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UConn WBB Weekly: Checking in with former Huskies around the country

Four former UConn players are currently playing at different schools this season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 11 Women’s - Seton Hall at Butler Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via 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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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.

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.

Oregon v Georgia Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

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

UConn’s two most recent transfers haven’t played yet but both have found new homes. McLean committed to Virginia on Christmas Eve while Poffenbarger picked Arkansas.

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