The ultimate guide to Paige Bueckers’ sensational freshman season for the UConn women

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Alexa Philippou, Hartford Courant
·13 min read
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Expectations were high for Paige Bueckers before she even stepped foot on UConn’s campus for her freshman season in July 2020.

Ever since, Bueckers hasn’t been as good as advised. She’s been better.

Bueckers, the consensus No. 1 2020 recruit out of Hopkins, Minnesota, leads the No. 1 Huskies in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played. Despite coming in as a self-proclaimed pass-first point guard, Bueckers has come to embrace her role as a shooter and scorer that this UConn team needs her to be. Along the way, she’s established herself as not just one of the best freshmen in the country, but arguably one of the best players, period.

She’s only 21 games into her collegiate career, and she’s just getting started.

Below is a compilation of our coverage of Bueckers’ stellar start as a Husky — a season that doesn’t just stand out because of her youth but is all the more remarkable because of it.

By the numbers

Through her first 21 games for the UConn women, Paige Bueckers has more than lived up to the billing. Let’s look at the numbers behind her stellar freshman campaign. Click here

Rebecca Lobo, Doris Burke and Geno Auriemma weigh in: Is Paige Bueckers the best freshman in UConn history? Click here

And our readers voted, too. See who finished No. 1. Click here

Season highlights

The start of an incredible run: Bueckers hits the dagger 3 on a bum ankle in UConn’s 67-61 win over Tennessee. Click here

After missing the Georgetown game with her ankle injury, Bueckers returns against Arkansas, dropping 27 points in the Huskies’ 90-87 loss. Click here

Bueckers secures her first career double-double in UConn’s 100-67 win over DePaul. Click here

And then she scores a career-high 32 points against St. John’s. Click here

What changed in Bueckers’ takeover? She’s shooting early and often, embracing her role as the team’s No. 1 scorer and is hitting shots at a ridiculously efficient rate. Click here

She didn’t stop there, hitting six 3s in UConn’s 87-58 win over Marquette. Click here

It didn’t even take a full season for Bueckers to add her name to the UConn record books. In the Huskies’ penultimate regular season game against Butler, she set program records for single-game assists (14) and freshman single-season assists (currently 131 and counting). Click here

National recognition

No performance was as impressive as her 31-point outing versus then-No. 1 South Carolina. She sent the game into overtime by scoring the last four points in regulation, and then all nine of UConn’s points in overtime, including the win-sealing 3-point heave. Click here

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She showed that despite her youth, she could step up in big moments for this UConn team. Click here

— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) February 9, 2021 1/4 n 1/4 n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"twitter","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0","_id":"https://twitter.com/breannastewart/status/1358959975947730944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358959975947730944%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220663 3/43/4,"referent":{"id":"https://twitter.com/breannastewart/status/1358959975947730944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358959975947730944%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","service":"oembed","type":"twitter","provider":"https://publish.twitter.com/oembed?url=","referent_properties":{"additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220663 3/43/43/43/4,{"type":"oembed_response","subtype":"twitter","_id":"OVZFD4XT2VHV5APXYCUUXMIVC4","raw_oembed":{"url":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075","author_name":"Holly Rowe","author_url":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren","html":"Holy Paige Bueckers. 1/4 u2066@UConnWBB 1/4 u2069 freshman has 31 of 63 Uconn points as Huskies upset #1 South Carolina 63-59 @paigebueckers1 1/4 u2069 Legend is growing FAST pic.twitter.com/26xNwcaXZL

— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) February 9, 2021 1/4 n 1/4 n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"twitter","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0","_id":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358961580122243075%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220664 3/43/4,"referent":{"id":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358961580122243075%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","service":"oembed","type":"twitter","provider":"https://publish.twitter.com/oembed?url=","referent_properties":{"additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220664 3/43/43/43/4,{"_id":"6422N2NDXBDVRGOS5IESCEUQOE","type":"list","list_type":"unordered","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"items":1/8{"type":"text","content":"Behind Bueckers’ heroics, UConn ascended to No. 1 in the AP poll on Monday, Feb. 15. Some voters offered their thoughts on the Huskies’ latest freshman phenom. Click here","_id":"RKXGEEU5RBCHXOUQ2BWLZHUAFY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Along the way, she made history by winning Big East conference player *and* freshman of the week. Click here","_id":"MOMVZV6R7RHSBM4QPOM5QTCNF4","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614112198861 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Not once, but twice. Click here ","_id":"QYIK3EVKOBBVZIOVDYG2TY4WVY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614112198863 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Best friend Azzi Fudd, the top recruit in the class of 2021 and a UConn signee, isn’t shocked by any of this. “Those are just typical Paige moments and Paige plays,” she told The Courant. Click here ","_id":"LQSYNLPKVVB47D2RPHBALRUS7U","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614613458991 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"To close the regular season, Bueckers was named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award (given to the nation’s top point guard) and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy (awarded to the country’s best player). Click here","_id":"MRD3GV4FQVD3VLRYUFC7UCUDNY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/43/83/4

Social media reacted accordingly. Click here

— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) February 9, 2021 1/4 n 1/4 n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"twitter","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0","_id":"https://twitter.com/breannastewart/status/1358959975947730944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358959975947730944%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220663 3/43/4,"referent":{"id":"https://twitter.com/breannastewart/status/1358959975947730944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358959975947730944%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","service":"oembed","type":"twitter","provider":"https://publish.twitter.com/oembed?url=","referent_properties":{"additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220663 3/43/43/43/4,{"type":"oembed_response","subtype":"twitter","_id":"OVZFD4XT2VHV5APXYCUUXMIVC4","raw_oembed":{"url":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075","author_name":"Holly Rowe","author_url":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren","html":"Holy Paige Bueckers. 1/4 u2066@UConnWBB 1/4 u2069 freshman has 31 of 63 Uconn points as Huskies upset #1 South Carolina 63-59 @paigebueckers1 1/4 u2069 Legend is growing FAST pic.twitter.com/26xNwcaXZL

— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) February 9, 2021 1/4 n 1/4 n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"twitter","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0","_id":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358961580122243075%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220664 3/43/4,"referent":{"id":"https://twitter.com/sportsiren/status/1358961580122243075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1358961580122243075%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courant.com%2Fsports%2Fuconn-womens-basketball%2Fhc-sp-paige-bueckers-overtime-three-south-carolina-20210209-yjqx23cuk5dkxonqupbfjmytdm-story.html","service":"oembed","type":"twitter","provider":"https://publish.twitter.com/oembed?url=","referent_properties":{"additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614780220664 3/43/43/43/4,{"_id":"6422N2NDXBDVRGOS5IESCEUQOE","type":"list","list_type":"unordered","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"items":1/8{"type":"text","content":"Behind Bueckers’ heroics, UConn ascended to No. 1 in the AP poll on Monday, Feb. 15. Some voters offered their thoughts on the Huskies’ latest freshman phenom. Click here","_id":"RKXGEEU5RBCHXOUQ2BWLZHUAFY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Along the way, she made history by winning Big East conference player *and* freshman of the week. Click here","_id":"MOMVZV6R7RHSBM4QPOM5QTCNF4","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614112198861 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Not once, but twice. Click here ","_id":"QYIK3EVKOBBVZIOVDYG2TY4WVY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614112198863 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"Best friend Azzi Fudd, the top recruit in the class of 2021 and a UConn signee, isn’t shocked by any of this. “Those are just typical Paige moments and Paige plays,” she told The Courant. Click here ","_id":"LQSYNLPKVVB47D2RPHBALRUS7U","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/8,"_id":1614613458991 3/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/4,{"type":"text","content":"To close the regular season, Bueckers was named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award (given to the nation’s top point guard) and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy (awarded to the country’s best player). Click here","_id":"MRD3GV4FQVD3VLRYUFC7UCUDNY","additional_properties":{"comments":1/83/8,"inline_comments":1/83/83/4,"block_properties":1/23/43/43/83/4

Behind Bueckers’ heroics, UConn ascended to No. 1 in the AP poll on Monday, Feb. 15. Some voters offered their thoughts on the Huskies’ latest freshman phenom. Click here

Along the way, she made history by winning Big East conference player *and* freshman of the week. Click here

Not once, but twice. Click here

Best friend Azzi Fudd, the top recruit in the class of 2021 and a UConn signee, isn’t shocked by any of this. “Those are just typical Paige moments and Paige plays,” she told The Courant. Click here

To close the regular season, Bueckers was named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award (given to the nation’s top point guard) and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy (awarded to the country’s best player). Click here