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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hall of Famer puts current UConn squad in select company

You never really know what you are going to get when you walk into Rutgers' Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer but I don't recall her putting on a better show with the media as she did after UConn's impressive 94-64 victory.

The 94 points is the most a Stringer-coached team has given up at the Louis Brown Athletic Center and the margin of victory was the third most lopsided in her 19 seasons in Piscataway, N.J.

"It is them and it is everybody else," Stringer said. "They clearly have it, they have the skill and the commitment and they run.

"Without question this is the best team I have seen in all the years that I have ever watched Connecticut. I don't know who we've seen better. You may argue that the point guard isn't as experienced but sometimes but when you are quick like that, maybe you don't have to have experience, you know how to get to the hole and you know how to deliver. Geno's got a great group of kids and I know he has to be happy."

She didn't stop there as she took turns heaping praise on the five UConn starters.

"I don't know I have ever seen two big people function like (Stefanie Dolson and Breanna Stewart),"  Stringer said. "You have seen them, you are talking about 6-5 Dolson and when I saw her in high school the first thing that impressed about her is her passing ability, it is incredible and she obviously worked and this girl is taking a 3 like it is nobody's business. I went to recruit the Breanna Stewart, I went to recruit her too and she is an incredible athlete that shoots very well.

"It doesn't get any better than Mosqueda-Lewis, a great shooter right. We were able to play 55 (defense) on them, we will be be better but we have a trademark for that but do you realize that point guard (Jefferson) she is a one-man press breaker, they have never had anybody like that who can break a press by herself. For four years when we had Tasha Pointer, I forgot how to break a press because Tasha was just that good. That is what they have here. You've got Mosqueda-Lewis dropping in the 3, the best in the land at the 3-point line,. You've got a great talent in a shooter in (Hartley).

Breanna is the No. 1 player in the country, right, the best player in the nation and it shows. You have Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and she is the best 3-point shooter in the nation. It is not to say that they cant be beaten and not to say that but it is say that it is Connecticut and everybody else."

Stringer and UConn' Geno Auriemma made it clear that they would like their teams to play each other even though they will be in different conferences next season. It's unlikely that it will happen next year but with an impressive young nucleus led by freshman Tyler Scaife and sophomores Rachel Hollivay and Kahleah Copper, perhaps there could be a Rutgers/UConn non-conference game in a couple of years.

"I think if you want to be the best, you have to play the best," Stringer said. "If they are the gold standard and measuring stuck, great we need to see (UConn). I would much rather see it earlier (during the season) and that is why in the past I have not been as concerned about our record. There are certain games that we need to keep because that is ever fair to the fans."

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