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UConn Women’s Basketball: What Evina Westbrook Adds to the Roster

The former No. 2 recruit and Tennessee transfer adds another offensive weapon to the Huskies’ roster.

2017 McDonald’s All American Game Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

With UConn women’s basketball’s addition of Tennessee transfer Evina Westbrook, the Huskies added another strong offensive weapon to their roster. In her sophomore season with the Volunteers, Westbrook scored or had the assist on over a third of Tennessee’s made field goals.

Where the 6-foot guard excels the most is in her ability to distribute the ball. In her two seasons at Tennessee, Westbrook led the team in assists per game — averaging 4.3 her freshman year and 5.3 last season. In 2018-19, she assisted on over 32 percent of her teammate’s field goals, ranking in the top 2 percent in the nation for assist rate and assists per game. She also boasts an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.61.

Westbrook also has the ability to score the ball. The former No.. 2 recruit averaged a team-high 14.9 points per game last season. With a 41.9 percent field goal percentage, she isn’t an incredibly efficient scorer. However, she is a knock down three-point shooter — Westbrook shot 38 percent from beyond the arc last year.

She has also demonstrated an ability to come up big against tough opponents, most notably when she tied her career high of 29 points and added 10 assists against Stanford last season.

On the defensive end, Westbrook has quick hands. She came away with the steal on nearly 3 percent of her opponents’ possessions last year, and averaged 1.6 steals a game which ranked among the top 10 percent of players.

If Westbrook is granted a waiver for immediate eligibility, she is the most likely candidate to round out UConn’s starting lineup in the upcoming season. Last year the Huskies’ seniors scored 45 percent of the team’s points, and a player with proven offensive strengths can immediately help UConn replace some of that scoring.

Westbrook’s three-point shot will help the Huskies spread the floor more. Perhaps even more importantly, having another distributor on the floor can open up more opportunities for Crystal Dangerfield to score.

If Westbrook has to sit out a year, she will join a strong recruiting glass of guards with No. 1 recruit Paige Bueckers and Croatian recruit Nika Muhl. The transfer will offer a veteran option at the point as Bueckers and Muhl transition to college.