Freshmen set for UConn debut
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he has liked what he has seen from Crystal Dangerfield in the last week in practice.
"More comfortable, more assertive, she is picking up the pace that we want to play at," Auriemma said. "She struggled with it for a long time and she seems to have started to sink in a little bit. You can see the progress every day that she is making on both ends of the floor. It is still nowhere near where it needs to be. I think back to Moriah when she was a freshman and it's not like I haven't seen this before."
So what does Auriemma expect to see from Dangerfield, Molly Bent and Kyla Irwin tonight.
"Sometimes first impressions are not necessarily accurate," Auriemma said. "Last year it was a real struggle for Lou (Katie Lou Samuelson) at Ohio State and Pheesa (Collier)," Auriemma said. "We've had freshmen sitting on the bench in big road games against great teams on the road where CD (UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey) would say 'put so and so in. CD, she is crying how am I going to put her in? Give her another chance.' Sometimes freshmen overreact to what is happening. Sometimes a freshman like Stewie goes absolutely off the charts and reality hits them later. "
Dangerfield's time with USA Basketball and playing with a high-profile AAU program could give her a head start in the early stages of her freshman season in Auriemma's opinion.
"She has a better sense of what to expect," Auriemma said. "When you are playing overseas in a gold medal game you have a pretty good sense of what is coming. The other two are a little high strung so I am keeping on open mind, anything can happen."
I went back to Maya Moore's freshman season (2007-08), Moore and Breanna Stewart had the most points for a freshman in game one.
Maya Moore Stony Brook 2007 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals in 20 minutes
Breanna Stewart Charleston 2012 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals in 23 minutes
Bria Hartley Holy Cross 2010 18 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists in 29 minutes
Morgan Tuck Charleton 2012 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists in 22 minutes
Caroline Doty Georgia Tech 2008 13 points, 3 rebounds in 31 minutes
Samarie Walker Holy Cross 2010 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists in 21 minutes
Napheesa Collier Ohio State 2015 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals in 16 minutes
Kia Nurse UC Davis 2014 8 points, 6 rebounds in 21 minutes
Saniya Chong Hartford 2013 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists in 23 minutes
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Holy Cross 2011 7 points, 7 rebounds in 28 minutes
Stefanie Dolson Holy Cross 2010 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists in 15 minutes
Kelly Faris Northeastern 2009 6 points, 5 rebounds in 13 minutes
Gabby Williams UC Davis 2014 6 points, 3 rebounds in 13 minutes
Moriah Jefferson Charleston 2012 4 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists in 23 minutes
Kiah Stokes Holy Cross 2011 4 points, 4 rebounds in 12 minutes
Tiffany Hayes Georgia Tech 2008 4 points, 2 rebounds in 16 minutes
Lorin Dixon Stony Brook 2007 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 10 minutes
Katie Lou Samuelson Ohio State 2015 2 points, 5 rebounds in 17 minutes