Let’s go back to December 26th after practice in Storrs when Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis found out she led the team in steals with 18. Moriah Jefferson had 17..She jokingly gave Mo some grief..and although it may not have been the impetus to get Moriah going, ever since then the Junior Point Guard has been LIGHTS OUT ! Averaging 19ppg and shooting 76% over the last five games..And let’s throw in 13 of 16 from 3 point range in this stretch. And as good as she’s been on offense, her defense is getting back to the style she played last season. And that’s spells trouble for the rest of the country. In a time when a lot of focus has been on Mosqueda-Lewis on the verge of breaking the school record for 3 pointers made, the smallest starting Husky has taken over center stage.
Over the first 9 games, it seemed Jefferson was adjusting to life without Bria Hartley, while getting used to her new backcourt partner, Kia Nurse. And now the two are in sync. Nurse is a big, rough and tumble guard who has a huge upside on both ends of the floor. Two seasons with Jefferson will do her well..in fact, in the 11 games she’s started, only one hasn’t been a double-figure game.
We’re closing in on the midway part of the season, and Morgan Tuck, like Jefferson, is playing herself into All American status. The jack of all trades “leader” is doing whatever is asked of her..And her ability to bury players in the post or take post players off the dribble has been evident so far. The win at Notre Dame and Sunday’s effort at MSG v St John’s the most noticeable so far. We saw glimpses in the first season plus, but now that she’s healthy and playing full time, the sky is the limit for Morgan.
So now for the next month, the Huskies you’d think will feast on conference play. The ongoing challenge for the Coaching Staff will be to make sure the team improves every day and every game, regardless who they play. But let’s be frank, even in the Big East days, that was a challenge most nights as well. And no player needs to improve over the next two months more than Soniya Chong. The Sophomore Guard worked so hard in the off season and impressed the staff in the preseason. But with her defensive struggles that are well documented, you have to wonder if she’s so concerned about it that it’s effecting her entire game. She has a lot of time to prove she can be a worthy contributor.
Right now, Geno Auriemma has 6 solid players he can count on. How Chong, Gabby Williams and perhaps a healthy Courtney Ekmark perform off the bench will either make Coach A’s job hard…or easy.
We’re off to Dallas tomorrow for a quick trip to SMU and game Sunday. To say the Metropplex is hoping this weekend would be an understatement. Cowboys in Green Bay Sunday and the College Football National Championship Monday Night will take the region by storm. I like Oregon..We’ll see….
Deb & I will have the pregame Sunday at 2:30pm, then finally the Huskies are back in Gampel Pavilion Wednesday. And a programming note: Our Tuesday Night Guest on the Geno Auriemma Coach’s Show will be Rich Elliott, the now Ex-WBB Writer for the Connecticut Post. In case you’re not aware, Rich and Men’s Beat Writer Bill Paxton were let go Monday as the Post will not be covering the Huskies any longer. The Newspaper business is dying a slow death we know. BUT it’s still most unfortunate when good people and good writers lose their jobs. And Rich is truly one of the good guys. It won’t be the same for all of us who cover the team. Sometimes we’re competitors going after scoops, but we all get along away from the game. And Rich is a good, fun guy to be around…He’ll be missed 🙂