Tiffany Hayes had a solid -- and occasionally spectacular -- four-year career at UConn. She was sometimes criticized for shrinking in big moments, but for us, that had more to do with the circumstances; she was at her best as a secondary or tertiary option, not as the primary scoring threat, especially when the game was on the line.
Either way, there's no denying her college success -- she leaves Storrs as the tenth-leading scoring, amassed a 147-7 record that included four Final Fours and two national titles. This spring, she was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in the second round and the transition to professional basketball has been a relatively smooth one. So smooth, in fact, that Hayes, who had previously drawn the praise of her coach, was the recipient of laudatory remarks again recently.
Dream coach Marynell Meadors, who's also serving as an assistant on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, continues to be impressed by Hayes.
“Tiffany Hayes is playing outstanding basketball,” Meadors told the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla Sunday. “She works hard every day. She shows up early and leaves late. She wants to know what she can do to get better. She has a great attitude.”
Hayes has played in 19 games earning seven starts. She's averaging 7.4 points per game, 1.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and is shooting 30 percent from behind the arc. And with trust comes responsibility. With Angel McCoughtry battling an injury, Hayes' playing time has increased.
“Right now, since we began starting her, she defends the best offensive player the opponent has,” Meadors told Altavilla. “She was Angel’s backup from the start and she is really playing well right now.
“She is doing it on offense, too. She has been taking the ball to the rim for us. She’s been very good with that. She usually is moving very fast on offense, but she’s been working on her three-point shooting. She had a couple the other night against San Antonio and a few against Seattle. She is increasing her range, too.”
Not too shabby for a second-round pick.