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Coach Cathy Inglese talks tournament b-ball and era of parity (except for UConn, that is)

April 7, 2009 – 8:19 AM

By Savanna Johnson

The big game is tonight! Before the NCAA’s D1 Women’s Basketball March to the Arch, I spoke with Cathy Inglese, former head coach at Boston College whose teams made it to the tournament six of the last eight years (plus were Big East Champions in 2004). She has spent this year visiting the nation’s top programs, watching games and practices — and getting a veteran’s courtside view of women’s D1 basketball.

FGN: What makes women’s basketball today special?
CI: What makes the women’s game so exciting to watch is the teamwork both offensively and defensively. The play is very team-oriented and this year the players are stronger, more skilled, and more athletic than ever before. For example, you’ve got players like Courtney Paris who are consistently recording double-double games – that’s double digit points and double-digit rebounds.

FGN: How does such a team-oriented game translate into to how this tournament has progressed?
CI: The most interesting thing about this year’s bracket was its parity. Besides UConn, who I think play on a level above that of the other teams, on any given night any of the top 50 teams could beat each other. What it came down to was the matchups, how each team’s particular dynamics played out against their opponent’s. It’s not always the best talent that determines the win.

FGN: What should we expect to see from University of Connecticut?
CI: UConn portrays a real team dynamic; they practice hard and really play together and mesh together as a team.

FGN: Which players should we be watching in tonight’s game?
CI: Maya Moore from UConn, for one. She is an energetic player who works hard all the time. You’ll notice in tonight’s game how unselfish she is. She’s extremely athletic, but she also meshes well with her teammates. Maya’s teammate Renee Montgomery is great point guard for the team and a big scorer. She distributes the ball very well, getting the ball to the player that’s open. She makes those people around her better. Look for Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham tonight as well, playing for Louisville.

FGN: Thanks so much for your insight, Coach Inglese. So, do you plan to get back into college coaching?
CI: Absolutely. I love what I’ve been able to do during this year as far as visiting other teams and meeting coaches around the country, but being part of a team is what I’m really missing right now. I’m chomping at the bit to get back into coaching.

Savanna Johnson is a Wellesley College senior and swimmer who is a three-time NCAA qualifier and two-time NCAA Academic All-American. She holds NEWMAC conference and meet records in the 50 yard freestyle. Johnson (who also runs track) holds Wellesley College records in seven swimming and three track events.

  1. 4 Responses to “Coach Cathy Inglese talks tournament b-ball and era of parity (except for UConn, that is)”

  2. Too bad the men’s competition wasn’t as exciting this year as the women’s. Paris, Moore, and Bingham bring the heat–March to the Arch is the best sports on TV right now. Great blog post, Ms. Johnson

    By Steve on Apr 7, 2009

  3. A succinct and engaging interview. Women’s basketball displays the nitty gritty skills that make the game so visually exciting.

    By Sally Johnson on Apr 8, 2009

  4. Good to get focus back on the joy of team play still seen in Women’s BB. I never have understood why it is not equally supported as it is clearly equally skilled and exciting. Thanks for the interview.

    By Lynn Hughes on Apr 8, 2009

  5. Ms Inglese was definitely right about UConn playing on a higher level. To win every game in the season by double-digit margins is incredible. The parity she mentions made the tournament interesting. But it’s also great to see a team play as well as UConn. They space the floor beautifully, and it was fun to watch good basketball. In addition to the players Ms Inglese mentioned and who played well, Tina Charles had a great final four, coming up big against Jayne Appel, and dominating the championship game.

    Great interview, Ms Johnson, setting us up for the historic (3 undefeated seasons for UConn) end of a great tournament!

    By David on Apr 12, 2009

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