Seven newcomers, including six freshmen. Four returners, including three starters from last year.
The Huskies saw a decent amount of roster turnover. But they bring back a lot of promising talent and some freshmen that Geno Auriemma and teammates say are going to be able to make an impact right away.
22 Evina Westbrook
6-0, G, R-Jr., Salem, Oregon
Obvious: The oldest member of a UConn women’s basketball team without any seniors, Westbrook is set to finally make her debut after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
You might not know: Westbrook is from a basketball family: Her father played for Oregon State and professionally in Chile, and her brother and cousin played collegiately.
13 Christyn Williams
5-11, G, Jr., Little Rock, Ark.
Obvious: As the team’s top returning scorer, Williams is hoping to shed her sophomore slump and make the crucial junior-year jump to becoming the player many envisioned.
You might not know: In her free time, Williams enjoys roller skating.
20 Olivia Nelson-Ododa
6-5, F, Jr., Winder, Ga.
Obvious: A lot rests on Nelson-Ododa’s shoulders without a ton of proven depth behind her in the post, but she enters this season with on-court confidence, composure and maturity.
You might not know: Nelson-Ododa is also from a basketball family, her father having played for the Kenyan national team, her older brother in the G League and her younger brother a 6-foot-10 power forward looking to play collegiately.
24 Anna Makurat
6-2, G, So., Sierakowice, Poland
Obvious: After showcasing a promising offensive skillset as a freshman, Makurat got in better shape this offseason and figures to help the Huskies replace the lost scoring production of Crystal Dangerfield and Megan Walker.
You might not know: Makurat’s idol is none other than Diana Taurasi, whom she was thrilled to meet when the WNBA legend came to Hartford for the UConn-Team USA exhibition (Taurasi even said the two look alike, especially with their buns).
44 Aubrey Griffin
6-1, F, So., Ossining, N.Y.
Obvious: Griffin’s athleticism, defense and rebounding impressed throughout her freshman year, but she really found her groove before the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled, getting named to the AAC All-Tournament team.
You might not know: Griffin has been practicing her dunking this offseason: The team recently posted a video of the sophomore throwing it down with an assist from Paige Bueckers.
5 Paige Bueckers
5-11, G, Fr., Hopkins, Minn.
Obvious: Bueckers — the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2020 who captured the attention of basketball fans nationwide before she even stepped foot in Storrs — is considered to be the most promising player out of high school since Breanna Stewart.
You might not know: Oftentimes you can find Bueckers making TikTok dance videos with her new teammates.
3 Aaliyah Edwards
6-3, F, Fr., Kingston, Ontario
Obvious: Edwards has a motor, physicality and competitiveness unique for a freshman, and is impactful scoring in the lane and crashing the boards.
You might not know: Her purple and yellow braids honor her basketball inspiration, Kobe Bryant.
10 Nika Muhl
5-10, G, Fr., Zagreb, Croatia
Obvious: Auriemma has already called Muhl an “excellent passer” while also complimenting her physicality and intensity on the floor.
You might not know: Muhl only started playing basketball at age 12, but once she picked it up there was no stopping her.
32 Piath Gabriel
6-5, F, Fr., Manchester, N.H.
Obvious: Gabriel has been described as a versatile but raw post player, but assistant coach Jamelle Elliott says she is very eager to get better.
You might not know: You may have heard of her brother, Wenyen Gabriel, who played for Kentucky for two years and is currently with the Portland Trailblazers.
11 Mir McLean
5-11, F, Fr., Baltimore, Md.
Obvious: McLean is known for her athleticism and rebounding prowess, and has been compared to Aubrey Griffin.
You might not know: McLean loves to learn languages, having studied five, including Arabic, prior to her arrival in Storrs. Teammates Muhl and Makurat are teaching her words in Croatian and Polish.
2 Autumn Chassion
5-8, G, Fr., Lafayette, La.
Obvious: Chassion is the newest member of the Huskies after being announced as a freshman walk-on in August.
You might not know: Chassion was her high school valedictorian and intends to go to medical school after completing her undergraduate studies.
Alexa Philippou can be reached at [email protected]
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