Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fast-paced Ohio State offers unique challenge to UConn

Geno Auriemma has been at this coaching thing for quite some time and there are no recent teams that his Huskies have played recently with an offensive style similar to what UConn will see today.
 In a season-opening loss to South Carolina the high-scoring guard tandem of Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston combined to take 43 shots including 14 3-pointers.

 "I am trying to think who had a guard or two guards who take that many shots, I'd be had pressed," Auriemma said. "There haven't been many, we could rack our brains and say it is kind of like that, kind of like DePaul but there haven't been many instances where I can look back and go, yeah I remember that. This is kind of unique."

 Ohio State, bitten hard by the injury bug a season ago, couldn't even practice 5 on 5 without the use of male practice players.  A total of 10 players saw time against South Carolina and Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff believes the Buckeyes will be able to do things that were impossible last season.

"We relied heavily on our male practice squad, we had to have those guys in there every day or else we couldn't go 5 on 5, " McGuff said. "The other thing is I think I made mistakes early on. You see the injuries happen, you are sitting there worrying about somebody else getting hurt but as we started going into the beginning of the year I said to my staff that we aren't making any progress, we aren't getting any better because we are kind of kid gloving them through practice every day. Finally I said forget, not that we are going to go crazy in practice but we are going to ratchet up the intensity and make sure we get better and when we started doing that, I think that was really a (turning) point for us, we started making a lot of progress and having a very successful season. It was difficult trying to find that balance."

The Ohio State campus is more than six hours from where Napheesa Collier and Morgan Tuck grew up but still, they are both going to have multiple family members in attendance.

 "My parents will be there, aunt and uncle, a couple of my parents' friends but it will be good to be able to see my family a little bit," Tuck said.

 "They are definitely excited, they have been calling me all week so they are super excited," Collier said. "It our first in-season game, it is going to be a tough crowd. Ohio State is a great team,"


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