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Weekly Roundup: UConn women’s basketball needs a uniform overhaul

The Huskies are entering a new era and should have new uniforms to mark that beginning.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

For the last four years, the Huskies have worn the same uniforms with little variation. White uniforms with a blue and red stripe running down the side for games at Gampel. Navy sets with light blue stripes on the road. Black alternates, new in 2018-19, were the exact same design as the road digs.

The only change came in the XL Center grays, which upgraded from having all-navy numbers with “UConn” across the chest to “Huskies” with some added red trim. But overall, not much has changed.

These uniforms aren’t bad by any means — they’re fine. There’s nothing spectacular about them but they really don’t have many negative qualities either.

But the program is entering a new era with the return to the Big East coincided with a five-player freshman class that will heavily influence the direction the program takes over the next few years. The post-Stewie years are over and that should be marked with a new set of threads.

So what would make a perfect set of uniforms for the Huskies?

1. Dump the glossy lettering

The biggest problem with UConn’s current duds are the glossy numbers and letters. It’s a design that works well with certain types of uniforms but certainly shouldn’t be used on every single jersey the team wears. A return to the classic fabric lettering would be a welcome sight.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

2. Keep the home/away uniforms simple

Just because the Huskies need a new set of uniforms doesn’t mean it should become the new Oregon. Repping the UConn brand for all the school’s teams is the most important part of the uniform, and women’s basketball’s current set does that well. There’s no need to overthink it. No more white-on-white letters or bizarre gradients. A simple, clean outfit is all Geno Auriemma’s teams need.

3. Add more alternate options

The addition of a third alternate during the 2018-19 season was a good move by UConn — except they chose black (not a school color) and used the same design as the road jerseys. The idea of having a different uniform for the Huskies’ games against top opponents was well thought out, the execution just wasn’t there.

But alternates are where the school can get creative and push some boundaries. Keep it within the boundaries of red, white and blue (and gray, in moderation) but make it unique and distinct from the home and roads.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

4. Bring back throwbacks

In the same vein as the previous point, UConn’s return to the Big East would be a great time to finally cycle in some throwback jerseys.

Historically, UConn has rarely adopted retro uniforms, an odd move considering how much fans respond positively to any type of throwback gear. Who wouldn’t love to see “Connecticut” across the chest again or the “UConn” font with the red U. Those are classic UConn looks and would be perfect alternates.

Even if full-blown throwbacks aren’t possible for whatever reason, the Huskies could take a page from the men’s basketball team and modernize old uniforms. It’d still have the nostalgia factor of retro threads but have a modern look and feel.

NCAA Photos Archive

5. Stop with the gray uniforms at the XL Center

UConn women’s basketball wears gray uniforms for all its XL Center games. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with gray uniforms — especially if they’re done well, — they get old really quick. White should be the Huskies’ primary color at home with gray used as some combination of a home alternate or what they wear on the odd occasion their opponent chooses to wear a colored uniform at home.

The grays would be much, much more palatable if they were worn, say, two or three times as year as opposed to seven or eight.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Walker and Williams teaming up in Hungary

After playing together at UConn in 2017-18, Megan Walker and Gabby Williams will be teammates once again — except this time, halfway around the globe. According to the team’s Twitter account, the pair signed with Sopron Basket in Hungary. Sopron are regular contenders in the EuroLeague and had the Indiana Fever’s Candice Dupree and the Phoenix Mercury’s Briann January.

Baby Bird

While working on this story on the freshmen class’s jersey numbers, I came across these incredible photos of Sue Bird playing in the AAU Championships at age 11:

Season tickets on sale

Season tickets for UConn men’s and women’s basketball went on sale on Wednesday and more were sold in the first two days than the first six weeks last year.

According to a release from the school, Auriemma’s squad will play eight games at Gampel Pavilion and seven at the XL Center (assuming the coronavirus doesn’t cause any scheduling issues).

Fans can visit UConnTickets.com to get tickets and can email athtickets@uconn.edu, chat online at UConnHuskies.com/chat or call 1-877-288-2666 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for help.

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