Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Freshmen looking forward to first "game"

Tomorrow night's contest against Assumption will not go down as an official game for the UConn women's basketball team but don't try telling that to the three freshmen.

For 2 1/2 weeks Brianna Banks, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes have been going through grueling practices, both physically and mentally, under the watchful eyes of Hall of Fame head coach Geno Auriemma and his coaching staff.

Finally they will get to see how they react under game conditions when Division II Assumption meets the Huskies in the first of two exhibition games.

"I am ready for a game," Stokes said. "It's tough going against everybody in practice.
"I feel pretty good. Kaleena is doing amazing in practice, Brianna has definitely gotten a lot better so we are looking forward to playing in our first real game situation."

Perhaps nobody is more anxious for Thursday's game than Mosqueda-Lewis, the first of the trio to commit to UConn and the one freshman expected to start against the Hounds in place of the injured Caroline Doty.

"I am finally going to be able to play out there with the team after being committed for so long," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "It is kind of like a dream come true that I am finally playing for Connecticut and getting a chance to start."

Mosqueda-Lewis committed to UConn before the start of her junior year so it's easy to excuse for her if she feels like she's spent a lifetime waiting for this moment.

"It does feel like forever," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "It feels like I committed when I was 3 years old and now I am finally getting the chance to play when I am 50."
With Doty out with a sprained ankle, Banks could see even more time at point guard against Assumption.

Having not played there before arriving at UConn, it's been a challenge for feel comfortable.

"At times it has been overwhelming but I am sure I will get used to it," Banks said. "I am little nervous but excited at the same time.

"I have come a long way since summer. I can actually stand up at practice without dying."

Banks said she has been able to limit the number of turnovers with the more time she has spent playing the point in practice. But it is still a long process getting adjusted to the speed of the college game.

 When we played in Italy, I figured that out, I figured that our big time," Banks said. "In high school, it is a slow pace, we are jogging. Here, it is so quick, everything is so fast."

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