Jefferson Gets Her Chance

by Categorized: 2013 Big East Tournament, Geno Auriemma, Moriah Jefferson, UConn women's basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma’s decision to start freshman Moriah Jefferson at the point for the first time in her career on Sunday was based on need.

“At some point, she is going to have to play and she is going to have to play well,” Auriemma said. “And it’s been getting more difficult to get her into situations that are comfortable for her. If you put her in off the bench when we are winning that’s easy. If you bring her in off the bench and we are struggling, that’s difficult for a freshman and that’s what happened at Notre Dame [four minutes].

“The best way to make sure [that it’s a productive appearance] is to make sure she is in the game when it means something. I wanted to start her and see what happened.”

Jefferson scored 12 points in 23 minutes, shooting 5-of-9 from the field [2-of-3 from three] with three rebounds and three assists.

Still, Auriemma doesn’t think Jefferson is ready to handle the pressure to taking care of the ball when pressed. But he says she is not alone.

“I don’t know any point guard in America who does [have the ability to stabilize an offense under siege],” Auriemma said. “That’s why none of them are worth anything. There is not one team playing for a national championship that has a freshman point guard because it is hard.

“But having said that, I want her to response against pressure to be attack the basket, like she did today. Pulling the ball out and trying to get us into our offense is not going to happen. As long as she stays aggressive, I am good. I will live with anything else she does as long as she plays defense, gets ball pressure and attack the basket when she feels pressure.

“Right now, that’s what we can expect. And that’s exactly what she did today.”

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16 thoughts on “Jefferson Gets Her Chance

  1. John B.

    I really like this decision by Geno. The entire team seemed very energized – as if it is a “new season” – part of Geno’s approach.

    It does seem that there is quite a difference in the pressure involved in playing ND or Baylor, but tonight was a very encouraging performance by many – including Bria, Breanna and Moriah.

    Go Huskies!

  2. Mike1

    Excellent use of players today.Everyone got in and belonged there at the time. All left with a sense of contribution and confidence.I have regained some faith in Geno.

  3. Village Idiot

    Geno who says he never reads these blogs seemed to take a page from the last blog and put Jefferson, Stewart, Tuck and Stokes in this game and they played significant minutes. Stokes and Stewart seem to be and excellent combinaion to replace Dolson and give her a rest.
    Stewie got 21 quiet points, played good defense while Stokes rebounded well.
    Tuck and Jefferson showed glimpses of what they shall be next year–and they are good.
    Best part of the game was how Hartley scored, Yea—

      1. UconnFan

        Geno could care less about anything bloggers say whether it be good or bad, and does not influence his decisions one bit!

          1. Wiggins & Diggins

            Hello. I’m Bob. I’m addicted to correcting other’s mistakes. I’m perfect. That’s why I’m in therapy.

  4. Allen Freshler

    Loved the up tempo but under control with ability to read traps early of this game. Too many of the ND games were played at half court with nobody moving toward the basket. With the large number of half court hand off it appeared to be foodball in the backfield! Scoring means taking chances which this team has a hard time doing in close games but which is necesary to break the double teams set up by ND. MAKE THEM PAY FOR THE DOUBLE TEAM.

    Also loved the new starting lineup, it can grow into something great from this team. We also have a fine high low combination when we use it. This combo also give us good offensive rebounding possibilites especially when Stuart, Tuck & Dolson are in the low posts. Go Huskies!

    1. Wiggins & Diggins

      I’m sure Auriemma and CD will game plan for ND and Baylor like they did for DePaul

  5. Misty

    Nice try Geno!

    He finally sees that Jefferson must be on the floor ahead of Doty; but, he couches it in the “let’s manage the not-ready-for-prime-time freshman Jefferson” nonsence.

    Doty should have to earn her minutes, just like he says everyone else has to.

    Lately, she is earning about two mop-up minutes a game…

  6. nhuconnfan

    All the talk about MJ’s minutes is meaningless. The bottom line is that when they play a ND or a Baylor, Geno will choke, shorten his bench and Doty will play far more, and MJ far less, than they should. And Dolson will play 40 minutes (too much) and Stokes not at all.

    1. Edward Ted Gee

      It’s normal for Geno to use a thin bench in big games. It’s his built in excuse in case UConn loses or has difficulty winning. And to justify his thin bench Geno uses his other built in excuse. His bench players did not earn playing time in practice.

      1. Steve Gee

        Still have zero marbles huh troll?
        Not even enough sand to pick a name and own your comments.

        We get it.
        You don’t like Geno.
        We get it.

        You’re still a troll.
        No matter how many unclever names you use.

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