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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dangerfield bonding with future UConn teammates

Crystal Dangerfield came to Colorado Springs with two main goals in mind.

First and foremost was making the U-19 national team but while she was there the UConn commit also wanted to get to know the players she will be teaming up with in Storrs.

Time will tell whether Dangerfield earns a national team spot but she is well on her way to bonding with UConn rising sophomore Gabby Williams and incoming freshmen Napheesa Collier, De'Janae Boykin and Katie Lou Samuelson.

"After first session I was talking to Gabby and having a UConn 1 on 1 session just telling me what to expect, how to act," Dangerfield said. :That is another thing I came out here to do in addition to making the team is to build relationships with them on and off the court."

Dangerfield's game has been compared to UConn's Moriah Jefferson. While Jefferson will have graduated before Dangerfield suits up for the Huskies, she has had the chance to chat with her role model since Jefferson is also at the U.S. Olympic Training Center trying out for the U.S. teams playing in the Pan Am Games and World University Games,

"They were getting everybody on campus, we walked in and they were eating," Dangerfield said. "We walked in and she gave me a hug. Most of the time when it is somebody you look up to you would be too shy to talk to. I credit her for being somebody who is open to talking to somebody younger. It's not so much of taking me under her wing or anything but trying to be a friend."

Dangerfield took tremendous joy in seeing Jefferson's Huskies win the national title for the third season in a row.

"I was very happy for them," Dangerfield said. "I knew it was going to be a game and it was. In the second half they just took off like I knew they were capable of. I am excited to see them have a great season with a chance of doing it again."

A year ago at this time Dangerfield was still trying to figure out which college she wanted to attend. Lauren Cox, considered to be the top player in the Class of 2016, still has some work to do in that department. She recently cut her list to six schools (Baylor UConn, Louisville, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee) and what's interesting is that each school has players at the trials who will be on the team in the current college season.

"It is helping me a lot because I am going to see what is is going to be like in college, the strength of the players, the pace of the game," Cox said.

As for her timeline for picking a college, she has more focused on earning a spot on a U.S. team for the third summer in a row and will worry about the recruiting process when the time is right.

"I am not really focusing on recruiting right now," Cox said. "I am focusing on trying to make this team so hopefully in the fall I will take my official visits, I haven't scheduled any yet and don't know what I am going to do but hopefully but I'll take all of them and will try to make a decision."

Cox did say that "there is a lot less stress and it's not as overwhelming" after cutting her list of schools down to six.

The NCAA Women's Rules Committee, with the backing of the WBCA, has recommended a shift from playing two 20-minute periods to playing four 10-minute quarters with the possibility of the changes coming as soon as during the 2015-16 season.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma was in favor of the move which would limit the number of stoppages with two fewer media timeouts under the new format.

"What a great step forward for our game," Auriemma said in a story posted on the site. "As the game becomes more global each year, it’s important that we start the process toward standardizing the rules. This is just the beginning of what I hope are many other changes to improve this great game."

Under the proposal teams would shoot two free throw after committing five fouls in each quarter. Currently teams shoot one plus the bonus after the seventh foul is committed with the double bonus utilized after 10 fouls are committed. Another change would allow for teams to advance the ball into the frontcourt after a timeout in the final minute of each quarter.


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