Women's College Basketball

Phenomenal Freshman

January 31

The UConn women's basketball program never lacks for talent or star power.

The Huskies' newest freshman sensation, Paige Bueckers, is off to a record-setting start after No. 3 Connecticut's win Saturday over No. 17 DePaul.

Bueckers arrived in Storrs, Connecticut, with as much hype and pedigree as any player in recent memory. Ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country, she won the 2020 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Morgan Wooten Player of the Year awards.

In addition to her dominance at the high school level, Bueckers entered college with a decorated USA basketball résumé, having won the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup and World Cup MVP awards, as well as the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup and 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Through Bueckers' first 11 games, she is proving that the hype was warranted. The star point guard is averaging 18.5 points per game while shooting 55% from the field and 54.8% from the 3-point line, roaring past UConn legend Breanna Stewart in the record books along the way.

Bueckers' prowess was on full display Sunday, when the Huskies and Blue Demons faced off on FOX, marking the first time a women's basketball game was played on the network.

The freshman phenom scored 22 points and dished out 10 assists with seven rebounds for the first double-double of her young career.

She also made five 3-pointers, pacing the Huskies to a 100-64 win as Geno Auriemma's squad bounced back from their first loss of the season to No. 19 Arkansas.

So far in her freshman season, Bueckers is showing all the signs of being the next great UConn women's basketball player.

After the win against DePaul, she spoke about how she has made the transition to college basketball.

"The speed and the pace at which college basketball is played, it's a lot different than high school," she said. "My coaches and my teammates, they make it easy for me. That's why I have the assists that I do. They make it easy, they get open, and they knock down the shots."

Bueckers' dominance at the collegiate level already has some predicting that she could be one of the best players in the WNBA right now.

Before that, though, she has a college basketball season — and career — to finish.

If she continues on her current pace, it won't be long before she turns those predictions into reality.


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