I take the daily pulse of my constituency, as reflected by what it says in emails and blog comments. And here is what I have concluded after the first 17 games (of which UConn has won 16).
* UConn is the sloppiest team in the United States.
* Bria Hartley has been a major disappointment .
Of course, both contentions are highly exaggerated.
About the turnovers: UConn has made a few of them – another 18 in Saturday’s win over Syracuse. And Geno Auriemma would like it if they made fewer, like all coaches would, because each turnover means the loss of a scoring chance. So, 18 times Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis equals a chance at 54 points in a game.
When it was suggested to him on Saturday that the team’s 242 turnovers this season may be due to the unselfishness of the players, here is what Geno said:
“”I think there are a lot of kids who would be great teammates, who I’d love to have on our team,” Auriemma said. “But if they (stink) at passing you wouldn’t want them just because they are great teammates. We’ve got a lot of guys being great teammates. They should be lousy teammates and complete passes. That would make me a lot happier.”
Sounds logical to me.
As for Hartley, UConn’s WBCA All-America, there is no doubt she is experiencing a subpar season. I tend to think she is not well physically and the tenderness of her left ankle, which she injured in August playing for USA Basketball, has resulted in changes in her confidence level and athletic choreography. Something is just not right with her.
Hartley slightly re-injured herself on Saturday and scored only three points in 19 minutes.
“She rolled her ankle maybe two or three times [Saturday]. Mmaybe that was a part of it; I don’t know. But just chalk it up as just a bad day,” Auriemma said.