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UConn women’s basketball opponent preview: The remaining slate

The rest of the Big East (and Quinnipiac) rounds out our breakdown of the Huskies’ schedule.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball has no shortage of contenders on their plate this season, especially given the scheduling challenges associated with the pandemic. Still, the conference slate provides the Huskies with a range of opponents, many of whom should afford UConn the chance to give their young bench some minutes. The Huskies will also tip off the season against an in-state opponent.

We looked at the contenders first. Now, here’s the breakdown of the Huskies’ remaining opponents for the 2020-21 season:

Quinnipiac Bobcats (November 28th)

2019-20 record: 15-14

UConn opens its season with a two day tournament at Mohegan Sun, which starts off with an in-state contest against the Bobcats. Quinnipiac finished a game above .500 and fifth in the MAAC last year. This should be a fairly easy win for the Huskies but it gives them a chance to shake off some of the early-season rust before a top-10 matchup with Mississippi State the following day.

St. John’s Red Storm (TBD)

2019-20 record: 19-12

St. John’s is picked to finish fourth in the Big East behind the Huskies, DePaul and Marquette. The Red Storm ranked in the top ten percent for offensive efficiency in the country last season. They also return senior guard and lead scorer Qadashah Hoppie, who averaged 15.4 points per game last season.

Creighton Bluejays (TBD)

2019-20 record: 19-11

Picked fifth in the Big East preseason poll, some fall off is expected from the Bluejays after graduating lead scorer and WNBA draft pick Jaylyn Agnew. Last season, Creighton relied heavily on its outside game, scoring over 40 percent of their points from beyond the arc (fifth in the nation per Her Hoop Stats).

Seton Hall Pirates (December 6th & TBD)

2019-20 record: 19-12

The Pirates gave UConn a run for its money last season, but a breakout game from Aubrey Griffin allowed the Huskies to pull ahead. Seton Hall ranked in the top 20 percent for most offensive stats last season but struggled defensively, allowing its opponents to shoot over 40 percent from the floor.

Villanova Wildcats (December 22nd & TBD)

2019-20 record: 18-13

The Wildcats have the opposite problem as Seton Hall — they excel defensively but struggle on the offensive end. They allowed their opponents to score just 0.88 points per scoring attempt last season, which ranked 22nd in the country. However, they relied heavily on outside shots for their offense but lacked efficiency from deep.

Butler Bulldogs (December 15th & TBD)

2019-20 record: 19-11

The Bulldogs excelled at two things last season: getting to the line and being disruptive on defense. They scored nearly a quarter of their points from the charity stripe (eighth in the nation) and checked in at seventh in the country with 11 steals per game.

Xavier Musketeers (December 19th & TBD), Providence Friars (TBD), Georgetown Hoyas (TBD)

2019-20 record: 3-27, 13-19, 5-25

The bottom of the Big East doesn’t leave much to talk about. All of the last three teams in the preseason coaches poll finished below .500 last year. Xavier and Georgetown combined for just eight wins in 2019-20. These teams won’t pose much of a challenge for UConn, but should allow significant minutes to help the freshman develop.