Ava’s Angle: How Lou Lopez-Sénéchal could shape UConn’s offense

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Lou Lopez-Sénéchal is one of the newest members on the UConn women’s basketball team. She is originally from Grenoble, France, but she spent the last four years playing basketball at Fairfield University. For her fifth year, she traveled about an hour north to the other side of Connecticut, which also happens to be the basketball capital of the world. 

Coach Geno Auriemma announced the addition of Lopez-Sénéchal back in April of 2022. In her time at Fairfield, she was the unanimous MAAC player of the year and a three-time All-MAAC First Team selection. She graduated from Fairfield University in May of 2022 with a marketing degree.  

Prior to UConn, Lopez-Sénéchal led the Stags to the 2022 MAAC Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Additionally, she led Fairfield’s scoring for each year she played, totaling 1,598 career points. In her senior year during the 21-22 season, Lopez-Sénéchal scored 604 points, averaging 19.5 per game. She has experience as a guard and a forward, which will provide multiple ways that she can benefit the Huskies on the court. 

What will her role become in Storrs? With Paige Bueckers being sidelined for the entirety of the 22-23 season while recovering from an ACL tear, UConn is in need of an offensive weapon who can have a similar role to the junior guard.  

Lopez-Sénéchal is just that. Although she isn’t a National Player of the Year, she can still take on the part of being one of UConn’s top shooters. In the Huskies’ exhibition game against Kutztown, Lopez-Sénéchal shined on offense, scoring 22 points with 18 in the first half. She also had six rebounds and three steals in her UConn debut, wowing the Husky fans in the crowd at the XL Center. Although, this kind of performance isn’t new for Lopez-Sénéchal as she made 40 percent on 3-pointers and shot 44.8 percent overall last season. 

“I think people saw Lou for the first time playing with us and the dimension that she adds,” Coach Auriemma said of Lopez-Sénéchal.  

Coach Auriemma has also emphasized that Lopez-Sénéchal comes into practice the same exact way every day. She has the work ethic, the right approach and preparation that a player needs to succeed within such a history program like UConn’s. 

Lopez-Sénéchal is one of five international players on the team. She joins Dorka Juhász (Pécs, Hungary), Nika Mühl (Zagreb, Croatia), Aaliyah Edwards (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) and Inês Bettencourt (São Miguel, Portugal). In Sunday’s exhibition game, Lopez-Sénéchal made the starting lineup, which included five players from five different countries.  

Not only does she add diversity to the team, her versatility at many positions allows her to  take on any role that Coach Auriemma assigns to her. This gives the Huskies a lot of flexibility, especially considering the team’s ongoing injuries. 

“Lou was such a breath of fresh air coming here, such a positive person that lights up the room every time she comes into it. Having her on our team with the experience that she has as a senior is amazing,” said teammate Nika Mühl on the Fairfield product coming to UConn. “She’s obviously one of our best scorers, I always love to give her the ball and I love to create for her. At the same time [she is] so unselfish, which is so rare with players like that. Just having her step into different roles, she has been very successful with that and is a very versatile player. We are going to need her this year for sure.” 

During the summer and pre-season workouts, Lopez-Sénéchal has had time to form relationships with her new teammates and get a sense of what playing basketball in Storrs is like. She got a taste of how intense Husky Nation is on First Night, and that dynamic atmosphere will only continue throughout the season. She just can’t allow her nerves to get the best of her in this new scene, as she is going to be a player that is heavily relied on. 

“[Offense] was my main role at Fairfield and I am trying to embrace it here by being more comfortable in the offense,” said Lopez-Sénéchal on her scoring abilities. “That helped my confidence to come back.” 

Lopez-Sénéchal is used to being one of the only players others can rely on when a basket is needed. At Fairfield, plays were created and run for her. Here at UConn, that isn’t the case as the team uses more motion offense and has multiple capable scores in players like Azzi Fudd and Caroline Ducharme. Last season, she had 1.1 assists per game. This number will likely go up, as the Huskies are filled with more offensive contributors. Instead of taking on double teams, there should be more looks to open teammates if UConn’s opponents deny Lopez-Sénéchal. This should make for Connecticut having a solid offensive flow, making it harder for opponents to guard all the Huskies’ strong shooters at once. 

“It’s a different type of offense. We play faster, we have less plays,” Lopez-Sénéchal said reflecting on the intensity of UConn Basketball.  

In her first game playing with a UConn jersey on, she already gave fans a glimpse of what she is capable of. Unfortunately for Connecticut, Lopez-Sénéchal only has one year of eligibility in Storrs, but that gives her that much more reason to make an impact this season. She is an exciting player to watch, can do a lot of damage, and could possibly be a critical offensive weapon for the Huskies this season. 

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