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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Chong could play in UConn's opener, Boykin not likely to be ready

In between the experimental rules used in today's preseason finale, an eight-minute interview with the always quotable Russ Davis and various other subjects to emerge today I felt I should pass on the latest injury updates.

Junior guard Saniya Chong (IT Band Syndrome causing pain around the knee) and freshman forward De'Janae Boykin (tender Achilles' tendon) missed their second straight preseason game. After the game UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he hope Chong will play in next week's season opener against Ohio State but he is not expecting Boykin to be ready.

"I would say De'Janae is probably not going to play in the opener, she is not ready to play," Auriemma said. "Saniya, I think a lot is going to depend on how she is Tuesday. She practiced a lot on Friday and a little bit (Saturday) so I am hoping with a day off (Monday), she will get better, better and better.

She (Boykin) is probably a couple weeks away. She needs to be on the floor, she needs to play because that is the only thing keeping her (back) is the experience factor, you have (Morgan) Tuck missing a day or a week, that is not as bad as a freshman because they need every moment they can get on the court and not being able to do that, it just slows him down "

Another injury of note happened to Auriemma's grandson.

"He hit the side of his head but he hasn't moaned and groaned, it is good," Auriemma said. "Doc is looking at him right now, the injury report will come out and he is probable."

Davis, who coached UConn freshman Katie Lou Samuelson in AAU, had some great things to say about her and I made that the focus of my game story. He also had a couple of other nuggets including this one on Breanna Stewart.

Davis, who has been a close friend of Auriemma's for years, had dinner at the UConn coach's house last night and joked that had he known that his Vanguard team would lose 98-18 he would have eaten more of the food during dinner. He also was told of a story that further illustrates how down to earth Stewart is thanks to her actions when a recruit came in for a visit and stayed with Stewart.

"She stayed at her apartment and somebody asked 'where did you sleep?' She said, 'I slept in Breanna's bed. Where did Breanna sleep? On the couch.'

"This is the national player of the year, I shared that story with my team. I saw her warming up and said 'you are the perfect example of a servant leader, that is servant leadership at its finest. Not only is she the best player, she is one of the best people so I just want people to know that from an opposing coach."

With the first regular-season game at Gampel Pavilion not coming until Dec. 5 against Notre Dame, the decision was made the unveil the national-championship banner and present the championship rings before the Vanguard game.

"We got the banners and rings out of the way so it was good," UConn senior guard Moriah Jefferson said. "You get that reminder of what that feels like and you want to feel it again."

Auriemma didn't come right out and say it, but some might have viewed it as being in bad taste to honor the 2014-15 national championship team right in front of the Notre Dame team the Huskies beat to win the program's 10th national title.

"We didn't want to do it that day because there is going to be a lot going on that day," Auriemma said. "Traditionally you like to do it in your first regular-season game but it being so far out and it being that game, the bigness of that game, I don't think we need anymore going on that game so it was good to do it today. It is kind of the end of the last season and we can move on. We got the rings, we got the banner and it was a good day all around."


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