Stewart Named AAC Player Of The Week

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Fresh off a 24-point, 10-rebound effort in Sunday’s win over No. 4 Louisville, Breanna Stewart has been named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week. She averaged 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 blocks in two wins last week.

Stewart was a combined 17-of-34 from the field (5-of-10 3-pointers).

Louisville coach Jeff Walz said Sunday that is more difficult to defend Stewart than it was to defend Maya Moore or Brittney Griner.

“It’s harder because Stewart’s 6-foot-4 and can play inside out,’’ Walz said. “As talented as Maya is, and she’s fantastic, she’s one of the best in the world, it’s a different situation. She posted up some but not a bunch. Where if you put a small guard on Stewart, she’s going to go down and post. Griner’s a situation where if she popped out to the 3-point line you wouldn’t want to defend her out there. Your whole goal is to try and make it tough for her in the post. And Stewart’s just got that all-around game.’’

Rich

Categories: General

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15 Responses

  1. Ray James says:

    Dr. Joe:

    “Don’t judge a book by its cover”: That’s my point, although I would have avoided the cliché.

    Right now, my 2014 first-team All America is UCONN’s Breanna Stewart (also player of year), Baylor’s Odyssey Sims, Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, and Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride. UCONN’s Bria Hartley and Stephanie Dolson will wind up on the second team or third team. Also, Moriah Jefferson should appear at least on the third team. That would mean four UCONN players have placed on first, second, and third teams All America.

    It will be very interesting to see which college players, if any, Geno Auriemma picks for his USA Basketball team that would ultimately compete in the next Summer Olympics. He invited six college players to try out in Las Vegas for the pool, including four players from his current UCONN team. My hunch is that Geno will select only one current collegian. Of that six, I would guess that it will come down to Breanna Stewart or Odyssey Sims. I’d give the edge to Stewart because of her considerable USA Basketball experience and two USA Basketball Player of the Year awards. She’s also more versatile than Sims. Who knows? Breanna may actually get the chance to play facing the basket in the Olympics.

  2. Dr Joe says:

    Ray James, thirteen responses on this subject cannot be left to stand(yes, I am superstitious). I repeat that I do not believe Rebecca Lobo meant any disrespect or insult. She could have said Breanna Stewart appears awkward with her body habitus including long arms and pigeon toes but is very effective as a basketball player. That would have been more politically correct and maybe people as yourself would not have been offended. Remember all of us: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

  3. Ray James says:

    My final remark on this subject of appearance: Is there anyone out there who would regard “goofy-looking,” directed at them, as a compliment? Would you call the late writer Lucy Grealy “goofy-looking”? Or an Iraq combat vet with a leg blown off by an IED “goofy-looking”? Calling a basketball player a “beast” is not remotely comparable to calling that same player “goofy-looking.”

    Remember the insults swirling around the appearance of Baylor’s Britney Griner, the most vicious of which speculated she was not a woman but a man? She was a “beast” (read: tough) as a basketball player at Baylor. She in no way would have deserved to be called “goofy-looking” (read: unattractive) back then–or after she declared her sexual orientation before starting her rookie season in the WNBA.

    An insult by any other name or rationalization would still stink. It’s gratuitous, hurtful, unprofessional, stupid, and–dare I say it?–”goofy.”

  4. Ray James says:

    Breanna Stewart was the stealth assassin for UCONN in last year’s NCAA tournament. I predict Moriah Jefferson will be the stealth assassin for UCONN in this year’s tournament. I’ve never seen a point guard in women’s college basketball with her combined speed and indefatigability. She’s the Eveready bunny of women’s college hoops. Perhaps even more so than Stewie, if Moriah gets hurt, UCONN’s chances of winning it all plummet. Only Sue Bird eclipses Moriah, and I wouldn’t put it past her to overtake Sue as the prototypical point guard at UCONN–especially if Moriah can make good on Stewie’s goal of winning four straight NCAA championships at UCONN. Now THAT is a legacy no one can eclipse, only match.

  5. Ray James says:

    Again, my point was that UCONN in the AAC is not facing the same overall tough level of competition as Notre Dame is in the ACC. Recall that UCONN, still in the then tough Big East conference, suffered some character-building losses before winning it all in the NCAA final of 2013. (Without Breanna Stewart fully blossoming for all to see, that might not have happened.) What would you rather have: a record that includes some losses leading to a NCAA championship, or an unblemished record ending in a NCAA tournament loss? Notre Dame may lose a game before the NCAA tournament; UCONN may not. Louisville in an upcoming away game and Louisville in the AAC tournament pose the greatest threat to UCONN before the NCAA tournament begins. After that, who knows? I still like Notre Dame’s chances against UCONN in the NCAA tournament–if the two ever meet there this year.

  6. Dr Joe says:

    Ray James please read Willie E Goldsmith and Jack Mail closely. Notre Dame big? Last I saw they start one girl over six feet one and have a six three freshman sub. They are quick, can shoot and defend but they have NO ONE who can defend Stuart-do you remember the final four last year? Also, they have not been tested by a U Conn type defense in a big
    game so lets see what happens as things progress.

    You are right about Moriah Jefferson, I must admit. This girl is a rising star and a tremendous defensive player who will impact the NCAA tournament.

  7. jack mail says:

    to Ray James:

    UCONN women have beaten more ranked opponents than Notre Dame this year.

    The ones that Notre Dame met they did not beat convincingly like UCONN did.

    We have more offensive weapons and play better defense.

    We will beat Notre Dame if we meet in the tournament.

  8. Ray James says:

    By the way, I love UCONN women’s basketball, and I admire Geno and Chris as coaches. But the AAC offers fairly weak competition (apart from Louisville and, traditionally, Rutgers), especially in comparison with the ACC, where Notre Dame now plays and where Louisville will play next year. (Rutgers heads to the Big Ten next year, with or without Stringer as head coach.) Notre Dame has had the tougher path than UCONN to perfection (no losses) so far, and that tougher level of competition will serve them well in the NCAA tournament, where I predict Notre Dame will beat UCONN if they happen to meet. Notre Dame is big, strong, quick, team-oriented, can defend, can shoot, is well coached, and is well tested. If that sounds a lot like UCONN, it is–except for the “well tested” part. It’s a pity that UCONN was left out in the Big East cold when the conference’s top teams realigned themselves into other conferences. Only its intense practices can prepare UCONN to take on the elite in which they currently lead. Injuries, of course, are another problem for UCONN. That said, my first-team All-American picks will be headed by Breanna Stewart and may also include either Dolson or Hartley but not both. Moriah Jefferson is the best point guard in women’s college basketball today, so she deserves to finish on the third-team All American list at least. If Breanna is allowed to face the basket more, and if she and Moriah, who apparently are friends, can work a bit more on their already solid court communication and tandem play, watch out! “Goofy-looking” (a Lobo-ism) and “cat-quick” together will kick butt.

  9. Ray James says:

    My point is this: Breanna Stewart is 6’4″, and for many Division I women’s basketball coaches, that means she will almost always wind up playing her back to the basket and/or low in the frontcourt. Her metier is facing, not backing, to the basket. She’s working on that baby hook, but it’s not there yet. When she faces up, she’s a lethal shooter.

    As far as championships go, I don’t relegate great athletes into “winner” and “loser” categories. Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Chris Mullin were great pro players who never won a pro title. So what? And if Michael Jordan didn’t hit that soft jumper in the NCAA title game against Georgetown, he would never have been a NCAA champion either. If he didn’t, would you say Jordan was a “loser”? Recall that one of the greatest men’s college basketball teams ever, North Carolina with Jordan in his last year as a collegian, never made it to the NCAA Final Four. Was that team full of “losers”?

  10. Willie E.Goldsmith says:

    I equate Rebecca comment (goofy)to commentators using the following:Beast in reference to being Dominant(male or female),Man to Man in the Women game.In reference to the Delle Donne/Wilson comment about determining their own Legacy.How many Championships did Delle Donne win?How many will Wilson win?Basketball is a Team game.Is Stewart establishing a Legacy?What about Tina,Maya,Taurasi,Bird and Lobo?Winners associate with Winners and Losers associate with Losers.We will find out where Wilson stands when she commit.
    Skylar established a Legacy and left frustrated (no Championship).Winners go to College to win Championships and their Legacy will automatically be enhanced.Remember:Taurasi and Maya went to UConn and were also “Rookie of the Year”.Parker played for Tenn. and became Rookie of the Year and MVP.
    In response to Coach Geno not knowing how to coach Stewart.Are we to assume you have coached Elite athletes and Won numerous Championships?Just curious.

  11. Ray James says:

    Right on, Jeff!

  12. Ray James says:

    I suppose my turnabout dig for Lobo was not cool, but I was trying to make a point. Calling a player “goofy-looking” on TV invites a host of look-in-the-mirror challenges. Jeff Davidson (below) is absolutely right. I think Lobo owes Stewart an apology–on the air.

    Breanna Stewart does not remind me of Kevin McHale, because Stewart’s three-point shot is far better than his was (if he had any). She reminds me more of “pigeon-toed” Bill Walton because, like him, she has a complete game: scoring, rebounding, shot-blocking, steals, assists, and court vision. In peak health, Walton was the best basketball player I ever saw.

    A new joke has emerged: Who is the only person to hold Breanna Stewart under 40 points? Geno Auriemma (in the Temple game). It’s a clear echo of an older joke: “Who is the only person to hold Michael Jordan under 20 points a game? Dean Smith.”

    Breanna Stewart, by the way, is being played out of her best position. She should be a point forward, or a mobile “3,” facing the basket, which gains her time to form her shot, which would be deadlier. Geno has no idea that Breanna, as a 6’4″ point forward, could have an impact similar to that of 6’9″ point guard Magic Johnson at MSU but without his handle in bringing the ball up the court. For some reason, Geno continues to diss Stewart, which gives every other women’s college coach hope that she will transfer to their school after this year.

    Remember Elena Della Donne? She left UCONN, dazzled at Delaware, and became WNBA rookie of the year. It CAN be done, as Donne discovered. And I predict Aja Wilson will NOT sign with UCONN. Her father gave Aja some sound advice: “Do you want to be part of their legacy, or do you want to go somewhere to create a legacy of your own?”

  13. Rebecca Lobo crossed the line with her highly opinionated commentary about Breanna Stewart’s appearance. I wish they both played in the same era: Stewart would have the stiff, mechanical Lobo for lunch and show us who is really goofy looking.

    Would Lobo attempt such crappy commentary about a BLACK player? We all know the answer.

  14. Dr Joe says:

    Hey Ray, mocking Rebecca Lobo is not the way to go! Her characterization of Breanna Stewart as “goofy-looking” is how she sees her physical appearance on the court and I agree is not very flattering, especially on national television. Ms Stewart when in the paint reminds me of the female version of Kevin McHale, but is more versatile with her outside game. I doubt Lobo meant any disrespect or had any intentions to insult such an accomplished player. She should have chosen her words more carefully.

  15. Ray James says:

    Why did former UCONN basketball star Rebecca Lobo have to say on the air during the Louisville game telecast that Breanna Stewart is “goofy-looking” with “long arms and pigeon toes”? Lobo repeated that comment, and I took it to mean that Breanna is somehow ugly. Well, she’s not. But the question of looks shouldn’t enter ANY on-air conversation about an athlete. Remember when Don Imus referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team with a racially derogatory remark about their hair? Lay off another player’s physical appearance, okay, Lobo? I mean, have you looked at those set of horse choppers you call teeth lately? See what I mean? Such comments are hurtful and gratuitous. Enough! Besides, Breanna is cute–and the best women’s player in college basketball by far.