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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Slow learning curve for UConn freshmen

Courtney Ekmark and Sadie Edwards had somewhat of understated debuts at UConn as the two freshmen combined for eight points and three rebounds in the 115-26 win over West Chester in the Huskies' first exhibition game.

Now comes another opportunity as the Huskies play its final exhibition against Waterbury's Post University.

"It is challenging but there is a lot to learn, my teammates help me out a lot," said Edwards, a 5-foot-10 guard from Meriden. "There is a lot to learn but my teammates have helped me to be the best I can be."

Ekmark and the other freshmen are slowly getting adjusted to UConn's way of doing things which is something every first-year player goes through.

"We've had a couple of good practices but I know it is important for us these next seven or eight days to really get some quality level practices," Ekmark said. "I am trying to drive more, drive and dish, drive and kick, trying to set screens, defensively be on the right side every time and really working on all the little things to help my team win."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma's thoughts on the freshmen (including Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams) isn't too different than what he has said about past rookies.

"They are just so quiet and that is just their personality and dealing with that is going to be (difficult). The cool thing about it is they are no less competitive."

Auriemma understands that there is an awe factor every freshman has to deal with when coming to UConn. Being on the court with a Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis or Moriah Jefferson results in them normally deferring to their teammates.

"We have some of the best scorers in the world on our team so I am trying to get them shots because they are the best scorers in the world," Edwards said.

Auriemma wants to see the freshmen balance having respect for their older teammates but not expecting them to do everything.

As for Edwards, he is looking for her to be more vocal on the court.

"She doesn't speak, you don't hear much from her on the floor, she doesn't say much on the floor," Auriemma said. "I think that is a problem for a lot of freshmen, they are quiet so they give off the air about not being sure. When she looks around she is overwhelmed, that first month of practice and maybe two months you have to find a way to do it. You have to do it every minute of every day for 'x' number of days. She has good days and (bad) days."

With Ekmark, he wants her to do more than just shoot 3-pointers.

"People make it seem like these kids come in from high school and they did this, this and this. I try to remind them all of them every day that Stewie (Stewart) is a lot better than you guys and she had a nightmare December, January and February (as a freshman) so nobody is immune to it so you have to fight your way through it," Auriemma said. "In Courtney's case, 'I shoot the ball, I am a real good shooter' What do you do when you can't get your shot off which is every day because those guys know that. You have to contribute in other ways and you have to not let your confidence take a hit just because you are forced to do things that you never had to do in high school. That is the challenge for every freshman."

1 Comments:

Anonymous klever said...

Jim:
Last night played the woman UConn basketball team.
We, the readers, want broad coverage of that game.
Could you please us?.
klever

8:35 AM 

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