February 26, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Feb. 26, 2022: I’m back, and so is Paige Bueckers

Maddy Siegrist is making history, and Utah looks to do the same

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 109 of college basketball is here, following my recovery from a rough bout with a head cold. The Powers That Be thought they could keep me down; yet, like the phoenix, I rise, undeterred. We resume our usual coverage with Maryland just barely staying alive in the Big Ten title race, Paige Bueckers’ excruciatingly long-awaited return and Maddy Siegrist being darn incredible yet again.

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W Roundup

Free agency

Here’s everything you missed:

  • Maya Caldwell: Signed a training-camp deal with Atlanta, per Brandon Sudge of The Lady Bulldogs Report and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Kathleen Doyle: Signed a training-camp deal with Chicago, per Rachel Galligan.
  • Tina Krajišnik: Signed a training-camp deal with Chicago, per Galligan. (Our Antonio Losada covered Krajišnik’s MVP-caliber play in the EuroLeague.)
  • Lauren Manis: Signed a training-camp deal with Seattle.
  • Stephanie Mavunga: Signed a training-camp deal with Washington.

Visit our offseason trackers page to see all the other free agent moves and how they affect teams’ caps, other front-office changes and more in neat, colorful fashion!

Watch List, Saturday, Feb. 26

(All times in Eastern)

Must-watch

None

Good games

Rhode Island @ Dayton, 2 p.m., ESPN+

#25 Oregon @ Utah, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network — our Matthew Walter covered the history that Utah is hoping to make this weekend

Also watchable

Kansas State @ #20 Oklahoma, 5 p.m., Bally Sports Oklahoma — remember the last time these two played?

Friday, Feb. 25 recap

#7 UConn: 93-38 win over St. John’s. Won the first and third quarters by a combined 57-17. Shot 63.5% from the field and 47.6% from three, while allowing 26.4% and 20.8%, respectively; out-rebounded the Red Storm by 18; notched 13 steals, part of 19 forced turnovers; had 11 blocks; only drew five fouls.

Combo guard Azzi Fudd led with 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 from three, three rebounds and no turnovers — the unanimous No. 1 recruit now has per-40-minutes averages of 19.7 points on 50.7% shooting and 47.6% from three, 4.4 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and only 1.4 each of turnovers and fouls; big Aaliyah Edwards had 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting, seven rebounds and two assists against two turnovers; center Olivia Nelson-Ododa notched 13 points on 5-for-6 FG (1-1 3pt.), four rebounds, four assists and three blocks without a turnover; combo guard Christyn Williams tallied 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting (2-3 3pt.), four rebounds and two blocks against two turnovers; off-ball guard Caroline Ducharme scored 13 points off the bench on 6-for-13 shooting from the field and 1-for-5 from three with two assists and no turnovers; backup wing Evina Westbrook didn’t attempt a shot but finished with seven rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two turnovers; point guard Paige Bueckers played for the first time since Dec. 5 and had eight points on 4-for-5 FG without a turnover in 13 minutes.

#10 Indiana, #13 Maryland: The Terps beat the Hoosiers 67-64. Indiana scored first and did not lead for the rest of the game. Maryland shot 46.7% from three, 7.8 percentage points better than the Hoosiers. Big Angel Reese led the Terps with a 20-point, 16-rebound double-double on 9-for-21 FG with eight offensive boards and two assists against three turnovers; wing Diamond Miller had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field (2-5 3pt.), four rebounds, two assists and three blocks against three turnovers; combo guard Katie Benzan tallied 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting (2-3 3pt.), six rebounds, six assists and two steals against three turnovers; combo guard Shyanne Sellers notched 12 points on 5-for-10 FG (2-3 3pt.), three assists and three steals against four fouls in 35 minutes.

Indiana was led by point guard Grace Berger’s 16 points on 7-for-17 shooting, 10 rebounds and six assists against three turnovers; combo guard Ali Patberg had 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field (3-4 3pt.) and four assists; center Mackenzie Holmes tallied 11 points on 5-for-6 FG, six rebounds (three offensive) and three blocks; big Aleksa Gulbe played all 40 minutes, finishing with 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting (1-3 3pt.), eight rebounds and four turnovers; backup wing Chloe Moore-McNeil tallied 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field (2-5 3pt.) and two assists in 29 minutes; between missing three games with some sort of injury and tipoff last night, the sophomore was averaging 11.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and only 1.0 turnover per 40 minutes on 53.7% true shooting, thus retiring the TDB Indiana Bench Scoring Watch.

You know what’s not retired?

TDB Angel Reese Foul Watch: Two fouls in 31 minutes on Friday; 11th-most fouls in the country; 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes (16th percentile) and 5.7% foul percentage (17th percentile) for the season. (Stats from Her Hoop Stats)

Villanova: 72-36 win over Butler. Big wing Maddy Siegrist led all scorers Friday with 31 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field and 5-for-8 from three with seven rebounds, two assists and no turnovers in 29 minutes — since returning from a broken hand on Dec. 9, Siegrist has averaged 28.1 points on 51.3%/36.9%/83.5% shooting*, 10.1 rebounds (3.4 offensive), 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks, with an elite 61.5% true shooting percentage on 34.1% usage. No college player in the Her Hoop Stats era (since 2009) has touched those numbers; the only players even coming close were Elena Delle Donne in her best season, Chiney Ogwumike when she won the Wooden Award and TDB favorite Jasmine Dickey this year — the last two with significantly more turnovers.

If you prefer visuals:

The second number in each row is her percentile rank among forwards. (Screenshot from CBB Analytics)

Cancellations

  • None
*FG%/3P%/FT%

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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