‘Canes deserve more attention

I am about to give you an important sports fact that most people on this campus do not even realize. The women’s basketball team is 16-1.

That was not a typographical error. The women’s basketball team is 16-1, yet no one seems to care. Their attendance is still low, and they aren’t even getting any credit nationally.

As a matter of fact, it took the team’s victory over a one-loss Dayton team to even get it ranked in the Top 25. The team was 12-0 and debuted in the polls at No. 25 a few weeks ago, while a 9-3 Penn State team was No. 10. Now, I’m not the type of person who buys into the theory that Miami is hated, but the women’s hoops rankings make me wonder if there is any validity to our complaints. The Hurricanes currently sit at No. 18 in the polls as of Sunday, and will probably jump up a few spots when the new poll is released this week, but even that seems shockingly low for a one-loss team that is tied with UConn for the Big East lead. It makes me think that if it were any other school, they would be in the Top 10.

Anyone who has actually taken the time to watch this team play, and I know most people haven’t, (judging by the size of the student sections at the game) realizes that this Miami team is very good, and is a contender not only in the Big East conference, but in the NCAA Tournament as well. Head Coach Ferne Labati has her team playing at a high level, and they deserve to be commended.

So let me be one of the first people to officially announce that I am excited about the women’s basketball team. I am proud of the team and the job it does representing women’s sports at this school. This team deserves to be recognized for the kind of season it is having. These types of seasons may come around once every 10 years if we are lucky.

A record of 16-1 is far beyond good; it’s remarkable. The only thing more amazing is the lack of attention one of the best teams in the nation has been getting. If you don’t believe this, participate in the following exercise. Name the team’s starting five players, or even any five players on the team. Most people cannot even name three players, and have no idea who Tamara James, Yalonda McCormick, Shaquana Wilkins, Chanivia Broussard, and Melissa Knight are.

Of course, the season is not over yet. This team may not continue the pace that it has set, but even if it doesn’t, it will definitely be a successful season. It will be in the Big East title hunt and a force to be reckoned with once March Madness rolls around. However, I think that if this team finishes what it started, and completes the dream season with a national championship, there won’t be any parades. There won’t be a huge campus party for it, there won’t be any fireworks, there will probably be a small celebration ceremony attended by a couple hundred people.

I know that most people will think this is just some writer rambling on about women’s basketball, but don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. When you miss out on one of the best University of Miami basketball seasons ever, don’t say that no one warned you. I don’t want to hear that you were unaware of what the Lady ‘Canes were doing or that you didn’t have time to watch them play. I’m taking the time to tell you now, this team is worth watching, and if you are a sports fan and fail to jump on the bandwagon soon, then you are going to miss out on something special.

Unfortunately, most people probably won’t take my advice. They will continue to be oblivious to this team until they get in the NCAA Tournament, and even then, the majority of people probably still won’t do much but glance at the scoreboard, if they even do that.

I guess I can understand the lack of enthusiasm over the Lady ‘Canes though. I mean, why care about the successful women’s basketball team when you can root for a quality NBA juggernaut like the Miami Heat?

Darren Grossman can be contacted at d.grossman@umiami.edu.