The Marquette women's team takes their 2-1 record to the US Virgin Islands for the women's version of the Paradise Jam starting tomorrow. From what I can glean from the internet because the Paradise Jam's website won't actually tell me, it appears that the women's version of the tournament is played in round robin format. So we have three games against preset opponents. Let's take a look, shall we?
First up is Washington State (Thursday, 7pm Central). On one side, the Cougars return 4 starters from a team that had their most Pac-10 wins since 2000-01 and best Pac-10 finish since 1997-98. On the other, they went 8-23 overall, with 6 wins coming in Pac-10 play. So far this season, WSU is 2-2 and won't play a home game until after this event is over. Interestingly, one of their wins is against Wisconsin, winning in the Kohl Center 69-51. Jazmine Perkins is the dominant force for the Cougars, averaging 10.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Friday afternoon's opponent is Prairie View A&M. The Panthers are coming off a SWAC championship last year, finishing 21-12 after a loss to Baylor in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. While they return just 2 letterwinners and welcome 8 newcomers, redshirt junior Letia Williams was named to the preseason SWAC First Team and PVAM was picked to win the SWAC. They're 1-1 entering the Jam with a nailbiter home win over Rice and a 107-26 loss to #7 Miami.
Marquette wraps up the Paradise Jam with a game against Michigan (Saturday, 7pm). The Wolverines finished 17-13 last year with a first round WNIT loss ending their season. Things are going well for them this year, as they have a 4-0 record with 3 close wins over Power Six schools (Florida, Utah and Seton Hall) and a home blowout against Florida Atlantic. The Wolverines are led by a trio of seniors with Courtney Boylan leading the way with 15.3 points per game. Rebounding is done by committee with 6 players contributing more than 4 per game, although Boylan is the leader there as well at 5.8.