Impressions From UConn’s Brush Off Of Colgate

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Gampel Pavilion, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kelly Faris, Stanford women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, XL Center Date:

Good morning everyone…..

You likely understand by now that getting a ticket for most UConn women’s games does not require a congressional connection.

There were 7,934 human beings at the XL Center last night for the Colgate game and they were well spaced out in the cavernous building, one with seat backs, which seems to be one of the major points of complaint at Gampel Pavilion.

If you want to see Notre Dame, Baylor and Maryland, your choices may not be as numerous. But in general, if you are in the neighborhood, you might want to think about coming out to see one of the greatest collections of diverse talent that Geno Auriemma has ever put together.

As for last night’s game against Colgate

  • The mood in the building seemed somewhat subdued following the news that Louisville had been invited to join the ACC and not UConn. I equate this to the feeling I often had as a fat child on the playground, watching everyone else get picked for kickball teams before me. It’s not a fun feeling being left out in the cold. It makes you feel inadequate, unworthy, somewhat less whole to be stranded on the island of misfit athletic programs.
  • That being said, there is still much hope for UConn. Geno Auriemma said Wednesday he’s heard Florida State and Clemson may be next to jump the ACC. I am not good at math, but I would conclude that would open two more spots. If the Huskies don’t make that cut, then there is going to be trouble in the land of steady habits.
  • It is my contention that Kelly Faris is now one of the best players in women’s college basketball. I base this on her body of work and the deep regard Coach Auriemma has for her. Now that’s she’s become a reliable shooter (9 of 14 from three) there may be no limits for a young woman who works hard, cares deeply and has the well-rounded skill few UConn players have ever been blessed with. I cover the WNBA in the summer. Kelly Faris is a WNBA player.
  • Auriemma said it’s still too early to say whether Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will play Monday against Maryland at the XL Center. That decision will be made this weekend and naturally be based on whether she is well enough to practice following her concussion. No practice, no play.
  • So, UConn opens next season against Stanford. This just confirms one of my big talking points: It does not matter to the UConn women which conference the athletic program ends. UConn could take Yale’s place in the Ivy, after the Bulldogs are invited to join the ACC, and it wouldn’t matter one bit in terms of recruiting, scheduling or national regard among recruits.
  • Speaking of recruits, another of the 2014 pursuits, Texas guard Recee’ Caldwell, is due to make her choice on Friday. A little birdie whispered this week that no one should be surprised if she picks UCLA, which apparently is in the final two with UConn. If so, go forth and enjoy, Miss Caldwell.
  • You know what, I love watching Brianna Banks play. She is a very exciting offense player. You want to talk about a kid who has improved? Start with her.
  • I will say this again: Leave Heather Buck alone, you naysayers. She played a very creditable 10 minutes last night, grabbing four rebounds, making three emphatic blocks and scoring the basket that pushed UConn to the century mark. Not everyone that comes to UConn can score 60 points in China, like Miss Maya did. Some just come and go on to become productive, caring citizens of the world. Guess what, it doesn’t take a basketball in your hands to do that.
  • UConn’s margin of victory after six games is 48.7. Just sayin’



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24 thoughts on “Impressions From UConn’s Brush Off Of Colgate

  1. Marion

    I was at the game last night and sat about 10 rows behind you. Love this article and agree with your insite on Kelly and Heather – love both of them and people forget that when UConn beat Baylor the first time it was Heather that played great defense against Griner. I really love the way Kelly plays and wish she would get more recognition – to me she is the best defensive player I have seen.
    Thanks again John

    1. Dicky Poo

      Kelly is the most over appreciated “under appreciated” player that UCONN has ever had.

      Heather is the most over appreciated “over appreciated” player that UCONN has ever had.

      1. Word Smith

        POO POO — you just won the prize for using APPRECIATED IN IT’S MANY FORMS ENOUGH TO cause NAUSEA .
        It’s the purple dyngal berry award. You deserve it!!

  2. Villiage Idiot

    This Idiot has “forever” been touting Heathers defense against Griner. That was the game that I thought was the “break thru” for Heather. But Heather refuses to shoot even when her team set her up for cup cake shots. This team is her biggest boosters. Too often I see Heather out of position on the floor she at the wrong place when a shot goes up. Tuck (where she should be) rebounded balls Heather should have gotten. Geno is a compassionate man, that’s for sure. Heather IS Connecticut, like Conlon. I hoped she’d succeed like Marie
    The first half, I saw something that was wrong–but it took Geno to tell me what it was–only 3 Uconn players scored in the half. Not good for UConn.
    Catalon called the fouls and points better, still missed some. Megan shut up (mostly) during real game action. They were better but NOT Great.

  3. Bridg Bissel

    Uconn Should take the Bulldogs place in their conf. only if Tony LaVellie will play basketball for Uconn and not the Eli. OK John, sports nut you–who (was)is Tony?? I bet you a hook shot contest if you dont know.
    Whether UConn goes to the ACC or not Geno and his teams will thrive and will play and defeat ACC teams.
    Kelly Faris is the most talented and toughest, most knowledgeable player in the NCAA that few people outside the Big East know about. UConn world loves her. People played off her last year–but no more she CAN score.

      1. Village Idiot

        Give the young man a cigar. Tony LaValli yale basketball player, who (may have) invented the hook shot. At least every high school kid in Connecticut tried to emulate him. He singlehandedly put Yale Basketball on the map.
        Wow John, you aren’t just a pretty face. I’m impressed. And you corrected my spelling too without bias. Thanks John

      2. Bridg Bissel

        You ARE good John. Whew, I’m pleased I don’t have to challenge you to a Hook Shot shooting contest.
        Well done. Yale Great. Big Reason Connecticut of the time followed basketball (before UConn teams were on the map),Tony made Yale Basketball. NIT was big. So was CCNY.

  4. martin fallon

    It was fun seeing Kelly play an all-around game, taking shots without the hesitations that marked her execution last year. She is now more than a blue-collar support person, emerging as a legitimate cog in Uconn’s well-oiled offensive machine. It doesn’t seem possible that Heather has only one move to the basket. Anyone who scored that many points in high school has to be more comfortable facing the backboard. And Banks said it clearly in her interview. “I don’t perform, I don’t play.” She certainly got THAT message.

  5. HarryH

    I think most people wonder why Heather is always so late in the game. Sure she isn’t Dolson but she plays good defense and is a reliable player.

    Obviously, I can’t tell how many from the upper deck didn’t show up but the lower bowl was only 75% full at best and those seats are all sold. There were sections where whole rows were empty. Too bad.

  6. HGN

    I for one am a big Heather Buck fan……..And I agree JA, leave her alone. Every player is certainly no Tina Charles or Diana. Some are just good and strong players. She has been there when called upon and been loyal. I can’t say that about Gemelos and Samarie.

    My hat is off to you Heather.

  7. nhntc47

    Once Kelly Faris has developed into a great shooter, she’s unstoppable. From reading articles and listening to interviews I noticed that Brianna Banks is good player and a good learner. She listened to the coaches, learned from them and worked hard. Now her game is a beauty.

  8. Ffld County fan

    We love attending the games – both at the XL and in Storrs , especially now that we finally “graduated to seat back at Gampel a few years ago :-)…. love seeing “our team” in person!! Especially :Kelly’s shooting greatly improved, Brianna Banks greatly improved; Caroline back doing what Caroline does best, Kaleena improving all-around game; terrific contributions from everyone. And two good opponents coming next week with Maryland on Monday (XL Center) and Penn State on Thursday (Gampel). These two games should be a good measure of just how good UCONN is this year. Personally – I think they are GREAT! Make plans for New Orleans Husky Nation!

  9. Steve Gee

    When I attempt to purchase decent (lower bowl) seats at the XL, there’s not a matched pair to be had. Yet when the game is played, there seem to be scores of empty seats.
    What gives?

    1. Marion Barry

      Steve Gee–The time had come (years ago) for UConn to rule: If the owner of an un Occupied seat does not use it by the 20 minute mark of the first half, it MUST be sold to someone with a lessor seat. Good seat should not go un filled just because the purchaser is filthy rich.

      John how about using that as a vote on the next CHAT???

  10. big blue

    OK,Village Idiot AND writer John A, the Yale great was Tony L A V E L L I…i can tell you guys are not Yalies ’cause Yalies can spell…

    1. Marion Barry

      Do you think Tony thinks the spelling is terrible or that, after these many, many years, he is remembered as an exceptional basketball player that put Yale Basketball on the Map. And may have invented the Hook Shot. Tony was almost as prolific a score as Stewie.

  11. billnaples

    Where to begin – Heather Buck. Class act and a great student. Her professional life will not be defined by who she was as a basketball player but likely after many years in the nursing professsion. Some of you folks who need an education in the real world don’t seem to understand that without Buck on the roster someone else would be the the 10th woman in the rotation for minutes. If the defectors that left (Walker, Engeln, Johnson) did not go likely Engeln would be last in a 12 player mix. In every roster that Geno has had for 28 seasons someone has been last off the bench. I can think of few players who filled that “role” that have been as maligned as Heather Buck. I salute her for sticking with both the team, her role, and most important, her studies that will help to define the real Heather Buck for many years to come.

    1. Marion Barry

      Bill Naples–Few on these blog have anything but positive complimentary things to say about Heather Buck. It is true: She handled Griner here in Hartford, she is a nice girl, will make a wonderful nurse. But she will use her UConn BB stint as a means to obtain jobs or promotion, amuse patients, and regale grandchildren.
      Her time on the floor last year and this has been limited although she has rebounded and swatted some shot or passes because she refuses to shoot and at many times on the floor does not know where she should be or what the team is doing. Geno has complained in the past that she’d rather be above the 3 point arc and set a pick than rebound. Geno also stated that it’s more important to his program to put the Freshmen in and learn the system than to try to teach they system whose been here 3,4, or 5 years–it’s counter productive. This is not negative, it’s not fun to read or write, but it is the truth.

      1. Marion Barry

        Last sentence should have said : Than to try to teach the system to those who have been here 3,4, or 5 years–it’s counter productive. If a junior, Senior, or 5th year Senior has not learned the system by now–it only takes time and energy away from the Freshmen and sophomore who are willing and able to learn.

  12. sborn4

    I’d go to more games if lower bowl seats were available. Call me spoiled, but why would I want to pay for parking and tickets to not really be able to see the game? Shame on those seats owners for not showing up!

  13. Arnie of Newtown

    Even though Heather didn’t to date live up to expectations, we still know she’s a great young lady, team player, doesn’t give up and contributes to the teams’ successes over her time at UCONN. We cheer for her, admire her and look forward to her playing in New Orleans.

    Kelly has always been a favorite of my wife and me. Will miss her when she leaves as much as we miss Maya, Miss D., Tina, Rene, Sue etc.

  14. Ffld County fan

    Well, I know that we had to “pay our dues” both with contributions and wait-time before we got lower level seats in either venue. I kinda consider it our “Carribbean vacation” that we don’t take! We are season’s ticket holders for over 10 years now but do not contribute to the amount the BIG contributors do, so we also sat in upper levels(and bench seats at Gampel) for years,even as season ticket holders).It bugs us also to see so many prime seats empty – and they won’t let you move down/or over to fill those seats ever!……just say’in..

  15. Sarah

    I was estatic watching Heather Buck in those final minutes. It was great seeing her playing aggresively and using some intimidation. You go girl!!!

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