Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
Connecticut Team Page
The UConn women’s basketball program heads into the 2012-13 season as the odds-on favorite to win the always difficult Big East Conference. Head Coach Geno Auriemma, with an experienced Huskie squad, will attempt to add an eighth national championship to the program’s resume. The ingredients for making a run at the national championship are fully in place and, barring major injury, it should be a Final Four appearance for the UConn program.
2011-12 Record: 33-5, 13-3
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Geno Auriemma
Coach Record: 804-129 at UCONN, 804-129 overall
The ability to defend the basketball is second to none for the Huskies. In 2011-12, UConn held its opponents to 47.0 points per game and a low 30.3 percent field-goal percentage. In addition, the backcourt for the Huskies is loaded with experience and depth that very few teams in the country can match up against. Senior Caroline Doty and junior Bria Hartley provide backcourt scoring, defense, and toughness that epitomizes the UConn women’s basketball program under Auriemma. Also, the ability to bring players in off the bench the caliber of Kalenna Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanne Stewart is like having a sixth starter.
The biggest question is how would UConn handle things in the post if Stefanie Dolson sustained an injury? There is a lack of depth behind her. Kiah Stokes has the most playing time of any Husky post player off the bench and she only averaged 13 minutes per contest, but she did a nice job shooting the basketball shooting just over 60 percent from the field. The other question is how would UConn deal with foul trouble against comparable teams athletically and physically like Baylor, Maryland, Stanford or Texas A&M? UConn’s ability to maintain their high level of efficiency at both ends of the floor if Dolson was ever not available is going to be an important task for the Huskies to address this season if they are to win another national championship.
UConn comes into this season with all of the experience in place to make another run at claiming the program’s eighth national championship. Four of the five starters are experienced juniors or seniors. This team also should be a little bit deeper with the arrival of freshman Breanne Stewart who was the top overall rated recruit in the 2012 College Sports Madness recruit list. The non-conference portion of the schedule is the usual gauntlet of playing the nation’s best teams. An early season road trip to Texas A&M should be intriguing on November 18. The surging Maryland Terrapins visit the XL Center in Hartford on December 3rd. That matchup against the Terrapins will be a potential Final Four preview. There also is the trek to Stanford’s Maples Pavilion that will test the Huskies front court depth going up the likes of Chiney Oguwmike and Joslyn Tinkle. The UConn-Stanford game has quickly become one of the best games annually in women’s college basketball. Overall, if this team stays healthy and gets the expected production from the backcourt and continued growth from players like Kalenna Mosqueda-Lewis, I would expect to see this Husky squad back in the Final Four one more time with an excellent shot at dethroning Baylor and winning national championship number eight.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Bria Hartley, Junior, Guard, 14.0 points per game
Kelly Faris, Senior, Guard, 6.7 points per game
Caroline Doty, Senior, Forward, 5.0 points per game
Kalenna Mosqueda-Lewis, Sophomore, Guard/ Forward, 14.2 points per game or
Breanna Stewart, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Stephanie Dolson, Junior, Center, 10.4 points per game
Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#19 Kelly Faris
#26 Caroline Doty
Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#1 Breanna Stewart
#9 Moriah Jefferson
#21 Morgan Tuck