BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — It's a little bit before tip-off here at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Kansas State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are here and no doubt feeling a few butterflies before their NCAA tournament first-round game.
As the start of the game draws near, here a few thoughts popping through my head:
1. Another injury hits Wildcats
Kansas State was already without its leading scorer, guard Kimberly Dietz, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Big 12 conference tournament. It now appears that the Wildcats will be without Danielle Zanotti, a 6-foot-2 forward, who was hobbling around with an obvious bad back at the arena earlier this morning and did not participate in pre-game warm-ups.
Zanotti’s absence makes a thin Kansas State team even thinner, to the point that one or two starters might have to go the whole way.
I've just been handed the starting lineups:
G Laura Hall
G Brooke Hand
G Jenaya Wade-Fray
F Shanara Hollinquest
F Alex Anderson
G Shalee Lehning
G Kari Kincaid
F Ashley Sweat
F Carolyn McCullough
F Marlies Gipson
2. The Lady Mocs play well at noon
When the schedule was announced and UTC learned it was playing at noon, coach Wes Moore didn't have to come up with a routine for his team. He could just grab the one he used during the Southern Conference tournament.
The Lady Mocs played a pair of noon games — both easy wins — while in Charleston and Moore said they have kept the same routine here this weekend. That routine includes skipping the 7 a.m. shootaround, as every team but Kansas State apparently did, because it only lasts 20 minutes and it is a 25-minute drive here from the team hotel in New Haven.
Will that extra rest help UTC? Will Kansas State's decision to do the shootaround, despite already being an hour off its usual Central time schedule, hurt the Wildcats?
3. How rusty is UTC?
The Lady Mocs haven't played since beating Western Carolina in the SoCon tournament final on March 10. And they have only played three games this month. They will be rested, but will they be rusty?
E-mail John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...