It is not an easy task for a freshman to get acclimated to playing for the top-ranked Huskies. It takes time to learn the offensive schemes. It takes time for nervousness to subside.
But Saniya Chong believes that she is in a good spot heading into the season opener. After battling nerves against Gannon in the exhibition opener last Friday, she looked much more comfortable in generating 13 points (4-of-8 FG), four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes against Philadelphia Tuesday.
“I think I’ve come a long way, actually, since summer,’’ Chong said. “Summer I wasn’t really familiar with everything. It was a little slow for me. But I think once I got the hang of it after maybe say our fourth practice … I thought today was a really good practice. Moving around, getting that better feel with the team and just everything. I think it’s been really good.’’
Chong said that she was initially thinking too much in practice offensively, knowing where to go and when to go and anticipating the next move of her teammates. Today, she said she found herself simply taking what the defense was giving her.
“Every day in practice she’s looked a little more comfortable,’’ Auriemma said. “She had one of the best days she’s had since she’s been here this week in practice. So little by little … She has great basketball instincts. She kind of sees things and does things that you don’t have to be told all the time. She throws passes that only somebody that’s paying attention can throw. And she goes to the basket … when she goes to the basket she makes layups. She’s not your typical women’s basketball player. She makes layups.’’