Increasing the Interest in Women's Basketball

Increasing the Interest in Women's Basketball

UConn coach Geno Auriemma wants to lower the rims in women's basketball to generate more interest and avoid the low percentage of layups made in the women's game. It won't happen, but he has a valid point as to interest in the game. It simply is not growing.

Sure there is good attendance in Storrs, Waco and Palo Alto, but that is about it. And a bigger problem is that the wealth in terms of talent is at the top. Whereas in the men's game, with the possible exception of Kentucky players who want immediate playing time and not simply a chance to play for a National Championship, in the women's game, top flight players are often willing to go to a UConn and earn a ring.

Part of it is geographical. The best players in certain regions tend to end up at the same schools. UConn has gotten great players from Christ the King in New York and their star frosh, Breanna Stewart, is from Syracuse.  Stanford tends to get the best west coast kids and Baylor cleans up in Texas.  This year is no different from most. Baylor and UConn are 1-2. Some say that Duke is good, but they are injured and have no idea how to play UConn. It is almost like an intimidation factor.

Baylor versus UConn in February in Hartford will be a big draw and will get a huge TV audience. Games like Rutgers versus St. John's, two solid teams, will be lucky to draw 2,000, no matter where it is played and will get little television coverage.  Until schools like Pittsburgh, Providence and Oregon put more resources, including marketing dollars into the women's game, it simply won't be popular in those areas.

There is no surprise that the best coaches have the best teams. Kim Mulkey and Auriemma are the best in the business and their teams perform that way.