Now in her graduate year at UConn, Caroline Doty has learned enough about resolve and patience to run a support group.
You don’t suffer knee injuries that interrupt your career and disrupt your life without being forced to figure what to make of it, why it was all necessary.
As a result, Doty’s point of view this season seems to be different. She has evolved, to the degree where just the chance to be a part of things, in any way the coaches say, has become her most important priority.
More importantly, it seems to have brought her the comfort that being a part of four Final Four teams has only approached.
“I’ve been communicating a lot with the coaches this year in an effort to stay on the same page with them. And I am having a lot of fun,” Doty said. “On the floor, I try to be as perfect as possible, but as everyone knows, you can’t be perfect. If you strive for good things, work hard, keep the intensity up, a lot of good things will happen.”
Doty continues to start at the point for the No. 2 Huskies, but her playing and practice time continue to be monitored by the coaches, much like, but not exactly in the way former UConn forward Brittany Hunter was handled in her senior season (2007-08).
“I heard about her situation, but I don’t think there are many similiarities,” Doty said
Geno Auriemma has says Doty’s role is crucial and the way he sees it most beneficial to the team at the start when her knee is loose.
“It does stiffen,” Doty admitted. “I try not to think about, but it might take a play or two to get back in the flow. But if I am out for just 10 minutes, its way better than sitting for 30. But that’s with everyone, not just me.”
Doty came into Wednesday’s game at the XL Center against Colgate averaging 17 minutes and Auriemma stuck to form by playing her 19 in the 101-41 blowout.
In general, they have been strong, productive minutes for her. Her shooting has been reasonably solid (12 of 25) and she’s already drained seven threes.
And despite her diminished mobility, the stability she’s shown running the offense apparent.
“Shea [Ralph] has been working with the guards all summer and you can tell by just looking at the results,” Auriemma said.
Ralph says it’s too early to tell if Doty’s role this season will be limited to the 15- to 20-minute range. But Ralph does know that the competition for playing time amidst UConn’s fleet of guards has been intense in practice.
“I don’t know what to expect [regarding Doty’s playing time],” Ralph said. “It all depends on the opponent and the combinations we need on the floor.
“But it’s fair to say that Caroline is not going to be in the game after we take large leads. We will not put her on the floor just to get her minutes. We want to play her when we need her. That’s how we use her in practice.
“She understands that we need her to be productive when she is in on the floor. All the guards earn their time in practice. It creates a good competitive atmosphere in practice.”
When she was younger this may not have sat well with Doty, one of the mist intense players UConn has had. But it seems OK with her now, especially after all she has been through.
“You would have to ask the coaches [about that],” Doty said. “I will do whatever is best and what they decide. I’ll be OK with whatever; as long as it’s the best for the team.