Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lack of size no longer a concern at UConn

Today was the first time we were allowed to watch the 2012-13 UConn squad go through a practice this season under the watchful eye of head coach Geno Auriemma and it was something to behold.

Even with All-American guard Bria Hartley held out of the practice with a sprained ankle and freshman guard Moriah Jefferson sidelined with a strained groin, the performance of the Huskies in the 5 on 5 halfcourt offense was rather impressive.

By my unofficial tally, the first 10 times they ran the offense against a team of male practice players the Huskies starting unit scored eight times. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had a pair of jumpers including a 3-pointer, freshmen Morgan Tuck and Breanna Stewart scored twice each, Stefanie Dolson hit a jumper just inside the 3-point line and Brianna Banks had a 3-pointer.

What caught my eye was the different lineups Auriemma was able to put out there and especially the size UConn had out on the court. At one point UConn had the 6-5 Dolson, 6-4 Stewart, 6-2 Tuck and 6-0 Mosqueda-Lewis out there together. Kelly Faris, who stands 5-11, battled valiantly as UConn's starting power forward in the past but with the addition of Stewart and Tuck and improvement of the 6-3 Kiah Stokes, Faris figures to play more on the perimeter which is her more natural spot.

“I think this year will be a little different,” Faris said. “We have a few more posts coming off the bench and I probably won't have to play as much inside as I did last year but it will depend on our opponent, what offense we are running. We are good enough to have people who can play in the post or play (on the wing). Look at Breanna Stewart, she can play any position on the court and I think that is going to be a really big advantage for us this year.”

Auriemma, whose short bench in the last couple of year limited his options when the offense wasn’t clicking, seems as if he will be able to mix and match the lineup based on the opponent and which of his player or players have the hot hand.

“I think for any coach if you don't have any options it is very difficult,” Auriemma said. “We have more ways to win games than we did last year so from a coaching standpoint that is a good feeling.

“Having Kelly out there, having Kaleena in different spots, moving those other big guys out away from the basket and all those things are really good. It gives you a lot more options. That is one of the good things that comes from adding two players Breanna and Morgan that can play multiple positions. It does allow you to move people around, no question. We can put a combination out there that is difficult for a particular matchup that we are trying to create. It has been a while maybe since Tina (Charles) and Maya (Moore) when we've had an ability to have a center and another big kid. Maybe this year we might have an ability to have a center and another kid who could play center. In that respect it gives us a different look from what we've had the last few years.”


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