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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

UConn's Dangerfield on recent benching: I asked for it

When Crystal Dangerfield was back home in Tennessee for a few days during Christmas she was trying to make up for lost time reuniting with friends and family. However, on the flight back to Connecticut she pondered the events leading to her being benched in the second half of a recent game at Nebraska.

"Overall it is frustrating because I know I can do better and I know they want that from me but at the same time it is not getting too low from it, knowing I have another day or could have another day to bounce back from it," Dangerfield said. "They want to see it from me consistently and that has really been the problem because I will have a few days when I do well and I will have a few days when it is just bad.

"When I was home I wasn't thinking about it too much but on the travel day back, that was what was heavy on my mind just to come back and try to change how things have been going."

When Dangerfield became the first native of Tennessee to commit to play for Geno Auriemma, she knew it wasn't going to be a walk in the park. UConn didn't win 11 national titles or produce one All-American after another by setting the bar low. Auriemma knows Dangerfield has a chance to be a difference maker at guard and he is not willing to let her pick and choose where and when that talent comes out.

"It is not that he is picking on me or anything, it is just that he expects more from me," Dangerfield said. "Him doing that, it hurt but I basically asked for it. I just have to go out there and try harder.
At times they see it that if I get down on myself, they see it as I don't want the coaching but other times I know I can do better so other times I know I can do better, I have to change that, it is the body language I want to put out there.

"It is kind of blank out plays, if I am not in a spot where I need to be, that spot would help us get a steal and that is what happened."

Auriemma has not been feeling well so he missed yesterday's practice before returning with a voice that has seen better days. He spoke to the team for quite a while after practice and after practice was over he gave his thoughts on Dangerfield.

"Crystal, I don't know if you can say she is a typical freshman but you always get two sides of Crystal, the one that you go wow and you get the one where she is very immature," Auriemma said. "Patience is a good thing to a point, I think the more patient you are with people, the longer they take. There comes a point when you are a little bit impatient and they hurry up."

Dangerfield started the last three games as senior guard Saniya Chong missed two games with a concussion and came off the bench in her return against Nebraska. Auriemma said as long as Chong is fine physically that she figures to return to the starting lineup.


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