Paige Bueckers joined UConn ahead of the 2020–21 season as the reigning Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year. And after 15 games, Bueckers may actually be exceeding expectations.
Bueckers carried the Huskies in a 63–59 overtime win over No. 1 South Carolina on Monday. She tallied 31 points on 14–26 from the field, scoring all nine of UConn's points in overtime. Monday's victory advanced the Huskies to 14–1 on the season, with their lone loss coming against Arkansas on Jan. 28.
Monday's scoring outburst wasn't exactly an outlier for Bueckers. She entered Monday averaging 21.1 points per game, and she is now the first player in UConn history to score 30 points in three consecutive games. In a long line of UConn greats, Buecker could ultimately prove to be the best in the coming years.
The Huskies have produced plenty of All-American talent in Geno Auriemma's 36-year run as head coach. Breanna Stewart was named the Naismith College Player of the Year in three straight seasons from 2014–16, while Maya Moore earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011. UConn has registered nine Naismith College Player of the Year awards dating back to 2002.
UConn will enter the 2021 NCAA tournament seeking its first national championship since 2016. The Huskies have won the national title 10 times since 2000.