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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Morgan Tuck making an impact

The buzz surrounding the arrival of Breanna Stewart at UConn was about as intense as for any incoming Husky since Maya Moore. But Stewart is hardly the only freshman post player expected to make an impact this season.

Morgan Tuck has been opening eyes since the first day she stepped on the Connecticut campus with not only her versatility but her consistency. Like Stewart, she has earned rave reviews for her work ethic and maturity.

Tuck will make her UConn debut with fellow freshmen Stewart and Moriah Jefferson and she is eager for the next stage of her basketball career to get rolling.

“We just want to show we can play,” Tuck said. “We want to show Coach (Auriemma) that we want to be on the floor and we want playing time. We don't just want to be a freshman sitting on the bench the whole year. We want to be making differences in games

“It is very exciting. When we have these matchups out here and we can go big, we can go small and we can go with a mix of both. It is going to be great for the season to be able to have as many lineups and be just as effective.”

The first thing most people notice about Tuck is that she is a player with the physical frame of a post player but with the skills of a guard. That is hardly by accident.

“When I first started playing I was a point guard because I was younger and I was smaller,” Tuck said. “As I started growing I could still handle the ball and I could still shoot because I am not a 6-5 post player or 6-6 so I have to be able to go inside and outside. I think my dad is the first person who ever thought of me being versatile like that. Probably in middle school where I played point guard all the time. As I came up in high school, I would play point sometimes like if I got a rebound, I would just push it up. What the ball handling has led up to is if I get the ball and somebody is pressuring me I don't have to wait for somebody to come and get it, I can break out, dribble and then pass it.”

UConn coach Geno Auriemma has been praising Tuck almost from the time she signed her letter of intent. He admitted that recently she has occasionally looked like the college freshman that she is. But he loves her game and the reliability that she brings.

"The thing about Morgan is she came in here and first day acted like she was a junior in college and me especially thinking 'wow, I can't believe this kid can do that.' Then all of a sudden she goes a day or two when she acted like she was a freshman in college

“When you look back to that (FIBA Americas U-18) championship team they played on last year and Morgan led the team in scoring. It is not an accident,” Auriemma said. “She just has a knack, because she is solid. If you had to take somebody for seven days and who is going to be solid for seven days she is going to be really solid for seven days. If you say I just need somebody for 40 minutes tonight to win the national championship well 'I think I am going to take Breanna Stewart.' But when you think about how consistent she is every day, it is really good. It's like the guy who hits .330 and the other guy that strikes out three times and hits a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.”

Her teammates aren't surprised by what they have seen from Tuck but they are impressed.

"The people who don't know Morgan are going to be like 'oh my God,'" UConn sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I know what she is capable of and it is not surprising that she is doing so well. I think it takes somebody who is willing to work hard, all the people who are around you, you take (the advice) and know how to apply it."

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Blogger James Kerwin said...

Morgan Tuck--is my candidate for Player of the Year in 2014. Geno can say she's solid (and she is) but she is a difference maker. When push comes to shove he'll be hard pressed whether to use Stewart,Dolson, Tuck or KML to begin this year. But by Mid season add Stokes, Banks, Doty, Faris, Hartley and Banks and Buck to that mix. Kelly Faris is the most overlooked great player in the USA. Bruno and a dozen others would love to have her. But for a Frosh Tuck is doing great.

2:36 PM 

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