How advice from UConn’s Paige Bueckers readied Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs: ‘She’s the GOAT’

With the Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball squad and UConn Huskies women's team both advancing to their respective tournaments' Final Fours, the friendship between two star freshmen on both teams — Paige Bueckers at UConn and Jalen Suggs at Gonzaga — has taken center stage. 

Both are Minnesota natives and were elite high school recruits. Now, both are two wins away from national titles. 

Bueckers first punched her ticket to the Final Four on Monday night by helping lead UConn to a thrilling victory over Baylor. The next night, Suggs and his Gonzaga teammates throttled the USC Trojans to keep their perfect season alive. 

Suggs, speaking to reporters Tuesday night after the win, said he paced back and forth watching the Huskies' nail-biter. 

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"I was extremely nervous all game," he said. " … I couldn't sit down." 

He also called Bueckers the "GOAT" — not just for how she plays, but who she is off the court, too. Suggs sent Bueckers a congratulatory text and the two connected via FaceTime later that evening, and she offered valuable advice. 

"(Monday) night, she said some things that really helped me. I've been kind of struggling, trying to get my footing in these tournament games," Suggs said, via ESPN. "Of course, seeing her go out there and play great like she did and then talking afterwards … she kind of said some words, it kind of got me uplifted. It got me going. Definitely helped tonight. … She's the GOAT for a reason."

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