It didn't take long before Paige Bueckers' talent captured the attention of some of basketball's finest. The latest star to shower the Connecticut freshman with accolades is former Huskie phenom Diana Taurasi.
"She's the best player in basketball already," Taurasi told UConn coach Geno Auriemma after the first game she watched her play.
"For the simple fact is, she can pass. She makes really hard passes look easy and she makes really easy passes look easy," Taurasi said. "And that alone sets her apart from every other player in college."
The guard has stacked her first-year résumé with honors including 2021 First Team All-American, Big East Player of the Year, Big East Freshman of the Year, to name a few, and set a school record for most points in a tournament debut with 24 points against High Point in the opening round of the women's NCAA Tournament.
"Oh, freshman Paige has got way more confidence than I did," Taurasi shared in an interview with Togethxr, a lifestyle and sports venture founded by sports stars Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel and Sue Bird. "Paige, the level she's playing at right now as a freshmen, I mean, it's incredible. You don't play that efficiently and with that much confidence as a rookie, as a freshmen, at Connecticut."
“[Paige Bueckers] is the best player in basketball already.”@DianaTaurasi sat down exclusively with @togethxr. (👀@paigebueckers1) pic.twitter.com/1NgJ8erCYb
Taurasi played for the Huskies from 2000-04, where she captured the AP college player of the year award for the 2002-03 season, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament twice and won three national titles under Auriemma.
Through 26 games this season, including two NCAA Tournament games, Bueckers is averaging 19.9 points, 6.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals.
The No. 1-seeded Huskies (26-1) will take on No. 5 seed Iowa (20-9) on Saturday in the Sweet 16.
Contact Analis Bailey at [email protected] or on Twitter @analisbailey.
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