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Paige Bueckers wants ‘to get another banner’ for UConn in 2024

(Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Paige Bueckers has her sights set on another national championship for UConn basketball.

The 2021 National Player of the Year is set to make her return from an ACL tear that kept her out for all of last season. And she’s setting her expectations high.

“I’ve worked so hard these past couple of years on bettering myself on and off the court. Just putting a lot of effort into changing how I eat, how I sleep,” she said. “And a lot of things people don’t see on the court. So I think it’s about time.”

And there’s one big goal she’s set for herself. The last national championship for UConn came in 2016, and an NCAA Tournament title is one trophy that has eluded Bueckers since she stepped on the Huskies’ campus. But this year will be different, she said as she looked at the program’s 11 championship banners.

“We’ve been through so much,” she said. “I think that we work extremely hard and we have each other’s back. And we’ve gone through a lot. I think it’s only made us stronger. … I think we’re going to work extremely hard to get another banner up there.”

If you ask head coach Geno Auriemma why 2024 will be different, the answer is simple: They’re doing things a little differently.

“If you want it to be different, then you have to be different,” he said. “And I don’t know that everybody understands that, including me. We get so caught up in doing things the same way because it’s comfortable and it works, that we don’t understand that if we want a different ending then we have to do it a different way.”