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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Time for Stewart and Tuck to emerge for UConn

UConn teammates Morgan Tuck and Breanna Stewart 
clowned around a little bit before a U.S. U-18 practice last year
Talented freshmen forwards Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck were eager to add some talent and depth to the post position from the time they decided to come to UConn. They were also eager to get on the court and play side by side as they did on U.S. junior national teams in the last two summers.

However, injuries and inconsistent play have limited the amount of time that Stewart and Tuck were on the court at the same time.

They teamed up for nearly 12 minutes in Tuesday's win over Villanova and the hope is that game will serve as the starting point for the two of them to thrive individually and collectively.

"When the two of them are on top of their games and are playing, they complement each other pretty well they really do," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I think they have different skills, the two of them and they help each other, they look good together I like the way they play together. I hope I can get them in that situation a little more often. There just hasn't been a lot of time, there haven't been a lot of opportunities to experiment with different things because of the uncertainty of who is going to be available but hopefully in the next month we can try to do a little bit more of it, that is the plan any way."

Tuck and Stewart were teammates on the U.S. team which won the FIBA U-19 World Championship in 2011 and the top two scorers for the U.S. in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in 2012. Now they want to showcase the on-court chemistry they have built up during their USA Basketball stints for UConn.

It seems only natural that they could play well together as both of them have the ability to score in the lane or from the perimeter.

"I think it comes from when we played together in the summer," Tuck said. "We play a lot together in practice so it was nice to play with her.

"I think it helps that we both can play the same position. If Breanna is shooting the 3 better than she can be outside."

Despite being limited in practice on Thursday as she rested the bone bruise in her right knee, an injury which forced her to miss three games and countless practices, Tuck is expected to play against St. John's tomorrow.

It will be another chance to Tuck and Stewart to try to bring the consistent production that their coaches are asking from them.

"It's not just (proving anything) to us but to themselves that they continue to gain that confidence that we can go out here and get valuable minutes whether the score is up 30 or it is a two-point game and to be able to do that in a game where we do have a big lead where we can build that confidence will get them going," UConn assistant coach Marisa Moseley said. "We had a great practice (Thursday( and we want to build on that.

"I think most of the stuff we are doing right now is mental whether it is the turnovers, not cutting hard, jogging it is not physical stuff, they are in great shape but mentally maybe they over think a little too much and freeze because they are thinking about too many things, should I do this or should I do this or that is not how the play goes instead of just playing."

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Blogger James Kerwin said...

The basic trueism: Tuck and Stewart MUST emerge as a FORCE under the basket.
We've seen flashes of their abilities with lessor teams. Now that has to be on target with the ND's and Baylors, etc.
Uconn CAN win the NCAA if Tuck, Stewart, Banks, Stokes and Jefferson play like the champions they are. They've got the stuff champions are made of now they have to play that way.

10:26 AM 

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