Kelly Faris plans on playing on Sunday
When it was brought to Kelly Faris' attention that UConn coach Geno Auriemma was noncommittal about her status for Sunday's Big East quarterfinal, all the UConn senior guard could do was chuckle.
"I don't know what he is talking about, that is not an option, I will be playing," Faris said.
Faris injured her left foot when she landed awkwardly defending a 3-pointer by Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins at the end of the first half in Monday's loss. Faris played all but 39 seconds in the second half and even second in the three overtime periods so she doesn't think her injury is a cause for concern.
"If is was up to me I'd be practicing today, not my choice but they are doing their job and doing the smart thing," Faris said. "We went in at halftime, taped it a certain way way and once your adrenaline gets going, you are not going to feel it. You feel it here or there. There were times I felt like I got stuck in quicksand, a three-overtime game you are not going to feel stuff like that. Your adrenaline is going, your heart is pumping and everything is going."
Before practice started Faris found out that she was named the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year and shared the honor as the Most Improved Player.
"I am not huge on the accolades and individual awards but at the same time I appreciate it a lot and I am honored they felt like I deserved that," Faris said. "I wouldn't want to get it if I didn't think they didn't feel like I deserved it. That is the thing I take the most pride in so that is something that would mean the most to me if I got it."
Auriemma was thrilled to see her honored for her defensive work although as is his nature, he had a couple of sarcastic barbs about her being named the Most Improved Player and also that she failed to make the All-Big East first team.
"She certainly deserved it," Auriemma said. "She should be rewarded for it. A lot of time it is shot blockers usually get defensive players of the year because it is so obvious when guys block shots and I think what Kelly does is not so obvious. I think for the other coaches to recognize that about her is fitting, it is a great way to wrap up your senior year. I wish she was on first team but that is asking too much. The most improved part, that is a sign that people put a lot of value on making shots."
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