USF AT NO. 3 UCONN
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Gampel Pavilion, Storrs
Records: USF (10-6, 1-1); UConn (13-1, 2-0)
Radio: UConn/IMG Sports Network — 97.9 ESPN-Hartford, WINE 940 AM-Brookfield, WGCH 1490 AM-Greenwich, WICC 600 AM-Bridgeport, WAVZ 1300 AM-New Haven, WXLM 980 AM-New London, WATR 1320 AM-Waterbury, WILI 1400 AMWillimantic
KEEP AN EYE ON
1 Katie Lou 2k: Sunday could be a milestone day for senior Katie Lou Samuelson, who is just 13 points away from 2,000 for her career. She’d be the 10th Husky to achieve that feat, joining Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, Tina Charles, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Nykesha Sales, Kerry Bascom, Diana Taurasi, Kara Wolters and Rebecca Lobo.
While it speaks to her consistency and longevity, it’s not an accomplishment Samuelson expects to celebrate — at least not yet.
“It’s definitely amazing to be in company that’s done it, but right now, no (it doesn’t mean anything),” she said Friday following practice at Gampel Pavilion. “It’s just another game and it’s me trying to get better every single game and doing what I can to help the team. People put a lot of emphasis on scoring and stuff, but … if for some reason I never got 2,000 from here on out, it still wouldn’t be anything wrong with that as long as I know I’m contributing in any way I can.”
The 6-foot-3 guard is having perhaps her most complete season, averaging 19.6 points, a career-best 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
“It’s something you want to look at and model,” forward Megan Walker said. “She can shoot the ball and score any way on the court, really. I feel like playing with her, you know her open spots, you know her tendencies, you’re just trying to help her out at the same time.”
1 Growth from Walker: Walker has answered her coach’s call to be more aggressive by posting back-to-back strong performances. Wednesday against Cincinnati, Walker had eight points, eight rebounds and three assists in just 25 minutes.
“This may have been one of Megan Walker’s best games since she’s been at Connecticut,” Geno Auriemma said following the Huskies’ 82-38 win. “If we can continue to get that every game, I think we’re going to be on our way.”
Like last year, consistency has been elusive for the former No. 1 overall recruit. Though Walker’s production has increased as a sophomore — she’s averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, up from 5.8 and 3.3 last season — she’s yet to conquer the learning curve.
“With Meg, it’s a process of learning how to play 30 minutes when you’re not necessarily the best player on the floor, and how do you fit into all that,” Auriemma said. “That takes time.”
Added Walker: “I feel more confident, it’s just a matter of knocking down shots.”
1 Still unbeaten: UConn is 26-0 all-time against USF, including 14-0 in AAC play. The Huskies have beaten the Bulls in the last four conference championship games.