Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Huskies set to go back to work

Five games in a 10-day span is a player's dream but for the UConn coaching staff, the hectic recent schedule has limited the amount of time they can work with their squad.

Without a game until Tuesday when defending national champion Texas A&M comes to the XL Center, look for the UConn coaches to get back to what they were hired to do - teach.

"When you have a lot of games it is not bad because you are actually getting some game stuff on but you really don't get the opportunity to put some practice time in," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Little by little between now and exams we want to get a little bit better at everything - obviously. We just want to figure out ways we can maximize what we have. How many different ways can use our full-court pressure? How many ways can be play our half-court defense? Offensively, how many ways can me move people around so we are not easy to defend? These are all things that you go to practice and work on and because we have such a young group, there is a lot of fundamental stuff that we have to do every day that gets lost when you have games. If you are constantly preparing for games, I know the players like that but for us you get worried about the other teams sometimes and you are not doing enough individual work for yourself. Friday and Saturday  are going to be great because we'll get the opportunity to do that before we start preparing for Texas A&M."

Auriemma is pretty happy where his team is at the current time. Other than the Stanford game, the other contests were against such overmatched opponents that it is probably hard for Auriemma and his staff to get too much of a read of how far along the Huskies are at this point.

"I think when the season began, you aren't quite sure what to expect," Auriemma said. "It kind of reminded me of a couple of years after Diana graduated and you are trying to figure out what is the new dynamic on the team when you lose somebody like that. A game like Stanford came along and it surprised me a little bit that we were able to do some of the things that we did. Tuesday night in the Texas A&M game, I will be anxious to see whether we will be able to respond to some of the things that Texas A&M is going to do to us that is way different from what Stanford did. I think we learned a little after the Stanford game about what who we are, we will learn a little more next Tuesday. That is why you play these games, find out how we are adapting to life without Maya."

The UConn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is running a toy drive at Tuesday's Texas A&M game at the XL Center. The drive benefits the Cornerstone Foundation in Rockville and fans are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy with them to the game.



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