#2 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Connecticut Huskies
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
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Connecticut has been to the Final Four 12 consecutive times. This year they are in position to make it 13. Coach Geno Auriemma will have to do it without Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield though. But, as always, there is plenty of talent coming in and this team should dominate in their return to the Big East.
2019-20 Record: 29-3, 16-0
Coach: Geno Auriemma
Coach Record: 1,091-142 at Connecticut, 1,091-142 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Megan Walker, Forward, 19.7 ppg
Crystal Dangerfield, Guard, 14.9 ppg
Kyla Irwin, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Molly Bent, Guard, 1.9 ppg
Evelyn Adebayo, Forward, 1.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Christyn Williams, Junior, Guard, 14.6 ppg
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Junior, Forward, 10.9 ppg
Anna Makurat, Sophomore, Guard, 7.9 ppg
Aubrey Griffin, Sophomore, Forward, 6.4 ppg
Key New Players
Paige Bueckers, Freshman, Guard
Atumn Chassion, Freshman, Guard
Aaliyah Edwards, Freshman, Forward
Paith Gabriel, Freshman, Forward
Mir McLean, Freshman, Forward
Nika Muhl, Freshman, Guard
Evina Westbrook, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Tennessee
Christyn Williams will be the new leader of the team after averaging 14.6 points during her sophomore season. Without Walker and Dangerfield, Williams will take the big shots for this team. Anna Makurat was a part-time starter as a freshman and proved to be a very dangerous shooter. Whether starting or coming off the bench, Makurat will be a nice offensive spark. The frontcourt returns Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aubrey Griffin. Nelson-Ododa started 31 games last season and averaged 10.9 points and led the team with 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. Those four are a nice group to build around, but of course the Huskies have plenty of talented players coming in who are ready to make some noise. Paige Bueckers is the top recruit in this class and arrives with a lot of hype. If she lives up to those expectations, UConn will have another guard who can find her teammates and knock down plenty of shots. The backcourt also welcomes Evina Westbrook. She has a little more experience after spending a couple years at Tennessee and the 6-0 guard was one of the best passers in the SEC the last two years. Coach Auriemma will once again have to find the right pieces at the right times, but he has done that many, many times before with a lot of success. Once all those pieces come together, this will be a Connecticut team that will be among the favorites to win the national title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.7 (13th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 52.8 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (8, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 33.1 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (12, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.9 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.7 (174, 5)
Rebound Margin: 8.6 (19, 2)
Assists Per Game: 18.7 (7, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (59, 2)
Madness 2020 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#1 Paige Bueckers
#15 Mir McLean
#53 Aaliyah Edwards
#66 Piath Gabriel