With the top-ranked Huskies speeding toward the month of February, Coach Geno Auriemma is busy compiling a list of things that need to be fine-tuned and players that need to improve.
Auriemma said, in particular, that he wants to see more production from junior Brianna Banks and freshman Saniya Chong off the bench. And he wants to see it soon.
Chong, who did not play against South Florida Jan. 26 due to illness, has scored a total of five points (2-of-4 FG) in 53 minutes over the last four games that she has played. She had been averaging 6.6 points in 20.8 minutes through her first 17 games, reaching double figures three times.
Banks, who also did not play against South Florida (ankle), has scored a total of eight points (3-of-5 FG) in 21 minutes over her last four games. She had been averaging 5.5 points in 19.8 minutes through her first 17 games, reaching double figures three times.
“I don’t think Saniya’s gotten a lot better, which I had hoped she would,’’ Auriemma said. “I think she’s kind of plateaued a little bit and that’s kind of natural. That happens. I don’t think Brianna Banks has gotten better. I think she’s going to have to take a major step forward, her and Saniya. We need both of them to get good and to get good fast.
“And I think for the month of February one of the things that we have to do is make sure those two are contributors every night.’’
Chong registered one assist, one turnover and two steals in 17 scoreless minutes (0-of-0 FG) at Temple Tuesday. Still, Auriemma praised her for her play, especially in the second half.
“It just goes to show you how bad she’s been playing that I was happy with the way she played,’’ Auriemma said. “She didn’t take a shot. She didn’t score. But she looked like she was involved. She looked a little bit more involved. And for somebody who’s as good offensively as she is she gets overwhelmed by how hard you have to go every day and how hard you’ve got to play every game.’’