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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

UConn's Dailey thankful for World Championship experience

Two days ago Geno Auriemma and Chris Dailey were in Istanbul, Turkey as the United States team, featuring five current or former UConn players, won the FIBA World Championship for Women.

After a long day of travel, the UConn head coach and associate head coach were back on campus and back at work. Auriemma looked absolutely spent and considering how he graciously gave me more than 15 minutes of his time when I was up at UConn for a football press conference before diving head long into his national team responsibilities, I resisted the temptation to corner him for an interview. However, when Dailey walked by me earlier today, I was able to spend a couple of minutes with her so she could reflect on her time as an advance scout for the gold-medal winning U.S. team.

"It was great," Dailey said. "Anytime you have a chance to do something with USA Basketball and something for your country, it is a great experience and a great opportunity. For me to be able to be around our former players and being there with Stewie having her first experience at that level and I always enjoy spending time with players that we played against like Seimone (Augustus), Lindsay Whalen, Brittney Griner so it is nice to see them in a different environment."

This was likely the final world championship for former Huskies Sue Bird, the first U.S. player to appear in four FIBA World Championship for Women events, and Diana Taurasi. Dailey was thrilled to be able to share that experience with them.

"It is changing of the guard," Dailey said. "To be with them with what is probably their last world championship means something because I think it means a lot to them. Just to see how far they have come and how your relationship as a player and a coach changes over the years... Having different conversations with them about different things, it is a good part of the job."

On the other end of the spectrum was seeing UConn junior Breanna Stewart play in the world championships for the first time and UConn freshman Kia Nurse playing a pivotal role as Canada finished fifth in the tournament, the best performance since 1986.

"Kia is coming to us certainly not as a typical freshman having played the level competition (with the Canadian national team)," Dailey said. "She is coming here with a lot of confidence, a lot of experience. For Stewie, I think it will help. It is eye opening to see what 10 years down the road is going to be like for her. Playing against professionals, how tough you have to be and how physical of a game it is, how skilled you have to be, I think that was great for her to learn "

As for UConn, the Huskies will hold their first practice on Oct. 15. With Morgan Tuck fully cleared to take part in all basketball activities without restriction, the only question is whether freshman Gabby Williams will be fully cleared by the first practice. She is able to do some on the court stuff and is expected to be a full go by the time the Huskies play their first game next month.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Joe said...

"it is changing of the guard" said Dailey.

Nice pun, Chris!

11:25 AM 

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