#3 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Connecticut Huskies
Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 American
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Without Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, many are predicting Connecticut will miss out on the Final Four for the first time since 2007. Coach Geno Auriemma does return three starters though. And there is some talent heading into the program as well. It is way too early to say this group will not reach the Final Four, but it does appear that this team may not dominate as much as the Huskies have in years past. However, that does not mean Connecticut lacks talent or will struggle to win another American Athletic Conference title. In fact, they have not lost a conference game since joining the AAC in 2013 and that will likely continue as well.
2018-19 Record: 35-3, 16-0
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Geno Auriemma
Coach Record: 1,062-139 at Connecticut, 1,062-139 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Napheesa Collier, Forward, 20.8 ppg
Katie Lou Samuelson, Guard, 18.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Crystal Dangerfield, Senior, Guard, 13.4 ppg
Megan Walker, Junior, Forward, 12.1 ppg
Christyn Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Sophomore, Forward, 4.4 ppg
Molly Bent, Senior, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Kyla Irwin, Senior, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Batouly Camara, Senior, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Key New Players
Evelyn Adebayo, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Murray State
Aubrey Griffin, Freshman, Guard
Anna Makurat, Freshman, Guard
Evina Westbrook, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Tennessee, eligible?
Crystal Dangerfield, Megan Walker and Christyn Williams all averaged double digits in the scoring column last season. Dangerfield tallied 13.4 points and 5.9 assists and is a senior who can be a leader on the floor and get her teammates involved. Walker added 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore, while Williams tallied 11.7 points and 3.2 rebounds. Both are solid outside shooters who can stretch the defense. Olivia Nelson-Ododa will be the more traditional post player. As a freshman she tallied 54 blocks on the season despite playing just 14 minutes per game. A couple key transfers could also play a huge role on this team. Evelyn Adebayo comes from Murray State where the 6-2 forward averaged 18.2 points and 11.4 rebounds last season. Evina Westbrook is awaiting clearance from the NCAA after spending two seasons at Tennessee. If she is eligible, it will add a very important piece to Connecticut’s backcourt. Last year with the Lady Vols she averaged 14.9 points and 5.3 assists. Aubrey Griffin highlights the small group of freshmen and the 6-1 wing should be a key player on this team. It will be interesting to see how Connecticut reacts to not being the most dominate team in the country. This is as much as the Huskies can fly under the radar and that may be a good place for them to start before reaching yet another Final Four.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.8 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.6 (22, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.1 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 34.2 (7, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (47, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (27, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.4 (70, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.1 (33, 3)
Assists Per Game: 19.7 (5, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (10, 1)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#59 Aubrey Griffin