Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

UConn's Tuck "most unsung really good player in the country"

A pair of national award late season lists and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Moriah Jefferson were among the 30 players named to the Naismith watch list and the 20 on the Wooden Award list. Yet, the player who has more double-digit scoring games this season than any other player failed to make either of the lists. I think anybody who has watched even a few moments of UConn's games this season would feel strongly that there aren't 20 players more deserving of receiving national recognition than redshirt sophomore forward Morgan Tuck.

In last night's win over Tulane, it was a classic Tuck performance as she was the first Husky to hit double digits in scoring as she had 10 points and three rebounds when the Huskies raced out to a 25-4 lead. She finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and no turnovers in 21 minutes in the 87-39 win over the third-place team in the American Athletic Conference.

"Morgan may be the most unsung really good player in the country," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said after the game. "I don't know who is paying attention to Morgan when people are talking about our team. I know that Stewie, K (Mosqueda-Lewis) and Moriah they get all the attention. I don't know if anybody is talking about Tuck but for our team, what we need and as well she shoots the ball, passes it, plays defense, rebounds, inside/outside, she is one of those kids that it is like having more than one player when you have somebody like that. For our team, she is perfect. I don't know where she would fit in with the big picture throughout the country but for our team she is perfect and maybe as important if not more important than anybody we've had this year."

Coming off an impressive win over No. 1 South Carolina, it was important for the Huskies to come out with an aggressive mindset. It was Tuck who led the way, contributing the first points of the game on a 3-pointer just 1:15 into the game.

"I don't know if it was the game plan," Tuck said. "I was just trying to be aggressive and my teammates  did a good job of giving me the ball inside, I just go in there and try to finish."

After the game was over Tuck's work wasn't done. Often times Auriemma has his players take over the post-game duties of hanging out prizes to the UConn students who come out to the Huskies home games. Last night it was Tuck's turn.
"I think it is cool that they can possibly get a prize for coming out and showing support, usually there are more students in the men's game but today we had a lot of students so it is great to see our fellow students supporting us," Tuck said.

A few statistical notes from last night's game.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had three 3-pointers as she moved into 14th place on the NCAA Division I women's basketball career list. She has the highest 3-point percentage of everybody in the top 15. She is also 10th on the Division I single-season list with a 3-point percentage of 51.4 and her career 3-point percentage of 44.9 is 13th on the NCAA Division I list.

Fellow senior Kiah Stokes had two blocked shots as she moved by Stewart and now has the third best single season mark in UConn history. Stokes now has 111 blocked shots and the only marks ahead of are 131 and 122 established by Rebecca Lobo in the 1994-95 and 1993-94 seasons.

Speaking of Stewart, she is now tied with current assistant coach Shea Ralph for 15th on UConn's career scoring list with 1,678 points.

Finally, UConn's opponent failed to attempt a free throw for just the sixth time in program history and first time since an NCAA tournament game against Iowa State on March 28, 2010.

"We try really, really hard to not foul and today both teams tried really hard not to foul," Auriemma said. "My team takes it personally. I have said this 1,000 times since I was 25 years old, there are only two reasons why you foul, one is you are dumb or two you are just not any good. If you have a combination of the two, if you have one or the other, you are salvageable. If you dumb and you are not any good, you foul all the time so to me guys who foul jump shooters, guys who foul with one second left on the shot clock, it is just mindless. I just don't think you can be a good player if you foul."

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