We mentioned Thursday that the Huskies already have their first recruit for the class of 2014, Courtney Ekmark. And while they missed out on Diamond DeShields in 2013, the incoming freshmen class might be one of Geno Auriemma's best. Yes, that sounds like hyperbole, but Auriemma has already suggested that he thinks center Breanna Stewart could be one of the top players to make her way through program in some time -- and she's still in high school.
There will plenty of to watch Stewart, along with incoming freshmen Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson, develop as a member of the Huskies, but for now she's doing what she's always done: shining on the basketball court, this time with the USA Basketball's Under-18 national team. All three players were named to the team last week, and on Thursday night, the national team downed Brazil 97-36.
Stewart led all scorers with 25 points. She added five rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots. Tuck scored 15 points, and Jefferson, recovering from a sore left hand, didn't play.
More details via the USABasketball.com press release: “You have to be pleased after an effort like that,” said Katie Meier, USA U-18 National Team and University of Miami head coach. “We started 31-0 and our team defense was incredible. It’s a very unselfish team, and they care about what we ask them to care about. We asked them to care about shutting down lanes and not giving up layups, and they did. They swarmed the ball, and they played for each other. It was a lot of fun."
“We’ve had six practices, and to be able play that team defense is impressive. I thought we shared the ball very, very well. Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck set the tone. They are the captains, and they are just doing a great job.”
Last summer, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis competed on the U-19 National Team and more than held her own -- both in international competition and during her freshman season. We suspect Stewart's burgeoning career will follow a similar path.