Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Chong finding the range again for UConn

It's not always being a freshman at UConn.

Even a player as talented as Breanna Stewart had her ebbs and flows a season ago and Saniya Chong, the only scholarship freshman playing for the top-ranked Huskies is also learning how difficult it can be to produce on a nightly basis.

It was smooth sailing at the beginning of the season. In the first six games of the season Chong shot 53 percent from the field, was 10 of 23 from 3-point range and had a 12/4 assist to turnover ratio.

The next six games was a bit more challenging especially from 3-point range as she went 4 from 17 from downtown including four games with no 3-pointers.

Chong showed signs of life against Cincinnati with nine points coming on three 3-pointers and followed that up with seven points, one rebound and two steals in the final 4:46 of the first half in the win over Central Florida.

"I feel pretty good," Chong said. "Coach (Geno Auriemma) always tells us even though we are coming off the bench, we have to bring something to the team, go in there and help the team."

Chong and Morgan Tuck are the only non-scholarship players not to start a game for UConn this season. Chong is never quite sure when she is going to come into a game or how much time she is going to see in the game.

"I would say it is a challenge, it is totally different," Chong said. "Everything has been going pretty well, everybody has been playing their part and I just have to play my role and see what happens. Coming off the bench. I'm trying to bring enough energy to make sure I doing what my team needs me to do, as in anything they want me to do."

UConn Class of 2015 recruiting targets Kalani Brown and Napheesa Collier led their teams to division titles at the Naples Holiday Shootout.

Brown, a 6-foot-6 center and daughter of former 15-year NBA veteran P.J. Brown, had 22 points as Salmen (La.) High defeated Toledo's Roger High 48-36 in the National Division title game on Wednesday. Brown averaged 24 points in the three games.

In the American Division, Collier had 12 points and nine rebounds in a 53-44 win over Blackman (Tenn.) High in Wednesday's championship game. She averaged 21.3 points in the three games.

Brown and Collier were joined on the all-tournament team by fellow Class of 2015 UConn recuiting target Asia Durr, who averaged 25.3 points in the three games for her St. Pius X squad and Elizabethtown (Ky.) sophomore forward Erin Boley, a target for UConn in the Class of 2016 who averaged 18 points per game in the tournament.

UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph and associate head coach Chris Dailey were at the tournament as UConn was one of more than 50 college programs to sent coaches to scout the tournament.

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