Being sidelined is a new experience for UConn's Kia Nurse
Nurse made the trip to New Orleans but with her ailing right ankle/foot being protected by a boot, she missed the first game of her collegiate career. Watching her teammates struggle to put away the Green Wave was more painful than any physical discomfort she was and is feeling.
"You want to be in there, you want to be in practice and those kinds of things but it is a different role for me right now," Nurse said after Tuesday's practice. "I am still trying to be a leader, still trying an energy plug as much as I can, help them in any way I can. They grinded it out, they battled."
Nurse and fellow junior have stepped into leadership roles this season so that left Nurse with the realization that feeling sorry for herself was not going to help her teammates.
"When you get injured, that first little bit when they tell you what happened and what is wrong with you, you go, 'woe is me,'" Nurse said. "It is not a mindset you can have as a leader on the team in the position I am in right now, I understand i have to be the one who still has the energy, still there to help them through."
Nurse will not play tomorrow against Temple and is not expected to be out there when UConn hosts Memphis on Saturday in the final regular season game at Gampel Pavilion. The best-case scenario is for her to be reexamined after the Memphis game and there is a chance she could return for the regular-season finale at South Florida. The good news is that the Huskies have nearly a week off between the end of the regular season and quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament so there is time for Nurse to get back into the flow.
With Napheesa Collier joining fellow sophomore Kaite Lou Samuelson with more than 500 points, I decided to do some checking and they are the third set of UConn classmates to score at least 500 points in a season.
The first time it happened was during the 2001-02 season when seniors Swin Cash (580 points), Sue Bird (563) and Asjha Jones (547) accomplished the feat. Breanna Stewart (686 points) and Morgan Tuck (562) did it as well during the 2014-15 season. It also happened in the 1998-99 season when sophomores Svetlana Abrosimova (564) and Shea Ralph (503) both hit the 500-point plateau but Ralph came into UConn a year before Abrosimova and only got to be in the same class due to missing a season due to a knee injury.
This season the only other teammates with 500 points are Syracuse's Alexis Peterson and Brittany Sykes and Maryland's Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
Another crazy stat is this -
The last time I could find that UConn played in back to back games decided by single digits came against LSU (a 74-69 win) and DePaul (a 77-76 victory) during the 2007-08 season. .