Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mixed bag for the freshmen

As UConn approaches the halfway point of the season, it's an interesting time for the freshmen.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has already become an invaluable part of UConn's rotation and Thursday night was no different as she had 12 points, her seventh straight double-digit scoring game. However, it has been a tougher road for her classmates.

Brianna Banks did not play in a loss to Baylor and has played less than 10 minutes in three other games. Stokes was in for just one minute against Baylor. That was one more minute than she played against Fairfield.

A day after UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that he may have to just start playing Banks and Stokes even if their work rate in practice isn't up to the standards he is looking for, he did not put Stokes into the game.

Auriemma said he is still hoping to get valuable contributions from Stokes this season.

"I am sure we will get something out of her, we are just not sure what that is yet," Auriemma said. "She has too much ability and is too nice a kid, too conscientious for us not to get anything out her so we will get something out of her. Right now we are trying to impress upon her that what we are getting out of her is not what I want or what the team needs and she has to make some changes. When she does that, I think she is going to be fine."

Banks had one of her best efforts of the season with 12 points (on 5 of 5 shooting), two rebounds and two steals in 17 minutes.

"Somebody must have spiked her egg nog," Auriemma said. "She actually had the ball on top, yelled at Michala (Johnson) to come to the high post, threw it to her, cut and got a layup. Three weeks ago she couldn't spell high post and would not have called out Michala's name and just grunted so for her to do all of that, it is progress. It means she is starting to get what we are trying to do and that is a great sign. She has the ability, we generally don't recruit kids that don';t have the ability to play here at Connecticut, it is other things that get in the way. It is taking a little bit of time and hopefully she can build on today."

Tiffany Hayes' game-high 23 points moved past Tamika Williams and Chris Gedney and into a tie with Peggy Walsh for 19th on UConn's career scoring list. Hayes now has 1,413 points and next up is Kalana Greene,, who finished with 1,444 career points.

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Anonymous Joe said...

Many people do not appreciate the subtleties of Geno's coaching. You practice the fundamentals repeatedly so that you get yourself in a position from which you can perform them without consciously thinking about them.

Then you can focus your attention on the next level. You practice THOSE fundamentals until you know them by heart, so that you perform THEM without consciously thinking about them.

These steps free your mind to focus on the flow of the game.

It is very hard. Mental concentration takes a lot of physical conditioning because it is so draining on the body (yes, thinking uses a lot of chemical energy!)

10:12 AM 
Anonymous Joseph M. Smith said...

Auriemma did Not invent Muscle Memory.

Nor did Auriemma invent Embarassing a player on TV.

But he has Perfected it.

Auriemma has coached 7 national championship teams.

But he Always Required players Better than Charde, Better than Samarie, and Better than Stokes.

Just pointing out the Obvious.

3:48 PM 

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