Gabby Williams is fresh off AAC Freshman of the Week honors after her double-double in UConn's blowout win over SMU. And while the recognition is nice, she knows that, ultimately, all that matters is that she's doing what coach Geno Auriemma needs her to. These expectations have been exacerbated by Williams switching positions -- from guard to forward -- a transition that has gone well, all things considered.
"She is still learning the game," Auriemma said, via the Hartford Courant ... "But in the meantime, I hope she continues to get better in practice every day. That's our plan between now and March."
That Williams leads the AAC in field-goal percentage is a credit to her athleticism and her ability to pick things up quickly.
"There are things that go on in the game that coaching can only do so much for you," Auriemma told the Hartford Courant. "You can put players in certain situations, you can put them in this spot and that spot, but in the end, they either have the ability to make that play or they don't."
Two knee injuries slowed Williams in high school but she still might be one of the best athletes on UConn's roster.
"I just think Gabby is super-athletic," Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis told the Courant. "And she works really hard. And when you think about it, that's really all you can reasonably ask from a freshman, to work hard every single time they are on the floor. And she really proved it [at SMU]. She does the dirty work and now she is reaping the benefits."
And now that Williams is healthy, she's more confident than ever in her abilities to compete.
"Now that I am comfortable, now that I am playing better, it's helping me become more aggressive and that helps me jump higher," she told the Courant. "But I have learned the hard way that I can't just jump over everyone. I also need to learn how to better box out and position myself in the low post.
"And now I am trying to incorporate some of my guard skills so I can bring defenders out [to guard her] and then go by them."
So far, so good. We're guessing even Auriemma would admit that, even if grudgingly.