WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Maya Moore
The BIG Picture
The Huskies won their seventh national championship in 2010, also their second straight. What’s even more remarkable is that they completed their second straight undefeated season and carry a Division I record 78-game winning streak into 2010-11. It was UConn’s fourth perfect season in program history. UConn also enters the year having won either the BIG EAST regular-season or championship titles in each of the last 17 seasons. UConn has also advanced to the NCAA Regionals in each of the last 17 seasons and is coming off three straight Final Four appearances.
Two-time Wade Trophy winner Maya Moore (18.9 points) returns for her senior season having captured virtually every individual accolade at least once in the past two years. A member of the U.S. National Team, Moore is the fastest player in school history to surpass 2,000 points needing just 108 games. The 2010 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Moore has totaled 2,168 career points. Junior guard Tiffany Hayes (10.2 points, 3.3 rebounds) also returns along with senior guard Lorin Dixon (2.9 points, 61 assists). Sophomore guard Kelly Faris (4.1 points, 3.7 rebounds) should see an expanded role.
BIG EAST Player of the Year and WNBA No. 1 draft pick Tina Charles departs following graduation. She averaged 18.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game en route to winning the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and the Associated Press Player of the Year awards. Guard Kalana Greene (11.4 points) also graduates along with center Kaili McLaren (3.0 points). Reserves Meghan Gardler (4.4 points) and Jacquie Fernandes also graduated. The quartet helped lead UConn to two NCAA titles, four BIG EAST regular-season crowns and three BIG EAST Championship titles.
UConn is expected to rank atop the preseson polls this year and faces a tough early-season schedule. The Huskies will face numerous teams selected to last year’s NCAA Championship, as well as three Final Four teams. UConn welcomes five freshmen to the team, including three McDonald’s All-America selections in Stephanie Dolson, Bria Hartley and Samarie Walker. Guard Caroline Doty suffered another knee injury in late August and is out for the year. Head coach Geno Auriemma continues to balance responsibilities as the USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach.