China Dolls

By Jeff Lippman - November 07, 2007

The Chinese Women's National Team is currently three games into a six-game collegiate tour pitting them against some of the best college programs in the country.

Ranked No. 11 in the world in the FIBA international rankings - the U.S. is ranked No. 1 - China has some excellent talent on its roster. Only possessing four players under 6-feet, including 5-foot-8 guard Miao Lijie, who played for the WNBA's Sacremento Monarchs in 2005, China has a multitude of talent and has thus far been giving the schools they have faced problems.

The schedule is thus: New Mexico (Nov. 1: a 67-61 win), Texas A&M (Nov. 3: a 76-70 loss), North Carolina (Nov. 6: a 70-68 loss), Rutgers (Nov. 8), UTEP (Nov. 11) and Arizona State (Nov. 15).

That is three solid college programs and a 1-2 record, impressive because their two losses were by a combined eight points to two teams who are currently ranked inside the Top 11 in the AP Poll.

In the three contests, China's leading scorer, Lijie, has averaged over 16 points.

Playing a top-notch international team like China is an excellent opportunity for the college programs to gauge where they are as a team and how ready they are for the coming season. As Rutgers, UTEP and ASU prepare to face China in the coming days before the start of the regular season, we'll be able to see just how solid these teams are in relation to how well the Tar Heels and Aggies did against the Chinese.

For example, Texas A&M was able to at least put some distance between themselves and the Chinese, winning by six, while New Mexico lost and UNC won by two while being outscored in the second half, 41-35.

If you expect Rutgers to be the best team the Chinese will meet, that means Rutgers should win by double digits, and we'll also get to see if A&M deserves its lofty - according to me - ranking.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 04:38 PM on November 07, 2007

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