jeanise could have gotten discouraged early in this season, but instead she's come back stronger than ever. To watch her get the bounce pass underneath and muscle up for a basket is a thing of beauty. She'll only get better.
Third, they truly are a team. It is fun to watch them in the huddle, encouraging each other and congratulating each other on a good play. That kind of team support will pay off down the road in tight games.
So the next time the Cats will be at 5/3 will be Saturday, January 15 against another perennial BIG EAST powerhouse, Rutgers. We'll see how the BIG EAST treats the Cats.