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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Three times the fun for UConn's Chris Dailey at Travelers

While a prior commitment kept UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma from making an appearance at the Travelers Championship, associate head coach Chris Dailey has made herself at home at TPC River Highlands.

On Monday Dailey took part in a Pro-Am. On Wednesday she was back in Cromwell to play in a charity mini-golf event along with UConn AD Warde Manuel and football coach Bob Diaco in the morning before playing in the Celebrity Pro-Am in the afternoon.

"Last year was easier," Dailey said after the mini-golf event. "They made the degree of difficulty harder but it was fun. I played on Monday so they let bad golfers play in a lot of events here. They give opportunities to everybody. The people are really nice and I have met a lot of great people."

Dailey said while the coaches are allowed to work with the players on a limited basis, the UConn staff doesn't plan on overworking the team during the summer.

"We have done some individuals but it is a hard balance between taking advantage of the rule and not killing them now in June," Dailey said. "It is a long season, if you are any good you play from September to April so we are trying to balance that. They are working really hard in the weight room and done some individuals which I think is really helpful for the freshmen because they don't know what to expect."

Only half of the freshman class has been taking advantage of spending most of June on campus as Kia Nurse is at Canada's training camp and Gabby Williams just arrived following graduation. It has given Sadie Edwards and Courtney Ekmark a chance to get comfortable on campus.

"I think that no matter how prepared you think you are, your head is spinning for the first two weeks trying to figure it all out," Dailey said. "I would say they have all adjusted to it pretty well."

There will be more on how the offseason work has been going when Auriemma and the players are made available at Auriemma's anual golf tournament on Monday. Dailey said that reigning national player of the year Breanna Stewart will have a conflict with her summer session schedule so she will not be there on Monday. Also, Nurse will be with the Canadian national team and won't be there either. Of course, Brianna Banks will also be absent as she made the decision to transfer to a school yet to be announced.

"You are always disappointed when somebody leaves you program but we wish Bri the best," Dailey said. "Everybody deserves a second chance and hopefully with hers she will make the best of it. I think everybody has to make a personal decision and this was a personal decision by Bri and her family and I just hope it works out well."

I also asked Dailey whether Morgan Tuck was back to doing basketball-related drills as she is coming back from knee surgery which ended her sophomore season prematurely.

"She is doing some conditioning but I don't know if she if doing the whole (basketball) thing yet, running around," Dailey said..

In other basketball-related news I asked Manuel how close they were to finishing work on the basketball practice facility.

"Hopefully it will be finished this week or next week, we will get the keys and just like a new house we will have to do in there, move some things to fill it up and that is what we are working on," Manuel said. "It will be a great day."

With July being such a hectic month for recruiting we'll have to wait to see when a ceremony is held in honor of the completion of the practice facility.

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