UConn Women Next Season- 2020-21

Discussion in 'UConn Basketball' started by KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Next year I envision the following starting lineup-

    5- Ododa
    4- Walker
    3- Makurat
    2- Williams
    1 - Westbrook

    This leaves a deep and explosive bench including Griffin, the #1 national recruit Bueckers, Czech star combo guard Nicki Muhl (who might be better than Makurat), the 6’5” big body Center from New Hampshire, the 6’3 PF from Canada and the other top 25 recruit, Mir, who is a 5’11” guard/forward.

    That is 11 legitimately very talented top girls and it’s going to be a ferocious competition for PT. Geno will finally have a team that he has the depth to press with as he would like! This is gonna be like 1999-2002 all over again!!!!
     
  2. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    Maybe just maybe PB doesnt start just because Geno will do what he does with freshman but I see her as the PG or SG all year with the most minutes and starting most of the games.

    The biggest issue will be Ododa, she is a problem and the reason we weren't that good this year.........not her fault.....Geno has lost the recruiting battle for the past 6 years to other schools that know how to beat him with size size and more size. We didn't fix it with the incoming class so lets hope PB can be all world like everyone thinks.
     
  3. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    We have no idea how good Evina is......before her injury or after really. I think PB is the PG as Evina isnt a PG I dont think.
     
  4. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Evina averaged 15 points and 5 assists per game at Tennessee, there is no way she doesn’t start at PG if she is fully healthy which, reportedly, she already is. Bueckers will be first guard off the bench.
     
  5. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    5 the Blades, Mar 14, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  6. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Updated starting lineup

    5- Ododa
    4- Griffin
    3- Makurat
    2- Williams
    1- Westbrook

    They are still loaded and now 10 deep instead of 11
     
  7. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    Walker leaving is a good move. PB will start......done deal.
     
  8. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    We'll miss Meg’s catch and shoot ability, but if it means more minutes for Evina, Paige, Griffin, Ania and Maclean, we might be better off.

    Meg stretches the court because you have to guard her with a post player and 19 and 7 is hard to replace from one person. But her #’s against the better/more athletic teams were terrible because she’s an average athlete to play 3 and too small to play 4. And that’s who you face late in the year, good/athletic teams.

    I doubt she’ll be a top 5 selection. I wouldn’t take her top 10, but I don’t know enough about other teams.
     
  9. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Bueckers is not a 3 point shooter, she had only 33 made this year. UConn is losing a 42% 3 point shooter in Dangerfield and a 45% marksmen in Walker. Westbrook shot 38% in her sophomore year at UT and Makurat shot 41%. Between those 2 and hopefully improved shooting from Williams, your perimeter should be set.
     
  10. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    Khalid, Crystal is a bigger loss imo. But evina, Paige and Ania give you more at that position than anyone else in the nation.

    A dominant ONo is the key. Add in Rodman, I mean Griffin and our shooters should have tons of room to shoot.

    And I think the Croatian girl Mulhl is another PG with a pure stroke.
     
  11. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Muhl is a pass first point guard who does not shoot much. Bueckers doess not shoot 3s. These girls are highly rated due to their passing and ballhandling abilities, not because they are big scorers.

    I agree with you that Crystal is a big loss, especially shooting and creating shots. I also agree that Griffin is the closest thing we have seen to Dennis Rodman in a UConn uniform. I also do not remember Adrian having that kind of hops and athleticism like his daughter, so she must get it from the mother who I think was the track star.
     
    11 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 14, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  12. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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  13. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    You're right, Khalid. I assumed that all euro’s can stroke it. Bad generalization. I watched her make a few in her highlights, but she thinks her shooting needs the most work. She’s a Nearly 6’0 PG that is really fast and led her league in assists(6+), steals (3.9) and averaged 12ppg and almost 8 rebounds. Another stat stuffer.

    Both her and the athletic Canadian combo forward have international experience, so they likely will be ahead of their grade.

    Megan’s gone, but i think we are the favorite. S.Carolina would be 2 imo with that strong freshman class this year.
     
  14. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    UConn could pick up another 4 or 5 with the scholarship freed by Walker- grad transfer?

    I tend to think South Carolina will be #1 and UConn #2 in the preseason polls. That is a game that will need to be scheduled again next year. South Carolina womanhandled UConn this season and until that game is played again and UConn shows that sand will not be kicked in its face, USC is the presumptive better team. USC is losing their senior point guard, but so is UConn.
     
    14 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 15, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  15. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    Their senior PG, was by far the best player on the court that game.

    Ono owes Boston. Get in the weight room/gym kid.
     
  16. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Boston is a monster of a woman, and it also looked to me like she may carry some extra weight and needs to work on her conditioning. ONO will never be as big as her in this life. However, UConn recruited a freshman from NH who is as big as Boston or bigger, and her job will be to D up on the monsters so that ONO is preserved to play a whole game without foul trouble.
     
  17. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    I think Olivia showed that she’s not afraid to take a 17 footer. If she gets consistent with it, then that could turn into a pump and blow by on a bulky player like Boston. And hopefully a dunk. ;)
     
  18. Huskymaniac

    Huskymaniac Well-Known Member
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    The Walker decision is baffling. On the other hand, something seemed off since her recruitment. She dragged it on and on and then had a circus show reveal. I was convinced she wasn't coming to UConn. And then she had two really mediocre seasons for a #1 ranked recruit. She finally got it this year and now she is gone? Unless there is a family hardship, this makes no sense. It is hard to imagine but we may be better off without her. The men will be MUCH better off without Gilbert and I hope Wilson goes too.
     
  19. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Huskymaniac,

    I agree with your post. Walker’s decision is baffling but she isn’t as big a loss as everyone thinks except on 3 point shooting production. The immediate beneficiary will be Aubrey Griffin who will inherit her starting position. Aubrey will give UConn all the defense and rebounding they got out of Walker and more, but not the 3 point shooting. However I think between Evie Westbrook replacing Dangerfield at point guard and some improvement from Chrystyn Williams who shot only 32% on 3s, plus the dead-eye shooting of Makurat, UConn should be fine shooting 3s and they will be MUCH deeper next year.
     
  20. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    Aubrey will be another Gabby IMO.....she will have a GREAT season.
     
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  21. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    Dom, not the passer that Gabby was, but the rebounding and defensive harassment for sure. Possibly even a notch higher. She’s Dennis Rodmanesque with more scoring ability.

    I agree with Khalid that losing Megan hurts more on paper than it does on the court. CWill will need to be more consistent as a scorer, but the only real loss is Walkers 45% 3pt shooting.
     
  22. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    I am not too concerned about the replacing of Walker's 3 point shooting. I am more interested in what UConn will get out of Nelson Ododa, Gabriel, and the athletic Canadian girl in the 4 and 5 positions. The 3 games UConn lost this past season were all to bigger teams that they couldn't match up with. This is going to have to change. Gabriel has outstanding blood lines and a really big body, but is she ready for major minutes? Same thing with the Canadian girl. Will ONO be stronger and not as invisible as she was in the losses to Baylor and Oregon and USC? These are the key questions for this team. We know that UConn has an amazingly deep core of players at 1-2-3 but it's what's behind Griffin at the 4 and ONO at the 5 that is the key to the team. They need to get something out of the new bigs.
     
  23. Walker15

    Walker15 Member
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    Griffin is a awesome rebounder and defender but her offensive skills were lacking. I think that she needs to work on her ball handling skills and jump shot. I think Olivia will be better because next year
    she'll have better players pushing her for playing time, same with Williams.

    I think these will be UConn starters next season.
    Paige
    Williams
    Westbrook (if she comes back healthy)
    Ono
    Griffin
     
  24. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Walker 15, that lineup is too small, and although Bueckers is a great player, she will need to come off the bench as a freshman, because that's the UConn way. More significantly, how do you keep Marukat on the bench after the way she finished last season? She is/was the best 3 point shooter on the team (now that Walker is gone), and has Larry Bird-like skills. Players like that, who also have size and can rebound, do not sit on the bench. With all due respect, your proposed lineup will be crushed on the boards by South Carolina, Baylor, Maryland, or any bigger team in that top 10 level.

    I agree with your comments on Griffin- her handle is sloppy and she needs to work on her shooting - but her rebounding and defensive skills are so outstanding that she must start. I don't remember seeing anyone who is good at grabbing offensive boards as she is. She is relentless and opponents can't keep her boxed out because she either jumps over people or around them. She keeps moving and does not stay blocked out.
     
    24 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 31, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  25. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    Westbrook......I never looked at her as a PG but I guess Im wrong as every article I read has her as the PG next year. I think its Westbrook, Paige, CW, Griffin and Ono as the 5 that get the most time together.
     
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  26. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    There is no way, barring injury, that Makurat is not in the top 5 in minutes next year. She will be top 2 or 3 in minutes. And yes, Westbrook is a PG and she averaged 15 ppg and 5.3 assists per game in the SEC, not high school. 5.3 assists per game is a big number in women's hoops. She is also a 6 footer and also shot 38% on 3s
     
    26 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 31, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  27. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    I agree that Makurat will start. She’s too valuable as a passer and stretch the defense shooter. She is also a good
    rebounder.

    Geno started to use his bench a little more this year. Next year, he’ll have to. If he has a weakness as a coach, it’s incorporating and getting contributions from his reserves.
     
  28. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    To be fair, Geno has not had a really good bench for a number of years now. When he played the girls he had, they did not show themselves to be worthy of being rotation regulars. Last year, Geno was coaching what was essentially a 6 girl team. Irwin might have been more of a contributor had she not gotten hurt, as we later found out she was playing with a surgical foot injury and I even mentioned on this board that it looked like she could not jump. That's the primary reason why Geno had to insert Makurat into the starting lineup for Irwin. Had Irwin not gotten hurt, things may have been different.

    Geno has not recruited well in the last 4 years in terms of the depth of his classes, up until the incoming class. None of the class of 2021 made it to her senior year. Walker left early and the other 3 transferred. This was a substantial blow to team depth and Geno and his staff knew it. It also hurt them when the very talented 6'6" girl Stevens who they had a few years ago unexpectedly left early for the WNBA. So all these circumstances compromised the depth of the team in recent years.

    I would also note that Camara, who might have been a very good rotation player, had knee operation after knee operation and it reduced her to a shell of a player. She could not play a lot of minutes. Evelyn Adebayo proved to be a disappointment and although she was a solid rebounder, she was not really effective scoring the basketball.

    Next year SHOULD be different, if everyone stays healthy. Assuming they use Walker's scholarship to land a grad transfer big with experience, they will have an extremely deep team and Geno will be able to play a style he has not been able to play in a very long time. This roster is resembling the 2000-2002 teams in terms of the overall depth.
     
  29. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    Khalid, I agree that he didn’t recruit depth for a few years. But he also hasn’t developed it. And his tight rotation, likely forced a few girls to transfer.

    All on Geno. He’s right that the expectations around here are unrealistic. But I don’t want him to act like we are the sisters of the poor either.
     
  30. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    So she was the 9th pick ?...for a supposed #1 player coming out of HS ?.... talk about a big drop........ I agree on both statements...don't think Walker's game would ever translate to making her team better. Wasn't really a leader for Uconn, just a one dimensional scorer.( for 1 year)


     
  31. Dominicfrank

    Dominicfrank Well-Known Member
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    Geno I think missed mostly on SIZE over Depth though both are issues. His depth transferred....it was here but they left. He lacks size in his classes and we lost the past 4 years due to other teams beating us up....not out smarting us.
     
  32. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    Dom, that is more or less true, it was lack of size and lack of depth that enabled UConn to just be a mere top 5 team instead of number 1 consistently the last 4 years. Those issues seem to have been addressed with the next 3 classes. Hopefully the girls do not transfer. Part of the problem is these girls, like Espinoza Hunter who transferred to Miss. State, come in highly touted, don't play all that much, and then begin to think the grass is greener on the other side of the pasture. Espinoza Hunter went to Miss State and although she started for a while, she finished her junior year there playing 13 minutes or so a game off the bench, averaging 4.8 ppg She couldn't really play much D which limited her. And in Vic Schaefer's system you can't start and not play any D. She is not a good athlete, just a 3 point shooter. Stats:

    https://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaw/players/53980/

    But the point is that these girls, many of them, come in as main women players into the Geno system, which subjugates them to being team players FIRST, and role players DEFERRING to upperclassmen, until they show they can play in the system. This is a shock to their systems and constitutions. That is why girls like Kyla Irwin and Molly Bent, even though not really UConn level players, should be lauded because they embraced their roles and even did well with them at times.

    Regarding the WNBA Draft, ESPN had projected Crystal to go at #6 and Megan at #8, so Crystal fell farther than expected. The concerns on her are her size, as she is a shrimp for a WNBA point guard. She is a highly skilled point guard who can score, however.
     
    32 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  33. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    I'll have to blame my nephew next time I see him on the drop....;););)......I'll tell him he didn't work em' hard enough in practice, LOL! .....I might have vaguely mentioned him on the FB board a few years ago, but this was his SR year, so I can't get in trouble saying anything now... He's a sports management major, who was a walk-on practice player for Geno..he was also buddies and worked out with alot of the men's players too.. He ran on Windsor's 4 X 100 meter relay team ( who won the nationals ...Uconn FB transfer/ safety Tyler Coyle was on it too)....so I think that's why Geno liked to use him for his speed and quickness, especially working the girls with pressure D.

    He did play BB for Windsor HS and was speedy, but not close to being the baller that his uncle was....:D...plus he didn't have my height at only about 5' 7" .
    That was saved for his cousin who's around my height at 6-3..... My other nephew at Uconn doesn't play sports but is a math wiz, who was winning math challenges vs. grad students as a FR and is the prez of the math club now ...Talk about life not being fair....But here's a youtube of nephew #1 being guarded by Crystal (opening screen) and then Megan, in Shea Ralph's defense drill. He even blows around Gabby in the 3rd sequence, which is pretty hard to do...

     
    33 the Blades, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  34. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    There is something to be said for all of the male practice players. I remember for a few years, at First Night they would have the women scrimmage the male practice players. Geno would hand pick the players from the intramural leagues, as I recall. Some were very good and almost all of them were former high school players. I remember a very competitive and physical scrimmage one year. The women were winning at first, but at some point the men took the lead. There was a blonde haired male kid who was playing point guard and he really started to go off at one point. Looked like a pretty good player, walk on calibre. Anyway I remember at some point Geno took him aside and told him to calm down. The men played very physical defense on the girls in that scrimmage but it was that blonde haired guard who was supplying most of the offense.

    Anyway thanks for posting that video. I like how Shea Ralph controlled that drill and told both nephew and Crystal what they had to do. Crystal played good D but he shot over her, which is the concern the WNBA teams had on her and the reason why she dropped. Lack of size cannot be coached up.
     
    34 KhalidShockedTheWorld, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  35. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    I hear that....like you and Dom both mentioned and Geno seems to be movin to. I saw Geno at a Uconn function last year and asked him if " he's targeting anymore 6-5 bigs for depth " His comment was " there aren't alot of them around, the taller girls are all playing volleyball now" ...... Well I guess he's lining up whatever height/talent is out there ASAP.. ..When you look at his latest commits for the next few years...between Gabriel (6-5)... DeBerry (6-5)... Brady (6-4) along with Edwards (6-3) & Poffenbarger (6-2)

    ps. I'd have to say DH is in the same mode across the board with more height from his guards to his bigs (only 2 players under 6-4)
     
    35 the Blades, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  36. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    That’s awesome, Blades!

    Who did he think was more worthy of a high pick last night? Megan is a one trick pony imo. I don’t think she’ll be great as a pro. She’s almost Rashad Anderson like. Spot up shooter with decent size, but a limited athlete. She also has a tendency to line drive her jumper and Kawhi Leonard she’s not.

    Hope Crystal is a good fit in Minn. she’ll have Pheesa to pass too again, which helps. If she can continue to get stronger, she has a nice blend of range, quickness and court vision offensively.
     
  37. KhalidShockedTheWorld

    KhalidShockedTheWorld Well-Known Member
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    2 other comments on that video. Did anyone notice how Shea told Megan she had to play off Blades' nephew because he was "quick" and would "go by her ass" (the last of which was beeped out)? And also did anyone notice that when Gabby made Blades' nephew go to his left on the second drive, he hoisted up a really ugly looking brick? Blades next time you pick up game the kid make his ass go left! That's my scouting report to you, free of charge LOL.
     
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  38. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    LOL....True that...Like I said he didn't have the height or the game of his Uncle when I played for Windsor back in the day... but he's way better at 2 things I never worried about much in HS....defense ( a Windsor HS/ Coach Kenny Smith must) and school work...so I'm sure that's a better life plan..especially the 2nd one...But play pick up with the kids ? Maybe... but there's one rule....we only go half court !
     
    38 the Blades, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  39. the Blades

    the Blades Well-Known Member
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    I never tried to put him on the spot with " inside info" ....haven't seen him in a minute ... plus he's already a little politician anyway....( I could tell you stories about those scooters from a few years ago but I won't).... But Megan ? I see it the same way as you...like I mentioned a few posts above..." Wasn't really a leader for Uconn, just a one dimensional scorer " and really good at it for only 1 year.. at that...
     
    39 the Blades, Apr 18, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  40. CaNOLEE

    CaNOLEE Well-Known Member
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    @Blades, I play softball with Peter Cochrane in Norwalk. He was a two or 3 year walk on and won a ship in ‘11. I ask him a ton of shit. He hated when he had to switch on Kemba. He is 6’3, but guarded mostly wings in practice. Usually Lamb. It’s amazing that he’s the best athlete everywhere we go and he was a walk on at UConn. That is how ridiculously good they are. I think he should have been a WR in football.

    Speaking of If you follow UConn football, how is DB Juan Rosario from Stamford? My step daughter dated him a few years ago. Great great kid. I’m trying to recruit him for for wood bat softball team once this craziness is over.
    ;)
     

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