Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Defending champion UConn to hold its first official practice today

Thanks to a change in the NCAA rules, there is more flexibility for coaches in terms of when they hold their first official practice.

Many teams have already been practicing but UConn has resisted the urge to do that. Being the old-fashioned guy that he is, Geno Auriemma always looked at Oct. 15 at the date when practice started (although it actually was the Saturday closest to the 15th when he held his first practice in the past) so Auriemma made the decision to have the first official practice today.

The players are certainly ready to get to work.

"I think anxiousness and that last stretch of working out and preparing for the season, it is kind of like the last 10 minutes of a really long car ride you want to get there and be in your bed and in this case you want to get there, you want to start practicing and you want to have the season start," UConn senior center Stefanie Dolson said. "It is exciting to know it is right around the corner and preseason is over."

Unlike last year when UConn brought in three freshmen who were all expected to play signficant roles, guard Saniya Chong is the only scholarship freshman this season. With eight players back from last year's national championship team it is likely that the Huskies will be able to hit the ground running at the first practice..

"It is definitely the calm before the storm," junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "We are excited. It has been seven weeks of preseason and we are looking forward to getting on the court, playing basketball and getting to work."

The practice will give Auriemma a chance to see how walk-ons Briana Pulido, a sophomore from Miami, and Tierney Lawlor, a freshman from Ansonia, adapt to the first official practice.

Auriemma likes what he has been hearing about Lawlor and Pulido from the other players and coaches.

"I think their demeanor, the way they are and just their attitude made an impression on our players and that is probably more impressive than anything else," Auriemma said. "I want to see them doing the things that they know they can do and not trying to do things they can't do. I've been around really, really good walk-ons and I have been around some bad walk-ons and for all reports, these kids are going to great for us. I am sure there is going to be a week or so when it is going to be difficult for them in practice."

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