Montgomery's Passionate Play Helps Huskies Growl

Lowell BrowningContributor IApril 1, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 19:  Renee Montgomery #20 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a basket against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game on January 19, 2009 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It doen't take UCONN basketball coach Geno Auriemma long to describe what makes his senior point guard such a stalwart.

"It really comes down to two words," Auriemma said, on the heels of the Huskies 83-64 whipping of Arizona State on Tuesday night. "Passion and competitiveness."

Today, Renee Montgomery was named to the Associated Press All-American first team squad.

While in the prep ranks in West Virginia Montgomery teamed with Tennessee standout Alexis Hornbuckle to win a state AAA title as freshmen at Capital High School and the duo, after transferring, won two more state championships at South Charleston High School. She was a three-time first-team All-Stater in West Virginia.

In the Mountain State, Montgomery was selected as the 2005 Player of the Year and at UCONN she has displayed the talent and grit to now own a Huskies record of 138 consecutive starts.

This season the former Kanawha County kid has led the Huskies in assists (138), made three-pointers (94) and minutes per night (31.4). Montgomery averaged 15.8 PPG and 5.1 assists per contest.

In 37 games this winter Montgomery has reach double figures in 32 of those, showing the consistency Auriemmea loves at the point.

While the Huskies, 37-0, are mushing toward another possible national championship Montgomery has raised her scoring average to 19.8 points per game and now has scored 1,946 points while in Storrs.

Maya Moore, a tea mate of Montgomery's at UCONN, joins her on the first-teal unit with a 19.4 scoring average. Courtney Paris, the starting five-spot player at Oklahoma is another first-team player and is now the only four-time first team All-American.

Paris owns 18 NCAA hoop records, including a mark of 112 straight double-doubles. Louisville's Angel McCoughtry and Maryland's Kristi Toliver, who were on last season's second unit, round out this season's first-team starting five.