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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bent continues to make the grade at UConn

A few weeks ago All-American Katie Lou Samuelson was answering questions about her freshmen teammates and without any prodding Molly Bent's name came up.

"Freshman year is a lot of tests and trials, some people are really good," Samuelson said. "Molly Bent never had an issue, she knew how to figure everything out but people that don't, it is kind of a test run. You definitely learn quickly because our coaches give us designated study hall times and make sure we are on top of that because academics are extremely important, that comes first and we have to figure out that. You don't want your academics to affect your on-court (performance) because if you aren't going to take care of what you need to in the classroom, you aren't going to get on the court."

Bent certainly made Samuelson sound like she knows what she is talking about when the sophomore guard joined senior guard Kia Nurse among the UConn student-athletes being honored for attaining a 4.0 grade-point average in the most recent fall or spring semesters.

Bent drew interest from Ivy League schools when she was at Tabor Academy so her impressive work in the classroom shouldn't be a surprise.

"I am a bit of a nerd, my parents never had to get on me for doing my homework or anything like that," Bent said. "They had to get on me for getting too stressed out about it. I went to Tabor and you lived on campus so it was kind of like a college feel where you had to learn to manage your time in that sense that you have to manage my time in basketball and in school. The hardest part that is new is missing classes (because of road trips) but Ellen (Tripp) out academic adviser is great and as long as you communicate well with your teachers, they are pretty understanding."

How strong of a student is Bent? Well, she still groans when she thinks of the English class she took as a freshman. She slacked off so much she earned a dreaded grade of A-minus.

"The A-minuses are killing me," Bent said. "It is freshman English and I took a higher English course last year and I did well so it has to keep me motivated."

As Bent mentioned, the traveling has made things a bit more challenging. Certainly she won't be the only Husky to get some academic work done during the trip to South Carolina.

"It is tough getting on the plane at 9 or 10 o'clock knowing that you have some work to do, but it time management, try to get as much done as you can before you leave, try to get ahead so you don't have to worry too much about it," Bent said. "You've got to motivate yourself to get it done on the plane, try not to fall asleep, try not to watch Netflix or anything and bang it out."

Bent, the daughter of two teachers, is majoring in math and is considering becoming a teacher as well. She intends to add a minor, likely either in economics or statistics to "see if that will bring me anywhere else, I have no idea to be honest with you."

On the court, Bent is trying to make an impact when she has been given a chance. She is shooting much better than she did as a freshman but has already committed more turnovers than she did all of last season. She knows that many of those turnovers are a result of indecision especially when she has an open shot.

"I've never been too concerned with points," Bent said. "I've always had that in me  that at times I over penetrate and pass too much in the lane. For me a lot of my scoring opportunities in high school came out of transition game so I was very comfortable in that sense just because for the most part I was bigger, faster, stronger than most of the people on the floor and I could just run by them and I had a really strong motor. When you are not that you have to really excel in the half court and really slow things down. For me that has really been the toughest part and just trying to get better at it. 

"I have good days/bad days, good games/bad games, you just have to try to take it one game at a time and if you have a bad game, come back in practice to try and make up for it. If you have a bad practice or bad play, you have to come back and try not to have too many bad plays in a row."


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