Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

UConn to be without Chong, Boykin and Butler against Ohio State

UConn won't have the services of junior guard Saniya Chong, freshman forward De'Janae Boykin and sophomore center Natalie Butler during Monday's season opener.

Butler was already expected to be out until at least late December due to a thumb injury and UConn coach Geno Auriemma previous stated that Boykin (dealing with a tender Achilles tendon) was likely going to be sidelined when the season began. There was a chance that Chong, dealing with IT Band Syndrome resulting in pain around her knee, could have been able to go against the Buckeyes but after Saturday's practice Auriemma said that is not the case.

"She (Chong) got an injection so she hasn't practiced in about a week so we are hoping she starts for real on (Wednesday) and hopefully by next weekend she will be good. De'Janae hasn't practiced in 10 days and today was the first day that she actually ran on the sideline. Hopefully she'll get her in the middle of next week doing at least some half court stuff and Natalie is in the same situation as before."

UConn won't practice on Tuesday so Wednesday is the earlier Chong and Boykin could be back at practice. Even when they are cleared to practice, they will need to shake the rust off.

"It varies with each kid," Auriemma said. "Some kids are pretty good with trying to simulate it but it is never that you just step in and you are good to go."

Butler is trying to carve out a role on the team after sitting out last season per NCAA rules following her transfer from Georgetown. Chong is eager to show the coaches how much she has improved, especially on defense while Boykin missed nearly all of her senior season at Flowers High School due to a wrist injury so there might not be three players more in need of this practice time on the UConn squad.

"There are no easy ones. I think everybody can benefit from a month of training camp," Auriemma said. "In today's day and age, I don't even talk to (UConn athletic trainer) Rosemary (Ragle) anymore or the team doctors, I just pretend it doesn't exist. If I show up and I see somebody running up and down the sideline and it looks like they might practice, I'll go 'oh, where did they come from?' I don't get involved in that stuff."

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