#1 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1  American
#1 Connecticut Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Connecticut Team Page


The UConn Huskies return four starters, who are all National Player of the Year candidates, and will attempt to cement their place in history.  If they defend their national championship, they will surpass Tennessee by claiming their ninth national championship in program history. The challenge is going to be the same for the Huskies and that is taking every team’s best shot on a nightly basis and maintaining their gold standard of excellence in their play every game.

2012-13 Record:  35-4, 14-2
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Geno Auriemma
Coach Record:  839-133, at Connecticut, 839-133 overall

Connecticut is strong in all phases of their game. They can blitz you from the outside with perimeter shooting, pound the ball inside to Stefanie Dolson, and play absolutely relentless defense. The best all-around player should be Brianna Stewart. She evolved last year into a game changing type of player at both ends of the floor.  She is efficient shooting the basketball and can be very aggressive in altering shots as proven by her 74 blocked shots last season while starting less than half of the Huskies games. Junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis returns as the reigning top three point shooter in women’s college basketball, making just over 49 percent of her three-point shots last season. That type of accuracy makes the UConn offense extremely difficult to stop over a long period of time as you can’t really double team everyone for too long as someone will be open. Stefanie Dolson is a huge weapon down in the post.  She can score with ease, shooting just over 59 percent from the field. She dominates on the glass and has the ability out of the post to find open shooters, which makes life very difficult on opponents. Senior Bria Hartley is the glue of the offense.  She distributes the ball, provides timely scoring, and causes all sorts of havoc defensively as she had 53 steals and was a big boost off the bench in last year’s NCAA tournament.

The Huskies do have to replace the all-around play of the graduated Kelly Faris who was a first round pick in last spring’s WNBA draft. Faris was one of those players who always could make a timely shot or a big play defensively whenever they needed it.  Also, when UConn did lose last season, the Achilles heel was not putting teams away like in the Baylor game, or digging a big hole like in the Big East Conference tournament title game against Notre Dame. The ability to not get complacent and put teams away like they did in the NCAA tournament last year will be key to their success in 2013-14.

Final Projection:
The switch from the Big East to the American Athletic Conference presents an interesting challenge for the Huskies.   They have a conference slate that is less daunting than the previous Big East Conference schedule of opponents with the exception of Louisville. Thus, the non-conference slate is loaded with a very tough mix of teams and styles of play for UConn to encounter. The Huskies will take on Stanford, Maryland, Penn State, Duke, and Baylor on the road. In addition, they will get Final Four participant Cal in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden. Once conference play hits, it is going to be critical for the Huskies to continue to maintain a consistent focus while playing at the highest level. This consistent focus has been one of the great staples of the UConn program and it will be tested somewhat with Louisville and Temple, probably the toughest competition within the American Athletic Conference. If this team can stay healthy and get continued superior play at both ends of the court, there is no reason why UConn should not once again be back in the Final Four and in prime position to win the ninth national championship in program history.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Bria Hartley, Senior, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Mariah Jefferson, Sophomore, Guard, 4.7 points per game
Kaleena Mosqueda Lewis, Junior, Forward, 17.6 points per game
Brianna Stewart, Sophomore, Forward, 13.8 points per game
Stefanie Colson, Senior, Center, 13.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.5(1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 49.8 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense:  31.6 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (6, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (5, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.4 (18, 2)
Rebound Margin: 11.1 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.5 (2, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (46, 3)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#5 Stefanie Dolson
#8 Bria Hartley

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#73 Saniya Chong


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