Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Recruiting update

The only way Kelsey Bone, considered to be one of the prize jewels in the current recruiting class, will be coming to Gampel Pavilion will be as a member of the visiting team.

UConn had long considered the 6-foot-4 forward/center from Dulles High in Sugarland, Tex., to be a priority but Bone has eliminated UConn from her list and will now choose between Texas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina.

Krista Gross, a 6-foot wing from Charlotte, N.C., is tops among the list of players currently being recruited by the Huskies. Gross is planning an official visit to UConn from Oct. 17-19 and will be on hand for both the annual “First Night” festivities on Oct. 17 and the first full-scale practice the following day.

UConn coach Auriemma visited the Gross family the first day of the NCAA’s contact period earlier this month.

Kelly Faris, a 5-foot-11 wing from Plainfield, Ind. and the first player to commit to UConnn in the Class of 2009, is also expected to be on campus during the “First Night” event. UConn is also recruiting Jasmine Hassell, a 6-2 post player from Lebanon, Tenn., but no official visit has been set.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Huskies, Lady Vols lead the way

In what is hardly stunning news, alumni from UConn and Tennessee dominate the WNBA playoff rosters.

UConn and Tennessee each have 10 players each on the eight playoff rosters followed by Georgia and Louisiana State with five players.

Here's the breakdown
Svetlana Abrosimova, Connecticut
Ashley Battle, New York
Sue Bird, Seattle
Swin Cash, Seattle
Asjha Jones, Connecticut
Jessica Moore, Los Angeles
Tamika Raymond, Connecticut
Kelly Schumacher, Detroit
Ketia Swanier, Connecticut
Barbara Turner, Connecticut

Shannon Bobbitt, Los Angeles
Tamika Catchings, Indiana
Shanna Crossley, San Antonio (injured, will not play)
Shyra Ely, Seattle
Alexis Hornbuckle, Detroit
Kara Lawson, Sacramento
Loree Moore, New York
Candace Parker, Los Angeles
Ashley Robinson, Seattle
Sidney Spencer, Los Angeles

The playoffs start on Thursday with Connecticut playing at New York at 7 p.m. and San Antonio playing at Sacramento.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Whalen tomorrow

With the playoff seeds already set and his team guaranteed to play New York in the first round of the WNBA playoffs, Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault isn't going to take any chances and will let point guard Lindsay Whalen rest her tender ankle when the Sun wrap up the regular season with a home game against Washington Saturday.

Even though the Sun could finish tied with Detroit with a win against the Mystics and Detroit loss to New York, Detroit would earn the No. 1 seed by winning the season series against Connecticut.

The Sun and Liberty will play Thursday at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. Game two is Sept. 20 at Mohegan Sun Arena and the third game, if necessary, would be on Sept. 22 also in Uncasville.

In other news, Tamika Raymond is the Sun's candidate for the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Former Connecticut Sun players Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Detroit), Shannon "Pee Wee" Johnson (Houston) and Kristen Rasmussen (Minnesota) as well as former UConn star Sue Bird (Seattle) are others up for the award.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No repeat for taurasi, Mercury

There will be a new WNBA champion after Phoenix was eliminated from playoff contention with an 89-78 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night.

Former UConn star Diana Taurasi had 22 points but was 9 of 24 from the floor and 1 for 8 from 3-point range. Taurasi forced up a pair of ill-advised shots in consecutive fourth-quarter possessions. Coming up empty in both trips pretty much sealed the Mercury's fate. While Taurasi and fellow Olympian Cappie Pondexter took 36 of Phoenix's 71 shots, balance was the key for Detroit as five players attempted between 10-13 shots and Deanna Nolan led six Shock players in double figures with 18 points. If Connecticut fails to rally against Houston, the Shock and Sun will be tied atop the Eastern Conference standings with Detroit holding the tiebreaker by winning the season series against Connecticut. The Sun trail 39-31 at halftime.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Playoff update

While the order of finish is yet to be determined, the four teams in the WNBA's Eastern Conference are set. Indiana joined Connecticut, Detroit and New York in the playoffs thanks to Chicago's loss to New York on Sunday.

Connecticut currently leads Detroit by a game and New York by a game and a half. Connecticut and Detroit each have three games left and New York has four games remaining. If my math is correct, Indiana could still finish third if the Fever wins out and New York loses the rest of its game since Indiana won the season series against the Liberty.

The Sun also own the head-to-head tiebreaker against New York but would lose the first tiebreaker to Detroit. The good news for Connecticut is that Detroit and New York play each other on Sept. 14 so one of its main competitors is guaranteed a loss.

In the West, Minnesota became the first team to be eliminated. San Antonio, Seattle and Los Angeles have secured playoff spots. Sacramento leads defending champion Phoenix by two games and Houston by three games with three games left for all three teams. Since Sacramento won two of the three regular-season games against Phoenix, the only way the Mercury can avoid being the first defending champion in WNBA to miss the playoffs the following season would be to win all of its remaining games and have Sacramento lose of three of its games. Considering that Sacramento's remaining games are against Seattle, Houston and San Antonio, it is a plausible scenario.

Friday, September 05, 2008

New-look Sun on Sunday

No, the Connecticut Sun did not sign former UConn players Amy Duran, Maria Conlon, Christine Rigby, Morgan Valley or Brittany Hunter to make it an even 10 ex-Huskies on the roster, but in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the first place team in the WNBA's Eastern Conference will have a different looking uniforms for Sunday's nationally-televised game against San Antonio.

Here's the WNBA release

-- WNBA Players To Wear special Pink and White Uniforms on
Nationally Televised Games During WNBA Breast Health Awareness Week --

--Proceeds to Benefit the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund
in partnership with The V Foundation --

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2008 – Continuing an effort that has raised more than $2 million for breast health awareness, the Women’s National Basketball Association will host several activities from Sunday, Sept. 7 to Saturday, Sept. 13, to generate awareness about breast cancer and raise funds to help fight the disease.

Two nationally televised WNBA games will include special programming on the league’s breast health initiative and awareness efforts. Those games include San Antonio vs. Connecticut on ABC at 1 p.m. ET. on Sept. 7, and Phoenix vs. Detroit on ESPN 2 at 7 p.m. ET. on Sept. 9. Each WNBA team donated pink and white autographed basketballs and both home teams participating in the televised games will wear white uniforms with pink trim, which will also be auctioned off for charity. In addition, coaches will wear pink ties or scarves and the referees will use pink whistles during these games. The official WNBA Breast Health Awareness logo will be displayed on the court

As part of the weeklong events, the WNBA Breast Health Auction will launch on, with proceeds benefiting the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation. Yow is North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, who is currently battling breast cancer for the third time. She was also the recipient of the 2008 WNBA Inspiring Coach Award.

The Auction will feature, for the first time, game worn apparel featuring some of the league's top stars, autographed WNBA memorabilia, and specially designed autographed pink and white WNBA Breast Health Awareness basketballs.
“Through this auction, in-arena awareness nights, nationally televised games and other events throughout the week, the WNBA and its players are bringing attention to this important cause and raising funds that are needed for research and education efforts,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “We are pleased to be able to donate this year’s proceeds to Kay Yow’s foundation, as she is a true inspiration to all of us both on and off the court.”

The WNBA will use its various assets to help communicate the Breast Health message including a special PSA that will run on the scoreboard and PA announcements will be broadcast in arena by each participating WNBA team. will also provide a special section for the auction, along with daily content and editorial pieces on breast health. For more information, visit

About the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund
The Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, in partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, is a 501 c(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.

Kay Yow, North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, is a past president and founding member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and a galvanizing voice for the Association. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and is currently battling the disease for the third time. In her 37 years as a head coach at the college level, Yow is one of only six Division I head women's basketball mentors to achieve 700 career victories. Yow was also the head coach of the 1988 US Olympic Team that won the gold medal in Seoul.

For more information, visit Donations can be made at or by calling 1-800-4JimmyV. All donations are tax deductible.

About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams and in the midst of its 12th season, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The season tipped off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its “WNBA Tuesdays” telecasts. During the 2008 season, combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Schedule is out

The schedule was released today as expected. No big surprises. I did think the Rhode Island and South Carolina games would be switched since UConn has tended to play two home games in the days before New Year's in recent years.

There will be plenty of frequent flyer miles to be accrued with eight road games in a span of 43 days in January and February. The other side of the equation is that the Feb. 7 game at Marquette will be the last game outside of New England or the tri-state area until the NCAA tournament.

SU 16 GEORGIA TECH (GP) 2:00 p.m.
TH 20 SAN DIEGO STATE (XL) 7:00 p.m.
SA 22 RHODE ISLAND (XL) 1:00 p.m.
TU 25 at BYU TBA
SU 30 OKLAHOMA (GP) 8:15 p.m.
W 3 HOLY CROSS (GP) 7:30 p.m.
SU 14 vs. Penn State at Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden 2:30 p.m.
TH 18 vs. Florida State, Northern Colorado or Washington (Caribbean Classic, Cancun)F 19 vs. Florida State, Northern Colorado or Washington (Caribbean Classic, Cancun)SU 21 vs. Florida State, Northern Colorado or Washington (Caribbean Classic, Cancun)SU 28 at South Carolina TBA
W 31 HARTFORD (XL) 12:00 p.m.
SA 3 LSU (XL) noon p.m.
TU 6 at South Florida 7 p.m.
SA 10 at West Virginia TBA
Tu 13 DEPAUL (GP) 7:30 p.m.
SA 17 SYRACUSE (XL) noon
M 19 at North Carolina 7 p.m.
SA 24 at Cincinnati TBA
M 26 LOUISVILLE (GP) 7:30 p.m.
SA 31 at Georgetown TBA
TU 3 RUTGERS (XL) 8 p.m.
SA 7 at Marquette 8 p.m.
W 11 at St. John's TBA
SU 15 PITTSBURGH (GP) 3:30 p.m.
W 18 at Providence 7 p.m.
SU 22 NOTRE DAME (XL) 2 p.m.
TU 24 VILLANOVA (GP) 7:30 p.m.
SA 28 SETON HALL (XL) 7:30 p.m.
M 2 at Rutgers 7:30 p.m.
6-10 BIG EAST Tournament at XL Center)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Scheduling update

While the schedule is not out yet - I'm hearing either later today or tomorrow as the likely release date - another piece of the non-conference schedule is in place. With the Atlantic Coast Conference releasing their schedules, we now know that Georgia Tech will play at UConn on Nov. 16. While the dates of non-conference games against South Carolina, Hartford and Rhode Island have not been announced, I am figuring that game against Georgia Tech would be the season opener. If I was guessing, I would say the game at South Carolina would be slotted in between the Dec. 3 Holy Cross game and Maggie Dixon Classic game against Penn State on Dec. 14 while the Rhode Island and Hartford games would be played after Christmas but before New Year's day.

Here's what the schedule looks like to date:
Georgia Tech Nov. 16
San Diego State Nov. 20
at BYU Nov. 25
Oklahoma Nov. 30
Holy Cross Dec. 3 (7:30/Gampel)
Penn State, Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden Dec. 14
Caribbean Classic at Cancun (games against Florida State, Washington, Northern Colorado) Dec. 18, 19, 21
LSU Jan. 3 (at XL Center, Hartford)
at North Carolina Jan. 19 7 p.m.

at South Carolina
Rhode Island

Rutgers Feb. 3 (per Rutgers announcement of schedule)
Notre Dame
Seton Hall

Rutgers Mar. 2 (per Rutgers announcement of schedule)
St. John's
South Florida
West Virginia

The first exhibition game will be against Division II Stonehill College on Nov. 6. The other will be against a barnstorming team of professionals, probably somewhere between Nov. 10-12.

Speaking of LSU, the Lady Tigers played three exhibition games on Saturday and Sunday in Canada. With seven freshmen and a junior college transfer, LSU bears little resemblence to the Sylvia Fowles, Quianna Chaney led group which has been Final Four regulars in recent years. Of the four returnees, it should be noted that sophomores Katherine Graham and Latear Eason come into the season with 57 career points between them. It should not be a surprise that junior guard Allison Hightower, the most accomplished of LSU's veteran players, led the squad with 45 points in the three exhibition games. Senior forward Kristen Morris, who has 202 points in 80 career games, was one of six players who averaged between 7-8.3 points in the three games. While it can be dangerous reading too much into stats from exhibition games, it appears as if Hightower, Morris, Graham and freshmen Swayze Black, Destiny Hughes, Courtney Jones and Taylor Turnbow will be the top players for the new-look Lady Tigers.