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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chong should be good to go for UConn tomorrow night

Today was the first practice open to the media since UConn's season-opening win over Ohio State and both Saniya Chong and De'Janae Boykin were out there during drills.

Chong, who did get into the season opener during the final few minutes, is expected to be a full go for tomorrow's game against Kansas State (7 p.m., XL Center) although UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that because Boykin is still only practicing on a part-time basis as she works her way back from an Achilles' tendon injury, he doesn't not expect her to play in the home opener.

Chong is excited to hit the ground running in her first extended game action after missing both exhibition games and not getting into the Ohio State game until there was 3:21 remaining.

"I feel very excited. I know it has been hard the last couple of weeks for me, in and out all the time but actually being here and finishing up the practices, being a part of the team it feels really good," Chong said.

With sophomore Gabby Williams looking very much like the Huskies' fifth starter, UConn is extremely young on the bench as the only reserves to play more than 10 minutes against the Buckeyes were freshmen Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson. Without Chong, the other reserves have played a total of 704 career minutes so there's a lot on Chong's shoulders.

"We talked to Saniya and said 'you are a leader on this team too,'" UConn senior Breanna Stewart said. "She is a junior, this is her third year of being here and she needs to help us lead the underclassmen. Saying that, just for her to hear in front of the rest of the team, helps her out
She has to be more vocal because if the freshmen see a junior not talking, they think it is OK to not talk too."

Chong has been dealing with IT Band Syndrome which results in pain on the outside of the knee. She had an injection and there's a chance that she will need more of them during the season.

"I think it will be ongoing this season, hopefully one day it will be like 'I want to go now' and hopefully soon," Chong said.

Boykin figures to make her UConn debut sooner rather than later. After missing most of her senior season at Flowers High School due to a wrist injury, it's been hard for Boykin to deal with being sidelined due to another ailment.

"It is kind of like being back in high school when I had to sit and watch so it is pretty hard for me," Boykin said. "I am excited that I am able to (practice) now.I feel comfortable, everything is fine."

Auriemma said that sophomore center Natalie Butler, expected to be out for at least another month due to a thumb injury, did some drills in practice earlier this week. Auriemma can't wait to get the 6-foot-5 Butler back to practice without restriction.

DANGERFIELD NAMED TO NAISMITH PLAYER OF YEAR WATCH LIST
UConn signee Crystal Dangerfield, a senior guard at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was one of 77 players named to the Naismith Player of the Year watch list.

Dangerfield had 34 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in a season-opening 69-55 win over Brentwood Academy.


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1 Comments:

Anonymous Joe said...

I am really looking forward to seeing Butler in action. It is so rare for Geno to accept a transfer, she might turn into something really special. I hope so anyway.

10:25 AM 

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