#1 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 American
#1 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Connecticut Team Page


There was a time when Connecticut was 1-1 last season and we all thought maybe somebody could compete with the Huskies and prevent them from winning their third straight championship. Thirty-seven straight wins later, Coach Geno Auriemma won his tenth national championship and nobody really came all that close to beating the Huskies after that overtime loss to Stanford on November 17th. After that little bump in the road, Connecticut looked unbeatable and this team might even be better.

2014-15 Record: 38-1, 18-0
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Geno Auriemma
Coach Record: 917-134 at Connecticut, 917-134 overall

Breanna Stewart was the national player of the year last season and should be able to repeat that feat. The 6-4 senior averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.7 blocks last year and is an absolute nightmare to defend. She can shoot, she can pass, she can do it all. The best way to stop Stewart is to foul her, but she does shoot over 80 percent from the charity stripe. Also back are fellow double-digit scorers and starters Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson and Kia Nurse. Tuck is a great slasher and has a combination of size and quickness that few defenders can deal with. Jefferson runs the show and dished out 4.9 assists per game during her junior campaign. She is also an amazingly consistent long range shooter and connected on 49.6 percent of her three-point attempts. Nurse is a shooter too and the big sophomore shooting guard should see more shots fall her way this year in an effort to replace the outside shooting lost with the departure of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

Replacing Mosqueda-Lewis and her 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 121 made three-pointers would be a huge problem for any other team, but probably not for the Huskies. Connecticut also lost frontcourt depth in Kiah Stokes, who was the team’s best shot blocker. Gabby Williams, Saniya Chong and Courtney Ekmark are all guards who can pick up some of the shooting and scoring slack off of the bench. But replacing Mosqueda-Lewis in the starting lineup will likely be top recruit Katie Lou Samuelson. She is basically a 6-3 guard who, like most of the team, can knock down shots and score in a variety of ways. Coach Auriemma also adds top ten recruits in wing Napheesa Collier and De’Janae Boykin. And then there is Natalie Butler, a 6-5 transfer from Georgetown, who averaged 13.9 points and 13.4 rebounds as a freshman with the Hoyas two seasons ago.

Final Projection:
Only at UConn can you lose an All-American and have better players ready to fill the void. With four starters returning to a team that absolutely dominated women’s basketball last season, not to mention all of the other talent returning and coming in, there is no reason to believe this team will not dominate again. In fact, the only real question is whether or not this group can go undefeated?

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Moriah Jefferson, Senior, Guard, 12.4 points per game
Kia Nurse, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Katie Lou Samuelson, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Morgan Tuck, Junior, Forward, 14.4 points per game
Breanna Stewart, Senior, Forward, 17.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 89.3 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 48.6 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 54.0 (1,1)
Field-Goal Defense: 30.9 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.5 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.6 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.6 (64, 3)
Rebound Margin: 12.3 (2, 1)
Assists Per Game: 21.2 (1, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (14, 1)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#1 Breanna Stewart
#4 Moriah Jefferson
#6 Morgan Tuck

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#1 Katie Lou Samuelson
#4 Napheesa Collier
#9 De'Janae Boykin


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