Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Jefferson, Stokes shine at Tuesday's practice

A few observations off Tuesday's practice.

First, freshman Moriah Jefferson not only walks the walk but she talks the talk. The speedy Jefferson thrived when UConn worked on breaking a full-court press but even more impressive was the way she carried herself on the court. Freshmen tend to be a little timid when it comes to addressing their more established teammates but that was not the case with Jefferson.

She was among the most vocal UConn players during the drill and even pointed fifth-year senior Caroline Doty on where she was supposed to be on more than one occasion. Both UConn coach Geno Auriemma and assistant coach Shea Ralph said that Jefferson has the mentality of being a true point guard who loves to have the ball in her hands and she is accustomed to communicating with her teammates on the court. I will have to say I don't remember seeing a freshman being this comfortable verbally before the first regular-season game in all the years I have been coming to UConn practices.

"I am learning a lot from her that I didn't know before," Jefferson said.  "She was showing me exactly where to go. I think you just have to be comfortable with what you can do. If you are not, you are not going to play.

"I have been able to play point guard my whole life, that is the position I have been doing and that is what I have gotten used to doing."

Doty is not threatened or upset by being given instruction by a freshman.

"She is one awesome point guard," Doty said. "If she reads something and sees something I am going to trust her because she is an awesome player. If she sees something, I am going to follow it. (It's great) for a freshman to have that kind of mindset, (knowing) what to say and where to go."

Another player who caught my eye was Kiah Stokes. Stokes got into trouble last year due to her indecisiveness especially when she caught the ball on the high post. However, she made two brilliant passes - one to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and another one to Morgan Tuck. She also snared some rebounds in traffic and finished around the rim a few times.


UConn junior guard Bria Hartley won’t play tonight and UConn coach Geno Auriemma considers her chances of playing in Sunday’s season opener as questionable at best as she continues to be sidelined with a sprained left ankle.

“I would hope sooner rather than later we actually get her in practice,” Auriemma said. The fact that we play tomorrow and then we play Sunday which is not too far away. I am not that hopefully.”

Stewart missed the last two days of practice with an injured right foot but she has a chance of playing tonight. Stewart tweaked something in Friday’s exhibition game against Indiana (Pa.). She was able to practice on Saturday but after an off day on Sunday, Stewart was held out of the last two practices and was seen on campus wearing a protective boot.

UConn senior guard Caroline Doty was cited for creating a public disturbance in a campus dorm on Halloween. She was not arrested and according Auriemma no alcohol was not involved. She downplayed the entire incident.

“There is a time and a place for it but I don't think I will go trick or treating again unless I have a kid,” Doty said. It (stinks) but it happens. It wasn't anything really; I was just trick or treating.”


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