Welcome to the first edition of the WBB Watch Guide, where I'll be breaking down the upcoming week of women's college basketball games.
After a long offseason, basketball is back, and we've got a busy opening week, so let's jump right into it. While there's not really one big marquee matchup this week, there are a handful of intriguing ones. Let's look at the full list of upcoming games, with an extended look at some of the most fascinating contests on this week's slate.
All times are Central Time.
Wednesday, November 25th
Texas A&M Commerce at UT Arlington: 11 a.m.
The college basketball season tips off with a very, very good Division II A&M Commerce school heading to Arlington to take on UTA, with Shereka Wright making her debut as UTA's head coach. Can the Mavericks and Katie Ferrell get off to a hot start? (Note: The UTA and TAMUC websites say this is airing on ESPN+, but as of publication time, it isn't listed on the ESPN website.)
Lamar at No. 13 Texas A&M: Noon
The Aggies are ranked even after losing Chennedy Carter to the WNBA a year early. In her place, they have Minnesota transfer Destiny Pitts, as well as Seniors N'dea Jones, Ciera Johnson, and Kayla Wells. This game shouldn't be tough for A&M, but it is your first chance to see how Pitts does as the Chennedy replacement.
Houston at Oklahoma: Noon
Fox Sports Southwest
One of two games you can watch on cable TV instead of a streaming service, the Cougars head to Norman in attempt to defeat OU for the second year in a row. It wasn't even particularly close last year, with the Cougars coming out ahead 85-69 behind five players scoring in double figures, plus an 11-point, 11-rebound performance by Tatyana Hill.
SMU at Texas: 1 p.m.
The Vic Schaefer era tips off for the Longhorns. With a lot of youth on this team, we'll be watching to see how Schaefer's rotation looks and to see how Texas Junior Charli Collier looks. Considering she's already getting WNBA Draft hype, you'll want to watch her as much as possible.
Incarnate Word at TCU: 1 p.m.
UTRGV at Texas Tech: 1 p.m.
If you're like me and don't have Longhorn Network but do have ESPN+, you'll want to check out some of Krista Gerlich's Texas Tech debut. It won't be a particularly close game, but it will get the Lady Raiders started in a positive direction.
Sul Ross at UTSA: 2 p.m.
New Mexico State at UTEP: 2 p.m.
Houston Baptist at Rice: 2 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin at Arizona State: 5 p.m.
Texas A&M International at Texas A&M Corpus Christi: 5 p.m.
Islanders Digital Network
Howard Payne at Abilene Christian: 5:30 p.m.
Midwestern State at Sam Houston State: 6:30 p.m.
Central Arkansas at No. 4 Baylor: 7 p.m.
The end result of this game will not be in doubt. The Baylor Lady Bears will defeat Central Arkansas.
But seeing the final score of this one isn't why you tune in. With DiDi Richards currently injured, Baylor will only have one full-time starter from last year's team to open the season. You'll want to tune into this one to see how Kim Mulkey builds a team around NaLyssa Smith. Will Freshmen Sarah Andrews and Hannah Gusters get early minutes? Who'll get most of the point guard minutes with Richards out?
Tarleton at North Texas: 7 p.m.
It's the Division I debut for the Texans! And the UNT debut of Freshman Tommisha Lampkin, the Mansfield Summit forward who was a top-100 recruit on ESPN's HoopGurlz rankings going into her Senior season.
Friday, November 27th
Northwestern State at No. 4 Baylor: 2 p.m.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Wichita State: 2 p.m.
Texas Southern at Tulane: 5 p.m.
I'm not sure how available TSU games will be for streaming this year, but if you get the chance to watch the Lady Tigers, do it. Senior Niya Mitchell was granted another year of eligibility and should be among the nation's rebounding leaders. Tulane is a solid mid-pack AAC team, which should make for a compelling matchup.
San Diego State vs Lamar: 5:45 p.m.
South Point Thanksgiving Shootout
Stephen F. Austin vs St. Mary's: 8:30 p.m.
The Southland's best(?) team takes on a WCC opponent that had a down season last year, but before that had been a perennial 20-win team. If the Gaels just had a one-year falloff, this will be a good one.
Saturday, November 28th
Central Arkansas at TCU: 1 p.m.
McMurry at Abilene Christian: 1 p.m.
Rice at Little Rock: 2 p.m.
Like St. Mary's above, Little Rock's another school that had a down season last year but has historically been one of the better Sun Belt schools. Rice and Senior Nancy Mulkey should be 1-0 entering this game, and will look to cap off a strong opening weekend.
Houston Baptist at Texas Tech: 2 p.m.
Howard Payne at Tarleton: 2 p.m.
Incarnate Word at UTEP: 2 p.m.
Lamar vs Fresno State: 3 p.m.
South Point Thanksgiving Shootout
Philander Smith at Prairie View A&M: 3 p.m.
No. 13 Texas A&M at No. 19 DePaul: 4 p.m.
Our first top 25 matchup of the year -- and a game that showed up late on online schedules -- sees the Aggies heading to Chicago to face the Blue Demons. This is the first big test of the post-Chennedy era for A&M and it comes against a DePaul team that went 28-5 last year. They lost a couple top players, but A&M has to find an answer for Lexi Held and Sonya Morris in this one if they want to move to 2-0.
Stephen F. Austin vs VCU: 5 p.m.
The Ladyjacks are playing a tough opening slate with their three games in Tempe, Arizona, but tough games build character. This is a good VCU team. Let's see if SFA can hang with them.
Central Baptist at Sam Houston State: 6:30 p.m.
Texas State at New Orleans: 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 29th
North Texas at Texas: 2 p.m.
Houston at Alabama: 2 p.m.
You have to admire the Cougars for playing top conference opponents to open the year. Alabama isn't among the SEC's top schools, going 8-9 in conference play last year, but they bring back their top two scorers in Jordan Lewis and Jasmine Walker, plus have added a Texan to their roster: L.D. Bell's Myra Gordon.
Midwestern State at UT Arlington: 2 p.m.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Kansas: 6 p.m.
Monday, November 30th
UTRGV at UTSA: 7 p.m.
It's the only Texas game on Monday. Tune in to see if UTSA's very, very young 2019-20 squad is able to take some forward strides this season. Players like Mikayla Woods and Adryana Quezada shoulld continue to grow, and the Roadrunners will look too avenge last year's 75-64 loss. The Vaqueros won that won on the backs of Jordan Agustus and Trelynn Tyler, who aren't there anymore, so they'll need Senior Amara Graham to step up.