Good morning everyone…
Well, it’s Sunday morning and just about everyone that plays basketball has left the Marriott Frenchmen’s Reef Resort here is St. Thomas.
UConn left with its new Paradise Jam Island Division trophy and cool orange hats this morning. They should be landing on the mainland this afternoon. It played a darn good three games, outscoring Wake Forest, Marist and Purdue, 267-130.
Purdue coach Sharon Versyp and Wake Forest coach, Jen Hoover, were both at the pool early this morning, trying to get some last-minute relaxation. You could understand why.
Some impressions as I wait for my flight to take off late Monday afternoon….
- One last iguana story. There was a rather large and colorful one perched by the main hotel pool this morning. I’d say it was the size of a power forward, if iguana played basketball. So this iguana inches itself over the edge of the pool and ducks its lizard face into the chlorinated water for a drink. There were about two dozen young women at the pool. You would have thought they’d just seen a shark. They were out of the pool, standing along its edges, looking absolutely terrified.
- Here is something you should know about iguana. They are more afraid of us than we are of them. Not me. I’d rather interview Bill Belichick for a living than see one of those guys at night.
- I like Warde Manuel, UConn’s new AD. I find him very approachable, which is critical for those of us paid to approach him. I understand he can’t say much about a few things we all want to know about, but he’s a former college football player and I sense he understands the media’s role in the great dynamic of college athletics. That’s all we can really expect from someone in his position.
- You probably know this by now, but Miss Maya was the only other freshman in the history of the Paradise Jam to win an MVP in the women’s tourney before Breanna Stewart. Where does Geno find these kids?
- Stewart has scored 89 points in her first five games, four short of Miss Maya’s 93. Stewie better get moving or she can forget about scoring 3,000 points.
- I must be permanently concussed myself because Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis looked perfectly fine to me late Saturday after getting her head rocked by an inadvertent elbow belonging to Purdue’s Taylor Manuel. She came out of the trainer’s room smiling, eating pizza and talking on her cellphone. I should have assumed that’s what all college kids with concussions do. She will be re-evaluated as the days progress. She could miss Wednesday’s game against Colgate at the XL Center. Eh, no big deal, right?
- This kid Courtney Moses, the Purdue guard, can really shoot. She made 6 of 8 three-pointers on Saturday. After each one she made, following the first three, I looked over the UConn bench and all Chris Dailey could do was shake her head and smile. Moses was a force of nature.
- I think everyone can stop worrying about Kiah Stokes. She had an incredibly positive tournament and really made Geno happy. Her line last night: 3 of 5, five rebounds, one assist, three blocks and one steal in 17 minutes. She may have the most athletic body on the team and she likely hasn’t even grown into it yet.
- You want something to complain about? I know some of you do? Here’s a nugget for you: the Huskies are 64 of 89 from the foul line. That’s 72 percent and that is not good enough. Dolson, the best free throw shooter on the team is 11 of 15. Bria Hartley is 3 of 8. This simply can’t be allowed to continue!
- Once again, I want to thank all of the UConn fans who came to the tournament and took the time to say hello and engage me in conversation. I enjoyed meeting you and seeing some of you again. I appreciate your kindnesses and readership very much. Thank you
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