Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

UConn's Jefferson at the top of the game

Perhaps it was the mere sight of point guard extraordinaire Sue Bird sitting on press row as the color commentator on the ESPN2 broadcast or maybe it is simply a sign of how comfortable she is at the current time running the offense but Moriah Jefferson's performance against South Florida was nearly perfect.

Not only did she go 6 of 6 from the field en route to scoring 15 points but she added six rebounds, seven assists, two steals (including the 200th of her career) and if not for what appeared to be a little iffy offensive foul call late in the first half, this would have been the fourth straight game without committing a turnover.

"There were so many good plays that she made," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She just has a really good feel right now. She is not forcing anything, she is not trying to make something out of nothing, she is just kind of playing. You could tell she was on her game and she had a tough job defensively too. She was great and I think everybody who played I thought played pretty well."
Jefferson was at her best when she raced down the court with Morgan Tuck to her left, Saniya Chong on her right and with one back-pedaling South Florida defender. Jefferson acted like she was going right just long enough to draw the defender and fed a perfect pass to Tuck for an uncontested layup.
"If she is looking at my body it is one thing but she was looking at me in my eyes," Jefferson said of looking off the defender. "I dished it off to Tuck and she made the layup. It is the way I played in high school and have always done that kind of stuff, it is always exciting when you get a play like that, get out in the open court and get the crowd oohing and aahing."
Perhaps nobody in attendance could fully appreciate the beauty of that play more than Bird.

"I said on ESPN after the game that Moriah is probably the best point guard we have had her in the last 30 years," Auriemma said in order to rile up Bird just a little bit. "Sue reminded me that she was 4 (30 years ago). The comparisons are always unfair, there were things that were unique to Sue that she did running the team. There has never been a player since I have been coaching who runs a team the way Sue runs a team so I don't know if Moriah is there at that point.

"She (Bird) was playing with so many great players right from sophomore year it was just different, everybody she threw the basketball to was an All-American and there still hasn't been anybody I have seen in 30 years that goes from point A to point B and take mid-range jump shots better than Sue. Just in terms of her understanding of what wee need every single time, I think Moriah is younger, she hasn't been in those situations. This is really the first year that Mo has been in charge, it is going to take a little while."


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