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UConn WBB Weekly: The Huskies’ worst uniforms of all-time

Plus, a major shakeup in the 2021 recruiting rankings.

Connecticut v South Carolina Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Welcome to the UConn WBB Weekly, a recap of everything that happened in the world of UConn women’s basketball over the past week.

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In The News

ESPN overhauls 2021 rankings

On Tuesday, ESPN unveiled its new rankings for the class of 2021 which saw dramatic changes from the previous service. UConn’s latest commit, Caroline Ducharme, jumped from No. 37 all the way to No. 5, which now makes her the highest-ranked member of the Huskies class.

In a breakdown of the top players, ESPN’s Shane Liffin wrote that Ducharme “is the total package offensively...with an impressive handle, elite footwork, a quick release and range from beyond the arc.” He also likened her game to “a hybrid of Katie Lou Samuelson and Allie Quigley.”

The Huskies’ other two 2021 commits fell in the new rankings. Amari DeBerry dropped from No. 5 to No. 15 while Saylor Poffenbarger went from No. 17 to No. 30. UConn target Azzi Fudd remains in the top player in the class.


The worst uniforms

In July, we ranked UConn’s best uniforms over the years. Now, it’s time to break down the worst:

2018-20 Black Alternates

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

There’s nothing wrong with the design of these uniforms — they’re essentially the exact same as the navy away set. But it just doesn’t make sense for UConn to wear black — especially considering how close it is to flag blue. The Huskies definitely need an alternate uniform, this just isn’t it.

XL Center Gray (2009-Present)

UConn first donned gray uniforms on a consistent basis in 2009 — the Huskies actually wore gray in the 2009 championship game against Louisville — and since then, it has become the team’s staple look at the XL Center. The sets have changed over the years but the general idea of a gray uniform is not particularly popular among the the fanbase.

The best of the bunch are the 2011-13 threads, since the gray was light and the overall look wasn’t drastically different from the standard white set. However, both the 2015-16 and 2016-18 uniforms rank at the bottom. The gray was significantly darker on both which made it difficult to read the dark blue, glossy lettering.

The current duds are an upgrade with a less harsh gray, red outline around the letters and numbers to make it easier to read and “Huskies” across the chest, a fresh look from UConn’s other uniforms. However, the glossy lettering still remains and there’s always a ceiling for how aesthetically pleasing gray uniforms can be.

2004-06 White Homes

Coppin State’s Talia Sutton (21) is pressured by Connecticut Photo by Craig Houtz/Centre Daily Times/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Like the post-Diana Taurasi years, these uniforms are mostly forgettable. Though there are some nice elements to this set such as the “UConn” across the chest and the C-Ball logo on the sides, the look just doesn’t come together very well.

The navy across the chest creates dissonance on the jersey, topped with the fact that it slants off to the right, which makes it look crooked more than anything. These deserve credit for trying a new look, but it just wasn’t pulled off right.

2003-04 White Homes

Photo by Bob Stowell/Getty Images

These are the home uniform forever enshrined in history by being worn during Diana Taurasi’s senior year. It’s actually not that bad a look — except for the silver numbers. That alone lands this set on this list.

2003-04 Navy Aways

Getty Images

Just like the home threads, these uniforms are brought down by the silver number. It’s an average uniform at best, though, and the silver number under the all-white “Connecticut” lettering doesn’t pair well. It’s a shame the greatest women’s basketball player of all-time had to play her senior year in such off-putting uniforms.

2015 White Postseason Alternates

Maryland v Connecticut Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

Unveiled for the 2015 postseason, these uniforms lacks cohesion and look like they were thrown together with a bunch of leftover bits from other uniforms. The white lettering outlined in navy stands out for all the wrong reasons while the rest of the jersey doesn’t feature any other design elements. The shorts are similarly plain except for a thick, light gray stripe down each pant leg that doesn’t match up with anything.

Though some of UConn’s best uniforms are a simple, clean look, these uniforms come off as trying too pull that off.

2013 Navy Alternates

Connecticut v Notre Dame Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

UConn wore these uniforms for the 2013 regular season finale, a game the Huskies lost in triple overtime. They’re another set that makes you ask “...but why?” They look like UConn forgot its actual away uniforms and was forced to wear its practice threads for the game. Though using the “C-Ball” logo more prominently is a nice idea, this isn’t the way to do it. Luckily, the Huskies decided to retire these for good after only one use.

2016 Navy Alternates

Connecticut v South Carolina Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

UConn will often wear an alternate uniform for big games. Why it decided to don navy-to-gray gradient shorts with its standard away jerseys is a question that remains unanswered, though. There’s no complex analysis necessary here — they just doesn’t look good.

2004-2006 Navy Aways

WireImage

The inverse color scheme of the 2004-06 home uniforms, these are significantly more jarring. While the white set was a good idea with poor execution, the aways are a bad idea with worse execution. The white coloring on the chest sticks out on the navy base, which makes the jersey look almost divided. The color scheme also doesn’t do the slanted design any favors. Luckily, the team went away from these after just two seasons.

2013 Nike Hyper Elite Platinum Uniforms

Notre Dame v Connecticut womens basketball Michael McAndrews/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Synonyms for terrible: Abhorrent, appalling, atrocious, disastrous, dreadful, frightful, hideous, horrendous, horrid, shocking, odious, repulsive, revolting, and vile. Any of those words are a fitting description for these uniforms.

In 2012, UConn was one of nine schools chosen by Nike to wear special Hype Elite Platinum uniforms — and the Huskies were the only one where both the men’s and women’s teams were included. When the Hartford Courant asked Geno Auriemma about the duds when they were announced, he admitted he’d only seen renderings but made his feelings clear through dripping sarcasm:

“From what people are telling me, they are unbelievable. I’ve been getting messages from other coaches and players, anyone who has seen them. They say they have never seen anything like them.”

These uniforms are truly unbelievable and like nothing that has been seen before. First, an awful shade of gray serves as the base for the uniforms while the slightly lighter gray lettering and numbers makes it almost impossible to read. The biggest crime this set commits is using orange trim — which Nike claimed was red. But if that trim is red then the sky is green and grass is purple.

UConn got blasted 72-59 by Notre Dame that night, a result it rightfully deserved for wearing these monstrosities. We can only hope that immediately after the game, these were delivered to the nearest incinerator and sent straight to hell where they belong.


Best of social media

What’s your UConn all-time starting five?

My pick: Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in the backcourt, Breanna Stewart, Maya Moore and Tina Charles to round out the front court.

Serious question: Is this Geno Auriemma’s most famous quote?

Quotables

Diana Taurasi, out of context: “The regular season is apples and watermelon, as they say.”