Well, in terms of the freshman class, all I can say is one down, at least 157 games to go. It promises to be some ride with a promise of much April basketball.
Breanna Stewart is everything she was ordained to be. She is a tremendous outside shooter, maybe not so rare a commodity for someone her size (6-4). But she possess the ball-handling skills to get by a post defender who dares confront her in a way I have not yet seen. I do believe she could bring the ball up the floor. She also hustles on defense and has tremendous shot-blocking instincts. She also has such a long wingspan that she can actually put the basketball inside the square when shooting a layup. Wow.
Moriah Jefferson had four turnovers in the first half and I couldn’t have cared less. You can see the inherent skill in this young point guard. She sees the floor, is small and fast enough to work her way inside big bodies. Her back pass in the lane set up Morgan Tuck’s first hoop. She is the truest point guard UConn has had in a long, long time, if you agree with the theory that Renee Montgomery, Caroline Doty and Bria Hartley were/are predominately shooting guards. She is going to be exciting to watch.
When I look at Morgan Tuck, I try to visualize her in four years when her body evolves into what nature and UConn weight trainers desire it to be. She has the ability to be another Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford’s All-America who was the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis may have made Geno cringe a little defensively, but does anyone in the country have more of a capacity to kill you with three-point shooting. She is so good you find yourself actually disappointed when the ball rims out.
Stefanie Dolson smiles a lot. And she was smiling a whole lot Sunday. You can already see how the dynamics are going to work offensively. With Tuck and Stewart, there is simply no way a defense can put too much muscle on Dolson and that can lead to only great things – like Sunday when she accumulated 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Consider that UConn has scored 327 points in its two preseason games and Sunday’s opener without Bria Hartley, its All-America. Consider that UConn scored 103 on Sunday despite scoring just eight in the final 9:29. What does that tell you about the potential of the offense and the diversity it presents to defenses, most of which will play UConn impossible incapable of dealing with it.
Yep, this has the potential to be a long, fun ride.