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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

After 2014 disappointment, UConn commit Dangerfield eager to make the cut

There was a sense of disappointment when Crystal Dangerfield returned home from the USA Basketball junior national team trials without earning a spot on either the U-17 or U-18 team.

The writing was on the wall when she was moved over from the U-17 group to the U-18s late during the trials and it seemed clear that she wasn't going to make either squad but still there was a sense of unfinished business when the UConn commit returned to Colorado Springs for the U-19 trials.

"Sometimes things don't always work out like you want them to but you still have to come back harder the next time," Dangerfield said.

So what is Dangerfield trying to show the coaches and selection committee at this year's trials?

"That I can run a team and knock down open shots."

The U-19 team will be named tomorrow and I don't envy the people on the selection committee with six of the top seven scorers from the team which won the 2014 FIBA U19 World Championship and two top scorers from the gold medal winning team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships.

"The competition is great, the energy as a whole is great," Dangerfield said. "They want us to play a bit harder so coming back, I will try to do that."

One of the most intriguing aspects of Dangerfield's commitment to UConn is she will be the first Tennessee native to play for Geno Auriemma with the Huskies. When she committed I saw some rather hateful comments posted on social media expressing their outrage for Dangerfield choosing UConn. Dangerfield hasn't let those people get to her.

"I don't pay any attention to it," Dangerfield said. "It it just a part of the process and you can't (listen) to it, it is just people being people."

What has been difficult for Dangerfield is the realization that she will be playing for a new high school coach as incredibly successful Blackman High School coach Chad Hibdon took the job at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia.

"It was hard," Dangerfield said. "He told me separately before he told the team because we had such a close relationship. We cried. I was happy for him because it was more of a spiritual thing for him and talking to him about it being about the spiritual side of things and it not being just a basketball school so I was happy for him but on the flip side of things I wanted him to be my coach for (all four) years but life goes on and the coach we have now (Jessica Jackson) was an assistant when I was a freshman."

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