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How Azzi Fudd is preparing to fulfill her immense potential

After two injury-plagued seasons, Fudd is ready to take the next step in her game.

Photo: Ian Bethune

Azzi Fudd is plenty self-aware. She knows that through two years at UConn, she hasn’t come close to meeting anyone’s expectations — whether those are others’ or her own. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued her collegiate career thus far.

But she’s ready to put an end to it.

“That was my goal last year, to bring that back (again): Be consistent,” Fudd said when asked about her goals for the upcoming year. “Also stay on the floor the whole season, consistently play throughout the season.”

The injuries come from the physical side of her game while the inconsistency is a product of the mental side. Both came to a head in the Huskies’ Sweet Sixteen loss to Ohio State.

Fudd returned from an extended absence due to a knee injury at the start of the postseason but had trouble knocking the rust off and never really looked like herself. Still, she fought through it in the previous round against Baylor when she dropped 22 points despite going 3-12 from beyond the arc.

That didn’t translate into the Sweet Sixteen, though.

“I felt like my practices before (Ohio State) weren’t great and my confidence was down,” Fudd said. “So when they started pressing, I didn't really want much to do with the ball.”

She finished with 14 points but shot 6-17 from the field (2-9 from three) and turned the ball over four times as UConn’s season came to an end earlier than any other since 2005.

She hopes that’ll be the final act of the old Azzi Fudd — the one who’s missed 40 of 73 games through the first two years of her career due to a seemingly never-ending series of injuries and who also can’t get out of her own way when things are going well. Since that loss, Fudd has put in the work to reach her ceiling as a player.

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