UConn Is No Stranger To Women’s Basketball Success

By Richard Kent
Updated: March 19, 2007

HARTFORD, Ct. — They own five National Championships, eight Final Four appearances and 28 Big East titles. This season though may been the best coaching job by head coach Geno Auriemma.

The UConn Lady Huskies finished the regular season at 29-3 and 16-0 in the Big East. They recently swept past University of Maryland-Baltimore Country 82-33 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Hartford.

They did lose a 55-47 heartbreaker at the Civic Center to Rutgers and hence did not take home the Big East Tournament title but that was probably the only disappointment for Auriemma and his young team comprised of no seniors.

UConn really didn’t have a superstar as in past seasons with the likes of Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Shea Ralph but a number of high school stars who came together as a team.

What they lacked in 2005-06 was a team leader; a vocal and emotional player who would lead the team to greater heights. Charde Houston from San Diego, California has emerged as that player.

She had a very disappointing NCAA Tournament in 2006 and actually went scoreless against Duke in the Elite Eight loss that sent Duke to the Final Four and UConn home.

At the time, Coach Auriemma challenged her and indicated that maybe she should consider transferring.

Houston did give that some thought over the summer but decided that she needed to prove herself to Auriemma, the people of the State of Connecticut and more importantly to herself.

And Houston did just that and more.

The California native is currently a finalist for the Naismith Award, earned second-team All Big East honors and was on the Big East All Tournament Team.

She posted double figure points in 22 games this season including six double-doubles. She ranked fifth in the Big East and 26th among the nations leaders with a .546 field goal percentage and had a Big East career high 23 points against Pittsburgh earlier in the season.

We project UConn to be a Final Four team in the Region coming out of Fresno and with Houston at the helm could challenge Duke for the National Championship in Cleveland.