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UConn’s Gabby Williams Sees Praise From Jay Bilas as Heightened Expectations

Williams has caught the eye of one of the top college basketball analysts in the country.

Air Gabby
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Ever since breaking UCLA’s 88-game win streak and subsequently their own 90-game win streak, the UConn women’s basketball program have become quite a polarizing topic, again.

On one side, the dissenters say that Geno Auriemma and his team have no competition and always get the best players.

On the other hand, there are people that can appreciate their greatness and the history the Huskies make every time they step on the court.

Count ESPN analyst Jay Bilas as part of the latter.

Bilas has been very outspoken in his praise of the UConn women and hasn’t been afraid to stand behind his statement. This isn’t some TV personality delivering a hot take for the retweets. Rather, Bilas is widely respected as one of the best analysts in college basketball.

“I don’t think there’s anybody that watches more basketball than [Bilas] does,” said Auriemma. “He certainly has a keen insight into the game.”

The analyst didn’t stop there, however. After the victory over Notre Dame, Bilas called Gabby Williams a “stud” before heaping even higher praise on her.

The case for Williams is strong. She’s averaging 12.3 points-per-game, 8.6 rebounds-per-game, 5.4 assists-per-game and 2.8 steals-per-game. Last game against East Carolina, she earned the fifth triple-double in UConn history, a feat Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart never accomplished.

“If you look at her numbers in terms of points, rebounds, assists and steals and then you go look around the country, who has that?” said Auriemma. “I don’t follow the game as closely as Jay does but there must not be a lot for him to say that. It’s pretty flattering.”

Williams was excited to hear the praise but understands the implications.

“It’s just one of those things that’s just super cool that I would even be on his radar,” she said. “It also puts some pressure on me to make sure that I prove him right.”

While she was grateful for the “great compliment”, Williams is still more focused on the success of her team over herself.

“I think this program we don’t really focus on individual things like that but we still make sure we get the best out of everybody.”

Williams and the Huskies are back in action today at 12 p.m. on SNY at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.