Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Nervous debuts for former UConn stars

Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson, part of the winningest recruiting class in women's college basketball history, each began their professional careers with victories. However, it was hardly just another day at the office for either one of the former UConn stars.

Jefferson missed eight of her 11 shots and finished with six points, six assists and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench as San Antonio defeated Atlanta 74-67.

"It took me a while to kind of get it together," Jefferson said. "My teammates did a good job of making shots. I tried to get out in transition and really push it. As the game went on I got more used to it."

Shortly after being taken with the second overall pick Jefferson noticed that San Antonio's first two preseason games would be played at Mohegan Sun Arena.

"It felt like I keep going back and forth between Texas and Connecticut," Jefferson said. "I am excited to be here, the fans are great."

Tuck started in Connecticut's 84-81 win over Chicago. She was just 1 of 8 from the field as she ended up with seven points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes.

"I was definitely nervous coming out like the first game in college but am glad we pulled out a win," Tuck said.

Tuck said that the lessons learned trying to guard WNBA veterans like Elena Delle Donne and Jessica Breland will serve her well.

There will be another experience for her on Thursday when she is on the opposing sideline from Jefferson, her former roommate.

"That will be exciting, we haven't played against each other for a very long time so it will be great to be out there on the court with her again," Tuck said.

Speaking of new roles, Jefferson is drawing more attention as not only the No. 2 overall pick but also as a Texas native playing for  San Antonio Stars.

Veteran San Antonio coach Dan Hughes couldn't say enough good things about Jefferson's approach, energy and positive approach she brings to the practice court.

"It feels like I just left Connecticut," Jefferson said. "I try to do the same thing, I try to bring a lot of energy to practice, making sure I am talking

"I am having so much fun and I am really happy to be on the court. It is something you work for your entire life and to be here , it is the best feeling."

As for the additional interviews and public appearances ....

"Usually Stewie (Breanna Stewart) gets most of the attention, they were a lot more people doing stuff so (she thought) 'where's Stewie?' but I don't mind it."

Former Hillhouse High star Bria Holmes also made her WNBA debut as she started and had six points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals in Atlanta's loss to San Antonio.

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