Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, February 23, 2015

UConn's Nurse in midst of special debut season

I'm sure when Kia Nurse was doing battle with big brother Darnell, now a defenseman of the future for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, she never envisioned celebrating her 19th birthday with members of the UConn women's basketball team in the city of New Orleans.

While Nurse certainly has enjoyed her time in the Big Easy, there is nothing easy about Nurse's playing style. She plays with an aggressive nature that reminds me of Kelly Faris on the defensive end. On the offensive side of the ball, she is entering territory that only a few UConn freshmen have ever reached.

Nurse needs 14 assists and four steals to become just the sixth UConn freshman with 100 assists and 50 steals. No freshman at UConn ahead of  her on the single-season assist list have a better assist/turnover ratio than her mark of 1.91. She also has the best 3-point percentage (43.7) of any Husky freshman with at least one made 3-pointer per game.

Nurse can record her 20th double-digit scoring game of the season tonight when the Huskies play Tulane. It would be an incredible understatement to say that Nurse has wasted little time impressing her teammates and coaches.

"When you have a freshman like Kia who starts right away,  something we don't have a lot here, we don't view her as a freshman," UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph said. "She does have ebbs and flows during the season and the most important thing for her is to find consistency in practice and when that happens, the games are like clock work."

Nurse was asked to come in and help fill the shoes of All-American Bria Hartley and play alongside a nucleus of veterans who have as strong of a bond on the court as they do off of it. Her older teammates can speak too highly of Nurse.
"Every freshman is going to have some struggles," UConn senior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "The issue right now, and it is not really even an issue, just a thing she is struggling with is her confidence and knowing when to shoot and when not to shoot. She is learning the difference between going fast and being our of control but other than that, her intensity, her effort never changes and that is something we need from her."

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