UConn's Nika Mühl & Paige Bueckers: Marquette Postgame Press Conference - 2/5/21

Storrs Central
5 Feb 202108:39

TLDRThe UConn basketball team's Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers discuss their on-court chemistry and recent performance in a postgame press conference. Mühl, who has been receiving more playing time, emphasizes the ease of playing with Bueckers, highlighting her passing and screening abilities. Bueckers, known for her shooting prowess, explains how her aggressive outside play opens up opportunities inside. Both players discuss the importance of defense, with Mühl expressing pride in her role on the team's defensive strategy. They also touch on the adjustments made by opposing teams in response to their play, with Bueckers noting the increased physicality from opponents. The players credit their teammates and coaching staff for their support and improvement, and Mühl shares the impact of her mother's influence on her game.


  • 🏀 Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers have excellent on-court chemistry, which is also reflected in their off-court relationship.
  • 🔥 Paige had an outstanding game, with Nika's passing ability contributing significantly to her success.
  • 🚀 Nika's ability to find Paige before she's even open and her effective screening has led to many of Paige's points.
  • 🤝 Their teamwork is seamless, with both players complementing each other's skills and playing styles.
  • 🎯 Paige's aggressive outside shooting opens up opportunities inside, benefiting the team's overall offensive strategy.
  • 🛡 The team's defensive performance has improved, with Nika's inclusion in the starting lineup having a positive impact.
  • 👀 Nika takes pride in her defensive role and the trust her teammates and coaches have placed in her.
  • 📈 Paige notices teams adapting their defensive strategies against her and the team as the season progresses.
  • 💪 Paige embraces the physicality of the game and uses it as motivation to stay grounded and focused.
  • 🤝 Nika's all-around contribution on both offense and defense makes her a valuable asset to the team.
  • ⭐ Paige's confidence and shooting ability inspire her teammates and make them better players.

Q & A

  • How would you describe the on-court chemistry between Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers?

    -Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers have an exceptional on-court chemistry. They refer to each other as 'twins' on the court, indicating a strong bond and understanding. Their ability to find each other during games and work together effectively contributes significantly to their team's success.

  • What impact does Nika Mühl's increased playing time and starting position have on the team's performance?

    -Nika Mühl's increased playing time and starting position have a positive impact on the team. Her good passing skills and ability to find open teammates, particularly Paige Bueckers, have led to improved offensive plays and scoring opportunities.

  • How does Paige Bueckers' shooting from the outside affect the team's inside game?

    -Paige Bueckers' outside shooting is a key factor in the team's inside game. When she is aggressive from the outside, it draws the defense's attention, opening up opportunities inside the paint for her teammates. This dual threat makes the team's offense more dynamic and harder to defend against.

  • How has Nika Mühl adjusted to the different style of basketball and fouling in the NCAA?

    -Nika Mühl has been adapting well to the different style of basketball in the NCAA. She mentions that through practice and the guidance of her coaching staff and teammates, she is becoming more comfortable with what constitutes a foul and how to play defense effectively in this new environment.

  • What role does Nika Mühl play in the team's defensive strategy?

    -Nika Mühl plays a crucial role in the team's defensive strategy. Her presence in the lineup changes the team's defense, and she takes pride in her defensive efforts. She aims to bring energy to the team, particularly on the defensive end, and her teammates and coaches trust her to fulfill this role.

  • How do opposing teams adjust their defensive strategies against Paige Bueckers?

    -Opposing teams have been trying to be more aggressive and physical against Paige Bueckers. They attempt different ways of guarding her, especially through screens. However, Paige's team supports her with effective screens and cuts, which makes it challenging for the opposition to contain her.

  • How does Paige Bueckers handle the physicality of the game?

    -Paige Bueckers does not let the physicality of the game affect her performance. She acknowledges that opponents may try to be physical with her due to her build, but she takes pride in staying grounded and not letting it get into her head. She focuses on maintaining her game despite the increased physical contact.

  • How does Nika Mühl's performance benefit the team on both offense and defense?

    -Nika Mühl contributes significantly to the team on both ends of the court. She rebounds, provides energy, and creates opportunities for her teammates with her passing and screening. Her all-around performance makes it easier for the guards and improves the team's overall effectiveness.

  • How would you describe Paige Bueckers' shooting confidence and its effect on the team?

    -Paige Bueckers' shooting confidence is extremely high, and it positively impacts the team. Her confidence is visible on the court and inspires her teammates. When given the ball, her teammates trust that she will make something great happen, which is a significant boost for the team's morale and performance.

  • What does the coach think about Paige Bueckers' tendency to encourage her teammates to shoot?

    -The coach mentioned that Paige Bueckers gives too much confidence to her teammates, encouraging them to shoot the ball. However, this seems to be a positive aspect, as it does not draw back the confidence of the team. Instead, it fosters a supportive and aggressive offensive mindset.

  • How do Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers feel about being compared to their mothers in terms of their traits and abilities?

    -Both Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers credit their traits and abilities to their mothers. They acknowledge that they may not physically resemble their mothers, but they believe they have inherited their behaviors, both good and bad, from them. They appreciate the positive influence and genetics from their mothers on their basketball careers.



🏀 Team Chemistry and On-Court Dynamics

The first paragraph discusses the strong on-court chemistry between two players, Nika and Peter, who are referred to as twins despite not looking alike. They explain how their connection allows them to find each other well during games. Nika is highlighted as a good passer who can spot Peter before he's open, and Peter credits many of his points to her. Paige, another player, is praised for her shooting ability, which opens up the inside game for the team. Defensive adjustments and fouling are also discussed, with Doug mentioning how he's becoming more comfortable with the rules and receiving help from coaches and teammates. Maria asks about the impact of Nika's inclusion in the lineup on the team's defense, and Nika expresses pride in her defensive role and the trust from her team. Paige talks about how teams have been adjusting their defensive strategies against her, but she remains unfazed by the physicality. The paragraph ends with a light-hearted exchange about the players' mother, Avina, and the genetics that contribute to their skills.


🔥 Paige's Shooting Confidence and Team Dynamics

The second paragraph focuses on Paige's shooting confidence and its impact on the team. Paige is described as a player who takes pride in the physicality of the game and uses it to her advantage. Her teammates, particularly Nika, commend Paige's shooting and express how it boosts their confidence on the court. They mention that Paige's shooting ability makes their job easier by creating space and opportunities for the team. The coach's comment on Paige giving too much confidence to her teammates is addressed with humor, indicating that while Paige encourages shooting, the team still listens to her. The paragraph concludes with a question from a reporter, Zavina Westbrook, about what it's like for the players to have a mother like Avina, to which they respond by praising their mother's influence on their skills and personalities.



💡On-court chemistry

On-court chemistry refers to the mutual understanding and coordination between players during a game. In the script, it is mentioned that Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers have a strong on-court chemistry, which is evident in their ability to find each other and work together effectively during the game. This is crucial as it contributes to the team's success and the players' individual performances.

💡Playing time

Playing time in sports, particularly basketball, refers to the amount of time a player spends on the court during a game. The script indicates that Nika Mühl has been getting more playing time and has become part of the starting lineup, which has positively impacted the team's dynamics and her personal contribution to the game.

💡Starting lineup

The starting lineup consists of the first five players from a team who begin the game on the court. It is often composed of the team's best or most experienced players. In the context of the script, Nika Mühl's inclusion in the starting lineup signifies her importance to the team and her increased role in the game strategy.


In basketball, shooting refers to the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the hoop. Paige Bueckers is noted for her shooting ability, especially from the outside, which opens up opportunities for the team inside the paint. Her shooting prowess forces the opposing team to adjust their defense, benefiting her teammates.

💡Pick and roll

A pick and roll is a basketball play in which a teammate sets a screen (or 'pick') for the ball handler, who then drives towards the basket or passes to the screener once they receive the screen. Paige Bueckers discusses how her outside shooting ability affects how opponents defend against the pick and roll, creating opportunities for her and her teammates.


Defense in basketball involves preventing the opposing team from scoring by guarding players, blocking shots, and stealing the ball. The script highlights how both Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers contribute to the team's defense, with Nika taking pride in her defensive role and Paige discussing how teams have tried to adjust their defensive strategies against her.


Fouling in basketball is a violation where a player commits an infraction against an opponent, such as illegal physical contact. The script mentions how Nika Mühl has been adjusting to the different standards of fouling in the league and how her understanding and comfort with this aspect of the game have evolved.

💡Energy giver

An 'energy giver' is a player who brings a positive, energetic vibe to the team, often through hustle plays, strong defense, and good ball movement. Nika Mühl is described as an energy giver, contributing to the team's performance on both offense and defense, which boosts the morale and performance of her teammates.


Screening is an offensive tactic where a player sets a pick or screen for a teammate to create space for them to move or receive a pass. Paige Bueckers talks about how her teammates use screens to get open, which is a testament to their teamwork and understanding of offensive strategies.


Confidence in sports is a player's belief in their own abilities and the team's potential to succeed. The script emphasizes how Paige Bueckers' confidence in her shooting ability inspires her teammates and how Nika Mühl's confidence on the court is beneficial for the team's performance.


Physicality in basketball refers to the level of physical contact and aggressive play. Paige Bueckers notes that opponents have become more aggressive and physical with her, but she uses this to her advantage by staying grounded and not letting it affect her game.


Nika Mühl and Paige Bueckers demonstrate excellent on-court chemistry, which is also reflected off the court.

With increased playing time, Nika Mühl has been effectively finding her teammate Paige Bueckers, enhancing their gameplay.

Paige Bueckers refers to Nika Mühl as her 'twin' on the court, indicating a strong bond and understanding between the two players.

Bueckers had an exceptional game, with many of her points attributed to Mühl's accurate passing and screening.

Paige Bueckers discusses the synergy between her aggressive outside shooting and the team's dominance in the paint.

Bueckers' shooting from the outside opens up opportunities inside for the team due to the attention it draws from opponents.

Nika Mühl shares her comfort level with fouling has improved over time, with significant help from coaching and teammates.

Mühl emphasizes the importance of practice in translating defensive skills from training to actual games.

Coaches and teammates trust Mühl's defensive abilities, which positively impacts the team's overall defense.

Paige Bueckers notices opponents becoming more aggressive and physical against her, but she remains unfazed.

Bueckers takes pride in her ability to handle physical play and stay grounded during games.

Nika Mühl's performance on both offense and defense, along with her energy, makes the game easier for her teammates.

Mühl's confidence and performance on the court inspire her teammates and contribute to the team's success.

Paige Bueckers is described by her teammate as a source of immense confidence for the team, particularly with her shooting.

The coach playfully suggests that Bueckers might be giving her teammates too much confidence to shoot.

Both players credit their success to their strong work ethic and genetics inherited from their mothers.

The players express gratitude towards their mother for the traits and characteristics that have contributed to their basketball skills.