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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UConn's Ragle humbled by Hall of Fame honor

Rosemary Ragle had a rather unique reaction when the first notification of her impending induction into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame arrived via email - she deleted it.

Ragle has preferred being in the background since her first season as the athletic trainer with the UConn women's basketball program back in 1999 and she simply didn't believe the email was on the level. It wasn't until she started checking her office voice mails later in the summer that it became evident that this was no joke and she indeed was going to be a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I have no idea who nominated me," Ragle said on a conference call on Wednesday. "When I finally figured out what was going on, I reached out to Geno (Auriemma) about it. I actually got an email in early July. sent it to the trash. I really thought it was a joke. It took me a while to figure out that this is a real deal."

Ragle was drawn to a career in athletic training because it enabled her to combine her knowledge of the human body with her ability to connect with college-aged athletes. Whether it is Sue Bird or Kalana Greene or Morgan Tuck or Gabby Williams, she draws so much satisfaction is have a birds' eye view of their on-court success after countless hours of grueling rehabilitation.

"That is the reason we get into this, we have an interest in the human body and I am glad I am not a machine and I am glad I am able to connect with the kids because it becomes very emotional," Ragle said. "I think I have gotten more emotional over the years. When Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis) went down (with an elbow injury), it was everything I could to not to start crying so it is very special to me."

Ragle has been on staff for nine of the 10 national championships which is remarkable because she wasn't originally planning on an extended stay at UConn.

"I was on a three-year plan," Ragle said. "I was hired to work with track and field which was a great experience, then I got moved over to basketball. When you work with a coaching staff like ours, the caliber of athletes that we have, the national championships just start rolling in and it is kind of hard to leave."

Former UConn guard Ashley Battle is another inductee in the latest class that will be inducted on Saturday in a ceremony in Worcester, Mass.

As it turns out, a one-year tank job will not be enough to land UConn star Breanna Stewart in next year's WNBA Draft.

The WNBA announced changes to the lottery system. Unlike in past years when the odds were determined based on the previous year's record, there had been a chance to include the record over the last two seasons. It's a move that could help the Connecticut Sun (if they fail to make the playoffs) who won just 13 games a season ago and hurt the Atlanta Dream, the only team currently out of the playoffs to have a winning record a season ago. No team could benefit more from this change than Seattle.

Under the previous system the Sun would almost certainly have finished with the fewest chances to get the No. 1 pick as Connecticut is 3 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta in the Eastern Conference standings, has a record 4 1/2 games better than Los Angeles and 5 games better than San Antonio.

If the lottery were held today, Seattle (17-38) would have five fewer wins than the next closest team (San Antonio and Los Angeles) followed by Connecticut's 23-30 record and then Atlanta. However, teams won't have better chances simply due to records. If Seattle finishes one game ahead of the next closest team in the race for the worst record it will receive the same odds to win the top pick than if the Storm finished 10 games behind the next closest team in the standings over the last two seasons.

The No. 1 team in the lottery will have a 44.2 percent of receiving the top pick with the next three teams having 27.6, 14.8 and 10.4 percent chances of getting the No. 1 pick. Also, the team with the worst record can fall no lower than third. In the past a team with the worst record could fall to fourth in the lottery.


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