UConn women's basketball loses another star after Ice Brady's 'heartbreaking' injury

UConn women’s basketball loses another star after Ice Brady’s ‘heartbreaking’ injury

University of Connecticut women’s basketball lost another promising player ahead of the 2022-23 season.

First-year forward Isuneh “Ice” Brady underwent successful surgery on Tuesday after suffering a dislocated patella in his right knee during practice Oct. 21. Former National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers will also miss the 2022-23 season with a torn ACL in her left knee.

Brady will miss a long-awaited freshman season. She was a 2022 McDonald’s All American, ranked the fifth rookie in her class by ESPN. She committed to the Huskies as early as her sophomore year in high school in 2019 and had aspirations of playing for UConn before that.

“It was funny. The other day I was on the phone with my dad and he was going through my things at home and he found a notebook or a little piece of paper and one of the lenses there, since I was in sixth grade, was to win a championship at UConn and go to UConn,” she said.

His long-awaited debut will have to wait another year.

“It’s so heartbreaking because they’ve put in so much time and effort to be the best player they can be,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. unfortunate. Ice has made so much progress since she’s been here and I’m really confident that when she comes back she’ll be better and more impactful than she ever was.”

February 25, 2022;  Hartford, Connecticut, USA;  UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma talks to guard Paige Bueckers (5) from the sideline as they take on St. John's Red Storm in the second half at the XL Center.  Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma to use Paige Bueckers as ‘athlete-coach’ (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UConn Season Outlook

With 11 national titles to Uconn’s name, the goal hasn’t changed for the Huskies. The 2022 domestic finalists endured a difficult series of injuries and illnesses last season, with a few players still recovering from surgeries. Still, they enter the season as the No. 6 team in the AP poll, as well as the Big East’s unanimous preseason favorite.

Ayanna Patterson, formerly ESPNW’s No. 3-ranked prospect in the Class of 2022, plays at 6-foot-3 and will be available to collect minutes from the front court.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 29: McDonald's High School All Americans Isuneh Brady (25) and Ayanna Patterson (34) attending UConn pose for a group photo before the 2022 McDonalds High School All American Girls Game at Wintrust Arena.  (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

McDonald’s High School All Americans Isuneh Brady (25) and Ayanna Patterson (34) will form an exciting duo when Brady returns. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In signing Patterson and Brady, Auriemma was looking to “find a few greats who could play in multiple positions,” he said in a statement. “I think we found the two best in the country in Ayanna and Ice. As a tandem, I think they will give us exactly what we were looking for.

Although he doesn’t have them together, Patterson can be expected to make noise wherever she is placed on the pitch.

Sophomore Azzi Fudd is the only returning double-digit scorer, and the team will likely look to her for more now. She missed playing time last season due to a foot injury and was still able to record a team leading 3-point shooting record of 43%, even making the All-Freshman Big East team. 2022.

Bueckers is reportedly leaning into a “coach of athletes” role and will support her teammates from the sidelines where we can also expect to see Brady.

The Huskies begin the hunt for a 15th consecutive Final Four and 12th national title overall in November.

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