Film Room: Inês Bettencourt was better than expected

The freshman played well when needed, but she's still got a long way to go.

For a UConn program that thrives on being the favorite and has one of the best rosters in the nation every year, Inês Bettencourt is a rare underdog story.

It’s been said before, but always bears repeating, she committed to the Huskies nine days before the school year began and arrived on the first day of classes. Not only that, Bettencourt ended up sealing a win over Princeton from the free throw line and then started against Maryland the next game when injuries struck.

For reference, Bettencourt got her first start in the second month of her collegiate career. Compare that to Azzi Fudd (January of her freshman year), Aubrey Griffin (sophomore season), Megan Walker (sophomore), Gabby Williams (sophomore), and Napheesa Collier (December of her freshman year), just as a few examples.

Considering the circumstances in which she came to UConn, Bettencourt performed way better than anybody could’ve expected. However, she was far from an impact player and her playing time was limited.

She watched 12 games from the bench as a DNP: coach’s decision — most on the team — while her 225 minutes were second-fewest on the team. Even though UConn only had one other healthy point guard in Nika Mühl while two other guards — Azzi Fudd and Caroline Ducharme — missed significant time with injury, Bettencourt couldn’t carve out a consistent role.

The task won’t get easier. Even though she’ll have a full year under her belt, the Huskies are set to get Paige Bueckers back from injury and they’ve also added three backcourt recruits: KK Arnold, Ashlynn Shade, and Qadence Samuels.

Bettencourt deserves credit for sticking around when she easily could’ve found more minutes and a bigger role through the transfer portal, but her path to playing time at UConn will be tough.

So what stands out on film from her freshman year?

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