Two strong teams await KU women’s basketball in Cayman Islands Classic

photo by: Damon Young/Kansas Athletics

Kansas guard Wyvette Mayberry takes a three-point shot during the game against Italian Select in Rome on Aug. 9, 2023.

As it looks to build on the momentum from last year’s Women’s National Invitation Tournament title, the Kansas women’s basketball team will face two tough tests early in its nonconference slate.

The Cayman Islands Classic announced Tuesday the matchups for its inaugural women’s edition, which features KU alongside LSU, Niagara, Tulane, UCLA, UConn, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Jayhawks will play Virginia Tech on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. and UConn on Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. (both Central Time).

KU will be taking on the Hokies for the first time ever and the Huskies for the first time since 1996.

The Jayhawks have never beaten UConn. They are winless in a pair of matchups against the legendary Big East Conference program, which at one point in the mid-2010s won 126 consecutive regular-season games and has earned 11 national titles under current head coach Geno Auriemma. The Huskies saw a string of 14 Final Four appearances in a row come to an end when they lost to Ohio State in the Sweet 16 in March. This season, they are expected to have former national player of the year Paige Bueckers back after a pair of devastating knee injuries.

Virginia Tech just reached its first-ever Elite Eight and Final Four on the strength of players like center Liz Kitley, last season’s Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, and guard Georgia Amoore, who are back this season.

KU returns four starters and adds five-star freshman S’Mya Nichols to the mix. The Jayhawks just completed a foreign tour through Italy and Greece that saw them claim a pair of lopsided exhibition wins.


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