Why Aubrey Griffin came back to UConn

After a major step forward last season, Griffin still has room to grow.

Photo: Ian Bethune

A lot has changed since Aubrey Griffin first arrived at UConn in the summer of 2019.

Back then, the Huskies were members of the American Athletic Conference and news of their move to the Big East didn’t break until she had already joined the team for summer workouts. Shea Ralph and Jasmine Lister were the assistant coaches alongside Chris Dailey on Geno Auriemma’s staff. The program’s injury concerns were minimal.

And the Covid-19 pandemic wouldn’t begin for another nine months in the United States.

This past season also showed how far Griffin herself has come since her freshman year. After inconsistency defined the early part of her career, she quietly became one of UConn’s most important players last season.

As injuries devastated the roster, Griffin played in 35 of 37 games (the two she missed were after she contracted Covid), started the fourth-most games, and played the fourth-most minutes on the team. She also set a career-high in points (11.3), field goal percentage (53.5), rebounds (6.6) and win shares (5.2).

That growth would be impressive on its own, but all that improvement came after she missed an entire season due to multiple injuries and had back surgery in January of 2022. While it forced her to watch from the sidelines for a year, it also provided her with an extra year of eligibility — which she used to return for UConn’s 2023-24 campaign.

As it turned out, Griffin wasn’t quite ready to leave her teammates.

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