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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unusually normal summer for UConn's Morgan Tuck

For as long as Morgan Tuck can remember her summer has included time with various USA Basketball team or undergoing grueling rehabilitation sessions in order to return to the court.

However, this last few months, Tuck found herself in the unusual situation of having plenty of time of her hands.

"It was weird because it was the longest I've been home since high school so it is nice," Tuck said. "My parents just moved (to Virginia) to it was weird to have a new place but I could relax, I just worked out, was at home with my family, got to travel a little it which I don't usually get to do here so it is nice to kind of relax."

Now Tuck is ready to hit the floor running coming off an outstanding 2014-15 season and is excited for what the future has in store for her.

"We have a lot of long days which means to me that we are really competing," Tuck said. "It is good, everybody is really enjoying it and looking to get out there and play. We are trying to get a feel for everybody and it is going to be a good team, pickup gives us some early time to mesh."

While De'Janae Boykin is currently being held out of the pickup games, the other two freshmen (Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson) have wasted little time in making an impression on Tuck and the other veteran UConn players.

"D's out right now so it kind of sucks that she is missing the early part but Katie Lou and Pheese, they are doing a great job," Tuck said. "They both play pretty hard which is why I think they are meshing right now so they need to focus on keeping that going. I think by trying to learn as much as possible. I work with Pheese more because she is more of an undersized post/wing kind of player and she is just eager to learn. Katie Lou, she is working a lot with Mo (Moriah Jefferson) and Stewie (Breanna Stewart) so they just want to learn and do whatever they can to help us to make their mark on the team."

As I mentioned in a blog post yesterday, Tuck is planning to not only play this season but also utilize her fifth season of eligibility after being limited to eight games in her true freshman season.

Jefferson's run as the starting point guard for the U.S. in the Pan Am Games can screeching to a halt when she hustled after a loose ball in the gold medal game against Canada and had the misfortune to be on the wrong end of a head to head collision with UConn teammate Kia Nurse.

"I knew she did (have a hard head)," Jefferson said with a laugh. I got up and ...."

Nobody could blame Jefferson for not completing the sentence as that is one painful play that she wants no part of reliving.

Jefferson suffered a concussion and did not return to the game. Nurse was on the sidelines for a little bit before returning and putting the finishing touches on her 33-point masterpiece in leading Canada to the gold medal.

"She played amazing," Jefferson said. "The whole time she was there, she had an incredible tournament. When she plays for my team in Connecticut, she will play exactly the same way. I am proud of her. It was almost like a silent assassin, it felt like every time they needed a bucket she was there."

When I spoke to Nurse in between the Pan Am Games and FIBA Americas tournament and I mentioned to Nurse that Jefferson is sure to remind her of her aggressive mindset if she doesn't look for her own shot enough during her sophomore season. Jefferson confirmed that is exactly what will happen.

"If she is going to hang her gold medal over my head, I am going to hang her performance over her head," Jefferson said.


Blogger Stephen said...

I love Jefferson's reaction, and I look forward to Nurse playing like she did in Canada. I was at the games, and it was quite a performance. Looking forward to more.

11:53 AM 

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