Center of Attention
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 00:01
While covering this year’s UConn women’s basketball team I have seen many great performances from a variety of different players. From Kelly Faris to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis there are many key players that deserve a lot of praise. One of the biggest surprises this season has been the exceptional play of junior Stefanie Dolson.
Time and time again UConn head coach Geno Auriemma has said that Dolson has been one of the players on his team that has changed their game dramatically and their performance on the court has benefited from this change.
Currently Dolson is first in the nation in field goal percentage this season at 60.5 percent. The player behind her in this category is Kelsey Bone, who was a member of the 2011 Texas A&M national championship team. Dolson is also fourth on UConn’s all-time field goal percentage list.
Some of Dolson’s other numbers are pretty impressive this year as well. As of Jan. 27, Dolson has averaged 13.4 points a game overall and has averaged 17.7 points a game in Big East play. On Jan. 19 in a home victory over Syracuse, Dolson became the 36th player to join the 1,000 point club after she scored a career high 25 points against the Orange.
Dolson has also been leading the team in rebounds, as she has grabbed 125 boards on the season and has averaged 6.6 rebounds a game. This stat comes as no surprise, as she was also the team’s leading rebounder last season, where Dolson averaged six boards a game.
One of Dolson’s teammates, who has played with her for a few years now is Faris. She has also noticed the improvement in Dolson’s game and said that she is more open on the court and is playing much smarter on the defensive side of the ball.
“I think it’s things she tried to do in the past but just better,” said Faris. “She tried to work really hard in the post and we weren’t always able to get the ball because it wasn’t a clear opening, but now it’s almost every time, it’s more so our fault this year if we don’t get her the ball. She works really hard in the paint and she’s running the floor a lot better which really helps us out.”
While covering the team over the course of the season, I have noticed some of these improvements as well. Dolson has become more of a mobile center and has the ability to charge up and down the court better this year than in years past. Dolson’s presence on the court is very hard to match by the other centers on this team. The key for Dolson will be to stay out of foul trouble so she can reach her full potential on the court.
As the Huskies press on to finish their ten remaining games of the regular season, don’t be shocked to see Dolson’s name at the top of the stat sheet at the end of the night. Her improved game and natural talents are deadly combination for UConn’s remaining opponents, which includes a rematch with No. 2 Notre Dame on March 4. At the end of this season, this UConn team will be on a quest to capture their eighth national championship, for that to happen the Huskies will look to their center to help them get to New Orleans.
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