Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

UConn's Dangerfield hoping for the best as protests hit her hometown

With the UConn women's basketball team not expected to practice today, this is a day when sophomore guard Crystal Dangerfield can send her hopes and thoughts to her hometown.

National media has converged on Murfreesboro, Tennessee to report on White Lives Matter rallies in Murfreesboro and nearby Shelbyville.

Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro canceled campus events days before the scheduled white nationalist rallies and residence halls were expected to be locked down. Other steps were being taken so the events in Murfreesboro are not a repeat of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia when Heather Heyer was fatally injured when a car was driven into a crowd of counter protestors, two law enforcement officers perished in a helicopter crash as they monitored the events in Charlottesville from the air. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency when protests and counter protests turned violent.

After Thursday's practice, I spoke with Dangerfield for about three minutes and at the end of the interview, I asked Dangerfield for her thoughts on situation currently taking place in Murfreesboro.

"First, I am hoping nothing bad happens, friends and family who are there I hope they stay safe," Dangerfield said. "My take on it, everybody is opinionated, everybody feels how they are going to feel, you have a right to protest so they can have that."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A couple players missing at today's UConn practice

The first media availability of the women's basketball season (not counting the American Athletic Conference media day) wrapped up not that long ago and the Huskies were without All-American forward Gabby Williams and transfer Batouly Camara.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Williams is dealing with migraine headaches. This was the second practice in a row she missed but he thinks Williams could return tomorrow or Sunday (Saturday is an off day). Camara had a cast on her right leg as she is dealing with what has been diagnosed as a knee sprain and bone bruise. The timetable for her return is a less certain but sounds like she could be iffy for both exhibitions.

"She just came in one day, bumped into somebody, caught an elbow or something but came to practice the next day and everything seemed to be fine," Auriemma said of Williams. "Towards the end of practice she said I don't feel good. We thought it might be a concussion but she went through the whole thing and it wasn't.

"Monday or Tuesday, we were doing a drill and she (Camara) landed on somebody and they said it was a sprain, a bone bruise and maybe out a week or two. They will know more when all the swelling goes down."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nevada native Gabby Williams of UConn weighs in on WNBA coming to Las Vegas

There aren't an abundance of women's professional basketball players coming out of the state of Nevada so when rumors began to circulate about the San Antonio Stars relocating to Las Vegas, there was more than one social media post suggesting that UConn senior and Nevada native Gabby Williams would be jumping for joy at this news.

Well, I caught up with Williams at yesterday's American Athletic Conference basketball media day and she chuckled at her potential "homecoming" if the team did indeed land in Vegas.

Earlier today, the WNBA confirmed the rumors with a release that the San Antonio franchise will play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center beginning with the 2018 season.

"It's pretty far for me like eight hours so it is not really home," Williams said. "I was kind of sad because I heard their were rumors that they were moving to the Bay Area or Sacramento."

Sacramento is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Williams' hometown of Sparks, Nevada while Las Vegas is only slightly closer to her home than Los Angeles is.

"It is exciting because it is closer than any other team," Williams said.

I won't claim to have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the top girls basketball products to come out of Nevada. Former North Carolina star Italee Lucas was a second round pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft while Ashley Gayle was in camp with the Seattle Storm in 2012. Perhaps there are others but I asked Williams about the level of interest in girls and women's basketball in the state of Nevada.

"Basketball is not really that big in Nevada as far as women's basketball so hopefully having a WNBA team there will hopefully grow the popularity of it and hopefully encourage some of the younger girls in Nevada to start playing basketball," Williams said.

Speaking of the 2018 WNBA Draft, don't look for Napheesa Collier's name to be among the draft prospects.

Collier would be eligible for the draft since she turns 22 in 2018 however when I spoke to her on Monday in Philadelphia, she made it clear that she indeeds on playing all four seasons with the Huskies.

"I want to be here as long as I can and learn as much as I can from the coaches so I am not thinking about it," Collier said.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

WNBA title No. 4 for UConn legend Maya Moore

Maya Moore continues to add to her winning legacy as she became the first UConn alum to win four WNBA championships.

Moore had 18 points including two on a jumper in the final 30 seconds after Los Angeles used a 9-0 run to pull within three points. She also had 10 rebounds and two steals as all five Minnesota Lynx starters scored in double figures in a 85-76 win over defending champion Los Angeles in the decisive fifth game of the WNBA Championship Series.

Moore averaged 17.8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.2 steals per game in the championship series.
Sylvia Fowles had 17 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots, Lindsay Whalen also had 17 points while Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson had 14 and 13 points respectively. Former UConn star Renee Montgomery had two points as she was a member of her second WNBA championship team.

Candace Parker had 19 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Chelsea Gray had 15 points and 8 assists while Odyssey Sims added 14 points for Los Angeles.

This is the 12th time in the last 15 years that the WNBA champion featured at least one former UConn product and 14th time the championship team had at least one UConn grad on its team.

Moore entered the playoffs tied with Diana Taurasi and Swin Cash for the most WNBA titles by UConn grads with three. Montgomery joins Sue Bird, Kelly Schumacher and Jen Rizzotti as the only other former Huskies to be members of more than one WNBA championship team.

I broke it down and here's the won-loss record of teams Moore has played on (not including her overseas squads)

182-56 Minnesota Lynx (regular season, had best record in Western Conference six times, best regular-season record in WNBA five times)
 40-15 Minnesota Lynx (playoffs) 4 titles in 7 seasons
125-3 Collins Hill High School state titles in final three seasons
 73-6 Georgia Metros 4 AAU national titles
 51-0 USA Basketball U18, U19, World University Games gold medals, two world titles, two Olympic gold medals
150-4 UConn
621-84 .881 percent

Here's the breakdown of UConn alums playing in the WNBA championship series
2017: Minnesota (Renee Montgomery, Maya Moore) def. Los Angeles
2016: Los Angeles def. Minnesota (Renee Montgomery, Maya Moore)
2015: Minnesota (Kalana Greene, Asjha Jones, Renee Montgomery, Maya Moore) def. Indiana
2014: Phoenix (Diana Taurasi) def. Chicago
2013: Minnesota (Maya Moore) def, Atlanta (Tiffany Hayes)
2012: Indiana def. Minnesota (Maya Moore)
2011: Minnesota (Maya Moore, Charde Houston) def. Atlanta
2010: Seattle (Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Svetlana Abrosimova) def. Atlanta
2009: Phoenix (Diana Taurasi, Ketia Swanier) def. Indiana (Jessica Moore)
2008: Detroit (Kelly Schumacher) def. San Antonio
2007: Phoenix (Diana Taurasi, Kelly Schumacher) def. Detroit (Swin Cash)
2006: Detroit (Swin Cash) def. Sacramento
2005: Sacramento def. Connecticut (Nykesha Sales, Asjha Jones)
2004: Seattle (Bird) def. Connecticut (Nykesha Sales, Asjha Jones)
2003: Detroit (Swin Cash) def. Los Angeles
2000: Houston (Jen Rizzotti) def. New York
1999: Houston (Jen Rizzotti, Kara Wolters) def. New York (Rebecca Lobo-injured and did not play)
1997: Houston def. New York (Rebecca Lobo)