Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recent road trip was beneficial for UConn's Brianna Banks

With no brace on her surgically-repaired knee and the aggressive mentality she displayed during the two exhibition games, there would be no way that the casual observer would know she was the same player who saw her sophomore season ended with a torn ACL.

Banks had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes in wins over Division II programs Gannon and Philadelphia. But the numbers didn't tell the complete story. She dove on the floor with reckless abandon, never hesitated when she had an opportunity to shoot.

However, a more tentative Banks was on display in the first two regular-season games.

Watching Stanford play well off of Banks and not liking her response, UConn coach Geno Auriemma only played Banks eight minutes in a win over No. 3 Stanford.

Perhaps it was the confidence that freshman Saniya Chong played with against the Cardinal or the fact that the Huskies were down the seven full scholarship players after the injuries suffered by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck, but a much more confident Banks took to the court when the Huskies faced Maryland in the road opener.

Banks had nine points, three rebounds and an assist in 25 minutes and played another 18 minutes against Penn State as the Huskies posted a pair of double-digit victories on the road against ranked teams.

"I was trying to redeem myself, I was thinking a little bit too much," Banks said.

"It is like a different flow now, I have figured out my role on the team which is to work hard, be good on defense and my offense will come so I am just trying to do it in practice and it will transfer to the game."

Banks shot 48 percent from the field including 35 percent from 3-point range in the 21 games she played last season. Her shooting eye has not fully returned just yet as she is 6 of 17 on field goals and 1 of 7 from 3-point range in the first four games this season.

"My shooting right now is the biggest thing and looking more in the post for my teammates," Banks said,

With the graduation of defensive stalwart Kelly Faris, Banks is also being asked to chip in defensive on the opposing team's best perimeter player to give Bria Hartley a break.

"I have to work on not fouling with the different rules, it is a lot harder to play somebody and keep them in your sight when the fouls are so touchy now," Banks said. "We work on that in practice every day and I will get better at ."



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