You know it is not a crisp night for UConn offensively when Kelly Faris finds herself continually battling turnovers. She tried and tried and tried to get the ball to Stefanie Dolson in the lane Tuesday against Louisville. More times than not, her pass ended up in the hands of the Cardinals.
Faris had a career-high seven of the Huskies’ 18 turnovers. She had 17 turnovers combined in 425 minutes over the first 15 games this season, leading the nation with a 3.9 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The number of turnovers, including 12 in the first half, did not sit well with UConn coach Geno Auriemma.
“The leading assist-to-turnover ratio player in America had seven,’’ Auriemma said. “You know, it’s good to be tough and it’s good to be determined. It’s not good to be stubborn and hard-headed. Like if that pass ain’t going to work, it ain’t going to work the first time, the second time or the third time. And that’s the one thing that I think makes sometimes winning look a lot more difficult than it is is that you don’t get a quality shot every time down the floor. And when you ask yourself why, and if I were to show it to you on film, you just can’t believe some of the things that (we do).
“And (assistant coach) Shea (Ralph) made a good point … I think some of our players, they are doing what they want to happen instead of what’s actually going on. So you’ve got (Stefanie Dolson) who’s got the ball at the high post going, `I really want to throw this to Kiah (Stokes) and get her a layup. And the fact that there’s four people guarding her, I really don’t (care).’ So we’re trying to work really hard at `Don’t worry about the guy that you’re passing to. Figure out where everybody else is that’s on their team.’ It’s a foreign concept.’’
Tuesday marked the second time in three games that the Huskies have committed at least 18 turnovers. They had 19 at Georgetown Jan. 9 (14 in the first half). And they also committed 15 at Marquette Saturday (10 in the first half).
UConn is averaging 14.0 turnovers overall this season (15.0 vs. ranked teams).
“I worry about it every day,’’ Auriemma said. “I worry about it every day. You should see our practices. I worry about it every day that we get playing quickly, we get ahead of ourselves, we get anxious, whatever you want to call it. And as good as our defense is, it’s a shame to come down the floor and not get a shot. You talk about 18 turnovers (Tuesday). This is the way I explain it to our players. We got 64 shots. So let’s say we cut those turnovers to 10. That means eight other times we didn’t get a shot. So in those eight possessions we make three 3s out of those eight shots, that’s nine more points. That’s a huge difference in the game. And that’s the kind of thing that catches up to you later on if you don’t fix it.’’