Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

UConn spreading the wealth

Geno Auriemma went on the record earlier this season as saying he didn't think this was a particularly good passing team. Actually, I think something close to horrible or terrible would better bit his thoughts on the matter.

Apparently his latest UConn team's ability to pass is improving in the eyes of the demanding head coach.

"I think we have become a better passing team each year as the season goes on as we become a little bit more familiar and certainly spend a lot of time on it in practice. That is kind of one of the trademarks of our program and it has been for a long time sometimes to our detriment that we don't shoot enough. I think players by virtue of being in our program over a period of time do become better passers."

The last time out against Houston nine different UConn players had at least two assists. I did some checking and the last time that happened at UConn game in an NCAA tournament game against Dartmouth on Mar. 20, 2005.

It's sort of an interesting statistic but looking back, the games with the most players with multiple assists came when the Huskies emptied their bench due to the lopsided score but both back in 2005 and today, getting nine players with multiple assists signifies some good passing post players.

"The worst kind of team that you can't have is post players who can't pass," Auriemma said. "To me if you have a bunch of big guys and they can't help the offense that is where all offenses go to die. The guards do a great job of getting the ball up the floor, they get it to a post player, they are not open, they can't shoot it and they catch it and it is dead. We have had post players who can pass the ball going all the way back to Kerry Bascom, Meghan Pattyson, Kara (Wolters), Rebecca (Lobo), we generally have big guys who can make a play, that is as much of a reason why our offense is at good as it is."

That is certainly the case this season as the starting frontcourt of Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis are all on pace to finish with more than 100 assists this season. Even more impressive is that the trio has a 1.7 assist/turnover ratio. There are teams with guards who don't have that ratio. As a team, UConn is on pace to finish with the third most assists in team history trailing only last year's squad and the 2001-02 team. Both of that teams happened to finish as undefeated national championship squads.

"It is really great for us, it shows how unselfish our team is and how much we can rely on other people that when I give them (the ball) they are going to do something good, they are going to knock the shot down," Mosqueda-Lewis said.

UConn announced that the Feb. 28 game against Memphis is officially considered to be a sellout. It will be the final regular season home game. Seniors Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes will be recognized before their game as they play at Gampel for the final time in the regular season (although UConn is hoping the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament).

Flower Mound (Tex.) forward Lauren Cox is considered by most to be the best player in the current high school junior class. She certainly played liked it last night. Cox had 26 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in a state playoff win against Carroll.

It was the third triple-double of the season for Cox and the other two game against Plano, the team Flower Mound will  on Tuesday in the next round of the state playoffs.

Cox, a 6-foot-4 forward, is averaging 21 points, 15.3 rebounds and 5.4 blocked shots per game this season.

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