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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Connecticut Sun spoil Maya Moore's homecoming

It's not that unusual that Maya Moore would be a part of a dynamic offensive performance but Tuesday was one of the rare times when she was on the wrong end of the barrage of points.

Moore, UConn's all-time leading scorer, was 1 of 7 from the floor and had two points in 20 minutes in Minnesota's 108-79 loss.

"It is as demanding as you allow it to be," Moore said when asked about her rookie season in the WNBA. "It depends on how you handle it. If you let it paralyze you, pressure is not good. I tried to do my best. I am focusing and doing whatever I can to do my part. Tomorrow is another day, Thursday is another game."

If the Sun could freeze Tuesday's performance in time, it would be done pronto.

The performance was so impressive that Connecticut coach Mike Thibault could not come up with anything to critique after the victory.

"I told the players after the game that I had nothing to complain to them about," Thibault said. "I ran out of stuff to (complain) about so it was a real short post-game talk. It was terrific basketball for us, unselfish, move the basketball and they just played. It was one of those games you hope to have when you have a crowd like this to watch.

"Probably from beginning to end, it was one of the best games we have played."

So when was the last time he had nothing to complain about.

"I don't know, probably years because that is a coach's nature to find something to complain about."

Since inquiring minds want to know, I posed the question to Asjha Jones (who has played for Thibault since 2004) and veteran Minnesota forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin, a former star for Thibault's Sun team.

"The second time I've heard that," Jones said. "The first time was '04 when we went to the finals.

McWilliams-Franklin offered some more specific info.

"One time. I remember when we went to Detroit and got smoked but he didn't complain," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We were down 40 at halftime, you can't complain when you are down by that much because basically you are doing everything right or something wrong."

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Anonymous UConn Steve said...

I do not recall anyone predicting Maya Moore would light up the WNBA in her rookie season. Very few rookies light up professional leagues. Candace Parker did. Wilt Chamberlain did. Both players won the ROY and the MVP in the same season, something Maya will never do.

I wonder if critics, UConn diehard fans, and Husky Haters think Maya has exceeded expectations, met them, or failed to live up to them. If the Minnesota Lynx win the WNBA championship, healthy veterans and the addition of Maya Moore will be the top two reasons why.

Players have bad moments and bad games, sometimes bad seasons. Maya played a few games at UConn when the opponent took her out of the game offensively or Maya just stood around and watched. UConn usually won anyway, thanks in part to Maya's rebounds, assists, and steals.

There are no Holy Crosses, Howards, Lehighs, Sacred Hearts, Pacifics, Seton Halls, or Dukes in the WNBA. There are no Stanfords or Notre Dames either. So it is not shocking that a rookie like Maya Moore plays bad games in the WNBA, such as scoring 2 points against the Sun and failing to score against the Silver Stars.

Maya will finish the regular season averaging at least 10 points per game, unless she scores only 31 total points in the Lynx last 10 regular season games. It would not surprise me to see Maya surpass 31 total points in her next 2 games.

WNBA Rookie of the Year battle will likely be between Liz Cambage (13.0 ppg, 5.2 rbg, 1.1 bpg) and Maya Moore (12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg). Danielle Adams was unfortunately injured and has missed 9 games and counting.

9:23 AM 

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