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Countdown: 23

Obviously, with the tragic news of this weekend, we felt we should put the countdown on the backburner for a few days. More news on Jasper Howard will follow, of course, but we think it's time to resume normal posting (with some unease, I assure you), as addressed here.

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maya

In order to start the transition to basketball season, we’ll be counting down the days until the first game — in classic TheUConnBlog fashion (i.e. inconsistently) – and honoring our forefathers along the way. You can check out all of the entries here.

If you were curious, #26 stood for March 26, 2006, when absolutely nothing happened. Then, #25 and #24 would have represented the respective tenures of Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun. Onward we go, with a little love for the ladies.

How best to explain Maya Moore to the uninitiated?

You might say she's the LeBron James of women's basketball. There's a reason she chose #23 upon her arrival in Storrs. She can shoot the rock (40 percent from 3 last year). She can play in the post and rebound. She's often unselfish (3.7 assists per game, 2nd on the team).

Those are numbers and general observations. They do not explain Maya Moore.

Numbers don't tell you whether someone has "it," that unquantifiable star quality we demand of our sports superheroes. Numbers don't explain the little things she does that makes her - and her team - great. Nor do numbers capture the smoothness and grace of her game.

Historically, other players have done things better than Maya Moore. Taurasi was a better shooter, Parker and Fowles more dominant in the post. But nobody has ever quite mixed together the essential elements of basketball - the power, the speed, the strength, the off-the-charts basketball IQ - in such a potent way.

Quite simply, Maya Moore will be the best women's college basketball player ever.

She is a junior.