Women’s Basketball: What legacy will Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl leave behind at UConn?

After four years of service in Storrs, CT, Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl have reached the end of their time at UConn.

Though they couldn’t capture any championships–the standard for success in Connecticut–their time as Huskies was far from a complete failure. Both made great contributions to UConn women’s basketball history, so let’s take a moment to discuss their respective legacies.  


Edwards came to UConn from Kingston, ON in 2020 as a five-star prospect, largely projected to be part of the supporting cast of whatever magic Paige Bueckers created.

Her freshman year, Edwards was a pleasant surprise with 10.7 points per game and 5.7 boards, making the Big East All Freshman team. But this was largely overshadowed by Bueckers’ excellence, with the guard sweeping national POTY honors.

Edwards’ physicality gave the Huskies’ lineup some nice variety alongside Olivia Nelson-Ododa and the Canadian really began to break out during March Madness.

Across the round of 32 and Sweet 16, Edwards totaled 37 points and 8 rebounds, with the latter win against an Iowa team led by a freshman named Caitlin Clark. She struggled in the Elite Eight and Final Four, which ultimately contributed to Connecticut’s fourth straight trip to the Final Four without a win in as many years.

Sophomore year for Edwards wasn’t one she’ll likely want to remember, as the forward took a step back in pretty much all categories. Contributions from various freshmen and transfers Evina Westbrook and Dorka Juhasz were still enough to push the team to a championship appearance, but Edwards looked gassed all season.

UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards during a practice for an NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinals basketball game Thursday, April 4, 2024, in Cleveland. Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
If it’s possible to make up for deficiencies one year with an awesome subsequent campaign, she did just that. With Bueckers sidelined for all of 2022-23 and Nelson-Ododa graduated, Edwards and Juhasz were alone in the front court, with a lot of scoring duties on their shoulders. Edwards was one of the two or three best players on that team, scoring 16.6 points and grabbing nine boards.

She led the team in scoring and was electric enough to earn an AP All-America selection. The team was short from a depth perspective and was missing the true star power that UConn teams have typically featured.

As such, the Huskies fell in the Sweet 16 to Ohio State, the worst they’ve done in over a decade. Edwards did everything she could to try to help them get further, but every factor went against the team.

This year was supposed to be a game-changer in the history books for the Huskies, with so much talent coming back, and South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston gone. The injury bug didn’t relent, with seven players sidelined for the season.

These injuries weren’t impacting benchwarmers. Two of the starters from the opener–plus much of the team’s bench rotation was out. This makes it difficult to win games against elite teams without any missing pieces.

With full reign of the front court–sans freshman Ice Brady–Edwards had an awesome senior season. She narrowly upped her numbers from last year and again became an AP All-America selection.

There was so much on Edwards’ shoulders and she did everything she could. That effort was enough to help lead Connecticut back to the Final Four, which is absurd given all they went through and how little depth they had.

As Edwards departs, she won’t be remembered for championships, but she was a bright spot in a “down” stretch of UConn women’s basketball.

She didn’t shoot herself to the top of the record books, instead providing consistency during her final two years. With all the craziness this program has sustained, being consistent and herself was all UConn could have asked for.


Mühl showed a ton of development in her four years as a Husky and has an interesting spot in UConn history. Fans grew to love her fiery personality and incredulous attitude towards the refs after any foul she committed. She worked her tail off day in and out and always brought 100% effort to the floor.

This was an especially pleasant surprise, especially after she came in as something of an unknown entity out of Croatia. Mühl commanded 22-24 minutes per game her freshman and sophomore years but wasn’t relied on for much offense at all.

It was the defensive intensity that made it tough for Auriemma to take her off the floor, as the team’s lockdown defender.

It wasn’t until Bueckers’ absence for all of 2022-23 and Christyn Williams’ graduation that allowed Mühl to truly shine. Suddenly she had a much bigger workload of 36 minutes a night and she was trusted as the Huskies’ primary ball-handler.

That role worked out well for her, as she notched 7.9 assists per game, breaking UConn’s single-season record. It didn’t quite come out of nowhere, but few expected her to thrive in the role as much as she did. As noted with Edwards, Mühl’s tremendous role in this squad didn’t lead to exceptional team results, with their Sweet 16 exit.

UConn guard Nika Muhl drives the ball as Duke guard Ashlon Jackson (3) defends during the first half of a Sweet 16 college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Portland, Ore. Phot by Howard Lao/AP Photo
In her final campaign, Mühl and Bueckers struggled a bit initially working through what worked and what didn’t. The Croatian obviously had to take a step back in terms of how much she had the ball in her hands, which took some adjustment.

Ultimately, they figured things out as the injuries piled on and Mühl had a great senior year.

She still managed to be the team’s primary distributor with 6.5 dimes per game and she left the scoring to her teammates. Mühl also was able to focus on her defense, with some pressure taken off amid the emergence of future defensive star KK Arnold.

Her year and career were capped off with a Final Four appearance, along with her being crowned as the Huskies’ all-time assist leader.

Her legacy is a bit strange, since she’s at the top of the all-time list for the statistic that guards should excel at, but she’s not even the best guard on her team. Her assist record will be tough to beat and she will likely live forever at least in the top 10.

Mühl will likely be remembered as one of the greatest UConn guards without a title, a group that Bueckers will look to escape from next year.

Overall, one can’t argue the immense impact that Edwards and Mühl had on UConn women’s basketball. Even without any rings, the duo remained very healthy in a time when there was not a lot of health to go around.

Their respective accolades were tremendous with All-America selections and spots in all-time lists and perhaps one day, when UConn is back at the top of the women’s basketball landscape, they’ll have their fingerprints all over that trophy.

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