Category Archives: UConn women’s basketball

UConn’s Relationship With Bridgeport Could Grow

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Kia Nurse, UConn men's basketball, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

It’s likely the UConn men and women will return to Webster Bank Arena this season for regular-season games. And the possibility is great that both parties may agree to up the number to four [two for each program] in 2014-15.

“Going forward, I would not be surprised if its more than one,” Geno Auriemma said. “I don’t know the number would be. I’m not speaking for anyone, but there are times when it makes no sense for us to play anywhere by Gampel Pavilion. There are times when it makes great sense to play in Hartford. But there are other times when the fit is perfect and it makes all the sense in the world to play anyplace else other than up there. It works.”

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Sources: USA Hoops In Bridgeport; UConn Women At Mohegan Sun

by Categorized: Mohegan Sun Arena, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

The USA Women’s National Basketball Team, coached by Geno Auriemma, will play a September 15 exhibition game at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena against Canada.
The announcement will be made at a press conference Monday at the arena. Auriemma is expected to attend.

Canada features UConn freshman guard Kia Nurse. Nurse is expected to the be national team’s point guard.
The game would be played after the United States holds its final domestic training camp at the Naval Academy from Sept. 7-10 and will likely be held in conjunction with at least one other game or scrimmage, which is likely to be held at the University of Delaware. The World Championship starts Sept. 27 in Turkey.

 

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News And Notes From Geno’s “Fore The Kids” Golf Tournament

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball Date:

Monday was Geno Auriemma’s “Fore the Kids” golf tournament at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford. And along with the golfing, UConn brought a number of players along to hang out at the snack shack and say hello to and shoot hoops with the golfers as they passed though.
The program was also nice enough to allow us [the media] to say hello to the players and Geno so we could fill you in as to what’s been going on the nine-time championship program since Nashville.
Morgan Tuck, who is recovering from knee surgery in January, seems very encouraged by her recovery. That is good news for the Huskies who are really going to need her to help Kiah Stokes and Breanna Stewart deal with the post now that Stefanie Dolson is in the WNBA with purple hair.

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Taurasi Plans To Stay Forever Young, Says UConn Fans Need Not Worry

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, Bria Hartley, Diana Taurasi, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Here’s some very good news about Diana Taurasi. She’s has no plans to shake off the youthful vigor she has for life.
“I don’t think growing up is in the plans for me,” she said Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “It’s not on my bucket list. I feel somewhat older, but lucky to be 11 years into my career and be on such a great team [in Phoenix]. It’s taken a while for to get back to this point.
“I want to stay in the sport. I don’t know what I would do without basketball. I would have to be involved and I would love to coach. I’d be very open to it, if it was in the right spot. Who knows?
“I never think too far ahead. I try to stay happy in the moment. The key is being around people you like. It’s hard to go into the gym with people you don’t care for. We are a barbeque team. We’ve had more freaking barbeques this season.”

Taurasi, turned 32 Wednesday. She is averaging 18.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists and had 19 points and six assists in 34 minutes during Thursday’s loss to the Sun.

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Geno Auriemma On WTIC: Traffic, Weather, Opinions

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball, WTIC-AM, XL Center Date:

I just completed a three-hour stint listening to Geno Auriemma’s drive-time debut as a talk show host on WTIC-1080. It’s the first time I’ve ever listened to the show door-to-door, so to speak, and the one thing I will remember is how often the station updated traffic and weather. Good to remember if either topic is on my mind from 3 to 6 p.m.

It seemed like the breaks kind of caught Geno by surprise. Every time he was getting his offense going, the ball was back in Villanova’s hands; and he had to slow down, stop and start again. But that’s show business.

As for the highlights, he was asked about a few topics relating to his team, the nine-time national champion UConn women. He was asked what he felt about Hartford’s decision to build a baseball stadium for a minor-league team when its XL Center needs so much work.

Geno candidly admitted how underwhelmed he is with the lack of many amenities available in the old joint in comparison to the sparking new buildings sprouting up around the nation, saying at one point that you would never guess it was the home-away-from-home of the two current national champions of college basketball. But he has said that before and those who are interested in his point of view about that are already well aware of it.

He was pressed by some callers about his stances on immigration and the second amendment, but he handled it calmly without going all FoxNews or MSNBC on anybody.

And then he ended the three hours with this response to a question about the future of UConn athletics.

“We have already been affected by it [conference realignment]. We used to be a part of the best basketball league that ever existed [the Big East]. Go back two or three years and the Big East provided the best [college] basketball ever played, men and women.

“But football has taken the lead and the big five power conferences want to do their own things, separate from the NCAA, if possible, and have their own rules to do whatever they want, whenever they want and how ever they want. UConn had a choice. We could have moved forward without football and end up where the Big East is now, which I don’t know where that is. Or we could go with football and try to maximize it and create enough interest [in the school] that the [power] conferences might include us.

How do you do that? Well, just winning at football isn’t enough. It’s the interest level [in the program that's important]. How many fans or viewers can you bring to the conference. If [admission] was just based on the success of a universities athletic department, how do you take Rutgers over Connecticut in the Big Ten if it was just about success?

“They tell you its academics, this and that. It’s about nothing but how many people in that area will watch the conference on television and are you [the school] in an area a conference wishes to expand. We had some issues that prevented us from getting into the ACC; there were some things we did back in the day, like suing the conference. We did a lot of dumb things that are still haunting us.

“But the only thing we can do now is this – be the best athletic program we can be, the best university we can be and win the most games we can in every sport while selling out every stadium and venue we have. That will let everyone else in the country know that whether you like us or don’t like us, you are going to have to compete against us. That is the only thing we have control over.”

 

 

Kelly Faris Trying To Adjust To New Role: Waiting For A Chance

by Categorized: Anne Donovan, Connecticut Sun, Kelly Faris, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Throughout her successful career as an Indiana high school star and UConn focal point, Kelly Faris has always understood nothing worthwhile has come easy for her.
She has relied on impeccable fundamentals and work habits to compensate for whatever physical skills were lacking. And somehow she has always been able to make it work for herself and her team.
But in her second season with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, Faris is facing the first serious roadblock in her career.
On a young, rebuilding team, stocked with many like-talents, she is now the last player on a 12-player depth chart in a rotation that has rarely gone deeper than nine.

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Chiney Ogwumike Says UConn’s “Lou” A Hybrid Of Her Sisters

by Categorized: Chiney Ogwumike, Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn women's basketball Date:

Chiney Ogwumike, the first overall selection in the WNBA draft by the Connecticut Sun, is very familiar with Katie Lou Samuelson, California’s reigning Gatorade high school player of the year who announced this week she will play for UConn beginning in 2015-16.
That’s because Ogwumike said Katie Lou was around a lot since her two sisters, Bonnie and Karlie, were members of Stanford’s Final Four team last season.
“Having the chance to play with Bonnie and Karlie, I have been able to see what their games are like,” Ogwumike said Friday. “Lou is a mix of them. She can shoot the ball and is very athletic.
“Bonnie is more of a pure shooter. Karlie is a little more athletic and can do more things off the bounce. But all of the Samuelson girls can really shoot. I would call her [Katie Lou] a hybrid.”

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Doug Bruno On What He Told Geno About Natalie Butler

by Categorized: Doug Bruno, Geno Auriemma, Natalie Butler, UConn women's basketball Date:

When Geno Auriemma first heard Georgetown freshman Natalie Butler was interested in transferring to UConn, he turned to one of his best friends and confidants for advice.
And DePaul coach Doug Bruno, the man who will assist Auriemma again during the 2014 World Championships in Turkey, gave him an honest assessment of the 6-5 center and Big East’s rookie of the year.
“I think Natalie Butler has the potential to be a great player,” Bruno said. “She’s strong at the basket, a great rebounder. She catches anything that’s thrown to her and she finishes extremely well. And she’s a solid interior passer.”
Bruno realized Auriemma might be looking for a comparison to Stefanie Dolson, the All-American who helped lead UConn to two straight national championships.
Butler, the freshman of the year in the Big East last season, will sit out the 2014-15 season and join the Huskies as a sophomore the following season.
After being an all-state career at Lake Braddock High in Fairfax, Va., Butler led the Hoyas in minutes played (1157), the only player to start all 32 games of the 2013-14 season. She scored double-figures in all but four. She finished fifth in the nation in rebounding (13.3 per game) and was first among all freshmen in Division I. After averaging 13.9 ppg and 13.4 rebounds, Butler and also named to Big East’s second team after setting a freshman record with 425 boards.
“When someone is able to collect the amount to rebounds she had, it [the conference honors] was kind of a moot point,” Bruno said. “How could you argue in behalf of any of the other kids [candidates].
“She set a lot of Big East records and I realize the conference record book is somewhat skewed because the great UConn players that came before her often didn’t play enough minutes to make an impact in areas like that.
“So I am not going to tell you Butler is as good as Rebecca [Lobo] or Kara Wolters or Breanna Stewart. I’m not going to even try to compare her to Dolson, Tamika Williams, Swin Cash or Asjha Jones.
“But Natalie still broke records set by all the other players in all of the other programs in Big East history. And this conference has been together for a long time. That is what put her into a special place.”

Auriemma Says In Time Butler Will Be A Great Asset

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Natalie Butler, UConn women's basketball Date:

Natalie Butler’s transfer to UConn was made official by the women’s basketball program on Wednesday and Geno Auriemma believes the 6-5 center from Georgetown will be a great asset to his program.
“Coming out of high school, Natalie was one of these kids who said it herself, ‘I didn’t play much. I was on a real good AAU team and didn’t play much.’
“And all of a sudden she’s at Georgetown and she’s averaging a double-double and playing 30 something minutes.”
Butler, the freshman of the year in the Big East last season, will sit out the 2014-15 season and join the Huskies as a sophomore the following season,

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Banks Tells UConn She Will Transfer

by Categorized: Brianna Banks, UConn women's basketball Date:

UConn announced Tuesday that junior guard Brianna Banks will transfer.
“Brianna showed great heart during her time with us, whether it was on the floor or during the rehab process,” Geno Auriemma said. “I wish Brianna nothing but the best in the future.”
Banks, from Newnan, Ga., said in a school release that she was looking forward to starting fresh at a program closer to her home.
“I decided to transfer because I feel like I need a fresh start somewhere closer to home,” Banks said. “I really appreciate all that my teammates, coaches, and the university have done for me and I will miss everyone at UConn dearly.”

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