On Thursday, UConn women’s basketball announced the freshmen class’s new jersey numbers on Twitter. And to fans, those numbers will look awfully familiar. Four out of five chose numbers that were worn by the Huskies’ departing players last season — Mir McLean was the only one to go in a different direction.
As a reminder, NCAA rules only allow players to wear numbers with the digits 0-5, so the options are somewhat limited.
* - Indicates a player wore multiple numbers in their career
Paige Bueckers - No. 5
Total players to wear it: 5
Most recent: Crystal Dangerfield (2016-20)
Most notable: Caroline Doty (2008-13)
No. 5 will transfer from one point guard to another, with Bueckers taking it over from the recently-departed Dangerfield. It wasn’t the freshman’s first choice, though. Bueckers wore No. 1 in high school but Auriemma doesn’t allow players to wear that digit. Instead of asking her coach to reconsider, the high school mega-star went with her USA Basketball jersey number.
Everyone else: Debbie Baer (1989-92)*, Kim Better (1992-96), Maria Conlon (2000-04)
Aaliyah Edwards - No. 3
Total players: 6
Most recent: Megan Walker (2017-20)
Most notable: Diana Taurasi (2000-04)
Walker’s early departure worked out for Edwards as it opened the No. 3 jersey up for the Canadian to snag. It’ll be a new look for Edwards, who has previously worn No. 9, No. 15 and No. 24 with various teams throughout her career. However, it comes with high standards as No. 3 is the only digit in program history to be worn by three players in the Huskies of Honor.
Everyone else: Shea Matlock (1993-94), Tammy Arnold (1995-97), Tiffany Hayes (2008-12), Morgan Tuck (2012-16)
Piath Gabriel - No. 32
Total players: 10
Most recent: Batouly Camara (2016-2020)
Most notable: Swin Cash (1999-02)*
Gabriel has been ready to wear No. 32 since the moment she announce she was coming to UConn. In her commitment tweet, the big from New Hampshire featured a graphic with her wearing a No. 32 UConn jersey.
Go huskies!! pic.twitter.com/7nYBFn6X9k— Piath Gabriel (@piath_g) September 19, 2019
The best part about her actual jersey compared to the one in the edit? It’ll have a Big East patch instead of the AAC emblem on the shoulder.
Everyone else: Beth Vinson (1976-80), Lisa Fubio (1981-82), Diane Poletti (1982-86), Kris Lamb (1986-90), Pam Webber (1991-95), Courtney Gaine (1995-99), Kalana Greene (2005-10), Heather Buck (2010-13)*
Mir McLean - No. 11
Total players: 7
Most recent: Kia Nurse
Other notables: Ketia Swanier (2004-08), Kelly Schumacher (1997-2001)
The lone dissenter of the freshman class to not take an outgoing player’s former number, McLean grabbed the sticks, which sat unused for two whole seasons after Nurse graduated. Like Bueckers, McLean also favored No. 1 prior to UConn but since that wasn’t an option, she decided to double up on the digit.
Everyone else: Krista Blomquist (1987-88)*, Debbie Baer (1988-89)*, Samarie Walker (2010-11), Briana Pulido (2013-14)*
Nika Muhl - No. 10
Total players: Four
Most recent: Molly Bent (2016-20)
Most notable: Sue Bird (1998-2002)
For numbers 2-30, the No. 10 jersey is tied for the least-worn in program history with just four players donning it, including an 14-year drought between Bird and Bent. There’s a good reason behind it, though — the number comes with high expectations, in a few regards.
It’s been worn by two of the best point guards ever at UConn: Laura Lishness, who orchestrated the Huskies’ offense to the 1991 Final Four and Bird, who needs no introduction. On top of that, every player to wore it spent their entire career at UConn — the only number where that’s the case in program history.