Thankful to be back for the UConn women’s basketball opening, Paige Bueckers said, “Just like old times.”

Thankful to be back for the UConn women's basketball opening, Paige Bueckers said, "Just like old times." Connecticut – The UConn women’s basketball team defeated Dayton 102-58 in the XL Center on Wednesday night, and Paige Bueckers played like any player trying to establish herself. She basically forced her way back into college basketball and dealt with the unpredictable nature of the game.
  • On both of the Bueckers’ legs, sleeves securely fastened knee pads. Her ginger, jammed thumb was supported by tape. Coach Geno Auriemma verbally abused her. An official and she had a long, heated conversation. She made the necessary turn back toward all the mess that she had previously cleaned up so expertly-even with ease.
  • After recording eight points, seven rebounds, and four assists on three of nine shots, Bueckers remarked, “I’m still learning how to give myself grace.” I won’t be so naive as to believe that everything will go according to plan and that I’ll always be Paige-the same Paige who always plays flawlessly. Regaining my lungs, my rhythm, and my flow after a serious injury is a process.
  • The first official game for the Bueckers in 19 months was held on Wednesday. Her most recent appearance was in UConn’s 2022 national title game defeat at the hands of South Carolina. She missed the entire 2022–2023 season due to a torn ACL she had suffered in August that year.
  • It’s easy to forget, even for a brief while, that basketball isn’t always as beautiful or straightforward as the highlight reels that have become ingrained in our memories because of this and another knee injury that prevented or severely limited Bueckers from playing for the majority of 2021–2022.
  • But, the moments that stick in our memories are the ones where Bueckers dominated an incredible 2022 Elite Eight overtime victory over NC State, as well as the winning shots against South Carolina and Tennessee as a freshman, helping her to sweep national player of the year honors in 2021. those elegant pull-up jumpers. The look-ahead is given. She had a cunning playfulness, as though she knew something that others did not.
  • All the same, Bueckers is working on a difficult job. It’s not like she’s starting over. Though she has a laid-back appreciation for returning, she is yet worried. It’s not necessary to score 25 points or dish out 15 assists in order to feel normal once more. It’s like going back into the arena, both physically and figuratively, and just assessing her position once more. I completed that on Wednesday.
Thankful to be back for the UConn women's basketball opening, Paige Bueckers said, "Just like old times." Women’s collegiate basketball action takes place at the XL Center Arena in Hartford, Connecticut on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Paige Buecker (5) of UConn tries a shot as Riley Rismiller (30) of Dayton defends.
  • Because she is so far ahead of herself, coach Geno Auriemma stated, “there’s a certain amount of leadership that we need from her.” “She desires a complete return of every possession, including the entire year.” She was really trying, as you could see in the first half.
  • One day Auriemma sat Bueckers down on the bench and gave her a hard time. This was previously experienced. Again, it will occur. The coach-player relationship is not always nice or lighthearted, especially in close relationships like this one. Their Wednesday disagreement was a result of Auriemma and Bueckers coming to an agreement.
  • “My goal is to make her happy, because she mentioned that she enjoys it when I yell at her,” Auriemma stated. I’m an appeaser. We constantly harped on her to take more shots, attack the hoop more, and create more, as if she wasn’t doing those things already. Being bigger and stronger has given her a lot of confidence. She often puts herself in situations where she can experience what it’s like to get struck. After you stop playing, the game doesn’t suddenly disappear from your life. Not that it always returns that quickly, either. It was the first game, so she was exactly what I expected her to be.
  • The Beavers will be even stronger on Sunday against NC State, according to Auriemma, and even more so on Thursday when they play Maryland at Gampel Pavilion. Then, on November 19, UConn plays at Minnesota, where senior Bueckers will make his homecoming. On December 3, UConn travels to Texas to play at Texas, followed by games against UCLA and Kansas in Guam.
  • That is a star player’s reintroduction and the disorienting beginning of a season.
  • Wednesday evening, Bueckers performed for more than 20 minutes. During her one and only season without missing a game, she averaged 36.2 as a freshman in 2020–21.
  • According to Auriemma, “there are two restrictions: mine and a medical minute restriction.” Furthermore, she won’t enjoy mine.
  • Smirking, Auriemma was. Time will increase the number of Bueckers’ minutes.
  • She wants to go everywhere and do everything, he remarked, and she is so ready to play.
  • Currently, he has an obligation to moderate her speed. Furthermore, Bueckers need not play the same position as she did when she was 19 years old. Her average of 20 points a game three years ago didn’t even need to be met by her to be the Huskies’ top scorer this season.
  • With 23 points on 10 of 12 shots on Wednesday, Aaliyah Edwards proved to be a formidable presence in the paint. Azzi Fudd, who may be the player most likely to score thirty on any given night, had thirteen but only shot four for twelve.
  • The squad from this year is stronger than the 2020–21 squad, which fell to Arizona in the national semifinal of the Final Four and would take the top spot in the rankings if it wins on Sunday. By, say, New Year’s, when the season rolls around, it’s unclear who UConn’s top scorer is or should be.
  • “As long as we win, Paige is happy.” Auriemma stated. “She could score 10 points and have 10 assists every night.” The situation is intriguing. Looking at myself makes me anxious. ..  She needed to do a lot of things because winning national player of the year doesn’t come easy. She did as well. We were able to advance to the Final Four because of her winning those prizes. She needs not do as much now. She desires to accomplish more, though, concurrently. When it came to Wednesday, I kind of left it up to her—I asked when she wanted to shoot and when she wanted to pass—calling just enough plays to keep her satisfied. She’ll score if that’s her goal. If not, she won’t do so.
  • It simply made Bueckers feel like they belonged again to be screamed at. That was what happened to me when I got ripped in front of the squad during a recent filming session.
  • It feels so much like the old days. states Bueckers. Whatever the situation may be, I’m just happy to be back in action. I would have done everything to go out there and get screamed at last year when I was sitting on the bench. I now see things from a different angle. Coach correcting me, and me learning from it, is actually much like the good old days. It feels good to play basketball again even after a poor performance.