It took Christyn Williams most of three up-and-down seasons at UConn to start realizing her full potential. She’s hoping she’s figured it out going into her final year in Storrs.
“I’m trying to kill everybody on the court. That’s it,” Williams said. “I gotta kick some ass if we’re being completely honest.”
Last season, Williams averaged 15.4 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting, 32.1 percent from three. From the Big East Tournament onward, she averaged 18.5 points per game while shooting 45.8 percent, 40.5 percent from three, leading the team in scoring in three games and playing lockdown defense throughout.
But the change went beyond the stats as well. It seemed like the game was clicking for Williams. Instead of sitting back and letting the game come to her, she attacked whenever she had the opportunity.
“The same mindset that I had from the Big East Tournament to the rest of the season is the same mindset I’m bringing,” she said.
Head coach Geno Auriemma has noticed the attitude change.
“I think Christyn came out of that NCAA Tournament with a different mindset,” he said. “This (summer) has been probably the hardest I’ve seen her go in all the time that she’s been here.”
Williams has been to the Final Four twice in her career and both trips have ended in heartbreak. In 2019, UConn blew a nine-point lead late to Notre Dame and in 2021 the Huskies failed to show up against Arizona. After a long, mentally draining season, Williams took three weeks off to vacation — which included a trip to Disney World — to get her mind right, as she put it.
Now that she’s back, Williams has used that loss to push herself through the dog days of summer, as have her teammates, she said. Though the season is still a long way off, Williams believes there’s a difference in the team compared to last year.
“I just feel like everybody has the same feelings from the Final Four. We’re all upset and angry from that. We don’t want to feel that anymore,” she said. “So we know what we have to do. You could just see it like as far as whatever we’re doing, it’s super competitive and we’re always going 110%.
“It’s a very powerful feeling to feel that now in the summer, so I can’t imagine what it’s gonna be like in August.”