Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, April 04, 2014

UConn's lack of depth is concern heading to Final Four

One of the unforgettable moments from UConn’s hard-fought pair of wins while in Lincoln, Nebraska came late in the first half of a nip-and-tuck affair against a Brigham Young team giving UConn everything it could handle.

Senior guard Bria Hartley was summoned off the bench with 1:54 to play in the first half even though she had two fouls. Although Auriemma knew he was playing with fire especially with a player as aggressive as Hartley is, he simply did not have the faith to put in either junior Brianna Banks or freshman Saniya Chong even for the minute or so he needed to give Stefanie Dolson a little bit of a breather.

The gamble paid off as Hartley did not commit another foul in the half while she and Dolson helped the Huskies fight their way back into the lead before halftime. The Huskies pulled away in the second half to keep their bid for a second straight national title alive.

The question, especially considering the number of fouls called during many of the Elite Eight games, is whether Auriemma has the confidence to call upon Banks or Chong in a similar situation.

“I think the biggest part of what we are going to do is to find out who we can trust,” Auriemma said. “I asked them (Thursday) why is it that we could trust you guys in November and December and don't have that same level of trust today. A lot of that has to do with their approach to the game. They decided in November and December that mentally they were going to be involved with what is going on and somewhere along the line that went away. Can it come back? You never know what happens in the Final Four.”

A player like Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike can put an entire starting lineup in foul trouble with her aggressive style of play and Auriemma has often raised the issue of the number of fouls called when UConn plays Notre Dame so the prospects of winning a national title with just six players, which is what the rotation is currently at, is a daunting task.

“Unfortunately I watched the Baylor/Notre Dame game and that was a travesty,” Auriemma said. “But I think that is probably that is something that everybody is going to have to deal with at the Final Four, whoever plays Notre Dame has to understand that you are going to be in foul trouble. For some unknown reason, they seem to get everybody in foul trouble. “


Anonymous Joe said...

It really is such a shame that Banks suffered such a serious injury last season. She was playing outstanding at the time, and she's never been the same since.

10:52 AM 

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