- Geno Auriemma knew Paige Bueckers was the Huskies’ finest participant inside two weeks of arriving.
- He thought-about benching the rookie early on, however “he went out the window” as soon as the practices began.
- Not even the massive UConns like Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart have confirmed themselves so shortly.
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Paige Bueckers wasted no time proving her value by becoming a member of the UConn Huskies on campus.
After his famous person level guard grew to become the first freshman in NCAA women’s basketball the story to earn AP Player of the Year honorsHuskies head coach Geno Auriemma stated he knew Bueckers was “the very best participant on our crew” inside two weeks of becoming a member of Storrs.
“I did not count on it to occur so quickly – I knew it could occur in some unspecified time in the future, however I did not count on it to be that fast and apparent,” Auriemma stated throughout a media name Wednesday. “Nothing that occurred stunned me. The velocity with which it occurred and the consistency with which it has been all year long is sort of shocking and really gratifying, for be sincere with you. “
The 11-time Nationwide Champion and Naismith Corridor of Famer has seen numerous highschool gamers turn out to be feminine basketball icons via his program on their method to professional greatness. Auriemma is aware of higher than anybody that coping with the thrill round these athletes is a fragile balancing act, because it normally takes time even for probably the most proficient gamers to regulate to varsity play.
So final summer season when her final Incredibly Horny Rookie # 1 and Gatorade Athlete of the Year was making ready for the primary time to hitch the Huskies in Connecticut, Auriemma took the time to calm her personal expectations. He recalled how among the titans of UConn ladies’s basketball – WNBA superstars Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart – acclimated to the subsequent stage.
“I assumed again to when Maya [Moore] was a freshman. I thought of when [Diana Taurasi] got here in first grade. [Breanna Stewart] when she bought to first grade, “Auriemma stated.” I attempted to suppose again to among the hottest gamers to ever come to Connecticut, and I attempted to consider what their freshman was like. “
“Folks did not keep in mind, Diana [Taurasi] wasn’t even the Massive East Rookie of the Yr, not to mention the Nationwide Participant of the Yr, and he or she was a extremely good participant, “he added.” She was the Massive East Match MVP and MVP of the Japanese area by year-end in freshman. “
Taurasi led the Huskies to a few consecutive nationwide championships and have become the WNBA GOAT because the league’s all-time prime scorer, however even she did not begin early in her tenure at UConn. Ditto with Moore, who then led the Huskies to consecutive unbeaten seasons.
Stewart – who has probably the most spectacular CV of any participant in school basketball historical past with 4 NCAA Championships, 4 Remaining 4 Most Excellent Participant honors, and three Participant of the Yr awards – did bought simply 14 nods in his first season at UConn. With that in thoughts, Auriemma significantly thought-about taking Bueckers off the bench to kick off his Huskies profession.
“I used to be like, ‘Typically it isn’t unhealthy for a child in that state of affairs to get off the bench,” he stated. “It makes them really feel like, hey, let me see the sport. and me an opportunity to take among the strain off, to let the air out a bit. So I used to be prepared for something, but it surely was at the back of my thoughts as a result of now we have carried out it so many occasions. “
However Bueckers had different concepts. The 18-year-old has been sensational from her first moments with the crew, Auriemma stated, prompting the legendary head coach to shortly drop any plans to maintain his new star off the pitch in any capability.
“As soon as the coaching began, and after we have been collectively for a few week, I noticed the best way she behaved, the best way she dealt with issues that have been thrown at her, how she had managed to search out herself on this state of affairs amongst gamers she barely knew. “Mentioned Auriemma.” As soon as I noticed that, each in drills and enjoying and selecting up – anyway – that is when it occurred via the window. “
“It was, we have solely been right here two weeks, however she’s the very best participant on our crew,” he added.
Try Auriemma’s full feedback beneath: