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ESPN announces Sue Bird as college basketball analyst, groups of "3 to See" and "Need to Know" players

Some new initiatives are in store for the 2014-15 college basketball season which starts Friday.

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

This past summer, Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird hinted that she may not play internationally during the 2014-15 women's college basketball season in a column she wrote for SLAM online. That was confirmed today as ESPN announced in a press release that she will be a college basketball analyst for the 2014-15 season for ESPN2, ESPNU, and the Longhorn Network. Kara Lawson, another WNBA player who is a ESPN analyst was pleased to have the chance to work with Bird:

In addition to Bird, former WNBA star Katie Smith will also announce games on ESPN's networks.

The other piece of big news from ESPN's press release was the announcement of the "3 to See" and the "Need to Know" campaigns for the upcoming season.

The "3 to See" campaign will focus on women's college basketball's three most notable players, who they have identified as Breanna Stewart (UConn); Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (UConn), and Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame). Considering how a previous campaign went with a particular WNBA rookie class, I wonder just how much more biased they can get.

The "Need to Know" players are a group of top players who aren't necessarily the most visible now, but are still players who may very well be big time in the end. Those players are: Nina Davis (Baylor); Brittany Boyd (Cal); Moriah Jefferson (UConn); Elizabeth Williams (Duke); Lexie Brown (Maryland); Rachel Banham (Minnesota); Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina); Aleighsa Welch (South Carolina); A’ja Wilson (South Carolina) and Isabelle Harrison (Tennessee).

The college basketball season starts on Friday, and ESPN2 will have a doubleheader tipoff on Monday, November 17 with Baylor playing Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET and UConn playing Stanford at 9 p.m. ET.