UConn Women surpass UCLA’s win streak, 93-62 over Florida State

The UConn Huskies surpassed UCLA’s streak of 88 straight wins, defeating Florida State for their 89th consecutive victory.  They beat #22 Florida State by a final score of 93-62.

I did not say “broke UCLA’s streak” in deference to those who (perhaps correctly) argue that the streaks should not be compared — different genders, different eras, and to the fact that it’s not even the longest streak in the history of women’s college basketball.

Gregg Doyel of cbssports wrote an article about the streak — he refers to it as “The death of competition”.  He cites the fact that 8 out of the 11 Huskies were McDonald’s All Americans, implying that the Huskies have cornered the market on talent.

It seems to me that the Tennessee women’s freshman class in 2008-2009 had 5 players ranked in the top 20, and they have yet to win a title.

The North Carolina men recently had a roster that included 8 McDonald’s All Americans, and managed to win exactly one title, even though one of those players was Tyler Hansbrough, one of the greatest college players ever.  I don’t remember anyone bemoaning “The death of competition”.  Didn’t they have 7 on their roster last season.

Mike Krzyzewski frequently puts together rosters with 5 or more McDonald’s All Americans, and no one complains about the competition.

There is no doubt that the Huskies recruit well.  But I doubt that the current Huskies have more highly ranked players than the Sue Bird-Tamika Williams-Swin Cash-Asjha Jones-Keirsten Walters teams — if I remember correctly, they were all Top 20 ranked.  In 2001 the roster also included Diana Taurisi, Svetlana Abrasimova and Shea Ralph.  They’ve won with more and they’ve won with less.

In fairness, Doyel does point out that UCLA also stockpiled a tremendous amount of talent — but he believes that the Huskies have cornered more talent.

The Bruins won 7 straight titles from 1967 to 1973, and 10 of 12 between 1964 and 1975.  I don’t know — did people complaining about the lack of competition back then?

It would be foolish to deny that the Huskies have been dominant — particular over the last couple of seasons — and their certainly has been a gap between the last two UConn teams and the rest of the competition.  Recruiting has certainly helped — but coaching and team-first attitude have also played a large part.


2 Responses to “UConn Women surpass UCLA’s win streak, 93-62 over Florida State”

  1. Chris Ross Says:

    Really interesting read here. I think that the streak is fairly impressive but as streaks go I can’t say it’s at the top of my list. It’s such a touchy issue when you talk about women’s sports and how it compares to men’s and how much or how little attention women’s sports garners. I just think that it’s tough to compare this streak to some of the great one’s. The coach of UConn’s women’s team obviously thinks differently. 89 is a lot of wins in a row no matter what, but with the amount of competition they have to face is it really. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really would love to hear what you have to say about my thoughts. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/congratulations-uconn-women-however/

    • yukonnj Says:

      I have no issue with your opinion — I think this is one of those topics that is just going to be hotly debated by many. Well, those who follow women’s college basketball and a few others, anyway.
      There is no doubt the women’s game is less competitive than the men’s game, for many of the reasons that you, and even Gregg Doyel, have stated. And I’m sure that it’s less competitive than the men’s game was in the 60’s and 70’s, though not as much as most people believe. UCLA’s domination took place over a longer period of time than has the UConn women’s — how would that be possible if the game was that competitive back then? UCLA accumulated talent at a rate similar to the UConn women, pulling in not just NCAA greats but NBA greats such as Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar), Bill Walton, etc.
      UConn typically wins with very good classes, but not Fab Five classes such as the original Michigan Fab Five or Kentucky last year. For every Diana Taurasi or Maya Moore there are usually less heralded players that work hard and become good players. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t remember Kalana Greene being Top 20. Kelly Faris wasn’t Top 20, and I’m not sure about Lorin Dixon. Yes, they’ve landed a lot of the recent top recruits, such as Tina Charles, Maya Moore, and briefly, Elena Delle Donne. But they arguably do not outrecruit Tennessee, and teams such as Stanford and Duke land their share of top recruits. Yet UConn continues to win. Why? Coaching, in addition to the talent.
      At this point, I’m probably arguing both sides. Regardless of whether it can be compared to UCLA, it’s still an incredible streak — if it were so easy, why hasn’t it been done in Division 1 Women’s basketball, especially by Tennessee, back when they were the only game in town.
      Last point: As I’ve stated before, I’m not convinced that the Huskies are even the best team in the country this year, let alone going undefeated. Too many young players having to replace too many veterans, and they weren’t so much better than Stanford or Baylor last season.
      Sorry — a bit of a long-winded response!

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