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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From the UConn WBB Weekly Premium:
From The UConn Blog:
- Chasing Perfection: Geno vs. Muffet
- UConn women’s basketball’s game against Georgetown canceled
- UConn women’s basketball’s game at Villanova canceled
- Geno Auriemma discusses UConn’s COVID problems, provides updates on injured players
- Geno Auriemma responds to Muffet McGraw’s comments about ESPN’s supposed UConn bias
Last week’s Weekly:
- A Mid-Season Check In With the UConn Women’s Basketball Beat Writers (CT Scoreboard Podcast)
Checking with former UConn players
Transfers are nothing new to UConn women’s basketball. With high expectations comes a lot of pressure, something not every player that comes to Storrs can handle. Others simply can’t crack the Huskies’ rotation and decide to head elsewhere for more playing time. Whatever the reason is, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
This season alone, two players — Mir McLean and Saylor Poffenbarger — have departed the program. While those two won’t step on the court for their new teams until next season, there are still four former UConn players suiting up at the college level.
Autumn Chassion — LSU Eunice
After leaving UConn, Chassion ended up at LSU Eunice, a junior college located roughly 45 minutes outside her hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. Out of high school, Chassion had considered the junior college route before choosing to walk-on with the Huskies. She decided to go that way despite some Division I interest after entering the transfer portal.
This season, Chassion has played in 12 of 15 games with nine starts. She’s averaging 7.6 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 25.6 percent from three and 30.7 percent overall.
Chassion’s best game came back in November, when she dropped a career-high 22 points in a loss to Angelina College. She’s reached double-figure scoring just two other times this season. LSU Eunice holds a 7-8 record.
FROM LAST NIGHT: LSU Eunice falls short at Angelina College, 76-67. The Bengals were led by a season's best 22 points from Autumn Chassion. Roadrunners go 21-for-32 from the charity stripe to push ahead LSUE. The Bengals face off with Tyler JC today.#GeauxBengals pic.twitter.com/pJHT7aNOSq— LSUE Women's Basketball (@LSUEBengalsWBB) November 20, 2021
Mikayla Coombs — Georgia
In 13 games (all starts) this season, Coombs is averaging 6.8 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals for the 15th-ranked Bulldogs. While she’s only reached double-digit scoring four times this year, Coombs is still finding ways to contribute.
She had seven rebounds and seven assists in a win over Furman in November, eight steals in a 71-67 overtime victory against Notre Dame, and took home Player of the Game honors with 13 points and five assists in a win at the Dayton Beach Invitational over Marquette.
Coombs’ biggest accomplishments have come off the court, though. In October, she was named vice chair of the SEC’s Women’s Basketball Leadership Council, which meets throughout the year to provide feedback to athletic directors, senior woman administrators, and other athletic representatives. In April, Coombs became the only student-athlete named to the NCAA’s 12-person Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee.
“Mikayla is exceptional,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. “For her peers to vote her into this position speaks volumes of her character and leadership abilities. Mikayla is thoughtful and insightful. She has made such an impact on our program during her time here, and I have no doubt she will be a huge asset in this role with the SEC Leadership Council. We are so proud of Mikayla.”
Coombs also earned her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and Policy and is now working on her master’s degree in the same field.
Andra Espinoza-Hunter — Seton Hall
In her first full year at Seton Hall, Espinoza-Hunter leads the Pirates with 17.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 rebounds per game along with a 36.8 three-point percentage. She’s scored at least 10 points in every contest and even recorded a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double against Lehigh in November.
Espinoza-Hunter didn’t get a chance to play against her former team after being suspended for the Dec. 3 meeting with UConn for a violation of team rules. She’ll get another opportunity — COVID willing, of course — when Seton Hall comes to Storrs on Jan. 21.
Lexi Gordon — Duke
After a few good years at Texas Tech, Gordon left to use her bonus COVID year at Duke, where Kara Lawson has the program on the upswing. She’s started all 12 games for the No. 17 Blue Devils, averaging 9.7 points on 31.4 percent shooting from three.
Gordon opened the season on fire, hitting 10-of-20 shots from beyond the arc — which tied a Duke record for the most 3-pointers in a player’s first two games — and reached double-figures in five of the team’s first six contests. Since then, she’s only hit that mark once, though.
In November, the Blue Devils faced off against Alabama, which meant Gordon went up against her little sister, Myra. Though Lexi finished with 11 points, three rebounds and the win, Myra claimed the one-on-one battle.
Gordon also signed an NIL deal with WWE, which “will provide a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.” So even when her basketball days ends, Gordon may have a new career ahead of her.
Mir McLean and Saylor Poffenbarger
Best of social media
Geno Auriemma: Patron saint of basketball?
DAD YOUR TIME HAS COME https://t.co/8x1PupWljr— ALL DAUGHTERS RISE OUT NOW (@AlysaAuriemma) January 2, 2022
A fun look back at 2021 (click to view the full thread):
Some of our favorite 2021 UConn WBB photos and moments: a thread— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) December 31, 2021
Some highlights from UConn signee Ice Brady:
Top 10 match up! #5 UConn signee Isuneh Brady vs #10 Oregon St. signee Raegan Beers!! pic.twitter.com/NHAXQxQBMV— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 2, 2022
Big change to the Final Fours:
Looks like the NCAA changed its Final Four logos and social-media channels.— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) January 4, 2022
@FinalFour, which last spring called itself "the official" event feed, referring only to the men's tournament, no longer exists.
Today: @MFinalFour + @WFinalFour pic.twitter.com/POAQqwkwNP