Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, October 31, 2016

No immediate eligibility for UConn's transfers

When I first heard that Chatrice White was granted a waiver by the NCAA after transferring from Illinois to Florida State and then hearing the possibility that Natalie Romeo could be immediately eligible after going from Nebraska to Washington, it got me thinking (which is never a good thing). The Illinois and Nebraska situations that White and Romeo left were not pretty but neither were the ones at Duke and Kentucky where Azura Stevens and Batouly Camara began their collegiate careers before transferring to Duke.

So if White and possibly Romeo could play for their new teams without sitting out the season, couldn't a case be made for Camara and Stevens to play for UConn this season?

I brought the subject up with UConn coach Geno Auriemma after today's practice and he said neither player will be eligible to play for the Huskies until the 2017-18 season.

"I don't have an answer behind those other programs what happened, why some kids are eligible and some kids are not," Auriemma said. "I just know that our two are not. From talking to them, it doesn't seem like there is anything that would make me think 'OK we should go and pursue this.' I don't know happened that those other players were able to do that. If I felt there were something there, I would pursue it but it would be dishonest for me to think there is when there isn't."

Also, with Kia Nurse getting a game in Canada next year, I was curious if UConn would try to secure a game in Nevada for Gabby Williams. Auriemma said that UConn's west coast trip next season will have to suffice for Williams' homecoming game.

UConn kicks off its season with an exhibition game against Division II Indiana (Pa.) tomorrow night at 7 at Gampel Pavilion. It was a foregone conclusion that Nurse, Williams, Napheesa Collier and Kaie Lou Samuelson would start. Auriemma said he is planning to start senior Saniya Chong as well. Auriemma has been thrilled with what he has seen from Chong which is a good sign but now the challenge is to carry her strong work in practices throughout the entire season. It would be huge for the Huskies if that were the case since it would allow the coaching staff to bring freshmen Crystal Dangerfield and Molly Bent off the bench. There will be more on Chong in the coming days.

Auriemma said everybody should be good to go for the game. He said Nurse stepped on somebody's foot but she was able to practice without restriction today so she should be good to go.

Finally, the preseason Associated Press poll comes out tomorrow at 9 a.m.. UConn has been the preseason No. 1 team in each of the last three seasons and six times in the last eight years but I would be pretty surprised if that trend continues. I vote in the poll and picked the Huskies fourth behind South Carolina, Notre Dame and Baylor.

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