"To me, Brittney Griner will still be listed amongst the great players, because she probably has impacted more possessions on both sides on the floor maybe than anybody ever has in history," Burke said. "I still put her on the list of most impactful players I've ever witnessed. She's the most dominant center I've ever seen.
"But the reality is when you define greatest champions, I still look at someone like Diana Taurasi. She's got three. Not only does she have three, but think about who she won it with her final two years … it's the all-time trick."
Brittney Griner is a lot of things. She's no Diana Taurasi. And as far as college greatness goes, that's past, present and future. At any rate, what's past is past.
Next year was going to be UConn's year and maybe the year after that, too. And maybe they will be. But this year may be UConn's year yet, too. Yes, Notre Dame has plenty to say about it. Forget the Fat Lady, at least with UConn it ain't over until Skyler Diggins tweets. Still, the present may shout out UConn in New Orleans.
And that's because Stewart, who scored 21 points against Kentucky on top of her 17 against Maryland, is playing brilliantly. She's blocking shots. She hitting inside, outside. And that's because Jefferson is disrupting offenses. She's so quick.
"Look at Stewie," Kelly Faris said. "She's a freshman and she's Most Outstanding Player [in the Regional]. And she deserves it."
"With Moriah, you have a freshman guard who's harassing anybody player who gets near her. She gets so many steals and a lot of our momentum comes from our defense, especially points off the other team's turnovers. She just stopped worrying about everything. She's fun to watch. She's one of those players you don't want to take your eyes off."
Auriemma would say something similar about Stewart. She's spending less time being afraid and more time making the other team afraid.
"Fear is not part of Stewie's makeup as much," Auriemma said. "There was a fear of not being able to live up to other people's expectations of her, not living up to her own expectations. I do think she was all of a sudden overwhelmed by, 'What if I'm not good enough?' Her mind went to a bad place.
"Once the season ended, the air came out of her balloon and it was OK let's start over. Now we're seeing the Breanna we all know existed."
The future has quickly become the present for UConn.