When Katie Lou Samuelson suits for the the Huskies in the 2015-16 season, Breanna Stewart, the best player in the country -- and arguably the best player Geno Auriemma's ever had -- will be a senior. And if we're to believe what we've heard about Samuelson in the days since she orally committed to UConn, she could be the next in a long line of truly great players to make their way through Storrs.
Samuelson's high school coach Kevin Kiernan is certainly impressed by her and the 26.3 points per game she averaged as a junior.
“She’s really good,’’ Kiernan said, via the Connecticut News' Rich Elliott. “Great shooter. Great length. And really, really competitive. She gets angry out there. She really wants to win. She wants to be successful. She wants to be the best. She’s got a little edge to her. She gets after it. She is the real deal.
“Like with (UConn All-American and former Mater Dei star) Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis), they’re both great shooters, but they’re totally different players. Lou is more in the (Elena) Delle Donne kind of player. A little inside. A lot outside. Just very long. I don’t even think she’s done growing yet and she’s certainly going to get stronger. The sky’s the limit for her. She can be as great as she wants to be. She’s got a great basketball body. She’s got a great touch. She’s got a great work ethic. A really good combination.’’
And Russ Davis, who coached Samuelson on the Cal Swish AAU team was equally laudatory.
“She’s the best all-around player we’ve had, no question. I’ve had several of those who have gone on to play in the WNBA. She’s just perfect for (UConn) because she’s so versatile. (Coach Geno Auriemma) doesn’t put numbers on people. He calls them basketball players, and that’s what she is. She played some point for me last summer. She can post-up. She can beat you off the dribble now. She gets contact so she gets to the free throw line, which she shoots about 95 percent. So she’s just going to be a nightmare."
Not surprisingly, Auriemma is ecstatic about landing Samuelson.
“He’s really pumped up,’’ Davis said. “I remember when he first wanted to recruit her he called me and he goes, `Hey, man, I’m 0-for-2 on the Samuelsons. Am I going to waste my time if I go for this third one?’ I go, `No. They’re saying that she’s open for everything.’ So he didn’t waste his time.’’
Kiernan added: “I think she really believes that Geno will get the best out of her. And she wants to be the best. She’s ambitious. She wants to be the best. And she thinks that Coach Auriemma can help her get there. And I would say she’s probably right.’’
See more on Samuelson in her own words: