A Look At UConn’s First-Round Opponent: Idaho

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, UConn women's basketball Date:

The University Idaho, located in Moscow (Idaho), the third seed in the Western Athletic Conference, beat Seattle University, 67-64, on Saturday to win its first Western Athletic Conference championship and first NCAA tournament berth since 1985,

“Survive and advance has certainly been our motto in this tournament and we did it all the way till the end, and it’s a great feeling,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee told reporters after the game. “I’m so happy for my players and I’m so happy for my staff. I feel that I have the greatest staff in America and our players have just worked their tails off to get to this moment and it’s fantastic, it’s a great feeling.”

Idaho sophomore Stacey Barr, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds Saturday, was the tournament MVP. Junior Alyssa Charlston, who had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, also earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

All three Idaho (17-15) victories during the tournament came by just one possession.

“It was a pretty difficult start [3-9] to the season, but to our credit we picked it up towards the end of the season and started playing as a team and getting those wins,” Barr said. “To go to the tournament is huge and to win this one is unbelievable. There are no words for it.”

Freshman Ali Forde finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, six blocks, two steals and two assists for the Vandals.Freshman Connie Ballestero had 10 points and three assists. That pair, along with freshman Christina Salvatore, have started a combined 78 games this season for Idaho.

“I’m going to tell you, our freshmen, our younger players are very even-keeled on the basketball floor,” Newlee said. “I’ve never seen a younger group that was like that. They don’t panic. Very rarely have I seen panic on the faces of our young players.”

The Vandals outscored their opponents by one point (2102 to 2101) this season. Charlston led them in scoring (13.7). Forde (7.5) is the leading rebounder. Salvatore (264) and Barr (168) led the team in three-point attempts. They averaged 402 fans to their 12 home games.

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20 thoughts on “A Look At UConn’s First-Round Opponent: Idaho

      1. Uconn My Team

        Idaho–appears to have a great coach, he has them prepared for the right time of the year.
        His team will believe they can beat Uconn–because he says it’s possible.
        Good kids, believers, and hard workers. I hope you guys get to show how good you can be–remember George Mason against the top loaded Uconn Men with 4 NBA all stars on that team!! It’s always possible..
        I’m still picking Uconn to win.

      2. Uconn the Leader

        Idaho–appears to have a great coach, he has them prepared for the right time of the year.
        His team will believe they can beat Uconn–because he says it’s possible.
        Good kids, believers, and hard workers. I hope you guys get to show how good you can be–remember George Mason against the top loaded Uconn Men with 4 NBA all stars on that team!! It’s always possible..
        I’m still picking Uconn to win.

  1. mike mcmanus

    The Idaho coach says: “ our freshmen, our younger players are very even-keeled on the basketball floor,” “I’ve never seen a younger group that was like that. They don’t panic. Very rarely have I seen panic on the faces of our young players.”

    Well be prepared Coach, it’s great that they got into the tournament, but they’re moving up to another level and it’s not unique to UCONN.

    1. mike mcmanus

      at least they play their younger players to give them experience on the court and give them a lesson that life can kick your buttocks while Gino is a stat stuffer coach

      1. Village Idiot

        Mike McManus–You are singing in my choir. Now with Idaho, the 16th ranked being the UC opponent, is the time to play the freshmen and get them prepared for the big stage.
        If they had gotten 20 minutes a game in the regular season, they would have been better prepared to play in the big time. You don’t learn the game on the bench.

  2. PHS

    Stokes, Tuck, and Jefferson need to learn to figure it out for themselves the first two games. It would go a long way into starting next season on the right foot. If Auriemma yanks them after one mistake and plays KML, Dolson, Faris, Hartley, and Stewart 30 minutes each, then it will prove once again that Auriemma is a stat stuffer coach.

    1. Village Idiot

      PHS–I hardly think Geno a stat stuffer.
      Geno is at his best when he pulls a kid out explains what they were doing wrong and sends them back in. Sitting on the bench isn’t the place to learn to play div 1 BB. If the kids get PT in the early regular season, by the end they aren’t freshmen any more.

      1. Bracchus

        He is at his worst when he yells loud enough for everyone in the arena to hear-”What in the hell are you doing?”

  3. Chris Saran

    mike mcmanus and PHS, you two are clueless. Look at UConn through the years: Rebecca Lobo, Kara Wolters, Jen Rizzotti, Shea Ralph, Svetlana Abrosimova, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Maya Moore and the current roster of players. How many of them have had gaudy statistics? None. Some of the greatest players in the history of women’s basketball. You two are clueless. How about stuffing this
    . . .

    1. Chris Saran

      My name is Chris Saran. I am such an idiot. I don’t understand what stat stuffer coach meant. So my mommy explained it to me. She said girlie when a coach leaves his starters in after the team is up by 30 points at halftime he is a stat stuffer. He is more concerned with getting stats for his starters so they would be voted to stupid 30 player watch lists than developing his student athletes on the bench. No girlie go to your room and study basketball 101. No more stupid questions.

  4. Allie

    The way it works with UConn, playing in games is a reward for how things go in practice. If a player works hard, listens to the coaches and tries to do what they say, they will get to play in games. To let someone play 20 minutes in games just to get experience when she hasn’t earned it at practice is rewarding bad behavior and would give them no incentive to do the work necessary to get better.

    1. JUSTME

      Well said, Allie. I was always curious though, in a case like Heather Buck who’s been here forever, is she just lazy and doesn’t care? Or is it she just doesn’t have the skills? Or maybe coaches and she do not communicate well? I would love to know what the reason is and why it wasn’t able to be fixed. She doesn’t strike me as the “bad behavior” type and with that incredibly strong build on her, she could have been a real asset for us.

      1. sharoon

        i love your question justme as i have often wondered what is in the secret sauce that some respond to and a few good hearted kids seem to miss out on. and despite my slightly snarky comment above, i have so much admiration for these kids from here, there, and everywhere who show up to play. do i think they’ll win? no. but i hope they hang tough for a respectable period of time and have great stories to tell for the rest of their lives.

      2. Sadie,Sadie a Married lady

        Just Me/Allie–Charde wouldn’t couldn’t practice–didn’t know where she was supposed to be on the floor. Yet Geno played her–he had no one else who could score. Practice isn’t always needed. Stokes should play, The kid doesn’t have Geno’s spark–yet she is a basketball player with great instincts, it’s stupid to sit a kid that is needed–
        Buck was the biggest kid in her league made lots of baskets, defended because she was big. She had no training. She wasn’t a big BB fan or player. If she played as a freshmen as she played as a 5th year–she may have developed, but she didn’t. Give Geno high marks for keeping her–she’s a nice kid, who actually tries, but doesn’t have the push.

        1. Bracchus

          Charge was a player who needed some room for creativity. Often talented players are stymied by rigid offensive patterns. Geno recruited her. It was up to him to get the most out if her talent.
          I think that once he started the public criticism with Charde it went downhill from there. I heard a rumor that she made some less than complimentary comment about him and/or the program and the next day she came to practice to find that he had thrown all of her stuff out of her locker. Given the nature if their relationship it is possible. She may have been better off somewhere else. Even Geno has said that UCONN isn’t for everyone. There is nothing worse than being on a team where you and the coach are not in synch and you have to read about it in the paper
          Years ago when Britney Griner punched a player after being fouled and was thrown out of the game, Kim Mulkey told the press that she would be discussing the matter with Britany, in private. She further indicated that this would not be a media event. Her stock went up in my eyes 100%.

    2. Open Your Eyes and Your Ears

      you believe everything that FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, GENO tell you

    3. Assuming Bad Behavior

      OK, you recruit a kid who has a basketball body, great instincts, from a rich family, isn’t biting at your carrot..
      You have a few choices:
      Let her play and gain Div 1 experience.
      Keep her on the bench because you don’t think she works hard enough.
      Demean her in the press.
      Tell her she’s never going to play for you and let her transfer.

      The last option is the only honest, decent one. Play her or let her transfer. You can bet a Million dollars if she goes to Kentucky she will play when her sitting year is up. And she will be one reason they’d beat Ct. Stokes is that good.

  5. I only believe Fox and Geno

    I haven’t believed what DC and the Media has told me for the last 24 years.
    Geno is more often than not correct. His knowledge of history, current events, and politics, and the laws or our land–stink.
    But when it comes to basketball–he is the master. He’s pulled games out that were a guarantee loss. Yes he’s lost some, if he didn’t why play the game, just say this is Geno’s Uconn and give them the W.

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