With Paige Bueckers in the role of Coach P while injured, UConn must fill the production roster to reach the high standards

The Paige Bakers, one of basketball’s most widely recognized players, has been unable to physically be on the court this season while rehab for the ACL tear she sustained in August. But Naismith Player of the Year for 2021 will remain on the bench to serve as ‘Coach B’ for the Connecticut Huskies working to prevent injuries from getting worse. He ended his historic run of 14 consecutive Finals from four matches.

“I am a head coach. Athletic coach [Geno Auriemma] Beckers told local reporters in September, a month after the injury. “No, I’m just kidding. But I’m the coach of the players, I’m going to be the one they can talk to, the one who’s going to push them, and also the one they can count on when they need support. I’m definitely taking this position as a coach, but I’m not sure what job I’m going to do.”

The Bakers does the role perfectly, in the best way you know how. The 5-foot-11 garrison made her new role for the first time during the team’s internal media day celebrations by walking around with a holster and whistle in a video captured by Nika Mühl.

She took a whistle and towel for Media Day photos, and later shared them on her Instagram with “just a quick timer toggle.” The official team account called her “COACH P” and her teammate Dorca Johas told her, “Put me down, coach.”

There’s always a lot of banter about Storrs, Connecticut, but Auriemma is also on board for the new role. (Except, one might suppose, the part where the Bakers take their place.)

“I am keen to get her to learn more about the game by doing these things, by sitting in practice and watching from the eyes of the coach rather than the eyes of the player,” Orima said, Via The Associated Press. “And she will be the same Paige she has always been, though, and she will drift away and she will want to do this and she will want to do that, she will want to have a say in this.”

Bueckers is spending a college-wide season as a student coach that will only improve the point guards’ already high basketball IQ and raise the talent that made her the first female student player of the year in the award’s 39-year history. She said she would return to school for her first season rather than enter the 2023 WNBA Draft, for which she is eligible because she turned 22 that year.

But UConn must first focus on the upcoming season, as nearly every major role must be filled after losing more than half of its statistical production.

Fill the list production

UConn, ranked No. 6 in Associated Press pre-season pollHe already had to fill in the blanks left by guards Kristen Williams, Evina Westbrook and quarterback Olivia Nelson-Ododa, all of whom were inducted into the WNBA. Now, with the Bakers out, the Husky has brought back only one of the top five used players. Bueckers (14.6 ppg) and Williams (14.2 ppg) led the scoring efforts.

The four combined contributed 63.7% of team goals, 48.1% of rebounds, 57.7% of assists, 50.8% of ball possession and 53.3% of ball possession.

The biggest threat will be Azzi Fad, the No. 1 recruit in the 2021 class who was hampered by a foot injury last season. Averaged 12.1 points per gallon, she was the team’s most efficient 3-point shooter at 43% (58 vs. 135) and the sharpest in the free throw line (91.2%). Will Auriemma Look at it to handle the ball more In addition to Mühl, the young guard who stepped in for the Bueckers.

UConn guard Azzi Fudd is the 'huskies'  Goal-scoring this season is threatened by injuries that have sidelined some of her teammates.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

UConn guard Azi Fodd has been the Huskies’ biggest threatening threat this season, with injuries sidelining some of her teammates. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Health will be a major factor in the Huskies’ season as there are 10 players on the roster following the injury of the Bakers and freshman Ace Brady. Brady, who won gold at the 2022 FIBA ​​Americas Under-18 Championships, was ranked fifth by ESPN. she She had a dislocated patella in her right knee During training October 21 and is excluded for this season.

Those ten on the list include key players still working after their injuries. First goalkeeper Caroline Ducharme (9.8 ppg) is Exit hip surgery. Juhasz (7.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 19.8 mpg), 6-5 forward, is Coming back from a broken left wrist She was injured in the NCAA Regional Final. Junior forward Aaliyah Edwards (7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) said on Big East Media Day that she will start the season wearing a face mask after breaking her nose and experiencing concussion symptoms in a training crash.

Joining the returning forward is Ayanna Patterson, the No. 4 recruit in the 2022 class by ESPN. Voted for the pre-season pick for this year’s Big East Freshman Award. UConn added guard/forward Lou Lopez-Sénéchal as a transfer graduate after leading Fairfield to the MAAC Championship and NCAA Championship appearances. And in August, after the Bakers’ injury, Ocon brought in Student Inês Bettencourt from Portugal as a late addition.

Keeping up with the high standards of Husky dogs

Winning streaks for Husky games is hard work, and as other programs around them improve, they become more at risk of falling out. This remains true as 2022-2023 approaches.

While the Bakers were out for nearly three months last season due to a non-contact injury to her left leg, UConn lost their first regular season game since 2013. It was a streak of 145 games that Vilanova had cut out.

Two nights later, DePaul was looking to date only to fall short. It’s been 29 years of 1,059 competitions since UConn lost back-to-back games, and it’s a stretch going back in history. Until March 1993. This will appear again this month and next as both Huskies face a total of five teams in the AP Top 25 over the course of seven matches. Their next schedule:

November 14: Opposite No. 3 Texas

November 20: Against No. 10 North Carolina

November 25: vs roosters

December 2nd: opposite Providence

December 4th: At No. 9 Notre Dame

December 8: Opposite No. 24 Princeton

December 11: In No. 17 Maryland

The Bakers returned at the end of the regular season on their way to the Big 20 East Championship. This was their ninth consecutive title in the conference, including seven in a row at the American Athletic Conference. UConn voted for Pre-season coaches unanimously chosen to win the Big East againbut it won’t be easy.

Creighton, ranked No. 21 in an AP poll, placed in the historic Elite Eight and came within eight points of UConn at their January meeting. Vilanova presents the holder of the title of the best player in the Middle East, Maddie Siegrist. DePaul, who finished fourth in the poll, boasts New Year’s Player of the Year title Anissa Morrow and was a bucket away from beating UConn in their first meeting last season.

The biggest series that fans watch is the NCAA Championship, with several rounds suspended last year. They were nearly defeated by Central Florida, winning 52-47 in the second round. In the next round they pulled out of a four-point game against Indiana with a 16-0 break from the first half. To conquer the area in their backyard, they escaped the thriller two-time overtime against NC State.

She endorsed the Sweet 16s series, which they last missed in 1993, and the Elite Eights, which they last missed in 2006. But the title ending didn’t exist. Their five-point win over the 2021 champion Stanford Cardinal lifted them to an unexpected tournament against South Carolina, where they lost to 64-49.

It’s been five seasons (and six years, including the canceled 2020 championship) since UConn won the title, a ridiculous statistic that shows just how high the standards are for Huskies. They last won in 2016, locking in four consecutive titles with two-time WNBA champion, Breanna Stewart.

Of the 40 NCAA Division I championships, UConn has won 11 of them. Tennessee has eight programs and no more than three others (Stanford, Baylor).

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