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.”
Auriemma said UConn will play Creighton in a non-conference game in Connecticut in 2014-15. There will be no return game. He also said that UCLA seems to be the likely partner for the regular-season game planned for the Mohegan Sun Arena in December being put together by the Naismith Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the exhibition game between Canada and the United States Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena will go on sale July 14. One of the big attractions that night will be Canada’s point guard, Kia Nurse, who will join UConn’s freshman class as soon as the tournament ends in October.
“I think Canada’s point guard is pretty good,” Auriemma said. “I don’t want her to be really good on Sept. 15 and we’re going to do our best to make her look terrible.”
Auriemma said he’s confident that Nurse’s development with the national team will be equal, if not greater, than what she would have received at UConn during the months she will away from campus.
“One of the advantages you have playing international basketball is that 99 percent of the time you are playing against players older and more experienced than you are,” Auriemma said. “If you are the youngest player on the team, you have a lot to learn. But at the same time, the experience and education you are getting is unlike anything you will get anywhere else.
“I would imagine that after the summer and fall training with them [Canada] and playing in the World Championship, that when Kia shows up on campus she is going to be be much different than most 17 year olds who come to college. She reminds me in many ways of where Svetlana Abrosimova and Breanna Stewart were when they came to UConn because of all the international play they’ve had in advance of college.”