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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Stanford's Samuelson sisters not putting pressure on Katie Lou

When UConn recruiting target Katie Lou Samuelson came to Springfield, Mass. to play in the HoopHall Classic, she said one of the best part of the recruiting process is not only having two older sisters who went through the process but that they are not pressuring her to follow them to Stanford.

So I caught up with Bonnie and Karlie Samuelson, two of Stanford's top reserves about how Katie Lou is dealing with the pressure of being one of the most sought after players in the country.

"She is her own kid," Karlie Samuelson said. "We talked to her. She makes her own decisions but it is exciting for her."

Bonnie Samuelson said Katie Lou is in Nashville with the rest of the family and she is enjoying the experience.

"I want her to be happy wherever she goes and whatever is the best fit for her," Bonnie Samuelson said. "We have talked to her and she knows this is her decision and she is going to do what she wants to do.

"I think she is doing well, she is very mature for her age, She is the youngest so she was in the gym with us when we were 7 and she was 3 so she is fine, she knows what she is doing and she is enjoying it, I think. She got to see us play against Penn State, she got to hang out with us."

Both Bonnie and Karlie Samuelson could play key roles in tomorrow's national semifinal. Neither is a starter but Bonnie plays starters' minutes.

Like many of  her teammates, she struggled in the Nov. 11 loss to UConn but she is expecting her team to put up a better showing tomorrow.

"It was a great experience to play UConn so early in the year, it was our second game so everybody was really excited so we didn't know how the team was going to be," Bonnie Samuelson said. "We are a very different team, we  have come a long way and experienced a lot over the year. It is helping us play very well in this tournament and we are very motivated."

Ironically, Stanford might have learned more from a regular-season loss to Washington and loss to USC in the Pac-12 tournament than in the defeat at the hands of UConn. Now All-American Chiney Ogwumike is getting plenty of help.

"Our two losses in conference, we learned a lot from them," Bonnie Samuelson said. "They were later in year and our conference is very competitive and we know every game is going to be tough. It was really hard to take those losses but they really motivated us to get better and work on things we wouldn't have if they hadn't happened. It showed us that anything is possible, you can get beat by anybody and you can beat anybody. I think that spirit, we are taking that  into tomorrow.

"We have always known that we have to step up. The rest of us we know Chiney is the best player in the country and we are there to rally behind her and she is our leader but as the year has gone on everybody  has gotten more comfortable and has come into their own. They have more confidence especially in this tournament and I think it is great everybody is stepping up and I know Chiney is so excited as well, she is the most supportive one there. That is going to be good for us.".


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