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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Geno dishes on 2014-15 UConn squad

This is pretty much the calm before the storm for Geno Auriemma and his staff.

While he met with the team (minus Kia Nurse who is spending the summer training with the Canadian national team), he isn't planning for much in the way of individual workouts for another week or so. With classes starting today Auriemma said he wanted to give the players a week to get their academic bearings before they start thinking about basketball.

However, that doesn't mean he can't discuss what he's looking for from his players. I sat down with him for about 15 minutes today and touched on a variety of subjects including some posted in a previous blog entry. Here's some more for those fans eager for women's basketball chatter.


ON BREANNA STEWART BEING THE ONLY ACTIVE COLLEGE PLAYER INVITED TO THE UPCOMING U.S. NATIONAL TEAM CAMP
I think the fact that she has had such an unbelievable start to her career as a freshman and a sophomore and has done things that you just don't see freshman and sophomores do and her history with USA Basketball, going out to Vegas and playing so well there that the committee felt like this is a part of the future of USA Basketball. I know she is really excited about it, she is anxious to test herself against pros.

THOUGHTS ON NATALIE BUTLER, WHO TRANSFERRED FROM GEORGETOWN
She was here a little bit and the coaches got a chance to spend a little time with her and it is quite an adjustment for her. She is one of those kids who puts a lot of pressure on herself because she wants to prove to everybody that she is good enough to play here. I told her she has a whole year to prepare and don't rush it. She is going to be a great help to us in practice because she will help make Kiah better, she will help make Morgan, Stewie, she is going to give those guys a bit of a problem so she will benefit from those guys.

CAN KIAH STOKES DO MORE THAN JUST REBOUND AND BLOCK SHOTS AS A SENIOR
Coaches were talking this morning about how many things she is really good at. She plays good defense, she blocks shots, she rebounds the ball, she is not a bad passer and we go to practice and she makes shots from the perimeter, she is a good shooter. It is astonishing when you talk about all the things that she can do and why hasn't she done all those things leading up to now. You immediately star to think if she decides to put it all together and it all comes together for her, it is going to change our team dramatically. Maybe finally being a senior and finally having enough confidence in yourself to say 'what is the worse that can happen?' It is that time now. I think we are all anxious to see it.

WILL STEFANIE DOLSON OR BRIA HARTLEY BE TOUGHEST PLAYER TO REPLACE?
When you talk about two kids who started every game pretty much, they were counted on right from the beginning from the first day of practice freshman year, they have been through a lot and they gave us such a huge advantage throughout their careers. You have one of the best guards in the country and one of the best centers in the country, that is a good place to start. Stefanie, being kind of the focal point of our offense last year and the year before, that is going to take some adjustment. Bria, with her competitiveness and her ability to do things at big moments, we are obviously going to miss that and we are going to miss Stefanie's personality. she became the personality of our team and somebody is going to have to replace that and right now  I am not sure who that is but I know somebody is going to step up and do that."



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