Breaking Down The Teams Of The New Conference
UNCASVILLE 10/14/13 Rhonda Rompola is the head women's basketball coach at SMU. She attended the American Athletic Conference media day at the Mohegan Sun Arena Monday. It is the inaugural year for the new conference. CLOE POISSONemail@example.com ORG XMIT: B583256231Z.1 (Cloe Poisson / Hartford Courant / October 14, 2013)
Last season: 35-4
Coach: Geno Auriemma, 29th season
Top Players: F Breanna Stewart, C Stefanie Dolson, F Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Keep an eye on: G Bria Hartley is intent on having a strong senior year after battling an ankle injury last season. Stewart is the AAC's preseason player of the year.
The skinny: The Huskies return about 90 percent of their offense from a team that won its eighth national championship last season.
Last season: 29-9
Coach: Jeff Walz, 7th season
Top Players: G Shoni Schimmel, F Sara Hammond, G Antonita Slaughter
Keep an eye on: After coming into her own last season, Schimmel will bring great confidence – and perimeter shooting — to Louisville's offense.
The skinny: The Cardinals leave for the ACC next season, but not before one more conference battle for supremacy with UConn, which has defeated them in national championship games twice (2009, 2013).
Last season: 21-10
Coach: Rhonda Rompola, 23rd season
Top Players: G Keena Mays, G Gabrielle Wilkins, F Akil Simpson
Keep an eye on: Mays was player of the year in Conference USA last season and made the AAC's first preseason all-star team. She averaged 18.4 points and shot 40 percent from three.
The skinny: The Mustangs are without question the strongest import from Conference USA. They come off a third regular season title, but have not played an NCAA Tournament game since 2008.