Samarie Walker leaves Women’s Basketball Program

By Andrew Callahan, Staff Writer

Samarie Walker - AP

Following her absence from the team’s Monday night road game at No. 10 North Carolina, freshman forward Samarie Walker has declared her intent to transfer from UConn. In a statement given by Walker, she thanked head coach Geno Auriemma for the opportunity to play but admitted she had struggled with ‘giving the team the energy and commitment it needs to be successful’.

While talking to the press after Thursday afternoon’s practice, Auriemma remarked among many things that Walker is a ‘good, nice kid’ who ‘can be a real good player if she wants to’. Auriemma felt confident going forward with just seven players that see regular action on his team, saying that specifically won’t determine the level of success they have going forward. During her stay in Storrs, the 6-foot-1 Walker averaged 6.2 points, 5.8 rebounds over 18.8 minutes of play.

Replacing Walker’s contributions on the court will fall solely to her former teammates that see consistent minutes as no one Husky currently sitting on the bench is ready to step up.  Redshirt sophomore center Heather Buck remains alarmingly inconsistent, freshman forward Lauren Englen shows flashes of brilliance but can struggle mightily and freshman center Michaela Johnson is not yet ready for play.

Walker’s roommate and current starting center Stephanie Dolson said that she didn’t talk to Samarie much about her decision and wished her the best of luck. She couldn’t admit to being terribly surprised but stated that they would remain close friends. Dolson, due to the similarity in her and Walker’s game, will most likely have to shoulder the largest individual load going forward.

Veteran forwards Maya Moore and Tiffany Hayes echoed Dolson’s sentiment while also commenting that avoiding personal foul trouble becomes a slightly greater point of emphasis. Moore and Hayes are the current leading scorers for the Huskies by a considerable margin.

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UConn Men’s Basketball

West Region - No. 3 Seed, 30-9 (9-9)

Last Game: 65-63 W vs. (5) Arizona (March 26)

Next Game: vs. (4) Kentucky (April 2, 8:49 p.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston.)

1 - Enosch Wolf
2 - Donnell Beverly
3 - Jeremy Lamb
4 - Jamal Coombs-McDaniel
5 - Niels Giffey
10 - Tyler Olander
13 - Shabazz Napier
15 - Kemba Walker
21 - Kyle Bailey
22 - Roscoe Smith
23 - Benjamin Stewart
25 - Michael Bradley
34 - Alex Oriakhi
35 - Charles Okwandu

UConn Women’s Basketball

Philadelphia Region No. 1 Seed, 36-1 (16-0)

Last Game: 75-40 W vs. (2) Duke (March 29)

Next Game: vs. (2) Notre Dame (April 3, 9 p.m., Canseco Field House, Indianapolis, Ind.)

3 - Tiffany Hayes
5 - Caroline Doty
12 - Lauren Engeln
14 - Bria Hartley
23 - Maya Moore
25 - Michala Johnson
30 - Lorin Dixon
31 - Stefanie Dolson
32 - Heather Buck
34 - Kelly Faris

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