And it will be a true title defense because they welcome just one new member to their regular rotation, freshman guard Saniya Chong. Chong joins an accomplished, experienced team, led in part by five players who won medals playing for USA Basketball this summer: sophomores Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson; junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis; and senior Bria Hartley. Stefanie Dolson returns for her senior year.
The schedule includes 31 regular season games, beginning Nov. 9 against Hartford and including 18 conference games and a big nonconference matchup at home with Stanford (Nov. 11). The Huskies will also play road games against Maryland (Nov. 15), Penn State (Nov. 17), Duke (Dec. 17) and Baylor (Jan. 13).
UConn will play each of its nine American opponents twice, one home and one away. And the conference highlight will be its two games with Louisville, another Big East transfer, whom the Huskies defeated in last season's NCAA championship game in New Orleans.
Just like last season, when the Huskies ended the regular season on the road against former Big East rival Notre Dame, they will conclude this season on March 3 at Louisville at 7 p.m. That game might serve as a prelude to the first American tournament championship game later in March at the Mohegan Sun Arena. That tournament will be March 7-10.
The schedule also includes nonconference home games against Hartford (Nov. 9) and Oregon (Nov. 20), a return trip to the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden against California (Dec. 22) and a game in Springfield, against Ohio State (Dec. 1).
The Huskies will be playing in Orlando, Fla., on New Year's Day, when they meet Central Florida for the first time at 4 p.m. And they will be on the road for a week in Texas from Feb. 21-25 for their games at Houston (Feb. 22) and SMU (Feb. 25).
A total of 13 regular season games will be televised by ESPN's family of networks (10) and the CBS Sports Network (three). The remaining 18 will probably all be carried by SNY, which will begin the second year of its coverage of Huskies basketball.
It has been speculated that the game in Bridgeport will be played Jan. 11 against Temple at noon, the first part of a doubleheader at the site with the men's team.
The NCAA will soon announce sites for first- and second-round tournament games and its four regional final sites, which host the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. UConn is expected to be granted the right to host one of the rounds.
The 2014 Final Four will be in Nashville.