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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, April 30, 2012

U.S. placed in Pool A in Olympics

The United States will join China, Angola and three teams who emerge out of qualifying tournaments in Group A in the Olympics.

Australia is in Group B with Brazil, Great Britain and Russia and a pair of qualifiers.

Host Great Britain, which features former Cheshire Academy star Johannah Leedham, will open round robin play against Australia while the U.S. will get one of the qualifiers in the first game of the Olympics on July 28.

Each team will have five preliminary round games against teams in its pool with the top four teams in each of the two pools advancing to the quarterfinals.

Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Mali, Mozambique, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Turkey will vie for the five remaining Olympic spots beginning on June 25.

With the U.S. and Australia guaranteed to be in separate brackets, the biggest issue coming out of the draw was which of the teams would have to face Russia in the preliminary round and the winner or loser) depending on your point of view was Australia.

"It's interesting," said U.S. and UConn coach Geno Auriemma  in a statement. "People might say we've got an easier draw than teams in the other bracket, but you have to remember that China is the Asian champion. They have been climbing back up the world ranks and finished in the top four in Beijing, and Angola will be excited about playing in their first Olympics. Don't forget, we could end up with a very tough pool once the Olympic Qualifying Tournament plays out. There are a lot of very competitive teams still trying to play their way into the Olympics, like the Czech Republic. They finished second at the Worlds two years ago; they have a very disciplined and well-coached team. Regardless of who we have in our opening pool, we're still going to have to get through a lot of very good teams if we want to win gold."

Fans who want to get a look at the 2012 Connecticut Sun can go to open practices on Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at St. Joseph College in West Hartford.

There is no fee for admission to the practices.


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