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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chris Dailey eager to do her part in U.S. Olympic preparations


When Chris Dailey spoke with John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant and I following Saturday's U.S. women's national team practice you could sense the pure excitement the UConn associate women's basketball coach was feeling about her involvement with the U.S. Olympic team.

Dailey was out of the court for the two practices at American University's Bender Arena but she is not being employed as a coach in an official capacity.

"My  job is coordinator of scouting, director of scouting," Dailey said. (UConn assistant coaches) Marisa (Moseley) and Shea (Ralph)will join us. We will support and do whatever Geno and his staff, whatever we can to help them be better prepared to win a gold and that is what our job is."

Dailey will be staying with the team until the end of the Olympics and serve in a similar fashion as she did two years ago when UConn and U.S. head coach Geno Auriemma led the U.S. to the FIBA World Championship title. She won't be able to sit on the bench during games and won't receive a gold medal if the U.S. wins the title but that doesn't lessen the exhiliration she is feeling at the chance to witness history especially with half of the U.S. team members having played for her and Auriemma at UConn.

“You don't know when you will have this kind of an opportunity and the fact that you are able to be a part of the Olympic experience but for this particular group, to have six of our former players on the Olympic team that will never happen again,” Dailey said. “To be able to be around them again and hopefully be able to watch them experience (winning) an Olympic gold medal that would be - I can't even put it into words because it is not something that you think about every day. Now that it is here, I am just going to enjoy it every day and do whatever Geno and his staff need or want me to do. “I have an advantage, I have worked with him a long time i know his system, I know what he wants and whatever I can do to help I am happy to do it. I am going to enjoy it, not only with our six guys but I really enjoy the other six players. We have played against them and in the last two years I have gotten to know them better Sylvia (Fowles), Candace (Parker), Lindsay (Whalen) ...  It is going to be a great experience for me.”

Dailey’s relationship with the former UConn stars is different now than when they were in college. Dailey admits that she is like a sponge eager to pick up anything she can from players like Cash, Sue Bird, Asjha Jones and Diana Taurasi who have played at a high level and won games and championships all over the world.

“You can say different things,” Dailey said. “You can appreciate their humor in a different way. We have always been open to listening to our players but now they have so much experience, they have played in so many different situations that I like to ask their opinion on different things now it’s 'how to guard this, how do you do this? What teams do this? How do you find things? What is the hardest thing to guard? When you in college, you are pretty much telling them what those things are. Now with all of their experience, they are able to share a lot of knowledge.”

The former Huskies are thrilled to have Dailey around and she has also gotten to know the six players on the team who didn't go to UConn.

“CD always brings, I don't even know the word for it but she brings CD,” Maya Moore said. “She is there keeping us sharp. She is always somebody who is going to be focused on what you do and she is good at what she does. She helps keep everybody together. It is just a joy to be around people who have impacted me so much and continue to share in a special moment - my first Olympics - with people who have been such a big part of helping me get there.”

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