Shea Ralph’s Assessment: Things Are Looking Really Good

by Categorized: Bria Hartley, Brianna Banks, Caroline Doty, Gampel Pavilion, Geno Auriemma, shea ralph, Stefanie Dolson, UConn women's basketball Date:

If you glance at that grease board calendar on your refrigerators, the one with the “x” marks through all the months since UConn’s loss to Notre Dame in the national semifinals, you will see there are just seven more days to kill before the start of 2012-13 practice.

But who can wait any more after all this time, right?

UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph was nice enough to provide a little off-the-cuff scouting report on how things have been going at Gampel Pavilion  since September.

She couldn’t have sounded more encouraging, to be honest.

On Caroline Doty

“She has settled so much better into her role. I think she is comfortable with where her body is, comfortable with her mind set about how she wants to approach the year.

“She’s been a great leader for us. Her mentality has been different in a great way. We all want her to have a really great year and enjoy it because she has been through so much. She deserves this and I am very excited for her. She is in a really good place, one I don’t think she’s been in for a very long time.

“As for what’s is next for her, well, we haven’t really discussed what may be coming for her [in terms of a graduate assistant position]. I think she’s keeping it as an option. I don’t think she’s made a decision. She’s been thinking about playing some more after [college].

On Brianna Banks

“She is night and day, so far, and that extends beyond the court to her life on campus. She just seems to be more comfortable. She is working very hard on a daily basis, but then again, everything can change once practice starts. I try not to get too excited, but we do let her know that we’ve noticed the change in her.

“We tell her she looks good, that she’s playing with a lot of confidence. Players like her, who go through a tough freshman season, need to play with confidence because it’s impossible to play here without it. It’s just not going to happen. For me, that’s the big thing.”

“Brianna’s strength right now lies in the full-court game. She has the potential to be a great defender, but it takes time.  She has always relied on her athleticism. Now she is coming up against kids just as talented, perhaps even more so, and it’s forced her to work harder. We’ve crossed that bridge with her and it should come easier.”

On Moriah Jefferson adjustment from being home-schooled in high school

“She has also taken a lot of classes at a junior college [while in Texas], so she’s been able to have a kind of college experience already. She is perfectly fine socially. In fact, she is very, very social and is enjoying college very much. It’s been pretty easy for her. She’s great, very witty. I love her. And she has a very big family which helps her learn how to go along with the flow.”

On Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

“She has matured a lot and for her it’s a huge step. She has so much ability, but what held her back last year were emotional issues.

“From what we’ve seen, her maturation seems to have improved. But again, this is still preseason, and when Coach Auriemma gets on the floor it changes everything for some people. But her shooting hasn’t changed. She’s really good.

“She’s working on so many things to improve her overall game because of being known forever as just a great shooter. She wants to be a really good basketball player. She is working hard on her game, off the dribble, to show everyone she can be more than a catch-and-shoot player. If you treat her as such [as a defense] she is going to make you pay off the dribble.”

On Stefanie Dolson

“What’s really been clear to us [the staff] is how much Stefanie has changed her body. She has made a real commitment to fitness. Her stamina is greater. She looks like such a different player to me. She already had great footwork, but now she can get up and down the floor more. She’s becoming a great leader. There is something different about her and it’s really special.”

On Bria Hartley

“Bria Hartley is on a mission now. She has had an incredible preseason. I am so excited to see what they are capable of being along with Kelly [Faris] and Caroline, they have taken a great deal of ownership of the team. For them, that’s a big step.”







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9 thoughts on “Shea Ralph’s Assessment: Things Are Looking Really Good

  1. Genosguy

    Kaleena was overwhelmed in the first ND game. She was expected to do too much. But as a Freshman she was further ahead than Maya at the same age. We saw KML take that step to the side and pop it. We saw her attack the basket and as a rebounder she was one of UConn’s bright lights. She had a very good (by UConn standards) Great by anyone else. If KML isn’t a superb all around Basketball player this year, I’ll be very surprised. But when she graduates she will be spoken of in the same context of DT and Maya, maybe Shea (but no one is that tough).
    John/Shea great analysis of everyone (except Tuck) I was interested in. I am pleased with Banks assessment, we need her and her potential is way up there.

    Thanks John–the beats the H-ll out of those other stories–but it’s your job. Even I come around eventually!!

  2. Big Jim

    Thanks! John – we were starving. This is going to be a really fun year. We have a ton of outside shooting now. Can’t wait to see how Baylor will defend.

  3. UconnFan

    She commented on two of the top three freshman but did not mention the Stewart girl who was the high school player of the year – I wonder why?

  4. UconnPhann

    Shea was only trying to give those who we know little about some press time. Stewart didn’t grow horns overnight or lose her huge talent. I too would like to know about Tuck who according to the media was eating up the competition in USA BB.
    But as most have said: This is going to be a great year. With Geno Coaching 8,9,10,11 terrific players — a loss here and there won’t bother me. Just look at the Masters history–30 plus wins like forever, we can afford a loss just to remind us Geno is human.

  5. TexasBogger

    Shea made a good point: Things can change when Geno gets on the floor. It’s a bit early to anticipate Uconn-Baylor in the national final but the upcoming season is highly awaited by many of us to see if the newcomers blend in to push the Huskies to the top.

  6. Fairy Godfather

    TexasBlogger. You are so right. Baylor isn’t a single player team anymore. But the one everyone worries about is still the most dominant player of the last 3 years.

    Dolson is an excellent center, needs rebound drills. Stewart ==it is wrong to expect anything from her this year.
    Tuck–I think she will be an impact player early.
    Faris–will be a scorer and everything else Geno may need
    Doty– Those darn knees. But the kid can shoot the 3 ball and is the toughest kid in 53 states (that includes Quebec Prov the 52nd state)
    KML–She will show the world why Geno Recruited her

    Don’t let hype and expectation ruin a very good season and some excellent players in excellent games. These are kids and kids are not predictable (although Geno makes them more predictable)

    1. MikeBraddock

      You are clueless. Stewart will be BIG East pre-season rookie of the year. She will come in at the first time out ala Maya Moore.

  7. tim from az

    Uconn cannot continue toget the top players every year.With the players they have they should be great for the next few years.As it is Gino will have a tough time keeping everyone happy

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