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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

UConn's Tuck thrilled to be back

Not every college kid has the same definition of what constitutes a fun time.

In the eyes of UConn redshirt sophomore forward Morgan Tuck, it was hard to top the experience of several days in a boot camp style training camp with some local Marines and then today's marathon opening day practice until the watchful eye of UConn Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma.

"I was really excited when I woke up this morning," Tuck said. "I was in class ready for practice, it feels really good. I am able to practice so it was a long time coming.

"I am trying to give them a full season. I don't want to sit out of practice. I am feeling really good and my knee doesn't bother me so it is going well."

Tuck made the difficult decision to undergo surgery not long after scoring a season-high 19 points in a Jan. 7, 2014 win over Houston. Tuck had the difficult decision to pull the plug on the season or lose a season of eligibility. She opted to undergo the surgery.

"Now that I look back on it, maybe it was a Godsend," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Maybe it was the best thing that ever happened because she looks great."

Tuck said that the time she was sidelined helped with the way she approaches the game.
"I think I learned how to read things better," Tuck said. "When you are out you see things that you don't see on the court because you are worried about all the other things going on so I think watching has give me a new perspective especially when the coaches are asking something of us."

Tuck was cleared to practice fully a couple weeks back. It was right in time for her to join her teammates for some rather arduous workouts with local Marines.

"It was very difficult. It went really well with what coach tries to teach us," Tuck said. "Last year at the Final Four we had some Marines come visit and to be able to work out with them this preseason, I think it was really great. It was hard, some of those (drills) things were some of things I have ever done,

"We had to push through a lot. Some of the younger players, they might not have to push that hard before but they had it in preseason so when we come to the season it shouldn't be as much of a shock to them when you have push through being dead tired and having to encourage each other."

Freshman Gabby Williams, who had each of her last two high school seasons ended by torn ACLs, was also able to practice without restriction on Wednesday.

"She was good today," Auriemma said of Williams. "She went through the whole practice. Every time I looked over Rosemary (Ragle, UConn's athletic trainer) was on her knees with her fingers crossed, holding a lucky rabbit or something but I kept saying 'what do you think? She is great, she said she feels great.'"

UConn is expected to have De'Janae Boykin, one of three players from the Class of 2015 committed to play for the Huskies, top Class of 2016 recruiting targets Crystal Dangerfield and Jocelyn Willoughby as well as Class of 2017 prospects Megan Walker, considered to be the top player in her class, and Andra Espinoza-Hunter, a former high school teammate of current Huskies Saniya Chong and Sadie Edwards as Friday's First Night festivities.

UConn freshman guard Kia Nurse admitted she stayed up a little later than normal on Tuesday so she could check out her brother Darnell making his debut with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.

Nurse, a defenseman, played 18:04, finished with two shots and two hits in the 5-1 loss to Los Angeles.

"He was pumped for playing this game," Kia Nurse said. "I was watching, staying up a little bit later watching online. To see him out there living his dreams, he is such a great kid, he deserves everything he has gotten. I was happy for him and he was really excited."


Anonymous Joe said...

It will be really interesting to see how Geno handles the center position this year.

With no true center on the roster eligible to play this season, will he just use a 3-guard, 2-forward lineup? A 2-guard,3-forward lineup?

Could make for some dynamic offense and lots of pressure on the ball on defense.

3:17 PM 
Blogger Genosguy said...

I love Tuck. She and Stokes are my favorites. I'm looking forward to great years from both.
Training with the Marines is fantastic--the greatest in the world teaching the greatest in WBB.
I spent 3 months in a Naval Hospital with about 50 18/19/20 year old Marines. This Sailor (and CT National Guardsman) came away with the utmost respect for these bravest toughest nicest best fighting men I've ever known. Semper Fi Guys. Alway Faithful..

10:06 PM 

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