Sky Hoops with House
March 1, 2012

What’s happening Sky Fans! We’ve kept our streak alive... 4 weeks in a row with a player signing! Chicagoland basketball fans have to like this one... we’re bringing Felicia Chester back to play some ball in Chitown!

Felicia is a great fit for our roster. The former DePaul power forward is 6’3, can operate at both the high and low post offensively and has the athletic ability to defend multiple positions.

Let me give you the history of Felicia coming “back” to Chicago. Last year I flew to Chicago to see the DePaul vs. Notre Dame game with our owner Michael Alter. It was almost exactly one year ago, February 28, 2011. Do you remember the game? DePaul’s amazing win over ND at McGrath-Phillips Arena? It was one of the better college basketball games I saw last year. Felicia and the Blue Devils were playing great coming into the game. It was senior night. Felicia had scored double figures in 5 of her previous 8 games and there was a lot of “buzz” about this game. Well, on this night she rose to the occasion! 8/14 from the field (she hit a 3), 6 boards and 20 points in 39 minutes! The most important stat of all.... a W! It was a great game and a great win for DePaul. One game does not a career make. Her combined body of work throughout her DePaul career and a great game on a BIG night earned her the 14th overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft. (*That is the highest drafted DePaul player, ever.)

Pokey had her eye on Felicia throughout the season as we spoke about her versatility combined with her size giving her a chance to develop into a very good combo forward at the professional level. Through our draft meetings and preparations we decided that if Felicia or Carolyn Swords were available at #15 (our second round pick in the 2011 Draft) we would take whomever was there. As you know Minnesota selected Felicia at #14 and traded her to Atlanta almost immediately. Later, she was picked up by New York. We were very fortunate in that Carolyn Swords was still available at #15 and now we have them both in Chicago!

DRAFT PREP

It’s conference tournament time Sky Fans! Get your DVR ready, this is a busy, busy weekend... and I have an excellent schedule: 13 GAMES IN 4 DAYS!

Friday March 2 – Indianapolis – Big Ten Tournament
The top four seeds (#1 – Penn State, #2 – Ohio State, #3 – Iowa, and #4 – Purdue) will square off vs. first round winners. Penn State and Ohio State have been tremendous this season and they are both doing it with a great combination of youth and experience. Two teams that are the most intriguing in this top four are Iowa and Purdue. Purdue can flat out defend. They lead the Big Ten in Scoring defense (57.7 ppg), but Penn State lead in FG% defense, holding opponents to 34.3% from the field. Iowa raked 3rd in scoring at 71.4 and creates problems for nearly every team they face. It will be a great day in Indy.

Saturday March 3 – Hartford – Big East Tournament
A 5:12 AM flight isn’t the greatest thing about Saturday, but it’s what I had to do to get to Hartford for the 12 PM game. The four games will be good ones: West Virginia, DePaul, Louisville and Rutgers will all face first round winners. The Big East has been the best women’s basketball conference all season. The games have been battles and have increased in intensity the closer we have gotten to March.

Sunday March 4 – Hartford – Big East Tournament
The top four seeds (#1 – Notre Dame, #2 – St. John’s, #3 – UConn, and #4 – Georgetown) will all square off. If DePaul advances from the second round on Saturday I’ll get to see a DePaul vs. Notre Dame showdown! That would be awesome!

Monday March 5 – Philadelphia – Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship
One my way back to Charlottesville I will catch the A10 Championship game. The A10 has impressed me a great deal this season. The conference has moved itself into a position to send as many as four teams to the NCAA Tournament. I’m not sure that has happened before in the A10. Perhaps one of the best games of the tournament could happen on Sunday. If all higher seeds advance Temple will square off against Dayton in one semifinal.

All right, I need to get back to some video to prep for these games. Thanks for checking us out!

Next week I’ll look back at some of the games and some of the top performances. Be sure to send me your thoughts on the games you see and the players you like!

Have a great week.

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