This past Thursday at the ESPN Zone in Times Square, the Lady Huskies were chosen to finish #1 in the Big East this upcoming season.

Last season was the first time the Lady Huskies weren’t picked to finish first. So this year with one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, it’s only appropriate that the Lady Huskies assume their usual position.

Two Lady Huskies, Renee Montgomery and Charde Houston, were chosen to the pre-season All Big East Team. Montgomery was chosen to the First Team while Houston was picked to the Honorable Mention All Big East team. Tina Charles was chosen by the coaches to win the Big East Rookie of the Year award.

Also during the press conference on Thursday, Coach Geno Auriemma announced his captains for the 2006-2007 season. His choices were Mel Thomas, a junior guard from Cincinnati, and Renee Montgomery, a sophomore point guard from West Virginia. Both were chosen by Auriemma because of their leadership abilities on and off the court.

For those of you who have seen Mel Thomas play, you have to ask yourself this. Why wasn’t she chosen to the preseason Big East team? I would like to know what the 15 other coaches of the Big East teams were watching last year when they played the Lady Huskies. Did they not see the beginning of the season when Mel Thomas led the Huskies to the Preseason NIT title and was named MVP? Did they not see who gave it her “all” each time she stepped on the court?

I am not trying to rip Charde Houston at all. She had her “good” moments and she had her “bad” moments last season. Houston was so unsure of her role at UCONN, that she even considered transferring to another school before an “intervention” by Mel Thomas, Brittany Hunter, and Ketia Swanier convinced her to stay at UCONN. And from all accounts that I have read, theres a “new” Charde Houston on the campus this year. One who is rededicated to making the most of her time at Storrs. Not the same one who was ripped all the time by Coach Auriemma for her poor work ethic or lack of focus. So I see how she can be chosen to the preseason team but how can Mel Thomas not be chosen.

I, for one, cannot wait to watch Mel Thomas lead the Lady Huskies this year. I feel really bad for all these coaches who slighted her this preseason, as I am sure she will be gunning for each team they play in the Big East just to prove them wrong. Good luck to Mel and the Lady Huskies this season.