Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Former UConn star Moriah Jefferson finishing rookie season in impressive fashion

It's a foregone conclusion that former UConn star Breanna Stewart will become the fourth former Husky to win the WNBA Rookie of the Year award as she is currently sixth in the league in scoring, second in rebounding and third in blocked shots. However, since the middle of July no rookie has been putting up better numbers than Moriah Jefferson, Stewart's former college teammate.

I actually began to research how the rookies have fared since July 12 for a story I wrote yesterday about former Hillhouse High Bria Holmes agreeing to play in Israel this winter because Holmes has been one of the most productive rookies in the second half of the season. While crunching the numbers, it is impossible to overlook how well Jefferson has been playing since that date.

She is leading all rookies in points, assists, steals, field goals attempted, field goals made, 3-point percentage and tied with Stewart for the top spot in 3-pointers made since July 12. Perhaps most impressive of all, she tops all rookies with an average of 21.7 points per 40 minutes. Much of it has to do with opportunity since injuries have limited the options of retiring San Antonio head coach Dan Hughes. As a result, Jefferson played at least 30 minutes in just nine of the first 17 games of the season but has played at least 30 minutes in 11 of the last 15 games.

Looking at these numbers it does appear as if better days are ahead for the Connecticut Sun as Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams rank among the top five rookies in points scored per 40 minutes since July 12. Jones also leads all rookies with a 53.5 field-goal percentage over that span. I didn't include Morgan Tuck on this list because she missed the last six games but if I did include her, she would rank third in points per 40 minutes (20.8), third in field-goal percentage (45.7) and 3-point percentage (38.5).

PT/40                 REB/40          FG PCT.            3-PT PCT.
Jefferson 21.7    Boyette 12.5  Jones 53.5          Jefferson 42.1
Powers    21.4    Stewart 9.8    Boyette 48.7       Copper 40.0
Jones   19.3        Jones 9.2       Powers 43.2        Jones 36.4
Stewart   19.0     Powers 8.3    Holmes 43.1       Powers 36.1
Williams  17.9    Williams 7.5 Jefferson 42.4    Stewart 33.3
Copper    17.0     Copper 7.3
Holmes    15.3
Boyette   13.6

When UConn's schedule was released earlier this month, the times of four of the road games were listed as "to be announced."

Well, it is time to fill in the blanks as the final start time was announced today when the LSU women's basketball Twitter page reported that the Nov. 20 game will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will air on ESPN.

The times of the three conference road games previously listed as TBA have been updated on UConn's official schedule as the Jan. 17 game at Tulsa will begin at 8 p.m., the Feb. 7 game at Cincinnati will tip shortly after 7 p.m. and the Feb. 18 game at Tulane also has an 8 p.m. listed tip time. Also, the Dec. 11 game at Kansas State will be televised by Fox Sports 1 and the Big Ten Network had the Dec. 21 contest at Nebraska.

Here's the updated schedule
Date Opponent Site TV Time
Tue. 1 IUP (exhibition) Gampel Pavilion. 7 p.m.
Sun. 6 PACE (exhibition) XL Center, 1 p.m.
Mon. 14 at Florida State Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla. ESPN2 6 p.m.
Thu. 17 BAYLOR Gampel Pavilion,  SNY 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 20 at LSU Maravich Center, Baton Rouge, La. 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue. 22 DAYTON Gampel Pavilion,  SNY 7 p.m.
Tue. 29 CHATTANOOGA XL Center, SNY 7 p.m.
Thu. 1 DEPAUL Gampel Pavilion, SNY 7 p.m.
Sun. 4 vs. Texas Mohegan Sun Arena,  ESPN 4 p.m.
Wed. 7 at Notre Dame Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind. ESPN2 7 p.m.
Sun. 11 at Kansas State Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan. Fox Sports 1 2 p.m.
Mon. 19 OHIO STATE XL Center, CBS-SN 7 p.m.
Wed. 21 at Nebraska Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska Big Ten Network 9 p.m.
Thu. 29 at Maryland XFINITY Center, College Park, Md. ESPN2 6 p.m.
Sun. 1 at UCF CFE Arena, Orlando, Fla. SNY 1 p.m.
Wed. 4 EAST CAROLINA XL Center SNY 7 p.m.
Tue. 10 USF XL Center, CBS-SN 7 p.m.
Sat. 14 at SMU Moody Coliseum, Dallas, Texas SNY 3 p.m.
Tue. 17 at Tulsa Reynolds Coliseum, Tulsa, Okla. SNY 8 p.m.
Sun. 22 TULANE Gampel Pavilion, ESPN2 1 p.m.
Tue. 24 at East Carolina Minges Coliseum, Greenville, N.C. SNY 7 p.m.
Sat. 28 HOUSTON XL Center, SNY noon
Wed. 1 at Temple Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pa. SNY 7 p.m.
Sun. 5 TULSA Gampel Pavilion, SNY 1 p.m.
Tue. 7 at Cincinnati First Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio SNY 7 p.m.
Sat. 11 SMU Gampel Pavilion,  SNY 2 p.m.
Mon. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA Gampel Pavilion, ESPN2 9 p.m.
Sat. 18 at Tulane Devlin Fieldhouse, New Orleans, La. SNY 8 p.m.
Wed. 22 TEMPLE XL Center, SNY 7 p.m.
Sat. 25 MEMPHIS Gampel Pavilion,  SNY 4 p.m.
Mon. 27 at USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Fla. ESPN2 7 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 3 - Mon. Mar. 6 TBA TBD

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