Chong Looking To Shed Her Tentativeness Offensively

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There was a stretch earlier this season when the Huskies needed freshman Saniya Chong to step up and make an impact. And she did.

Chong averaged 8.1 points in 23.8 minutes during an eight-game run when Morgan Tuck and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis were sidelined due to injury. She scored a season-high 16 points (5-of-8 FG; 3-of-6 3-pointers) in 27 minutes at Penn State Nov. 17.

With only five games remaining in the regular season, the Huskies would like to see Chong regain her aggressiveness offensively. This has not been problem in practice. But in games lately she has been tentative.

“She’s practiced well,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She’s looked really good. She’s not going to look like Bria Hartley or Moriah Jefferson at this point. But she looked really good for that whole week that we had off. It’s just she’s got to get over this mental block that she’s developed a little bit about being tentative. And little by little I think she’s going to get over that. I know she has confidence in herself. I know she knows she’s a good player. I know she know she’s a good offensive player. And I want her to just trust her instincts and go play. That’s what I like about her and we’re going to try to get her back to that point sooner rather than later.’’

Chong has gone scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time this season. She was 0-for-3 from the field (0-of-2 3-pointers) in a career-high 37 minutes in her first start at South Florida Sunday. She was 0-of-2 – both 3-pointers – in 15 minutes against Louisville Feb. 9.

Overall, Chong has scored more than three points and attempted more than three field goals in just six of the last 15 games. She has been scoreless in five games during this span.

“It’s just all a mindset of me just trying not to make mistakes,’’ Chong said. “Just being unsure a lot of times. But that’s what the whole thing is I have to get out of my head. Stop thinking that way and just be very aggressive and just give it my all.’’

Rich

Categories: General

3 Responses

  1. Sweet Lou says:

    I’ve seen Chong play many times in HS. She has plenty of foot speed. Her problem is she is a freshman and is deferring too much to the older players. I would like to see her be more aggressive with the ball. Her handle and cross over dribble in particular are incredible. You will see it soon enough. Lets face it. Its not easy being the lone freshman on a team of All Americans, even though she is one herself. I think she looks very poised out there. She will explode eventually.

  2. Dr Joe says:

    I hope Brianna Banks is able to go soon and replace Chong in the lineup while Mosqueda-Lewis is recovering. To say Chong is tentative is an understatement. I attended the USF game on Sunday and she looked scared the whole time on the floor, and couldn’t get rid of the ball fast enough. She did not score despite playing almost the whole game. Her Freshman status and inexperience was very evident. At this stage she is not,in my opinion,a legitimate starter. We need Banks healthy and to fill this void.

  3. Mike McManus says:

    I was really puzzled watching Chong in the last game..even the two open shots that she took were not even close. Possibly she’s focusing on her defense because as Geno said recently, if they don’t play good defense, they don’t play. Chong doesn’t seem to have the ‘foot speed’ of Jefferson and Hartley, but she seems to be playing solid D. She was such a prolific scorer in H.S so I hope she starts becoming more of an offensive threat because the Huskies will need her in the stretch run.

    I appreciate your Blogs of interest on individual players Rich. You’re the only one among the press who provides this insight to your readers. As far as UCONN’s chances of getting Samuelson or Wilson, I’ll be shocked if they get either one. South Carolina is a program on the rise, and Wilson will be the player that puts them over the top.