Previewing The American: University of Connecticut

USA TODAY Sports

The AAC previews wrap up with a look at the preseason poll leader and last year's national champiosn: The UCONN Huskies

The University of Connecticut is the preseason favorite to go all the way [again] which means it's going to be tough sledding for any of the new AAC teams to reach their postseason goal. The Huskies graduated three seniors from last year's title team but return much of their core including standout freshman (now sophomore) Breanna Stewart.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis put up insane numbers in her sophomore year and the Huskies bring back two seniors to compliment their five upperclassmen. The Huskies this year will be a lot like the Huskies every year: They recruit the best talent, they have (arguably) the best coach in women's college basketball and they sell their product better than any program in the country. UCONN in its current iteration is the measuring stick in women's college basketball and this season we'll see if anyone else in the conference can measure up.

2012-13 Record: 35-4 (14-2 Conference)

2012-13 Conference: Big East

2013-14 Season Opener: 11/09 vs. Hartford

Who's back:

  • Brianna Banks: The junior was enjoying a solid season before she tore her right ACL in February. Banks averaged seven points a game and 47 percent shooting from the field and will be available for the start of the season.
  • Stefanie Dolson: As a junior Dolson averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game while shooting nearly 60 percent form the field. The center was picked to the AP All-American third team and began to develop a 3-point shot last season (8-19 from the field). If she can add that to her arsenal... well, look out.
  • Bria Hartley: She took a step back stat-wise in her junior season and will likely be looking to rebound from it this year. Harley slipped from 14 points a game to nine points a game from her sophomore to junior season and her shooting percentage dropped from 46 to 39 percent.
  • Moriah Jefferson: Was named to the Big East All-Rookie team last year after playing in 39 games for the Huskies last season. Jefferson averaged four points and a rebound a game while shooting 42 percent from the field.
  • Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis: To say Mosqueda-Lewis shot well in her sophomore season would be an understatement. The forward shot 52 percent from the field and 49(!) percent from 3-point range. These numbers aren't trumped up by a small sample size either -- she shot 458 times last season and 240 of them were 3-pointers. That's a true shooting percentage of 68. Sweet Jesus.
  • Breanna Stewart: Had a standout rookie season for the Huskies as she started 14 games and averaged 13.8 points and six rebounds a game. She became just the fourth freshman to receive the Most Outstanding Player award for the Final Four.
  • Kiah Stokes: Averaged just 10 minutes a game in her sophomore season. The center averaged a two points and three rebounds while shooting 66 percent (!) from the field.
  • Morgan Tuck: The sophomore came off the bench in 33 of her 35 games and averaged 15 minutes of time on the court. Tuck shot 45 percent to average six points and three rebounds in her freshman season.

Who's new:

  • Briana Pulido: Joins the team as a sophomore because she lettered for UCONN cross country, track and field and volleyball last year.
  • Saniya Chong: She is the 19th ranked guard in the country by ESPN and the 75th overall.
  • Tierney Lawlor: The 5-7 guard is the daughter of former UCONN football player John Lawlor.
Full Roster:

13 Brianna Banks 5-9 Guard JR Newnan, Ga.
12 Saniya Chong 5-8 Guard FR Ossining, N.Y.
31 Stefanie Dolson 6-5 Center SR Port Jervis, N.Y.
14 Bria Hartley 5-8 Guard SR North Babylon, N.Y.
4 Moriah Jefferson 5-7 Guard SO Glenn Heights, Texas
20 Tierney Lawlor 5-7 Guard FR Ansonia, Conn.
23 Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis 6-0 Forward JR Anaheim Hills, Calif.
11 Briana Pulido 5-7 Guard SO Miami, Florida
30 Breanna Stewart 6-4 Forward SO Syracuse, N.Y.
41 Kiah Stokes 6-3 Center JR Marion, Iowa
3 Morgan Tuck 6-2 Forward SO Bolingbrook, Ill.
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