Team And Personal Milestones For UConn At USF

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, Kelly Faris, Maya Moore, UConn women's basketball Date:

UConn likes to win championships more than its coaching staff encourages pursuing personal milestones. It’s all about the team.

But Saturday, the two virtues may converge when the Huskies play South Florida at the Sun Dome.

The Huskies (26-2, 13-1) can win the Big East’s regular-season championship by beating the Bulls and then winning at Notre Dame on Monday night in the regular-season finale.

“This is a very big weekend for us,” Breanna Stewart said. “We need to focus.”

And senior Kelly Faris is just five rebounds shy of joining Maya Moore as the only players in UConn history to record at least 1,000 points, 750 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals.

“I know you want me to say a lot about it, admit I am excited about it, but it’s hard to me to do that about statistics,” Faris said.

If UConn sweeps the two games, it will finish tied with the Irish in the Big East standings at 15-1, providing Notre Dame also wins at Providence on Saturday.

Each team’s loss will have come against the other. Notre Dame beat UConn 73-72 at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 5.

But instead of a coin flip to determine the first seed in next weekend’s Big East tournament, the conference says UConn would be elevated to top seed by virtue of its 2-0 record against Marquette, its travel partner this season. Notre Dame played the Golden Eagles  once and won.

Saturday’s game at Providence will be Notre Dame’s second against the Friars, the Irish’s travel  partner. Since Marquette will finish ahead of Providence in the Big East standings, UConn’s accomplishment is considered superior.

A fluke, perhaps. A fact, nonetheless.

“The challenge [for UConn] is the fact that [USF] has a really good team [19-8, 8-6],” Geno Auriemma said. “They are just playing really well and are getting a lot of contributions from more than one person. The one positive is that we are not going to be down there long enough to get sidetracked with being in Tampa.”

UConn was scheduled to arrive Friday night and is leaving right after the game for South Bend.

As for Faris, doing something only the great Moore did at UConn doesn’t give her goose bumps. Faris has 1,011 points, 745 rebounds, 503 assists and 275 steals in her career.

“The way I think is that [success] is not always on paper and so I’ve never focused on numbers or gotten too into it,” Faris said. “For me it’s what you see on the court. I could have a billion points and still be the worst teammate in the world.

“I appreciate that it is being acknowledged. I really do. But I will not sit here and gloat about or get excited. But its not necessarily what I came here to focus on.”

Moore scored 3,036 points, 1,276 rebounds, 544 assists and 310 steals.

“Hey, I’ll take being in the same conversation with Maya Moore, but uh, yeah.”

Faris is averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.8 assists. But Auriemma doesn’t want her to lose her focus with the milestone at hand.

“You always have to be careful with Kelly, because when she senses it’s a crucial time she gets hyper-amped,” Auriemma said. “It’s like she’s going to guard all five guys, she’s going to pass it to herself, screen for herself, catch it, score, and get fouled. Then she’ll go trap someone by herself.

“She’ll do everything by herself and then it gets away from her. That’s the biggest danger with Kelly is that she starts thinking she has to do her part and everyone else’s part, too.

But Auriemma understands that being mentioned in the same breath with Moore is something Faris deserves because of how much she cares.

“Maya was just exceptional in so many areas,” Auriemma said. “She competed on every possession, every minute, every day. I’m not surprised that she has the records she has. But one of the reasons why there are so few that have those kinds of records is for so many years we’ve had a combination of so many good players on one team that it was impossible for one player to dominate.

“There’s no one on our team that works harder than Kelly. There’s no one on our team that pushes harder. She’s at a whole different level from everyone else. We have a couple of guys on our team now that if they competed at Kelly’s level she wouldn’t have these numbers because they would be taking those numbers from her.

“But because she works so hard, because she prepares herself so well, and because she’s relentless, if she gets those records she deserves every single one of them.”

 

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9 thoughts on “Team And Personal Milestones For UConn At USF

  1. Kreddy Fool

    It’s still Friday morning ….. how did they arrive in Tampa Friday night?

    1. Newgirl2

      Kreddy Fool, re-read the 13th paragraph that states “UConn was scheduled to arrive Friday night………”

    2. Newgirl2

      Kreddy Kool, re-read the 13th paragraph that states “UConn was scheduled to arrive Friday night ……..”

  2. Fran

    thanks for the stats on Kelly – we’ll count those rebounds tomorrow – excited that we’ll be there.

  3. The Great & Powerful OZ

    Thank you Geno for acknowledging that Maya got stats because she didn’t have much help in those departments.
    And that as a lone scorer she had opportunities other players at Uconn on teams with more than one scorer had, so says Geno above.
    It is also telling that he knows Kelly gets hyped up and runs around like a field chicken, so says Geno, above.

    1. Not the real Stephen A Smith

      FARIS WAS ONE OF THOSE WHO FAILED TO HELP MAYA. JUST LIKE DOLSON’S INABILITY TO GRAB A REBOUND THAT DOES NOT BOUNCE OFF THE FLOOR HELPS FARIS STATS. SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT MAYA. BUT SHE HAD THE DRIVE AND THE TALENT TO ACHIEVE THOSE STATS. THEY WERE NOT GIVEN TO HER. GENO IS TRYING TO GET KML STATS BY PLAYING HER 40 MINUTES IN A 40 POINT BLOW OUT.

    2. bogey29free

      Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t maya moore play three years with Tina Charles,the leading rebounder in Uconn history,and I think the second or third leading scorer,I’m not sure on that.Plus two years with another great scorer Renee Montgomery.So to say that she got those stats because she didn’t have much help in those areas in ludicrous.She always got her amazing numbers within the context of the team and never being selfish.This nonsense of somehow equating Kelly Farris and Maya Moore statistically is a joke,they shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence.Kelly is a very nice role player who in some games,hardly ever in a big game,manages to compile decent stats.But putting her in the same category as Maya?..it would take her 8 more years at her current rate to get to where maya is in points,and 6 more years to get close to her in rebounds,and again,maya played 3 years with the leading rebounder in uconn history.How this qualifies as being mentioned in the same breath is beyond me.

      1. billnaples

        Because many people are fascinated with statistics is the primary reason. That we have so many number gurus (thanks to the computer) it is a lot easier to search those groupings. That said, how does it manage to be mentioned is really quite simple. Only two players in the history of the UConn program have managed to reach that specific combination of numbers. Kelly Faris is one of them. Now I understand Tina Charles had a lot more points and rebounds, and for that matter 37 players I think it is have more career points and so on for the boards and the rest. But the “combo” belongs to just two. Let it be about that and pick on the media who hype the story and not on Faris for just being the best player and student and person she can be.

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