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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sophomores Samuelson, Collier off to blazing starts at UConn

There's plenty of basketball yet to be played and with five of UConn's next seven games against ranked opponents, we should learn plenty of this year's team sooner rather than later.

This much is already known, sophomores Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are just fine taking on larger offensive roles.

I did some checking and going back to last 20 seasons, Samuelson and Collier have combined for 197 points the third highest total for UConn teammates through five games. Also, Samuelson's 106 points is also third on the list during that time. The only UConn classmates to top Samuelson's and Collier's point total at this point of the season since the start of the 1997-98 season were Svetlana Abrosimova and Shea Ralph during their sophomore seasons.

Through the first five games of their freshman season Samuelson had 36 points and Collier had scored 35.

There's plenty of reasons for these numbers starting with impressive play from the two sophomores but also starting guards Kia Nurse and Saniya Chong are combining for just 12.2 shots per game. I would expect that number to rise especially on Nurse's end once she rediscovers her offensive mojo. Gabby Williams had her minutes cut due to foul troubles in the first three games of the season so she certainly figures to average more than the 8.8 field-goal attempts she has had in the first five games. Other than Crystal Dangerfield the Huskies don't have the offensive threats coming off the bench like they have in the past so that is resulting in more shot opportunities for Samuelson and Collier. Collier is shooting 65 percent from the field while Samuelson is shooting 48.6 percent from 3-point range which would rank her fourth on UConn's career single-season list if that's the number she finishes with. It currently is No. 37 in Division I but second among the Samuelson sisters as older sister Karlie is 20th in Division I at 51.4 percent.

POINTS THROUGH 5 GAMES
130 Maya Moore 2010-11
117 Breanna Stewart 2015-16
106 Katie Lou Samuelson 2016-17
103 Diana Taurasi 2003-04
102 Svetlana Abrosimova 1998-99
 98 Maya Moore 2008-09
 97 Shea Ralph 1998-99
 94 Nykesha Sales 1997-98
 93 Maya Moore 2007-08
 93 Maya Moore 2009-10
 92 Shea Ralph 1999-2000
 91 Napheesa Collier 2016-17
 91 Renee Montgomery 2008-09
 91 Breanna Stewart 2013-14

COMBINED POINTS THROUGH FIVE GAMES
208 Maya Moore (130), Tiffany Hayes (78) 2010-11
199 Svetlana Abrosimova (102), Shea Ralph (97) 1998-99
197 Katie Lou Samuelson (106), Napheesa Collier (91) 2016-17
189 Maya Moore (98), Renee Montgomery (91) 2008-09
183 Breanna Stewart (117), Moriah Jefferson (66) 2015-16
182 Maya Moore (93), Tina Charles (89) 2009-10

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