Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Quite the haul of awards for UConn

Not that it should come as a surprise after a dominant run through the American Athletic Conference schedule, but UConn dominated the individual conference awards.

Breanna Stewart was named the conference's player of the year, joining Kerry Bascom (the player UConn coach Geno Auriemma compared her to after the awards ceremony), Svetlana Abrosimova and Maya Moore as the only sophomores from UConn to earn conference player of the year honors.

Stewart finished second in the league in scoring and blocked shots and was in the top 10 in field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, rebounding, assists and steals.

"I don't know if I expect them but I have individual goals for myself and I want to be considered the best player in the conference, the best player in the country and as a competitive person I want to be looked at as the best person I can be and I can go pretty far with that," Stewart said.

Auriemma earned conference coach of the year recognition for the 11th time in his Hall of Fame career and he said despite having nearly the same exact team he did a season ago en route to the program's eighth national title, there hasn't been the same emotional grind that he has felt during other seasons of coaching the defending national champions.

"When too many people that age spend that much time together, too many things happen and thing don't happen the way you want them to happen so it is always good to add players but I know that is not always possible," Auriemma said. "I like for teams to change form year to year. This particular team, having won the national championship, we didn't change much but individuals changed so that kind of made it like a different team. Even if everybody had stayed the same I would be a little bit worried right now but Moriah is different than she was, we lost Morgan Tuck, Stewie is different than she was, Bria Hartley than she was, Kaleena Lewis is different going the other way from last year so in a lot of ways it is a different team with a lot of the same expectations."

Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley were all unanimous first-team selections while Jefferson joined them on the first time marking the first time since 2002 that UConn had four first-team all-conference picks. Kiah Stokes and Mosqueda-Lewis were second-team picks while Saniya Chong made it on the all-freshman team.

Dolson added the AAC Defensive Player of the Year award and shared the Sportsmanship Award with Louisville's Tia Gibbs.

"They are both separately awesome and I am proud of myself," Dolson said. "I did not expect that at all and I was surprised because I don't see myself as a defensive stopper but it means that coaches recognize that I help my team a lot and I can make people take tough shots. That was awesome and I am extremely proud and sportsmanship I have gotten those kinds of awards my whole life  and it comes with having a good attitude and always stepping on the court, smiling,having fun and just enjoying what we are doing."


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