Women’s college basketball is usually an afterthought. Usually. Unless UConn is playing.
The Huskies need no introduction, their record speaks for itself. They’ve won 10 NCAA titles since the turn of the century, often by the widest of margins. They play with a cohesiveness seldom seen in the men’s game, let alone women’s.
So this raises an interesting question. How would the title-winning UConn women’s team of 2016 fare against the reigning DIII men’s title holders, Babson.
Let’s break it down into categories.
The first thing that you’d notice if the two teams were to play each other is the discrepancy in size. Only a select few UConn players are over 6 feet tall, while most Babson players are in the mid-6 foot range. This telling difference obviously nets Babson a clear advantage from the get-go on both ends of the floor.
But height isn’t the only size difference. Length and weight also matter. Length for the sake of getting shots over defenders, and not allowing the opponent to get off a good look. Weight because it means the opposition will have to get the majority of their points from the perimeter, where they’ll also struggle due to the aforementioned length.
The size difference is the most noticeable difference to the eye, and may be the most noticeable on the court, as well.
The athleticism discrepancy will also be another telling difference. There’s no statistics to prove this statement, but the eye test should do the trick.
Take a look at the Babson highlights in the first clip, and then watch the highlights of UConn in the second clip. Even as a DIII school, Babson makes the Huskies look like they’re playing in slow motion.
The discrepancy in athleticism is tremendous. That, combined with the size difference, is bad news for Connecticut.
Head coach Geno Auriemma of UConn runs a more efficient offensive system than Stephen Brennan of Babson. But that’s no matter.
What makes the Huskies so lethal on offense is their ability to get easy looks at the rim and beyond the arc, while creating turnovers on defense. Yet all of these strong suits will become their weak points if they were to play Babson.
The size difference will make it tough for the smaller Connecticut players to get any clear look from the perimeter. And it’ll be even tougher to get clean looks at the basket. On defense, not only will they find a hard time creating turnovers, they’ll have a hard time getting stops. As in, a defensive stop, followed by a defensive rebound would be considered an outlier.
Disclaimer: this is my genuine, objective projection for this hypothetical game.
I can’t see UConn getting many good shots, or having very many decent defensive trips. The size and athleticism gap is too great. If they were to play a standard 40-minute game, I’d have to go with Babson 92, UConn 36