As we were saying about this potentially great UConn women’s team, it appears the Huskies have the swag to raise another championship flag….
Once Maya Moore graduated, UConn’s opponents felt free to pummel Dolson in the post. She has the black and blues to show for it, which is partly why she decided to muscle up this summer. Problem was, UConn didn’t have anyone tough enough to watch Dolson’s back; Stokes was too inexperienced, Heather Buck too limited.
Stewart and Tuck have arrived. If someone wants to devote two or three posts to bump Dolson, they better prepare for the outcome.
Much has been said about the roster’s veteran corps; two grad students (Doty and Buck), a senior (Faris) and two juniors (Hartley and Dolson).
But remember, the freshmen have already had the chance to play extensively on USA Basketball teams with Hartley, Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis. No introductions and little indoctrination are needed.
Although this is generally taken for granted at UConn, it does not always work out the way the coaching staff plans, as best reflected in the transfer of 60 percent of the junior class (Lauren Engeln, Samarie Walker and Michala Johnson).
But look at it this way this year: If you project who may contend for the 2016 Summer Olympic team, is it unwise to think Hartley, Mosqueda-Lewis, Stewart and Tuck would all have a legitimate shot?
The Huskies traditionally have not had trouble scoring points in the last 20 years. But look at last year’s scores, especially in the postseason when they scored 80 or more just twice in the seven games of the Big East and NCAAs.
Of course, you don’t need to score a lot if your defense is strong, as UConn’s always is. But what are opposing defenses going to do this year if Stewart, Dolson, Hartley, Tuck and Mosqueda-Lewis are all on the floor at the same time?
When all else fails, UConn has proven there is strength in the uniform. Auriemma has won 804 games in 27 years (86.2 percent). His teams have won 19 regular-season conference titles, 18 tournament titles, played in 13 Final Fours, won seven national titles, fielded 14 first-team All-Americans, 12 Olympians and seven national players of the year.
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