Slow Start for Women’s Basketball Not A Big Concern

    This year, the volleyball team started with high expectations, but found itself clawing just to make the postseason after an early-season five-game losing streak. The basketball team has started 4-7 and 2-2 in conference, including another loss to Humboldt.

    This year’s volleyball team ended up with a successful season in part because it won 13 of the next 14 matches after the losing streak, and the basketball squad looks to be going down that same path with four straight wins going into Thursday’s matchup with Cal State L.A.

    Slow starts appear to be a trend here at UCSD, with both the women’s and men’s soccer teams getting less-than-stellar results early in the season. So the women’s basketball team shouldn’t worry if they can turn it around like the volleyball team did, or, even better, like this year’s NCAA national runner-up women’s soccer team.

    More San Diego (State) Basketball

    Don’t look now, but SDSU men’s basketball is 18-0 and the sixth-ranked team in the country. Riverside native Kawhi Leonard is averaging nearly a double-double with 15.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, and the Aztecs are on the longest winning streak in the program’s history.

    But before we get too excited, there should be realistic expectations for the Aztecs. Their schedule has been a relative cakewalk so far, with their only win over a ranked opponent coming on Nov. 16 against then-No. 12 Gonzaga. The squad has played “tough” non-conference games against Cal Poly and Division III Occidental.

    While it might be going too far to say they are playing “the Little Sisters of the Poor,” a two-point win over IUPUI isn’t exactly convincing. (Just for clarification, that’s Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis.)

    Their Mountain West Conference schedule isn’t terrifying, with Brigham Young the only ranked team. The Jan. 26 showdown with Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars will be the Aztecs’ first and possibly their only real test during the regular season.

    This isn’t to say the Aztecs aren’t for real — they just haven’t proven themselves yet. It really isn’t their fault that they don’t play in the Big East, which has eight teams ranked in the top 25. So if you have the time, find a friend that wants to venture over to State with you and see one of the nation’s top-ranked basketball teams.

    BCS Academics

    Cam Newton and Auburn needed a last-second field goal, but they still came out on top of Oregon on Jan. 10, 22-19. This handed a fifth-straight national championship to an SEC school, a maddening fact to anyone who lives west of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    But more importantly, two schools with outstanding academic records won BCS bowls in Stanford and TCU. Both are small schools with high academic standards — Stanford obviously more so — and each was nevertheless able to end the season among the top five in the country.

    It is often said that stringent academic standards cannot coexist with big-time collegiate athletics. This is one of the arguments used against UCSD moving to Division I, as some believe better sports would detract from our success in the classroom.

    Yes, there may be some players like Cal’s Marshawn Lynch — who boasts he’s from Oakland in pregame introductions rather than citing his alma matter — that skate through school, don’t earn a degree and get themselves into a professional league. But Stanford and TCU — each with football graduation rates over 70 percent — have proven that athletics do not necessarily compromise academics, and detractors should realize success is possible on and off the field.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal