Samarie Walker Living And Learning

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

Happy Easter, everyone…

On Sunday morning, former UConn forward Samarie Walker was the dais with four Kentucky teammates talking about how she has grown as a person and as a player since tranfering to the Wildcats in January 2011.

As fate would have it, Walker has had to play her former team twice since she left and both have been in Elite Eight settings – last year in Rhode Island and now Monday in Bridgeport.

Walker says she is doing fine, both personally and collegiately. She is sporting an interesting new haircut these days, one that ascends into a peak at its center. It reminds many of the veteran UConn writers to some of the haistyles Charde Houston sported with the Huskies.

Walker said she has not spoken to a single member of the UConn coaching staff since she left, which is not surprising considering the tension that had developed by the time she took off.

In fact, she said she hasn’t really kept in touch with many of her former UConn teammates, with the possible exception of Bria Hartley, with whom she came to UConn in 2010 along with Stefanie Dolson, Michala Johnson and Lauren Engeln. Dolson and Hartley are the only two members of the class still on campus.

Walker said she’s more comfortable at Kentucky and mentioned how many people “have her back” in Lexington, as opposed, we can only assume, at UConn.

“I’m happier here,’’ Walker said. “I’ve grown up a lot. I was 18 then. I’m 20 now. A lot of stuff happened between then and now. I have teammates who look out for me, who encourage me to do my best. Coaches who look out for me. Other staff members. It’s just a great atmosphere here and I’m happy to be here.’’

Still, Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell says in all the time he has known Walker that she never has hinted about having a bad experience in Storrs.

“I think Samarie wanted to get closer to home was the overriding factor,’’ Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. “She has never to me in all the time that we’ve spent together, and we’ve been really close a while now, and I just think at some point in time if she’d had just an uber-negative experience at Connecticut that that would’ve come out. She has just never said one bad thing about that experience other than the fact that she made a bad decision as far as going away from home.’’

 

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37 thoughts on “Samarie Walker Living And Learning

  1. mike mcmanus

    Walker looked thinner and fit…maybe her haircut made her look taller? I think her coach gave the politically correct answer about her feelings about her UCONN experience. I watched her closely when she was guarding EDD and came away with the opinion that she did very little to stop her from making her moves around the basket. In a way she reminds me of Kia Stokes in that she does not seem to play with the energy and emotion of a KML or Faris. Just an observation because I would like nothing more than for the light-bulb to click-on in Kia’s head. I think we’ve seen that happen with Stewart, Tuck, and Jefferson.

    1. Hey Mikey

      Faris has to play to with emotion and energy. Otherwise she sits next to Buck. Faris offensive game alone is not enough to keep her in the game.

      1. Sarah J

        Agree

        I don’t see what the big deal is with Faris as in the big games, she only ever gets 3 or 4 points.

        If we had five of her, we wouldn’t win a damn thing given that the whole team would only produce a miserly microscopic 20 points.

        1. Huakypat

          Faris has defensive skills that are second to none. She is fierce on defense and also this year has picked up her offense. She is usually given the assignment of guarding the other teams best player. UConn plays as a team – they share the basketball and no one is a super star, but they managed to win a lot of games. And, whether they win their 8th National championship is beside the point – they are fun to watch. The Louisville/Baylor game tonight was a great game – right down to the wire. Anyone can win or lose in women’s basketball. The women’s game is a lot more exciting to watch (yep, naysayers will respond), but quite frankly I get bored with the bounce, bounce, dunk, dunk of men’s basketball. And, Faris is a great player to watch – open your eyes and you will see someone who has great defensive skills.

          1. Bracchus

            Faris is a great defensive player, and to her credit, her offense has improved over the last four years. She was very fortunate to come to UCONN where the team was loaded with offensive players. Had she gone to a team with less offense, you probably would not be hearing much about her.

            She also found a coach that believed in her and allowed her to develop. You have to give her credit for taking advantage of that opportunity.

        2. Barry Bonds

          Sarah J,
          I would suggest to watch Faris when she doesn’t have the ball. That’s when you’ll most notice what she brings to the game.
          There have been times where she’s “had” to score as others weren’t, but that’s not her primary role.
          Most coaches wish they had a “Faris” on their team.

      2. let us all blame Geno

        If Faris was in the game for offense alone, she’d be sitting next to Dolson. Faris scores when needed (ala sue bird), rebounds and plays decent defense. What coach would want that on the bench.
        Stokes, a beauiful athletic body, great skill set–yet on defense against Md she looked like a lost soul. I’ve seen that look before. When they set up a play for her she looks great. She belongs under the basket on both defense and offense–wandering at the top of the key is for Dolson or the guards. At times she reminds me of buck on defense. The kid has so much going for her–but she just isn’t into the game. And I stopped the genoaide for a day.

        1. Bracchus

          The comment on Kia is interesting. It would be even more interesting to hear from her.

          Sometimes taller players are pereceived a certain way if they don’t play with emotion. I can remember Kareem Abdul Jabbar being criticized for the same thing and he is the all time leading scorer in the history of the NBA.

          With Kia, I don’t think it means she isn’t playing with effort, it is probably just her personality. I have said this before, she is a very intelligent young lady who may not see basketball as her future. Maybe. I don’t know. Some people come to things later than others. But, she is pretty consistent when she does get in and with more playing time might contribute more.

          I am a Kia fan.

    2. browns

      They will miss kelly a lot when they play maryland the 3rd game of the season next year Who will guard A. Thomas. Tremendous job yeterday.

    3. V.I.

      Mike McMannus–I thought it was just me watching Walker–she plays without emotion or seemingly spirit. In the games I’ve watched if the ball came to her she tried to score but didn’t do much on he backboards. The Kid has game, one would wonder why she doesn’t show it?
      The talent, speed, and quickness is a bit worrysome. Their big girl, Stallworth??, has been their force of late. Neither she nor Walker stopped EDD. I must say that stopping EDD is easier said than done.
      Advancing to the Final 4 thru UK will be about taking care of the ball. Attacking the rim and hitting the outside shots. (I know I stole that analysis from someone.) Was it in the John Wooden book??

    4. Bracchus

      Stokes plays fine on defense. I don’t think she knows her role on offense. The guards need to get her the ball down low and she needs to trust her jump shot from the top of the key.

      As to Samare, she was First Team Defense in her conference. Nobody guards EDD well around the basket, or much anyplace else for that matter. But, I saw Samare get and affect a few steals. She is starting at Kentucky for a reason.

      Stokes actually has played fine when she does get in and it is hard to come off the bench cold.

  2. Führer und Storrskanzler

    As a freshman, Hartley was UConn’s second best offensive weapon in big games behind Maya. As a junior, Hartley is UConn’s 4th option on offense at best. KML, Dolson, and Stewart are UConn’s big guns. Tuck and Faris have had their moments. At times, so too have Banks and Jefferson. Me thinks Hartley very much dislikes being a role player on this stacked team. Hartley might need major surgery in the off season. But her mobility and jumping ability have appeared fine for weeks, maybe even months. Dolson nearly produced a double double on 2 injured legs yesterday. It’s more than physical with Hartley.

  3. She Was Real Happy At UConn

    “I have teammates who look out for me, who encourage me to do my best. Coaches who look out for me. Other staff members. It’s just a great atmosphere here and I’m happy to be here.”

      1. let us all blame Geno

        Walker left for a number of reasons –two of which were Her parents chose Uconn, she wanted to be with her AAU/School teammates at UK.
        Unhappy, disgruntled,discontent players make bad teammates. Geno didn’t need the act disturbing his team. He wasn’t a bit unhappy when she went. Nor were most Uconn fans. Yep, I’m drinking that Geno wine again. And you know what it feels just great.

        1. Bracchus

          I can’t believe we are still talking about Samare or EDD. They left. End of story. They weren’t indentured servants.

        2. Huakypat

          Faris has defensive skills that are second to none. She is fierce on defense and also this year has picked up her offense. She is usually given the assignment of guarding the other teams best player. UConn plays as a team – they share the basketball and no one is a super star, but they managed to win a lot of games. And, whether they win their 8th National championship is beside the point – they are fun to watch. The Louisville/Baylor game tonight was a great game – right down to the wire. Anyone can win or lose in women’s basketball. The women’s game is a lot more exciting to watch (yep, naysayers will respond), but quite frankly I get bored with the bounce, bounce, dunk, dunk of men’s basketball. And, Faris is a great player to watch – open your eyes and you will see someone who has great defensive skills.

  4. Luc colb

    She left uconn cause she did not have the talent to contribute…she would have kept Buck company.

  5. CT Born and Bread

    You people kill me, Not every player has to love UCONN. Does not mean she can’t play the game. I bet half the people here have never played the game. Give it a break and just enjoy the game.

  6. NO PARITY IN WCBB

    UCONN FANS ARE THE WORST IN WCBB. THEY BAD MOUTH YOUNGSTERS ON OTHER TEAMS. AND THEN DENY THAT DOTY SUCKS. THEY PRETEND THAT FARIS IS GREAT. DIGGINS IS AN ALL AMERICAN. BETTER THAN FARIS AND HARTLEY COMBINED. EDD IS BETTER ALL AROUND THAN STEWART OR KML. WORST PART OF UCONN FANS? THEY ACT LIKE THEIR TEAM IS THE ONLY ONE WITH INJURED PLAYERS. UCONN NEVER LOSES. ITS THE REFS FAULT OR INJURIES. WAH WAH WAH. BUNCH OF CRY BABIES.

    1. Huakypat

      No Parity: You are a horse’s a– Go home to South Bend and praise ND and Diggins forever. No UConn fan gives a rat’s a– what you have to say. Unless you have something good to say, keep your big mouth shut. Tell me how many injured players does ND have. Poor Diggie has a cold – wah, wah, wah – back at you.

      1. Webster

        Horse’s a**:

        [count] US, informal + impolite : a very stupid or foolish person : ass
        example : She angrily told him to stop acting like a horse’s a**.

    1. Huakypat

      Right on Marg – go UConn beat Kentucky and then Notre Dame. Let’s show No Parity what losing is all about, but he should know by now – ND has lost in two championship games – one to Baylor and one to Texas A&M. Wah,wah,wah to No Parity once again.

  7. Huakypat

    I really enjoyed watch Elana Della Donne play – if she had stayed at UConn, we would be heading for our 10th Final Four. Go Huskies.

  8. CT Born and Bred

    No parity said it best, I really can’t figure why UCONN women bball fans (not the men) feel they are entitled. There is always an excuse. And huahypat,really you get on ND for losing in the championship game 2 years in a row? Really????

    Only a UCONN fan would try to justify that!!!!

  9. A Auriemma

    Maybe, if we go to the games and show support for Kiah Stokes with signs and cut outs of her head and all that other stuff Hartley and Dolson receive, the light bulb will click in Kiah’s head and she’ll realize how good we think she is/how good she can be.

    It’s worth a shot because it would be a WASTE for someone like her to not get drafted after next season. LOOK AT HER.

    1. Bracchus

      Does it really matter why she left? She left. She wanted to be someplace else for WHATEVER reaons. Is it that hard for UCONN to take rejection? She has obviously moved on and found a place with Kentucky. God bless her. Allwe should is wish her well and root for our team. All of this bashing of 18 year olds is getting a bit boring. As far as I am concerned, these athletes ought to be able to leave and go to another school at the end of every year. Coaches, making millions, have no restrictions. These young athletes are treated like indentured servants. The NCAA is a joke.

  10. Zzzzzzz

    What? Another Final Four you say? Another 30+ win season? We just destroyed the cream of the SEC and #2 seed by 30 points with a hobbled Dolson and top reserve Banks out for the year? Waiting for all those who were beating up on Stewart the past few weeks to chime in with their antics. And Jefferson. Even Hartley playing with more confidence. Who could possibly have instilled all that? Of course none of this has anything to do with Geno. He’s awful…definitely washed up…players don’t respond to him…and needs to go…blah, blah, blah. That’s right baby…I’m drinking my Geno kool-aid, just like I have been since 1992. Gonna order a nice big glass of it down on Bourbon Street while I’m watching the Final Four…

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