Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Injuries making for challenging practices

At this rate, UConn may have to consider running 3 on 3 drills in practice rather than the normal 5 on 5 stuff.

Not only has Caroline Doty been sidelined with an ankle injury, but Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has not practiced since Wednesday's exhibition opener against Assumption with a strained calf. Then Brianna Banks hurt her left ankle while attempted to make a back-door cut on Saturday and two days later she had four wisdom teeth out.

Doty and Mosqueda-Lewis will not play in tomorrow's exhibition game against Pace and Banks, who returned to practice today, isn't guaranteed to be able to go either.

"We are all thinking that we are dropping like flies," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "We need make sure we get ourselves better."

Banks admitted that she wondered what the heck was going on when she followed Doty and Mosqueda-Lewis on the list of gimpy Huskies.

"At practice with eight players it was really different," Banks said. "Saturday I had rehab. I came in at the end of practice and they were struggling a little bit. We felt kind of bad that we couldn't go out there and contribute."

If they were feeling bad, just imagine what UConn coach Geno Auriemma was thinking.

I asked him who would be starting alongside Bria Hartley, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson when UConn plays Pace tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the XL Center.

"Put on a wig," Auriemma deadpanned. I said I was already injured. "Already injured, you will still move faster than ... That's a good question, I have no idea. That's going to be, if I had a definite fifth starter ...

"What are you going to do. It's par for the course. When these things happen, they happen and you have no control over it. Sometimes they are the oddest things. Fortunately they are nothing that's really serious and long term so in that respect, you have look at the bright side. It is temporary and they haven't missed any regular-season games and hopefully everybody will be ready by Sunday (when UConn opens the regular season against Holy Cross).

Auriemma talked about the decision to start a home and home series with Oregon beginning next season.

"(Nike founder) Phil Knight had talks and thought that the University of Connecticut could play the University of Oregon and that was kind of how the discussion started," Auriemma said. "We thought this would be the time to do it, let's go out there like we did last time when we played Pacific (while out in California to play Stanford), stay out there and play another game. Right now, I am under the assumption it is just one game (and not part of a tournament)."

UConn is also planning to play in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands next year.

"There aren't very many places that are as attractive as that is It just seems like such an easy trip I can't imagine that there's anything that compares to it," Auriemma said.

Auriemma was also asked about the responsibility a head coach assumes for whatever takes place in a program in the wake of some disturbing reports of the actions of a former Penn State assistant football coach. Here's a video off Auriemma's reaction on the situation


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