Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UConn schedule is out

Here is a look at UConn's schedule featuring 16 games against teams that made the NCAA tournament including two against the Notre Dame team which eliminated UConn in the national semifinals.

2011-12 UConn schedule
(Home games at Gampel Pavilion unless noted)

Nov. 3 Assumption (exhibition), 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 Pace (exhibition), XL Center, 7 p.m.
Nov. 13 Holy Cross, 2 p.m.
Nov. 15 Pacific. 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21 Stanford (XL Center), 7:30 p.m. ESPNU
World Vision Classic (at Gampel)
Nov. 25 vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 27 vs. Dayton, 4:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 Towson (XL Center), 7 p.m.
Dec. 6 Texas A&M Jimmy V Classic at XL Center 7 p.m. ESPN2
Dec. 9 at Seton Hall, 7 p.m.
Dec. 18 at Baylor 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Dec. 21 at College of Charleston, 7 p.m. Carolina First Arena
Dec. 29 vs. Fairfield , 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 4 West Virginia (XL Center), 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 at Notre Dame 4 p.m. CBS
Jan. 10 Providence (XL Center), 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Villanova, TBA
Jan. 16 North Carolina 7 p.m. ESPN2
Jan. 19 Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 at DePaul, TBA
Jan. 25 at Syracuse, 7 p.m.
Jan. 28 South Florida (XL Center), 1 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Duke 7 p.m. ESPN2
Feb. 4 Rutgers, TBA
Feb. 7 at Louisville 7 p.m. CBS-SN
Feb. 11 Georgetown 4 p.m. Big East TV (including SNY)
Feb. 13 at Oklahoma 9 p.m. ESPN2
Feb. 18 St. John's, TBA
Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh, TBA
Feb. 25 at Marquette, TBA
Feb. 27 Notre Dame (XL Center) 9 p.m. ESPN2

Ten UConn games on national TV

UConn's entire 2011-12 schedule will be coming out in about a half hour but here's a list of games to be shown on national television or in some cases, somewhat national television.

November 21 Stanford at Connecticut 7:30 p.m. ESPNU
December 6 Texas A&M at Connecticut Women’s Jimmy V Classic 7 p.m. ESPN2
December 18 Connecticut at Baylor 8:30 p.m. ESPN
January 7 Connecticut at Notre Dame 4 p.m. CBS
January 16 North Carolina at Connecticut Big Monday 7 p.m. ESPN2
January 30 Connecticut at Duke Big Monday 7 p.m. ESPN2
February 7 Connecticut at Louisville 7 p.m. CBS-SN
February 11 Georgetown at Connecticut 4 p.m. Big East TV (including SNY)
February 13 Connecticut at Oklahoma Play 4Kay/Big Monday 9 p.m. ESPN2
February 27 Notre Dame at Connecticut Big Monday 9 p.m. ESPN2

Sun are in the playoffs

After missing the playoffs for the last two years, the Connecticut Sun clinched a spot on Tuesday night.

It was far from an ideal way of getting into the playoffs as the Sun followed up a puzzling loss at Tulsa by losing 78-66 at San Antonio. But Chicago's loss to New York guaranteed Connecticut one of the four Eastern Conference playoff spots.

"This doesn’t feel real good," Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault said after the game. "You’d rather win to get in [the playoffs]. You don’t want to back in. We were going to get in eventually, but it’s not a fun way to have it happen. I’d rather walk off the court with a win and say we did something great tonight. We didn’t do much great tonight."

Veteran forward Asjha Jones, the only member of the 2008 Connecticut Sun team still with the squad, had a similar reaction.

"At least we’re in, right?" Jones said. "The last two years we haven’t gotten to the playoffs, so I guess that’s something to be thankful for tonight. We’re not too proud of our performance, but at least we’re in.”

Three years doesn't sound like a long time but just out of curiousity I looked at the Sun's 2008 statistics to see how much things have changes. Only six of the 14 players who suited up for the Sun in '08 are on active WNBA rosters (Jones, Minnesota guard Lindsay Whalen, Indiana guard Erin Phillips, Phoenix guard Ketia Swanier, Washington guard Kerri Gardin and Tulsa forward Amber Holt). Tamika Whitmore, Barbara Turner, Sandrine Gruda, Svetlana Abrosimova, Jamie Carey, Jolene Anderson, Tamika Raymond and Danielle Page were all members of the 2008 Sun squad who haven't played in the league this year.

Think about this year's squad as seven of the 11 players were college kids back in 2008. Renee Montgomery, Kalana Greene and Tina Charles were all teammates at UConn, Kelsey Griffin was enrolled at Nebraska, Danielle McCray was at Kansas, Allison Hightower and Jessica Breland were college students at LSU and North Carolina, Kara Lawson was a member of the Sacramento Monarchs, Tan White was with the Indiana Fever while Jessica Moore played for the Los Angeles Sparks.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Schedule should be out tomorrow

Looks like UConn will be releasing its 2011-12 schedule tomorrow afternoon.

UConn has already announced its non-conference schedule with the question being whether the home game against Fairfield will be on Dec. 28 or 29. Some of the times are available through various sites and here is what I have to date.

Nov. 3 Assumption (exhibition)
Nov. 9 Pace (exhibition)
Nov. 13 Holy Cross
Nov. 15 Pacific
Nov. 21 vs. Stanford
World Vision Classic
Nov. 25 vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 27 vs. Dayton, 4:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 Towson
Dec. 6 vs. Texas A&M (Jimmy V Classic), 7 p.m. (Gampel)
Dec. 18 at Baylor, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 at College of Charleston, 7 p.m. Carolina First Arena
Dec. 28 or 29 vs. Fairfield
Jan. 16 vs. North Carolina
Jan. 30 at Duke
Feb. 13 at Oklahoma

The Big East schedule will be the opposite of what it was last season. In other words, the conference games UConn played on the road will be played at home and vice versa. UConn will once again face Notre Dame both at home and on the road.

Here is the breakdown of Big East games
Home: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, South Florida, West Virginia
Away: DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sun squander chance to clinch playoff berth

With a victory over lowly Tulsa or a Chicago loss to New York, the Connecticut Sun would have clinched it's first playoff berth since 2008 on Sunday. However, the Sun fell apart in the second half both offensively and defensively en route to losing to a Tulsa squad fresh off snapping a WNBA record 20-game losing streak. That, coupled with Chicago's one-point win means Connecticut will have to wait until Tuesday for another chance to clinch.

It won't be easy as Connecticut has to play at San Antonio. But, if the Sun pull it off or Chicago loses at New York that night., the Sun will be in the playoffs. The loss to Tulsa could prove costly Connecticut's bid to catch first-place Indiana in the race for home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. One look at Connecticut's road record with season should serve as a reminder of how important that could be if both Indiana and Connecticut reach the Eastern Conference final.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UConn finishes undefeated in Italian tour

UConn finished its four-game swing through Italy with a dominating win.

With red tape keeping the Nigerian national team from playing UConn as originally scheduled, the Huskies played the TDT Slammers for a quarter and the Castellanza Select for the final three quarters.

Tiffany Hayes had 18 points in UConn's 116-33 win. Hayes also had nine rebounds and nine assists. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists while Michala Johnson, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes scored 14 points. Dolson and Stokes were each 7-for-7 from the floor.

Mosqueda-Lewis led the Huskies with 67 points and 14 3-pointers while Stefanie Dolson (15.8), Tiffany Hayes (14.8) and Bria Hartley (13.0) were other top scorers.

UConn recruiting target in international event

UConn Class of 2013 recruiting target Taya Reimer is one of four players who will compete on the United States squad in the inaugural Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship.

Reimer, a 6-foot-3 forward/center from Fishers, Ind., will be joined by Tennessee commit Kaela Davis as well as Rebecca Greenwell and Linnae Harper.

The four players helped lead the USA to a 5-0 record and gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Merida, Mexico earlier this year. Greenwell finished the USA's leading scorer averaging 15.6 points and added 5.6 rebounds a game. Harper averaged 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-best 3.4 assists while Davis averaged 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2 assists while Reimer added 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds.

The team will train Sept. 3-5 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The draw and game schedule for the Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship will be announced by FIBA at a later date.


Pretty shocking day

Much of my day was spent getting reaction from tennis fans and players after the Jelena Jankovic/Elena Vesnina match at the New Haven Open was suspended for nearly 2 1/2 hours when the ground shook shortly before 2 p.m. at the Connecticut Tennis Center.

However, shock waves were sent through the women's basketball world with the news that legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

Summitt said that she plans on continuing to coach the Lady Vols.

Reaction was swift from all parts of the women's basketball world.

Geno Auriemma issued a statement commenting on Summitt's long fight ahead.

"I was shocked and saddened to hear about the news regarding Pat Summitt's diagnosis. You don't necessarily associate dementia with people our age so this announcement really put things in perspective. Pat has great support from her family, friends and staff and I know they will help her immensely. There is no doubt in my mind that Pat will take on this challenge as she has all others during her Hall of Fame career - head on. I wish her all the best."

Connecticut Sun guard Kara Lawson, a Tennessee grad, had this to say:

"Coach Summitt has an incredible passion for basketball and an incredible passion for life. She has been, and will continue to be, a mentor and a major influence in my life. As heartbreaking as the day has been for myself, the fans, and all those associated with the Lady Vol program, we can take comfort in knowing that this disease has never crossed a person like Coach Summitt before. We can take comfort in knowing Coach Summitt will continue to lead, continue to pioneer, and continue to be a role model for all of us. My sincere love and prayers go to Pat, Tyler, and their entire family."

Obviously Summitt was at the forefront of the decision to discontinue the incredibly-successful non-conference series between Tennessee and UConn and many people in this state have strong opinions about Summitt because of that. However, there can be no disputing that she is one of the most influential coaches not only in women's collegiate basketball or evenin women's sports but in sports period. My dealings with her over the years have always been extremely cordial and like others, I am impressed with the passion she brings to her craft. I can only hope that this works out for the best for Pat, her family and circle of friends.

On a personal note, my grandfather was one of the most amazing people I have ever encountered and the later stages of his life were impacted by Alzheimer's. It can be a brutal process seeing a loved one deal with a syndrome like Alzheimer's. Many years have passed since my grandfather's passing and I can only hope that medical science have made and will continue to make the strides to help those with Alzheimer's, early on-set dementia and other syndromes which affect memory and cognitive thinking.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Three Huskies on Wade Trophy watch list

UConn's Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley and Tiffany Hayes were named as candidates for the Wade Trophy list.

Dolson, a 6-foot-5 sophomore center, started 36 games as a freshman and averaged 10.2 points and 6.1 rebounds while tying for the team lead with 46 blocked shots.

Hartley, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard, averaged 12.4 points, led the Huskies with 69 3-pointers and contributed 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Hayes, one of three players to start all 38 games for UConn last season, is a 5-10 senior guard who averaged 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals

Notre Dame is the only other school with three players on the "Wade Watch" list as Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel and Devereaux Peters made the list as candidates for the prestigious national player of the year award.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Mosqueda-Lewis leads UConn past German squad

Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led five players in double figures with 18 points as UConn defeated the TDT Slammers 112-36 in Florence, Italy on Monday.

Mosqueda-Lewis also had six rebounds and five steals. Senior Tiffany Hayes 17 points and nine rebounds, sophomore Bria Hartley had 16 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and five steals while Brianna Banks and Heather Buck added 11 points as UConn improved to 3-0 on its tour of Italy. The Huskies will wrap up play on Wednesday against the Nigerian national team in Como, Italy.

Heading into the final game, four Huskies are averaging more than 10 points per game led by Mosqueda-Lewis' 17.3. She also has 13 3-pointers but more impressively is shooting 54 percent from 3-point range. Stefanie Dolson is averaging 16.3 points (on 71 percent shooting) and 6.3 rebounds per game. Hartley is averaging 14 points and a team-best 6.7 assists while Hayes is contributing 13.7 points per game even if she is struggling from 3-point range while adding 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Banks is averaging 9.3 points, 4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot per game. The top two rebounders are Kelly Faris (25 rebounds in the three games) and Kiah Stokes (20).

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

U.S. wins World University Games title

Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike had 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead the U.S. to the World University Games title with a 101-66 win over Taiwan.

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins had 19 points and six assists, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne added 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

Delle Donne, who signed a letter of intent with UConn but never suited up for the Huskies, led the U.S. in scoring averaging 15.7 points per game. She also led the team in rebounding (8.5) and with 11 3-pointers. Nneka Ogwumike averaged 13.2 points and 5.7 rebounds, Diggins averaged 12.3 points while leading the team with 29 assists and 20 steals while Notre Dame's Devereaux Peters also scored in double figures, averaging 10 points per game to help the U.S. finish 6-0 and win the WUG title for the fourth straight time.

Auriemma unhappy to see Hathaway leave UConn

Here are some thoughts from UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma on the "retirement" of UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway.

"This has been a sad and difficult couple of days for me personally and professionally. Jeff Hathaway has been an integral part of our women's basketball program for the last 20 years. His support and guidance have helped us win seven national championships and his dedication to me as a friend and an administrator has been invaluable. Without a doubt, our basketball team would not have become the nation's premiere program without Jeff's support.

I am going to miss him on a personal and professional level. I am tremendously disappointed in the way this process played out. Neither Jeff nor the University deserved it.

At a time when we should be celebrating our athletic department's unprecedented success, It is unfortunate that a disgruntled few have chosen to focus on what is negative with our athletic department and attribute it to Jeff."

Pendergast was named as UConn's interim athletic director on Sunday.

I am going to remember Jeff for all the good that he has done for UConn."


Friday, August 19, 2011

Dolson, Mosqueda-Lewis lead UConn past Italian Select squad

Sophomore Stefanie Dolson and freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 22 points each as UConn defeated the Italian Select squad 98-52 on Friday in Rome.

Mosqueda-Lewis was 8-of-14 from the floor and she buried 6-of-11 from long-range. She hit five straight 3-pointers to push UConn's lead to 79-47 at the end of the third quarter.

Tiffany Hayes had 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals as UConn improved to 2-0 on its tour of Italy. Brianna Banks had 11 points while Bria Hartley added 10. Kelly Faris scored six points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Connecticut will play the Nigerian national team on Monday in Florence.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dolson leads UConn past Netherlands

Stefanie Dolson had 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting and had eight rebounds as UConn defeated the Netherlands national team 73-53 on Thursday.

Bria Hartley had 16 points, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 12 points and Tiffany Hayes 10 in the first of four games the Huskies will play during their trip to Italy while Kiah Stokes added nine rebounds.

“Overall, I thought we played well tonight," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We were really good for about 30 minutes and struggled for 10. We let the Netherlands get back into the game in the second quarter but I was happy with the way we came out in the second half. It’s going to be a year-long work in progress and this was a pretty good start.”

UConn opened up a 15-point lead in the second quarter but the Dutch rallied and cut Connecticut’s lead to just two points, 34-32, at the half. The Huskies seized control of the game in the third quarter though, holding the Netherlands scoreless during the first seven-minutes of the second stanza and cruised to the 20-point win.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” Dolson said. "Coach said we played well for 30 of the 40 minutes we were out there. Looking back, I can see that we were solid for a while and then would fall off a bit. Once we calmed down and stopped rushing things and just played together, we were really good."

UConn will play the Italian Select team on Friday at 1 p.m. (Eastern time).

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UConn is high on Xylina McDaniel's list

UConn not only has made the top four in the list of schools in contention for South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year Xylina McDaniel, but her AAU coach Roger Wiley said that Connecticut and South Carolina are the schools she mentions as her top choices in the conversations he has had with the versatile 6-foot-1 forward.

McDaniel narrowed her list to UConn, South Carolina, North Carolina and Providence although Wiley said he was not sure of the exact dates she will be visiting those schools. But there is no mistaking where her heart lies.

"She mentions South Carolina and Connecticut pretty often," said Wiley, who coaches McDaniel on the South Carolina 76ers AAU program. "They would have to be considered her favorites.

"Connecticut is a pretty impressive school while South Carolina is close to home."

Wiley said Providence, the most surprising school on her list of finalists, has been involved with McDaniel for quite some time and she has developed a bond with the coaches at that school. He also said she doesn't plan to expand her list and she has communicated to other school that those are her four finalists. DePaul, Rutgers and Oklahoma are among those schools that Wiley said had aggressively been pursuing the daughter of former NBA star Xavier McDaniel.

Wiley said the intention is for McDaniel to take all four visits before making her college choice although he admitted he has seen players fall in love with a school and commit before taking all the scheduled visits.

I would imagine that if UConn had its way, McDaniel would come up to visit in mid-October so she could be on hand for the First Night festivities as well as UConn's first official practice. Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck were among the recruits who were in attendance for those activities last year and both have committed to UConn. If UConn were to get McDaniel, it would put the capper on what is already an impressive list of commitments as Breanna Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck are considered to be among the top prospects in the Class of 2012.

When I spoke to Tuck at the U-19 training camp, she said she plans on being at Gampel Pavilion the weekend of Oct. 15-17 and Stewart said if it fits into her school, she would be there as well. Considering that Tuck, Jefferson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kiah Stokes and Brianna Banks were all up at UConn for First Night and the opening practice in 2010 and all committed to UConn (although Mosqueda-Lewis had already committed), obviously that is a key recruiting weekend for the Huskies. It could be even more of a big deal this year since I would imagine the UConn men's program will pay tribute to the national championship the Huskies won. Diamond DeShields, one of the top recruiting targets in the Class of 2013, was also on hand last year and it would not be a surprise to see her make the trip up from Georgia in mid-October as well nor would it be a stunner if fellow Class of 2013 recruiting targets Stephanie Mavunga, Taya Reimer, Karli Samuelson and Jannah Tucker are in the stands on Oct. 15 and 16.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Connecticut Sun spoil Maya Moore's homecoming

It's not that unusual that Maya Moore would be a part of a dynamic offensive performance but Tuesday was one of the rare times when she was on the wrong end of the barrage of points.

Moore, UConn's all-time leading scorer, was 1 of 7 from the floor and had two points in 20 minutes in Minnesota's 108-79 loss.

"It is as demanding as you allow it to be," Moore said when asked about her rookie season in the WNBA. "It depends on how you handle it. If you let it paralyze you, pressure is not good. I tried to do my best. I am focusing and doing whatever I can to do my part. Tomorrow is another day, Thursday is another game."

If the Sun could freeze Tuesday's performance in time, it would be done pronto.

The performance was so impressive that Connecticut coach Mike Thibault could not come up with anything to critique after the victory.

"I told the players after the game that I had nothing to complain to them about," Thibault said. "I ran out of stuff to (complain) about so it was a real short post-game talk. It was terrific basketball for us, unselfish, move the basketball and they just played. It was one of those games you hope to have when you have a crowd like this to watch.

"Probably from beginning to end, it was one of the best games we have played."

So when was the last time he had nothing to complain about.

"I don't know, probably years because that is a coach's nature to find something to complain about."

Since inquiring minds want to know, I posed the question to Asjha Jones (who has played for Thibault since 2004) and veteran Minnesota forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin, a former star for Thibault's Sun team.

"The second time I've heard that," Jones said. "The first time was '04 when we went to the finals.

McWilliams-Franklin offered some more specific info.

"One time. I remember when we went to Detroit and got smoked but he didn't complain," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We were down 40 at halftime, you can't complain when you are down by that much because basically you are doing everything right or something wrong."

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Asjha Jones talks about Europe

In between her freshman and sophomore seasons at UConn, Asjha Jones was part of a Huskies' squad that got to travel to Europe. With the current UConn squad en route to Italy to play four games, I decided to ask Jones her take on the benefits of getting practice and games under their belt before preseason kicks off next month.

"They have a lot of young guys so I think it will be good for them to be around Coach for an extended period of time," Jones said. "Just traveling with him and getting to know his personality and him getting to know theirs so for the young guys, the new guys it is going to give them a head start on the season."

The trip back in 1999 allowed Sue Bird to get her basketball legs under her after missing most of her freshman season with a knee injury. Both Bird and UConn coach Geno Auriemma credited that experience for helping her emerge into an elite point guard as a sophomore.

"Unfortunately we were hit with a lot of injuries our freshman year so we got those guys back on the court and back in shape before we had to start our preseason," Jones said.

Staying on the subject of Europe, Jones is planning to play a full season with Rivas Ecopolis in Madrid, Spain once her USA Basketball and WNBA responsibilities are completed.

Jones chose not to play in Europe last year to rest her ailing body but obviously she is feeling much better these days to sign up for a full season in the ultra competitive EuroLeague.

"After we are finished after USA Basketball (training camp in September), I will go there," Jones said. "Last year when I took a year off, I wasn't planning on stopping. It is just a matter of getting my body in order and getting back healthy. I am going to try to see how I hold up for the (entire) season.

"I am feeling a lot better than I was last year at this time. I wouldn't have taken the job if I wasn't going to be able to play."

While the time away from the court helped reinvigorate Jones' body, it did result in her having some rust in her game that she needed to shake off.

"It is good because this year when I came back and started playing, I felt out of rhythm and didn't have my game where I needed to be," Jones said. "I am the type of player who I have to play in order to get better, I can't take a whole lot of time off and expect myself to get better. I had to because my body needed it but now I have to get back to where I need it to be in order to keep playing."


Monday, August 15, 2011

Taurasi honored by WNBA

Former UConn star Diana Taurasi was named the WNBA's Western Conference Player of the Week after averaging 22.7 points and 4.3 assists in three games.

Taurasi had 26 points in an 85-80 win over Minnesota, 21 points and five assists in win over Atlanta and 21 points and six assists in loss to Los Angles.

Chicago center Sylvia Fowles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week afrer averaging 25 pointa and 13.7 rebounds in three games.


Not much to report on Xylina McDaniel

I just spoke with Spring Valley High girls' basketball coach Anne Long, the coach of UConn recruiting target Xylina McDaniel to try to get a handle on when the 6-foot-1 forward will be making a decision.

Long said that the family is sitting down this week to come up with the list of schools she will be taking official visits to and that no commitment is expected until after she takes her official visits.

Of course, I've been covering recruiting long enough to know that a commitment could come out of the blue but will continue to monitor the situation.

McDaniel is the only uncommitted member of the Class of 2012 that UConn is still actively pursuing.

McDaniel, the South Carolina's Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, took an unofficial visit to UConn in February and was in attendance when UConn defeated DePaul on Feb. 5.

As a junior, the daughter of former NBA star Xavier McDaniel, averaged 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game to lead Spring Valley to an undefeated season.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banks opening some eyes; a little recruiting update

Watching the final hour of Friday's UConn practice at Gampel Pavilion, I saw pretty much what I thought I would see. Bria Hartley, Tiffany Hayes and Stefanie Dolson were making plays all over the place as would be expected from three players expected to be the cornerstone players on the 2011-12 squad. Kelly Faris, while struggling to make shots, did a little bit of everything else. Highly-touted freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer while classmate Kiah Stokes showed that she will add some size and athleticism in the post. But the real revelation was the third freshman Brianna Banks.

Watching her hit 3-pointers with regularity, slashing to the basket and playing with such ease and style made me think I was watching Tiffany Hayes play as a freshman. I am not alone in that opinion. Hayes also sees the similarity between herself and Banks.

"Definitely, I saw it from the first day in pickup," Hayes said. "She is a lefty, she shoots, she drives, she is quick so I see some of the same things. I definitely want to try to help her to develop more quickly than I did. She is definitely going to have a big impact, a great impact on this team."

While UConn's freshman class looks like an impressive group and the next recruiting class already features impressive prospects Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck.

With commitments from Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck, the UConn coaching staff spent much of the recently-completed open recruiting season identifying prospects in the Class of 2013.

UConn has already been very involved in Diamond DeShields and Taya Reimer. Now some other names of possible recruiting targets are starting to emerge including Stephanie Mavunga and Jannah Tucker, who were teammates of Reimer's on the U.S. Under-16 national team.

Mavunga, a 6-foot-3 forward out of Indianapolis, Ind., averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds while leading the U.S. squad with a 59.5 field-goal percentage. Perhaps the most impressive part of the numbers she put up was that she did in while averaging just 13.2 minutes per game.

As a sophomore at Brownsburg High, Mavunga had a game with 30 points, 22 rebounds and 11 blocks against Plainfield in December and she averaged 18.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2 steals and 4.3 blocks.

Tucker, a 6-foot guard from Randallstown, Md., averaged 26.2 points, 12 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 8 steals as a sophomore at New Town High School and had a school-record 39 points in a game against Southside Academy.

Tucker started all five games in the 2011 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship. She averaged 9.4 points, was second on the team in rebounding pulling down 7.2 a game and was second in assists and 3-pointers made, third in steals and blocked shots. Yes, those are UConn recruit type of numbers if I have ever seen them.

Reimer, a 6-foot-3 forward from Fishers, Ind. who is a versatile enough offensive player to shoot 45 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore at Hamilton Southeastern High School. Reimer, the daughter of former NBA player Ben Davis, averaged 4.8 and 5 rebounds for the U-16 squad.

Another name drawing UConn's interest is California guard Karlie Samuelson.

Samuelson, the sister of Stanford freshman and former UConn recruiting target Bonnie Samuelson, had four games with at least five 3-pointers and 10 20-point games as a sophomore at Edison High in Huntington Beach, Calif.

DeShields, the daughter of former Major League Baseball star Delino DeShields, was the youngest player on U.S. team which won the FIBA U-19 World Championships. The star at Norcross High is probably the most highly-touted high school player out of Georgia since Maya Moore.

DeShields, a 6-foot-1 forward, averaged 20.6 points and 6.2 rebounds as a sophomore at Norcross High playing for Angie Hembree, who also coached Moore for a couple of seasons at Collins Hill High School. DeShields averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for the U.S. U-19 squad.

Bear in mind that it is very early in the recruiting process for the Class of 2013 since they haven't even started their junior year of high school so other prospects could catch the eyes of the UConn staff between now and the time letters of intent can be signed. But these are some of the rising high school juniors worth keeping an eye on.

As for the seniors to be, South Carolina forward Xylina McDaniel is the top uncommitted prospect on UConn's recruiting radar.

The 6-foot-1 McDaniel, who made an unofficial visit to UConn in February, is a talented wing who is the daughter of former NBA great Xavier McDaniel. McDaniel was named the Gatorade South Carolina Player of the Year after averaging 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while leading Spring Valley to an undefeated season and the South Carolina 4A title as a junior.

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Stokes named player of the year

UConn freshman forward/center Kiah Stokes was named the Des Moines Register's female athlete of the year.

Stokes was a star on the volleyball team and a two-time Gatorade state player of the year for the Linn-Mar basketball team.

Stokes and the rest of the Huskies will be leaving Tuesday for a tour of Italy which will include playing four games.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Trip to Italy about more than just basketball

Make no mistake, from the basketball side of things a trip overseas like the one the UConn women's basketball team is about to embark on is incredibly beneficial.

Freshmen Brianna Banks, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes have an opportunity to go through full practices for 10 days before heading to Italy on Tuesday when the Huskies will play four games.

But for UConn coach Geno Auriemma, trips like the one his team will be taking, is as much about broadening his players' horizons.

"It is kind of funny, we should probably take them on a tour of the United States," Auriemma said. "A lot of these guys, if you showed them a map of the U.S., couldn't point to more than two states - the one they are in and the one they are born in. For us to take them over so they can see the Vatican, the Colosseum, this is the Uffizi (Palace) in Florence. You hope that they understand the significance of all of that. I think it is our job when we go over.

"I'll never forget the first time we went over in 1994 and we got to Paris and it was early in the morning. Right away, we went on a sight-seeing tour and at the end of the day the kids were shot. We had to hurry up the next morning and leave to go to Belgium to play two game but we had two hours from 8-10 before the bus was leaving. I remember saying to the kids 'whoever wants to go to the Lu (Tower) meet me in the lobby.' So we show up and there is Jamelle Elliott, Jen Rizzotti, Kim Better and maybe another player. We went over there, rushed throuigh it and saw as much as we could, ran back to hotel and the rest of the guys were sleeping in the lobby. I remember I said this to Rebecca (Lobo) especially because I wanted to needle her a little bit. I said when you get home and your mom asks 'what did you do when you went to Paris?' I want you to say 'mom and dad everybody else went to The Lu but I slept in the lobby of the hotel.' I think that will be pretty impressive. So from that point on, if we said 'hey, look there is a guy selling sausages and peppers, let's go see.' You just have to teach them what the object of the trip is and what is important and how many opportunities they are going to get to see things like this in your lifetime and by the end of the trip they have a better appreciation."

UConn did these trips in 1994 and 1999 but since freshmen weren't allowed to join the team, Auriemma had little interest in making the trips. When that changed recently, he signed up with a trip to Italy.

"It went back and forth and back and forth," Auriemma said. "In the two times we went in '94 and '99, the freshmen couldn't go and I stared to realize 'what is the point?' So we went in November that one year (2006). People kept posting that freshmen should be able to go and then they kept voting conference one or two kept voting no. We kept saying 'why?' They kept saying 'it is too expensive.' That is for you, but if we want to go why shouldn't we be able to go. You can't buy that car because I can't afford it. So what. So eventually, enough people said that was ridiculous.

"Football players come out, practice and sometimes they play three games before they even start a class. I think eventually once the kids sign their letters of intent to come to summer school, they do their six weeks of summer school they are on your team, they are part of your program. To leave them home, it just doesn't make any sense. That is when we decided that once they passed that rule, we'd start going back in August."


Caroline Doty talks about injury

While Caroline Doty would love nothing more than to see game action on UConn's upcoming trip to Europe, she knows appearing in four exhibition games is not worth risking the upcoming season. So while Doty is able to take part in some full-court drills, she will not take part in any of the games the Huskies will play in Italy from Thursday-Aug. 24.

"It's been tough, I am not going to lie but you have to have that positive approach and attitude to everything," Doty said after Friday's practice at Gampel Pavilion. "I have learned to be patient in the last year. I am able to practice, help with lines and kind of direct things around but it does (stink) not being able to play. I haven't played in a long time but I know it is coming soon. I know it is right around the corner. I can't rush it, I have to be patient and be mature. Rosemary (Ragle, UConn's trainer) has done a great job keeping my head on straight and I have a good relationship with the coaches. They said 'listen, just take it slow. It is going to come, it is going to come.'"

Doty had to sit out the entire 2010-11 season after tearing the ACL in her left knee. All signs were pointing to Doty being able to be in full participation in time for the trip to Europe. But in late June, Doty sprained her surgically-repaired left knee.

"I was playing 3 on 3 over the summer working up to full-court (drills) and I went to back cut," Doty said. "It didn't shift, it didn't buckle but it just felt weird. I knew it (the ACL) didn't go but I knew it wasn't right but I took myself off and kind of got it checked out."

Doty could play in the upcoming games, but UConn coach Geno Auriemma has no intention of pushing it stating that the goal is to have her ready for November.

"It is just a matter of timing," Auriemma said. "We are not going to play her until she is 100 percent ready and she is not there. When will that be, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, I just know that when the season starts she is going to be ready, she is going to be 100 percent. I have no doubt about it."

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Freshmen get early introduction to life under Geno

With teams able to legally hold practices in August in preparation of taking a trip overseas, it has been an eye-opening experience for not only UConn coach Geno Auriemma but his three freshmen.

Auriemma said Brianna Banks, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes "don't know a damn thing about playing basketball."

It's not something that he hasn't told every single freshman who has come into the Connecticut program.

"The freshmen are going through this scenario now rather than going through it in October 15 (the first day of practice)," Auriemma said before Thursday's WNBA game at Mohegan Sun Arena. "It will be really good for them because I told them the other day 'it just goes to show you that 9,000 AAU games in the last three years and you guys don't know a damn thing about playing basketball.' All this stuff that they play AAU and they come to college 'game ready.' They come and they don't know anything about how to play especially how to play with other really, really good players who are better than you. All these things, we are getting a head start on putting this team together and judging from what I've seen, it is going to be a long process."

In typical Auriemma fashion, he used to exploits of his former players to motivate his current players at a recent practice.

"I saw Tina, Kalana (Greene) and Renee (Montgomery) the other day," Auriemma said. "They came up to school. They just got back from Phoenix and they still get that same look when they play games and they play well and it is fun for me whenever I do get a chance to be around them. I know that is not often. I do get to use them as examples. I told the team that Tina got 23 rebounds the night before and I said that I don't think there will be anybody on our team that got 23 rebounds in a week counting games, practices and pre-game warmups."

Auriemma also said that the U.S. national team's next training camp will likely be held in Europe in September and he alluded to the fact that it could start before the first round of the WNBA playoffs.

"In September we'll go to Europe for probably our last training camp," Auriemma said. "We have to put the (Olympic) roster in next June and I don't know that we will have a chance to get together next April or May because of the way the seasons overlap. This could be the last time we get together and I don't know who is going to be there. Whoever is not playing in the (WNBA) finals or the semifinals (won't be there) so I am excited to see some of the younger guys. These training camps are not for the older guys, you already know what they are going to do but it is great to see some young kids who maybe haven't had an opportunity. So if Sue (Bird) and Diana (Taurasi) aren't there, that gives some guards some chances they wouldn't get. If Tina (Charles) and Sylvia Fowles aren't there, that gives a couple of big kids a chance to do some things. That is why I enjoy going to training camp because I want to see not only who cam be that part of the team but down the road, who is the next group."

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Doty not expected to play during European trip

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that Caroline Doty looks good comIng back from a sprained knee but they won't risk it by having her play in the upcoming games on the European trip.

"She is good," Auriemma said on Thursday before the Connecticut Sun/San Antonio Silver Stars games at Mohegan Sun Arena. "She is not 100 percent practicing or 100 percent ready to play but she is doing some workouts and some drills in practice. It's mainly 'what's the rush now.' We really don't have anything until November so let's keep doing the rehab, keep doing the drills, keep working at it and let's see what October and the first week of November brings.

"She'll come, she'll practice and go through all the stuff that we do. Once you get into game action, I think it changes a kid's mentality. I don't know I want to put her in that situation just yet."

Auriemma believes Sue Bird benefitted greatly from a trip similar to the one the Huskies took in 1999 as Bird was coming off a torn ACL. While it would have been a bonus if a healthy Doty would have been able to fully participate in the practices and games during the trip to Italy later this month, Auriemma thinks the situation is different from Bird's.

"That was Sue's first time (coming back from a knee injury) so that was completely different from what is going on with Caroline," Auriemma said. "This is not the first time she is coming back from this. I think things are completely different and we have to take a different approach. If this had been the very first one, maybe we would look at it differently. It not being that and her tweaking it, I think we have to be a little more cautious."

The team has been practicing in preparation for the four games the Huskies will play in Italy. The Huskies fly out on Tuesday. UConn will play the Netherlands' national team on Thursday at Arena Altero Felici in Rome. The next day the Huskies will play the Italian Select team at the same site.

On Aug. 22 UConn will play Saarlouis Royales, a team that plays in Germany's DBBL league, at Montecatini Terme before heading to Milan and wrapping up the schedule with a game against the Nigerian national team on Aug. 24.

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Ring presentation at Mohegan Sun tonight

UConn and U.S. national team coach Geno Auriemma will be in attendance at tonight's San Antonio Silver Stars/Connecticut Sun game at Mohegan Sun Arena so he can present 2010 World Championship rings to Tina Charles and Asjha Jones.

Charles started six of the nine games during the FIBA World Championships. She was the team's third-leading scorer, averaging 10.7 points per game, and her average of 4.8 rebounds per game was second on the squad. Jones averaged 5.1 points and 2.3 rebounds as the U.S. rolled to the title with nine straight wins. No word whether San Antonio's Jayne Appel, also a member of the gold-medal squad, will receive her ring at the same time or if they will have a special ceremony for her at a San Antonio home game.

The ring presentation will be made after the National Anthem and before the starting lineups are announced.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

UConn's non-conference schedule

UConn just announced its non-conference schedule. The opponents and dates have been known for some time but here is the official listing of games from UConn

2011-12 University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent
Thu. 3 ASSUMPTION (exhib.)
Wed. 9 PACE (exhib.)
World Vision CLASSIC (Gampel)
Fri. 25 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. 26 vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 27 vs. Dayton, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 30 TOWSON
Jimmy V Classic (Gampel)
Tue. 6 TEXAS A&M, 7 p.m.
Sun. 18 at Baylor, 8:30 p.m.
Wed. 21 at College of Charleston, 7 p.m.
Wed. or Thurs. 28-29 FAIRFIELD

Mon. 30 at Duke

Mon. 13 at Oklahoma

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tina Charles is honored by WNBA again

Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles has been named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season and fourth time in her career as she topped the WNBA with an average of 13.3 rebounds per game in games against Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix. Charles also averaged 20.3 points, the third-highest total among Eastern Conference players as the Sun completed a three-game road trip with a 2-1 record with the only loss coming when Seattle’s Sue Bird had a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Charles leads the WNBA with an average of 10.9 rebounds per game and 14 double-doubles while ranking fifth with an 18.1 scoring average and 1.45 blocked shots per game.

Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx was named the Western Conference Player of the Week.


Information on Dave Solomon's funeral

The funeral for Register sports columnist Dave Solomon, who died in a one-car crash on Saturday, will be held on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at B.C. Bailey Funeral Home (294 South Elm Street, Wallingford).

In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made either to the Fresh Air Fund through the Register by sending checks to the New Haven Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT, 06511 care of Jack Kramer or to the Beth Israel Synagogue (22 N. Orchard St., Wallingford, CT, 06492). More information is available through Dave's obituary.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

RIP to a great journalist and a better person

The phone call lasted barely over a minute but the sense of sorrow figures to linger for a lifetime.

My boss called me yesterday evening while I was working on a story at the women's national softball tournament being played in Stratford and said he needed to talk to me so when I got home around 10:15, I called him back. He had a hard time getting the words out when he finally said "there's been a car accident involving Dave Solomon and he did not survive." All I could say was "oh, my God."

Stories, blog posts and comments on facebook and twitter will say that Dave was a great columnist and wonderful man and every single word written will be true. He was also a good friend.

I first met Dave when I was a college kid back in 1986, earning some money answering phone calls at the Register. It was quite the eye-opening experience. The Register's sports staff featured a lineup of icons. Now Dave joins George Wadley, Bob Casey and Tom McCormack as icons taken from us and leaving a hole in the New Haven sports scene never to be filled. Over the last 25 years, I have been proud to call Dave a colleague but most of all a friend.

My relationship with Dave has changed over the years. It wasn't until I started covering UConn back in 1999 that I really got to know Dave. We've traveled together, shared hotel rooms, had dinner together and spent countless hours in media rooms. It was during those road trips that I saw a different side of Dave, I saw the family man who beamed with pride over the accomplishments of his daughters, who was blessed with a loving and supporting wife. It was fitting that the background photo on the laptop computer Dave used to craft his brilliant stories was not over a member of his beloved New York Mets or of one of the many sporting legends he has crossed paths with, but of his daughters.

If I had to come up with the best journalists I've ever known, Dave Solomon and Bob Casey would be the first two names to pop into my head. As good as a columnist Dave was and man, was he something special, he was an absolute bulldog when it came time to get the facts right on a big story. Whether it was deciphering fact from fiction when the New Haven pro tennis tournament lost the men's tournament (twice) or went to a combined event, the hiring of Tom Williams as Yale's new football coach or more recently, the situation with UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway, Solomon's work was something to behold. When Dave wrote something, it was gospel. He was not one of these people who just threw stuff up against the wall and hoped it was right. He did not have to. He was so well connected and well respected that when he wrote something, you could take it to the bank.

A columnist can be a beat writer's best friend or worst enemy. Fortunately for me, he was always the former. He would always come up with an interesting take on things when he came up to a UConn women's game, Yale football game or day after day of covering the tennis tournament. That was one of his many rare gifts. He could write the big-picture columns without relying on tired, old cliches and he was a guy you just had to read when he offered his take on a subject.

When I am sitting in the media room at the Connecticut Tennis Center later this month covering the New Haven Open, am at Gampel or the XL Center for a must-see UConn game or at the Yale-Harvard football game, I will be waiting for Dave to make his appearance complete with a witty barb launched my way. Unfortunately, all I'll have are the memories of the playful banter we had in and out of the office, the string of elegantly written stories he crafted in his 35 years at the Register and the way he went about his business as one of the true greats in the world of Connecticut sports.

RIP Dave, you will be missed.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A near triple-double for Stewart

UConn commit Breanna Stewart, fresh off earning all-tournament honors while leading the United States to the FIBA Under-19 World Championship title, stole the show on the first day of the BCANY Summer Hoops Festival in Johnson City, N.Y.

Stewart had 32 points (on 15 of 19 shooting), 22 rebounds and eight steals to lead her Central team past the Southern Tier squad 98-27. Stewart and the Central squad will play Hudson Valley today at noon and Rochester at 3 p.m. The tournament wraps up with the championship game on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Familiar names on U.S. World University Games squad

Although the upcoming trip to Europe prevented any UConn players from trying out for the U.S. squad competing in the World University Games, former UConn commits Elena Delle Donne and Jacki Gemelos as well as the Stanford sister duo of Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, the Notre Dame trio of Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel and Devereaux Peters and DePaul's Keisha Hampton also made the cut along with Maryland's Lynetta Kizer, the Tennessee duo of Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen and Baylor's Odyssey Sims.

Miami's Shenice Johnson and Rutgers' April Sykes were cut from the squad to get down to the final 12-player roster.

The 12 players will remain in Colorado Springs, Colo. before the team embarks for China for the World University Games on Monday. The first game for the U.S. team is on Aug. 14 against Brazil.

So far three game times for the upcoming season have been announced. It was previously announced that the UConn/Texas A&M game in the Jimmy V Classic will be played at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Gampel Pavilion. Also, Baylor released its schedule a while back and UConn will play at Baylor on Dec. 18 at 8:30 p.m. The College of Charleston schedule and the highlight of the schedule is when the Cougars host UConn on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Maya Moore named Academic All-American of the Year

Former UConn star Maya Moore has been named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year winner in the university division while University of New Haven track star Shannon Gagne was the winner in the college division.

Moore joins 1995 winner Rebecca Lobo as the second women’s basketball player from UConn to be named as the Academic All-America of the Year for the University Division. Notre Dame's Ruth Riley and Oklahoma's Stacey Dales are the only other women's basketball players to win the top academic honor in the university division.

Moore was a decorated student-athlete in her four years at UConn, combining her outstanding performance in the classroom (she graduated with a 3.67 GPA) with one of the best basketball careers in women's college basketball history. Moore led UConn to four straight Final Four appearances and a pair of national titles while becoming the first UConn player to score more than 3,000 points.

Gagne is a six-time All-American at New Haven.

"This historical award brings a special satisfaction to my collegiate career," Moore said in a release. "Academics are not always praised as much as our athletic skills which is why this award is memorable. Knowing that there are so many deserving and hard-working student-athletes all over the country, I am elated to be recognized for my work. I am truly thankful to all the people who have poured into my academic life."

Gagne, a graduate student who is pursuing her Master’s degree in National Security, Gagne has a 3.95 GPA. She was named the 2011 USTFCCCA Division II Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Named as the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year, she was also honored as the
Northeast-10 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Gagne won NCAA Division II titles in the 200 and 400 meter races and long jump indoors. She won the 200 and 400 at the outdoor NCAA championships

“I am very excited to be recognized for this prestigious award,” said Gagne. “It’s an honor to even be mentioned among such outstanding student-athletes.”

Speaking of Moore, UConn's first games without the four-time All-American will come later this month in Italy.

Rather than play in a tournament in the Virgin Islands, Mexico or some other exotic locale, the Huskies took advantage of an NCAA rule allowing them to play games overseas before the season. UConn was originally planning to go to Italy and Greece but nixed the Greece portion of the trip because they were uneasy about heading there given recent events there. UConn will play four games from Aug. 18-24 including contests versus the Nigeria and Netherland national teams.


Moore named WNBA Rookie of the Month

Former UConn star Maya Moore was named the WNBA's Rookie of the Month for July.

Moore, taken by Minnesota with the top pick in April's WNBA draft, led all rookies in scoring (13 points per game), steals (1.6) and minutes played (29.4). She was second among first-year players in rebounding (4.4) and assists (3.6). She also ranked in the top 20 among all WNBA players in scoring and assists.


Monday, August 01, 2011

Video of Montgomery's 50-foot buzzer beater

Here is a link to the shot Renee Montgomery hit at the end of the third quarter in Sunday's 99-92 win over Atlanta.

If this is the angle the officials used to review whether the shot should have counted, I can see why they allowed the original call to stand. You can see Montgomery go into the shooting motion with .1 on the clock but can't see when the ball left her hands. My hunch is that if they ruled that the shot was no good originally, they would have stayed with that call but there was no way of telling if the ball was definitely in her hands when the clock hit 0.00.


Soltys family giving back

The Soltys family has long been entrenched in the sports media relations business in Connecticut as Joe was a longtime sports information director at UConn and his son Mike is a Vice President for Communications at ESPN.

As a way of honoring Joe Soltys, the family has created an endowed scholarship to be given to a student working in the UConn SID office.