UConn basketball showed up during the Coaches Road Show Southington stop on Monday, May 23. Women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma was one of the coaches that spoke with the media about this past season, updates on player injuries and picking up Lou Lopez from the transfer portal.
The fifth-ranked women’s basketball team finished 30-6 on the season and fell to first-seeded South Carolina, 64-49, in the NCAA Championship Game. Sophomore star Paige Bueckers led the team with 14 points in the game. The Huskies beat two first-seeded teams on the way to their first championship game since 2016.
Regardless of going far in the season, eight players, including Bueckers, missed at least three games due to an injury or illness. Auriemma gave updates on Aubrey Griffin, Dorka Juhász and Caroline Ducharme during the event.
Though a lot of positives came out of last season, Auriemma is locked in on improvements for next year.
He said, “Sometimes I worry because it’s so easy to just stand out there and shoot. They all think they’re Al Horford or Luka Doncic and they’re not so you have to temper with there’s still something to be said. This goes all the way back to the years of when we had Kerry Bascom and Rebecca Lobo.”
One of the ways he wants to improve is on balancing the jump shots.
“Every big kid I’ve ever seen, all they wanna do is shoot jump shots. To me, there’s something to be said, you also have to run and score. Your jump shot may go in or may not. Catch the ball in landing and get a foul; that’s still a great way to win games. But, I always say, it’s college basketball,” Auriemma said.
Now in the offseason, Auriemma and his team have been hard at work recruiting and adding much needed depth. One of their recent pickups was Fairfield transfer Lou Lopez Sénéchal.
From Grenoble, France, Lopez Sènéchal will play for the team with one year of eligibility remaining. She was the 2022 MAAC Player of the Year and a three-time All-MAAC first-team selection. In her senior year, Lopez Sénéchal averaged 19.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. She also named the MAAC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Morgan Valley, women’s basketball assistant coach, helped put the coaching staff on the radar of Lopez Sénéchal.
“Morgan is pretty good about, like our other coaches, they’re pretty good at keeping an eye on the portal.” said Auriemma. “When her name popped up, and we knew people who knew people, [we] had a chance to watch her play and the rest is history.”
Looking ahead to next season, Auriemma is confident in the talent added to the team thus far and how to best utilize each of the players' skills.
“We’ve been looking for big kids who can shoot. We hope that’s where Dorka (Juhasz) can help us this year.” Auriemma said. “There’s a big need for big bodies.”