What happened in Baton Rouge was the Huskies grew up. And I know they pulled off this accomplishment last year in comeback fashion, but that was different. That was Renee Montgomery taking over the game and with some help here and there.
Monday night Maya Moore, Kaili McLaren, Tina Charles and Ketia Swanier shared the load. I've said before that what McLaren did against Sylvia Fowles was incredible. But even Charles, who at times seemed scared of Fowles, played inspired in the final 15 minutes or so, not backing down from Fowles and attacking the rim as the best center in the Big East should. Afterwards, Geno Auriemma said he hopes that Charles understands that her misses Monday weren't because Fowles made her miss, it was because Charles allowed herself to miss them. And he's right. How many easy layups didn't fall for her? I can think of three right off the top of my head.
and since McLaren was benched a few weeks back and was told to not take being a Husky for granted, she has played some inspired ball off the bench. It couldn't have been any more significant when you consider that Charde Houston played so poorly that she sat the entire second half and that Brittany Hunter didn't play.
This is what Auriemma had to say about his two post players after the game:
"Kaili and Tina are their own worst enemies. To me, players are generally as good as they want to be if they have some God-given talent. They're as good as they want to be. Kaili sometimes wants to be great; sometimes she just settles for being good, and sometimes she's just OK. (Monday) she played like she wanted to be really good and great at times. And it's not like she did anything tonight that surprised anybody on our team. We've seen her do those things on a regular basis. It's just you got to get that all the time now. That's the bad side of being really good."
Speaking of really good, Moore was again named the conferences top freshman, while DePaul's Allie Quigley was named the top player for the second straight week. You know, Quigley, who was statistically inferior to Moore and who's Blue Demons beat Georgetown by four and lost to Notre Dame by two. Meanwhile, all Moore and the Huskies did was win two games by large margins.
What's the message the Big East is sending? If you are a freshman, no matter how good, you can't be the best player.And you can be a good player on an average team that loses and that trumps the best player on the best team. Well, UConn visits DePaul Saturday. Let's see how that works out for Quigley and company.