Sunday, December 31, 2006

Congratulations Geno on 600 WINS!!!
5/5 Connecticut Huskies (11-0)

Results: Connecticut 82, Sacred Heart 40
Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Defensive Player of the Game: Jr. PG Ketia Swanier
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Stat of the Game: Rebounds UConn 57, Sacred Heart 20
With CP3 & Tennessee only a week away, UConn anticipates Charles' first dunk. Charles (who can dunk and has dunked once in high school) says she is more focused on getting healthy and hitting lay-ups than dunking on Parker (who we all know can dunk and has dunked 5 times in college).
It's Official, Phillips UConn career IS NOT over, but the basketball part of it IS. She has decided to continue her education at UConn for now, but finally admits that she was not at all prepared to handle this level of basketball. All the best to Phillips in whereever life now takes her!!
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Sacred Heart Pioneers.
Today, Geno is on the verge of 600 wins. He will try to become the fastest coach to reach 600...this will be Geno's 716th try. He would move ahead of Pat Summit, who is currently the record holder at 600 wins in 734 tries.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

UConn struggled with UHart...for a while in the 1st half, Montgomery and Greene finally stepped and helped the Huskies surge past Hartford eventually pulling away for a 62-36 win. UConn found enough energy to bring Geno within ONE victory of 600 career wins. The 5'10 Greene finished with her 2nd consecutive career double-double finishing with 14 pts. and a career-high 16 rebs. helping the Huskies run away in the 2nd half.

Friday, December 29, 2006

5/5 Connecticut Huskies (10-0)

Results: Connecticut 62, Hartford 36
Player of the Game: So. SF Kalana Greene
Defensive Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Stat of the Game: Assists - UConn 13, Hartford 3
Last night, it was the Maya Moore show on Versus as she tops herself again. She single-handedily led her #1 Collins Hill HS team to a 45-36 halftime lead over #11 St. Elizabeth's in the T-Mobile Invitational Championship game outscoring St. Elizabeth's herself 38-36. After getting 10 hours of sleep, a rested Moore lifted CHHS to a 74-63 title win...finishing the game with a career-high 48 pts. to go along with 13 rebs. and 7 stls. It is hard to imagine how good she actually is until you see her in action and then she ends up being way better than ever imagined.
With the Huskies depleted upfront with injuries and the departing of Phillips from the team, the UConn backcourt will need to step up big as they take on Hartford. And add Gardler to the injured list as she injured her elbow fooling around at home during X-Mas break.
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Hartford Hawks.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Williams twins are closer than most and most don't even know Williams is a twin since her twin is male, who doesn't play basketball or attend UConn. Both are great athletes and play for top Division I sports in their respective sport. Her younger (by a minute) brother, Isaiah, starts at wide receiver for the Maryland Terrapins. She comes from a very athletic family as her older brother played football at Wake Forest and her father played football at Rutgers.
Update: Per the Courant and Geno, Phillips' very brief UConn career is apparently...OVER.
Phillips remains in North Carolina at her home. She says she still has not made a decision on whether she will come back to UConn and that decision doesn't seem to be coming any time soon. She has not withdrawn her name from the school or decided if she will transfer or not. Everyday that goes by though, makes the likelihood that she will ever put a Husky uniform on again get smaller and smaller.

Of note, Hunter and Charles still remain questionable against Hartford, who look up to UConn, as of last night's first practice since X-Mas.
UConn-bound Maya Moore fought through some serious fatigue last night to led her team (27 pts. and 15 rebs.) to an OT victory 60-58 over #15 Winter Haven HS and remain an undefeated 14-0 on the season. With the nation's best girls basketball player, #1 Collins Hill HS was down, but never out as Moore stole a pass with 16 secs. remaining in OT and got fouled while she hit the game winning lay-up (she missed the and-one free throw). Moore and CHHS will now play #11 St. Elizabeth's HS led by Rutgers-bound Khadijah Rushdan, who beat Issaquah HS 58-37, tonight in the T-Mobile Invitational Championship game. This will be CHHS 8th game in a 14 day span after playing the 15th & 16th, the 18th thru 21st, and now the 27th & 28th of December (not to mention flying back and forth between time zones for Christmas) and making Moore's incredible play that much more impressive.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Charles was named Big East Freshman of the Week today after averaging 12 ppg, 6 rpg, and 2.3 bpg and helping UConn to a 3-0 record last week.
Auriemma vs. Summit...through the years.
Some good news from the holiday break, Hunter says knee feels better, but she isn't sure if it is well enough to practice on yet. No word yet on Charles' shoulder; also the status of McLaren, Montgomery, and Houston's sore feet is unknown.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All is quiet this holiday break with the current Huskies but not with a future Husky. Fresh of her MVP performance at the Nike TOC, Maya Moore, who is simply the best, heads to Seattle to kick off the inaugural T-Mobile Invitational. She leads her #1 ranked Collins Hill HS team in their pursuit of an undefeated, national championship.

["She makes everyone around her better," Collins Hill head coach Tracey Tipton said. "Maya raises the level of play of everyone around her. The great thing about her is how selfless she is. All she cares about is winning." "Maya is the best teammate," Texas Tech signee and Collins Hill teammate Jordan Jones said. "She has this way to inspire people to perform at the highest possible level. She's a very unselfish player. She realizes the value of her teammates." Last season, Moore became only the second junior to win the Naismith Award, given to the nation's best player. (Current Tennessee star Candace Parker is the other.) She was a consensus All-American, the Georgia state player of the year, and was a member of the United States' Under-18 team that won a gold medal last summer at the FIBA Americas Tournament. She entered this season as the unquestioned No. 1 player in the country in one of the deepest recruiting classes in years. "The closest comparison I can find to her is a young Tamika Catchings," said Chris Hansen, the national recruiting director at "There are not many players who can do the number of things she can, especially in terms of rebounding and defense. She really gets after it on both ends of the floor."]

NOTE: For those of you with DirecTV Sports Package, you can check Moore out live on Ch. 608 Wed. 12/27 at 4pm ET (1pm PT).

Monday, December 25, 2006

With Greene believing in her talent, a new star has emerged for the Huskies. The player Geno says has improved the most since last year and played the best this preseason is finally translating all her off season success onto the court. Averaging 17.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 apg, and almost 2 spg while shooting over 70% from the field this past week just shows us some of what the 5'10 slasher is capable of. It seems that as long as she continues this kind of play, UConn will be in the running for a 2nd consecutive Big East Most Improved Player (although she's getting some very tough competition from fellow slasher, Louisville SF Angel McCoughtry).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Huskies proved to be too athletic for Oakland yesterday afternoon. Led again by Greene (13 pts. and 14 rebs.) as UConn dominated Oakland 85-53. Great 1st halves by Hunter and Charles were interrupted by 'tweaks' to their knee and shoulder injuries, respectively and forced both of them to the bench for the game. The post domination didn't stop with both centers on the bench the entire second half as Greene and McLaren took over. All the girls will now go home for a short holiday break, heal their wounds, and then come back to get ready to face a Husky of Honor and Hartford.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

6/6 Connecticut Huskies (9-0)

Results: Connecticut 85, Oakland 53
Player of the Game: Jr. C Brittany Hunter
Defensive Player of the Game: So. SF Kalana Greene
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Stat of the Game: 2nd Chance points - UConn 25, Oakland 5
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Oakland Grizzlies.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Huskies of old and present spent last night celebrating now & then. Reminiscing about fights, coach yelling, why they came to Connecticut in the first place, and why they wore the number did with former teammates or older/younger players while watching the current undefeated 6th ranked Huskies isn't a bad added bonus. All the good and bad times are now memories that shine through the years for those who were honored.
Last night, the Huskies past the test with honors in front of 6 of the 10 former UConn Kodak All-Americans as they shut down the Rams (at least in the post) winning 93-58. Led by the backcourt trio of Montgomery, Thomas, and Greene (19, 19, and 17 pts. respectively), the Huskies lived up to the predecessors on a very special night where UConn's 10 Kodak All-Americans were honored with banners that now hang in the rafters of Gampel Pavilion. It was fitting that the 1st player honored was the one success started with, #24 Bascom. Don't be suprised if Montgomery joins the high honor roll one day with a banner of her own as she added 7 asts., 5 stls., and no TO's on a night the was definitely worth the wait. The current Huskies put on a show for their special guests and efficently disposed of the Rams behind all 5 starters being in double figures for the 1st time since 2002 (4 were had 10 by halftime and Houston had 8). Post play was also improved in the rout despite being short handed as Hunter was a DNP (due to her knee acting up that afternoon).

Even the Big East Conference is grateful to these 10 wonderful athletes for the evolution of a powerful women's basketball conference as they helped pave the way for what is now considered one of the best women's basketball leagues in the country which won 5 NCAA titles in a row from 2000-04.
In some UConn recruiting news, #1 HS player and UConn signee 6'1 SF Maya Moore led her 1^/2* Collins Hill HS team to the Nike Tournament of Champions title over 2^/1* Long Beach Poly averaging 34.3 ppg in 4 games in 4 days 3 of which where against Top 15 teams and being named Tournament MVP. Scout writer and National Director of Scouting Chris Hansen says, "We get it Maya, you are the best high school player ever. Yes - EVER!" after she led her team back from 12 down with under 3 minutes to go in the quarter-final game to beat 14^/6* Notre Dame Academy in OT finishing with a career-high 42 pts., 11 rebs., 6 blks., 5 asts., and 2 stls. Jamelle Elliot and Chris Dailey were even among the spectators of the TOC on Tue (Qtr-final) & Wed (Semi-final) to see Moore's phenomenal performances, but they had to miss Mon & Thu (Championship) due to UConn games.

Fellow UConn signee 5'4 PG Lorin Dixon led her 12^/4* Christ the King HS team to a 4th place finish in the same division as Moore. UConn hopeful 6'5 SF Elena DelleDonne led her 10^/7* Ursuline Academy HS team to an 8th place finish playing in the same Black Division of the Nike TOC as Moore and Dixon which featured 11 teams ranked in the ^USA Today Girls HS Basketball Top 25 rankings (as of 12/13) and 11 teams ranked in the *Scout FCP Girls HS Basketball Top 25 rankings (as of 11/22). These rankings will surely shuffle because of the TOC with Collins Hill the clear favorite at this point to win their 1st (mythical) HS National Championship.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

6/6 Connecticut Huskies (8-0)

Results: Connecticut 93, Colorado State 58
Player of the Game: So. PG Renee Montgomery
Defensive Player of the Game: So. PG Renee Montgomery
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: Points in the Paint - UConn 42, Colorado State 6
Ms. All-Everything/All-World and UConn Great Taurasi (or as I call her, DT3), who will be honored tonight as one of 10 Kodak All-Americans, was just named the 2006 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. Congrats Dee on yet another honor!!!
Geno says his Huskies success in the balance is and will be the difference this season. "You know why our team is really good?" Auriemma said Wednesday after practice. "Our team is really good because I said to them, `Look, we've got to do a couple things here to make sure that we get Mel more shots. Now, it may not be that important to you guys that we get Mel more shots if we're going to keep winning by 40.' Charde was the first one to say, `No, that ain't right.' I said, `Darn right it's not right. We got a huge weapon here that we have to figure out a way to take advantage of.' They're all, `Yeah.'" Hunter claims she knows what Geno wants best, better and more consistent post play.

Speaking of Thomas and Houston, tonight they'll watch as Thomas' number (25) will be unveiled on a banner honoring Abrosimova and Houston, who will meet UConn's 1st Kodak All-American for the 1st time tonight, will watch as her number (24) will be unveiled on a banner honoring Bascom. The 3rd current Husky whose number will be honored tonight is Greene, who's game is on target as she continues finding her touch. She will watch her number (32) be unveiled on a banner honoring Cash.
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Colorado State Rams.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Geno admits that even with the team coming off a great game on Monday down in Virginia, there are flaws still evident with his team...especially in the post.
In the second bit of bad news this season, Phillips is leaving the team for an indefinite amount of time. She obviously apparently is having a difficult time adjusting and needs time to clear her head. There is no news on whether or not she is transfering. My guess would be that she will transfer, but will likely end up at a junior college or Div. III school...if she decides to keep playing at all. I truly hope I'm wrong because I don't ever like to see anyone fail and she seemed very intelligent from her Italy diary...I wish her all the best in whatever she decides.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Next up is Colorado St. with the post game ceremony honoring the 10 Kodak All-American and former Huskies on Thursday at Gampel. The debate of to retire or not to retire ultimately was turned into these honors since Geno was afraid UConn might run out of numbers if they started retiring the Greats. The new banner system is being installed as we speak and will be ready for Thursday's game.
A Greene light means go and that's exactly what the Huskies did last night as they blasted past a decent Virginia team, 96-60. In her break through game, they were led by the career highs of 21 pts. and 9 rebs. of Greene. UConn won handily, handing the Cavaliers their worst victory in almost 23 years. All of the Huskies looked crisp in their return to the court after an 11-day layoff for exams. Montgomery finished with 17 pts. and 9 asts. and Charles finished with 12 pts., 7 rebs., and 6 blks. as the entire team shot lights out at a 5-yr high of 66% from the field.

Monday, December 18, 2006

6/6 Connecticut Huskies (7-0)

Results: Connecticut 96, Virginia 60
Player of the Game: So. SF Kalana Greene
Defensive Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: FG% UConn 65.6%, Virginia 27.4%
Game notes (pdf) for today's game at Virginia Cavaliers.
Rizzotti, Harry, Agnus, Bruno, Essence, Mel, Tonya, and Geno weigh in on the very hot and controversial topic in the women's hoops world of banning male practice players. As a male I really shouldn't offer an opinion because I think it should be left to the decision of the female players the NCAA CWA feel are being wronged, but I will give one anyway (since this is my blog).

Why in the World would anyone think that playing against men everyday doesn't make women better or that it is unfair to non-starters?

Men don't like to lose to women and women want to win just as bad...that sounds like everyone making everyone better. Many of the greats in the women's game have said on numerous occasions of playing with the guys back in the day or their father teaching them everything they know or their brothers beating up on them when they were growing up. The reality is this: the 2nd and 3rd strings on college teams will probably never make the 1st string better except for maybe a couple top-tier teams who have 10 HS All-Americans, but male practice players will most likely make them better.

Plus, then what will the teams with only 6, 7, or 8 healthy players do and when will anyone on a team ever get a break during practice?
Today is a chance for old friends to get reacquainted as the Huskies visit Virginia in their brand new arena the John Paul Jones Arena. Geno is returning to his coaching roots and Tonya is returning to her old playing ground. He also says he's jealous of the new arena and will be taking notes to bring back to CT in hopes of maybe getting a new and improved Gampel Pavilion. This will only be the 5th meeting and first since the biggest game in UConn history when the undefeated Huskies rallied late in Storrs to defeat the Cavaliers 67-63 and moved on to their 2nd Final Four & 1st NCAA Championship 1995 between the two storied programs, but this time it's UConn doing Virginia the favor.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tomorrow's game in Virginia will feature a more perfect reunion between former fellow Virginia coaches, current Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan and former Virginia asst. coach and current UConn head coach Geno Auriemma. Things weren't always "perfect" when Geno was an assistant back in the early 80's between the two since he didn't always like playing second fiddle to Ryan. The cocky 20-something year old thought he knew everything and wanted things done his ways. The game is also a homecoming for former Virginia star guard, UConn asst. coach Tonya Cardozza.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Freshman year in college is a tough transition for most, but it is starting to boarder on excruciatingly painful (even to watch) for Phillips who won't be traveling with the team for the third straight game and hasn't practiced with the team for about 3 weeks now. At this point, no one (even Geno) knows her status except for her name still being listed on the roster. A decision should be made by the time X-Mas break is over on where she officially stands with the team. Her high school coach also sheds some light onto what might be causing her problems.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Houston and Montgomery have been named 2 of the top-50 candidates for the Naismith National Player of the Year award. The list will be narrowed down to 30 in January. I don't know who is on the committee that decides the list, but they need to check some boxscores before they go placing players on the list. They also need to check and find out who is actually still playing and if they even play for that team----hello and wake up committee----Angela Clark left St. John's like 6 weeks ago----read a newspaper or at least a message board for that matter!!!! And the sick obsession with Maryland's entire starting 5 has to stop...i mean they are all good and all, but they are all NOT player of the year candidates...I would say only Coleman, Langhorne, and Toliver.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Courant reads between the lines of each member of the 2006-07 Huskies...discussing how they've played so far and what they need to work on for the remainder of the season.
In UConn recruiting news, high school phenom Elena DelleDonne has cut her college list down to 5...Connecticut, Duke, Maryland, Tennessee, and Villanova. She says she won't make a decision until at least the spring and that she would love to be a roommate with her current AAU teammate and UConn-commit Caroline Doty (but that it won't be a major factor in her decision).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

UConn's current team is looking to try and repeat chemistry in order to bring home a 6th NCAA banner to Gampel Pavilion. This team has the talent and athleticism capable of winning a championship; they just need to keep everyone healthy and figure out a way to handle opposing teams' pressure (especially the pressure put on by the UNC's and Tenn's of the WCBB World).

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Huskies will spend the next week in exams, but they will also meet for some light practices in hopes of resting the ailing and finding a way to get Thomas open for some more shots behind the arc. They return to action Mon. Dec. 18th in their first ever trip to Virginia in a homecoming for Geno (coach) and Tonya (player). The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Last night, the Huskies brought a new meaning to the word 'domination' as they stomped on Georgetown in the Big East (Road) Opener. They were led by Houston and Charles, who scored 14 pts. a piece without even breaking 20 minutes (or a sweat), in the 84-26 win. When I began watching the game the score was 15-9 and at halftime the game turned into a rout with the score, 55-12. Charles is beginning to find her way after struggling the past couple of game. It was a homecoming for McLaren, who is looking good for a girl no one thought could play at the college level (pace).
7/7 Connecticut Huskies (6-0, 1-0 BE)

Results: Connecticut 84, Georgetown 26
Player of the Game: Jr. PF Charde Houston
Defensive Player of the Game: So. SF Kalana Greene
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: Bench points - UConn 31, Georgetown 2

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Game notes (pdf) for today's game at Georgetown Hoyas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For the Husky fans with Colorado St. tickets who leave games early, the unveiling of the inaugural class for the "Huskies of Honor" will be during a POST-game ceremony on Dec. 21st vs. Colorado St. to accommodate late arrivals Bird and Taurasi.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The University of Connecticut proudly announces the 10 members of the inaugural class for the Huskies of Honor. Eight of the 10 will be in attendance for the unveiling of the banners representing each of UConn's Kodak All-Americans on Thursday, December 21st at the Colorado St. game.

The Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" inaugural class honorees include:

Coach Geno Auriemma: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (Class of 2006); Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (Class of 2006); Five-time National Coach of the Year (1994-95, 1996-97; 1999-00; 2001-02; 2002-03).

Kerry Bascom (1987-1991): 1990-91 First Team All-American; 1991 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player; Three-Time Big East Conference Player of the Year (1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91; 1989 Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player; Led UConn to first appearance in the NCAA "Final Four" (1991).

Rebecca Lobo (1991-1995): 1994-95 National Collegiate Player of the Year; Two-time First Team All-American (1993-94, 1994-95); 1995 NCAA "Final Four" Most Outstanding Player; Two-time Big East Conference Player of the Year (1993-94, 1994-95); Led UConn to 1995 NCAA National Championship with perfect 35-0 record; 1996 USA Olympic Gold Medalist.

Jennifer Rizzotti (1992-1996): 1995-96 National Collegiate Player of the Year; Two-time First Team All-American (1994-95, 1995-96); Two-time NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player (1995, 1996); 1995-96 Big East Conference Player of the Year.

Kara Wolters (1993-1997): 1996-97 National Collegiate Player of the Year; Two-time First Team All-American (1995-96, 1996-97); Two-time Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player (1995, 1996); 1996-97 Big East Conference Player of the Year; 2000 USA Olympic Gold Medalist.

Nykesha Sales (1994-1998): Two-time First Team All-American (1996-97, 1997-98); 1997 Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player; 1997-98 Big East Conference Player of the Year; UConn Career Scoring Leader (2,178 points).

Svetlana Abrosimova (1997-2001): Three-time First Team All-American (1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01); 2000 NCAA "Final Four" All-Tournament Team; 2000 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player; 1998-99 Big East Conference Player of the Year.

Shea Ralph (1996-2001): 1999-2000 First Team All-American; 2000 NCAA "Final Four" Most Outstanding Player; 1999 Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player; 1999-2000 Big East Conference Player of the Year.

Sue Bird (1998-2002): 2001-02 National Collegiate Player of the Year; 2001-02 First Team All-American; 2002 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player; 2001-02 Big East Conference Player of the Year; 2004 USA Olympic Gold Medalist.

Swin Cash (1998-2002): 2001-02 First Team All-American; 2002 NCAA "Final Four" Most Outstanding Player; Three-time Big East Championship All-Tournament Team (1999, 2000, 2002); 2004 USA Olympic Gold Medalist.

Diana Taurasi (2000-2004): Two-time National Collegiate Player of the Year (2002-03, 2003-04); Three-time First Team All-American (2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04); Two-time NCAA "Final Four" Most Outstanding Player (2003, 2004); Two-time Big East Conference Player of the Year (2002-03, 2003-04); 2004 USA Olympic Gold Medalist.

Of Note:
Bird and Taurasi will fly home (4,600+ miles) from Russia and arrive the morning of the game after playing a game for their offseason Russian team Spartak Wednesday, Dec. 20th (talk about world travelers). "It is obvious how much this ceremony means to Sue and Diana based on the tremendous efforts they are taking to get here for the event," says UConn Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway. "We always knew that a ceremony like this would mean a great deal to our basketball programs, the people that are being honored and UConn fans around the world. Sue and Diana's ambitous plans to get to Storrs are a testament to that."

The only two not in attendance will be Abrosimova and Ralph who have prior commitments. Abrosimova, a St. Petersburg, Russia native, plays on the same team as Bird and Taurasi, but will be unable to attend due to a commitment for an event in St. Petersburg, Russia that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's basketball in Russia. Ralph, an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh women's basketball team, will be with the Panthers as they participate in the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico. "We believe this will be a very special night with eight of our ten former student-athletes and Coach Auriemma attending in person. Svet and Shea will be part of our inaugural class unveiling and we will also pay special honor to (them) when their schedules permit them to be her in person," says Hathaway.
Last night, the Huskies got a little bit more than they bargained for from their long time rival, Holy Cross, a 3-5 team that put up only 36 on the board in its previous game vs. BC defeating them 83-64. UConn let its guard down and the Crusaders came out on fire hitting their 1st 6 3-pt FG's and finished 10-23 from long distance. They used an 11-0 run to take an 11-4 lead (that they kept until the game became tied at 33 all) and eventually a 33-25 lead when Houston took over and led the Huskies on another 17-2 run to end the half to go into the locker room up 42-35. Houston continued her assertive and consistent All-American-type play finishing with 22 pts., 6 rebs., 3 asts., and 4 stls. on 11-14 shooting. Her coach says, "She had a purpose. She knew exactly where she wanted to go. And she knew where she wanted to get and there was no hesitation when she got it." She is also getting involved and contributing in more ways than just scoring which is the true sign of her maturity. Her teammate Phillips, on the other hand, is so far into the doghouse that she not only was a DNP for the 3rd straight game, but didn't even make the trip to Worchester with Geno sighting PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). Charles also continues to struggle, especially (along with the entire team) from the free-throw line.

Monday, December 04, 2006

7/7 Connecticut Huskies (5-0)

Results: Connecticut 83, Holy Cross 64
Player of the Game: Jr. PF Charde Houston
Defensive Player of the Game: I don't think there was one!
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: UConn 2-8 3-pt FG's, Holy Cross 10-23 3-pt FG's
The Huskies hit the road tonight for 3 games following their 11-pt home win over Purdue starting at Holy Cross. They will continue to try to rest the palyers being nagged by injuries as well as give their freshmen more playing time. Someone who is especially looking to improve is Charles, saying, "I have to be more aggressive. There's just little things that I have to work on. That wasn't my game and I was really disappointed in myself, the way I came out. But there's other games. I can't let that bring me down." Someone who has been steadily improving is Houston, saying, "Last season I would have been sitting on the bench. I wouldn't have played at all just because I would've got frustrated because I wasn't scoring and that leads to not rebounding, not stealing the ball and not playing defense. So this year I understood that when things like that happen there's enough players on this team to make up for my deficit." McLaren will go against her former HS teammate 5'10 Fr. SG Briana McFadden, who incidentally was recuited by Geno for the Crusaders.
Game notes (pdf) for today's game at Holy Cross Crusaders.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In some recruiting news, my hometown newspaper discusses Geno's recent success the past few years recruiting down South. They also discuss parity creeping ever so slowly into the women's game. I'll believe parity when I see it...thank you...and NOT just in a few minor upsets here and there or when someone other than UC or TN wins titles!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

For Geno, he has no real complaints about the way his team played Thursday night in its win over Purdue. He is being very positive, happy with the defense, and asked the players themselves to judge how well they think they played. Their answer...nobody felt they played to the best of their ability. Especially Greene and Charles, both of whom spent most of the 2nd half on the bench. For Greene, Geno says, "she's trying, but just going to fast--she's going 100 mph." For Charles, maybe it was Purdue's big frontcourt or tight zone that didn't allow her a lot of touches on offense or perhaps it was the ESPN2 cameras or maybe she just had a bad game. Both will be back in the starting line-up Monday against Holy Cross.

The Huskies have 8 games and 5 weeks to the day to get ready to take on their next Top 10 opponent, Tennessee and CP3 (the one who dunks)!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

UConn passed its first test of the season, but only with a "C" for gaining confidence. Great defense, poor shooting, rebounding, and TO's were the story of the game as the Huskies were led by Montgomery (26 pts, 3 asts, 9 TO's) in the defeat of #9 Purdue in a low scoring affair 66-55. They played great basketball for the second half of the first half breaking a tied game at 18-18 open with a 17-2 run to end the first half 35-20. They only received a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 from their coach, but he was happy with the game and understands it was only Nov. 30th. He was pleased to get a great win using hounding defense over a great Top 10 opponent especially since no one on the team is anywhere near as good as they should be come Jan./Feb. Besides Montgomery, another player who played great was Thomas who shut down Sr. All-American candidate and potential 1st Rd. draft pick SG Katie Gearlds. Gearlds came in averaging 20 ppg after 6 gms. to 4 pts. on 2 of 18 shooting (0-9 from 3-pt land). Some shots she missed were wide open shots, but credit Thomas for getting into her head early and making life miserable for the rest of the game as both players played the entire 40 mins.

UConn made a statement, but most importantly so too did Houston, who struggled to get shots off early against Purdue's other All-America candidate Lindsey Wisdom-Hylton, but shrugged off a slow first half not allowing it to affect the rest of her game as she played a career high 35 minutes finishing with 9 pts., 7 rebs, 5 asts. (career high), 4 blks. (career high), and 4 stls. proving once again and day-by-day that she is focused on 'the game' and not just scoring points. Hunter, Greene, and McLaren played well at times and unfortunately Charles appeared shell-shocked in her first nationally televised game of her career finishing with season lows of 6 pts., 3 rebs., and 1 blk. Before the tip-off, Geno was honored with the unveiling of his two Hall of Fame banners as well as the 5 National Players of the Year...up next are the 10 female 1st team All-Americans (Dec. 21st vs. Colorado St.).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

7/7 Connecticut Huskies (4-0)

Results: Connecticut 66, Purdue 55
Player of the Game: So. PG Renee Montgomery
Defensive Player of the Game: Jr. SG Mel Thomas
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. PF Kaili McLaren
Stat of the Game: 46 combined TO's (15 between each team's starting PGs) and only 14 combined steals
The Huskies say they are on a mission and up for the challenge against a very good Purdue team tonight on ESPN2 @ 7pm. In their first real test of the season, new roles shall be tested and leadership roles will or won't be made. Personally, I can't wait to see this match up and am anxious to see how we match up with another Top 10 team. Good Luck Husky Ladies!!!
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. 9/9 Purdue Boilermakers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

They laid the hammer down and laid it down quick and early. A balanced effort from everyone led UConn to a 84-51 easy victory over Boston U. last night. Led by the entire Jr. class, the Huskies showed not only did they bond and develop more chemistry from their trip in Italy but that they want to crush there opponents ASAP (which we haven't had in recent years) as the Huskies again were up 30-something pts. at the half leading 46-15. Geno was able rest his starters and injured players for much of the 2nd half as well as avoided an even bigger rout of Boston U. He was happy with what got accomplished early and allowed his bench to get more PT and experience which will be needed down the road. The only player to get a DNP was Phillips who is evidently in the "dog house".

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

7/7 Connecticut Huskies (3-0)

Results: Connecticut 84, Boston U. 51
Player of the Game: Jr. PG Ketia Swanier
Defensive Player of the Game: Jr. PF Charde Houston
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: Rebounds UConn 52, Boston U. 26
The Husky women look to get back to business on the court and it actually mean something. They have a tough week ahead as they readjust to playing in the States and prepare for the game tonight and Thursday's much anticipated match-up vs. 9th-ranked Purdue. Geno is pleasantly suprised at how well they have practiced since returning from a successful trip to Italy on Saturday. He admits he's tired and figured they would be also, but instead they look ready for action. The post has been banged up and hurtin' (literally) lately. They hope to all be healthy again starting tonight against Boston University, especially Hunter who is hungry for more minutes. One person who never has to worry about playing time is Thomas (UConn's returning points leader from last year and this year's points leader as well), who Geno rewards with minutes even when she is often overlooked by many on the outside (in terms of pre- and post-season awards and honors).
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Boston U. Terriers.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In other (more important than any basketball) news...

My deepest, heart-felt sympathies and prayers go out to Arizona State Sr. F Aubree Johnson and her family on the loss of her 15-year-old brother while in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam over the Thanksgiving weekend (Kudos to the event and Rutgers staff for agreeing to the cancellation of the championship game of the two heavy-weight teams) as well as the sweet-sounding (fellow 15-year-old) basketball phenom 6'0 SF Charnelle Bacon of Caravel Academy in Bear, DE as she fights Osteosarcoma (rare bone cancer) in her left femur. The doctors say, "It doesn't look good" on her ever playing basketball again. Her mom is just glad she's going to be alive. Last year, Bacon was named one of top 5 freshmen by USA Today.

If these kinds of things don't put the importance of winning basketball games and recruiting wars into perspective...I don't know what does!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The true FINAL Italian diary entry from Kristen Phillips. She discusses her final day in Italy--touring Rome including the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Colliseum, and the U.S. Embassy.

Worthing quoting...

"We left the Coliseum and headed to the U.S. Embassy. We had some time before we were scheduled to be there, so we broke for lunch. Now, don't get me wrong. The food in Italy is delectable. However, after five days of pasta dishes, the McDonald's up the street was looking pretty tasty. Given this, most of us decided to eat there. Clearly we are all competitive, but picture this, Huskies (coaches and/or players) sprinting up the road to get in line for a cheeseburger first! It was pretty funny now that I look back on it ... kind of sad, yet funny!"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Huskies arrive back in CT today from the trip I would think will turn out to be a very positive influence on the rest of this season. Many 'once in a lifetime' experiences were shared, bonds and deeper friendships were created, and even more chemistry was developed on and off the court. Now onto the rest of the REAL season!!!

Good Luck Ladies...most importantly stay healthy...and all I ask for is you give it your all and leave it out on the court EVERY NIGHT!!!
Here are the final photos from the Huskies trip to Italy. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team concluded its tour on Friday in Rome that included stops at The Coliseum and Trevi Fountain prior to visiting the United States Embassy to tip off the "Toys For Tots" program with members of the U.S. Marine Corps. The team flew out of Rome this morning and arrived back in the United States this afternoon.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Huskies also share with us another set of photos. This time of the Vatican City & Museum, Rome, and some photos from the Napoli game.
In her final 2nd entry from the trip to Italy, Kristen Phillips discusses lessons from history as well as lessons from Geno. She also beautifully captures a picture of Pompeii, the Vatican City & Museum, and the Sistine Chapel (and the work of Michelangelo).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

In their final "road test", the Huskies defeated Viterbo by a score of 81-56. Greene led the way with 22 pts. and 7 rebs., and Hunter and Montgomery turned in a very solid performances finishing with 19 pts. and 6 rebs. and 13 pts., 9 asts., and 6 stls. respectively. Again the team struggled from the line and handling the ball, but I'm sure the TO's were just because of inexperience and unfamiliarity with international rules. I have no excuse for their continued poor free throw shooting although KG did great getting to the line and converting once she got there.
Game notes (pdf) for today's exhibition game vs. Gescom Viterbo.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Huskies continued their tour of Italy on Tuesday with a tour of Pompeii and a 78-57 win over Napoli. The Huskies are spending today in Rome practicing and then going to dinner. They will play their second game of the Italian tour on Thursday against Viterbo. But before tomorrow's game, the team will tour the Vatican Museum. Talk about some pre-game warm-ups!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Houston and Charles led the way with double-doubles as UConn defeated Napoli in its 1st exhibition game in Italy, 78-57. Houston finished with 13pts. and 10 rebs. and Charles finished with 14 pts. and 14 rebs. Nicole Antibe and Kedra Holland-Corn led the way for Napoli with 16 pts. a piece (Antibe also had a double-double with 10 rebs.).

From reading the boxscore, I don't think Geno's very pleased his team's overall performance (i.e. - shooting 12-27 from the charity stripe, coughing the ball up 19 times, and 3 of 5 starters ending up with 4 fouls each), but I'm sure they took some good things away from the game, if nothing more than just more experience for the underclassmen (can McLaren please start playing as well as she does in exhibition games in real games??)
More photos from Italy...this time Geno's ceremony in Montella and the Huskies 1st practice.
Game notes (pdf) for today's exhibition game vs. Phard Napoli.
Follow along with Fr. C Kristen Phillips in Italy as she will be keeping a diary of her trip. In her first entry she discusses seeing the Pope in St. Peter's Square while in the Vatican City, the drive to Sorrento, and the ceremony in Geno's hometown of Montella (pronounced--after much (too much) debate--Mun-TAIL-la, I think!!).
In the first update from their trip in Italy, UConn sends photos from their sight-seeing adventures. The Huskies arrived in Rome on Sunday morning and went to St. Peter's Square for an Open Air Mass. They then drove to Sorrento (about 176 miles away) to check into their hotel before going out for a traditional Italian meal.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Huskies will have a little added bonus on their trip...Bird and Taurasi will join them on their trip in Italy. Now if you can read Italian then you get to read what this says, if not then you can try to understand the translation here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

When Geno was asked why he chose Italy...because that's where HE wanted to go. Why would he not want to go there...great food...great sights to see...and oh yeah that's where he is from!!! He also says it's a great bonding tool and usually gives him a better sense on what type of team and individuals he has. He also likes the fact that the Huskies play three days after arriving home and will have to adjust quickly then face a tough 5-0 Purdue team, the newly crowned WNIT champions. I just wish I was there in Italy with them (the one place in the world I have always wanted to go)...what an awesome experience that would have been!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Today, UConn embarks on a 7-day trip to Italy to go sight-seeing in Rome, Pompei, and the Vatican, visit Geno's hometown of Montella for a ceremony to the Hall of Famer, join the U.S. Marine at the U.S. Embassy kick-off the "Toys for Tots" program, and play 2 games against a pair of Italian League professional teams, Napoli on 11/21 (WNBA players Kedra Holland-Corn and Astou N'diaye) and Viterbo on 11/23 (Ex-Baylor star Steffanie Blackmon). Check back next week for the lastest news results from their exhibition games.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Even though she missed a lot of shots--mostly lay-ups or shots within 5 feet, Charles still put on a show last night and led the way with 18 pts., 17 rebs., and 5 blks. as UConn defeated Colgate 81-37. Hunter also put on quite a performance of her own for the crowd, playing the best basketball game of her UConn career finishing with 12 pts. and 10 rebs. in only 11 minutes of action. It was by far and away the best I'm seen her play and if she can give UConn this kind of production througout the season and stay healthy then UConn will be a GREAT team not a great team. Our post and Charles showed an ability to rule the paint, now they just have to settle down and finish the chippies. And like a fine wine, Thomas keeps getting better with age. After quickly brushing aside its first two opponents, the Huskies are now ready to take on some more professionals--this time in Europe.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

7/8 Connecticut Huskies (2-0)

Results: Connecticut 81, Colgate 37
Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Defensive Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: Points in the Paint-- UConn 46, Colgate 4
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Colgate Red Raiders.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Geno says he's a happy man & happy coach...who can blame him after winning 5 NCAA titles, being inducted into the Women's BBall HOF last May and the Naismith BBall HOF two months ago, and signing two #1 prospects in a row (receiving 6'1 SF Maya Moore's LOI yesterday).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Caroline Doty is quickly becoming a UConn fan favorite and she still has 2 years left to her HS career. Personally, I can't wait to see this girl in action and have to admit that I'm one of thoses fans. She speaks so eloquent and intelligent for a HS junior, and she sounds like a perfect match for the UConn program. She really knows her stuff, has a great family behind her, and is a winner. I just love the fact that she trusts her own instincts and her family supports her decision--no questions asked!
Finally, Geno speaks is allowed to speak about UConn's recruits recruit (Moore will sign her LOI today--then he can speak on her). He says 5'4 PG Lorin Dixon is the real deal maybe the fastest person he's ever seen with a basketball in her hands. Former HS teammate and futue UConn teammate Charles calls her a 'little person' with a 'big heart' and says her strengths are her leadership and ability to be vocal. She also says that Lorin looks up to UNC's 5'4 Sr. PG (and UConn nemisis) Ivory Latta (now that's okay as long as she comes and shoots the lights out for UConn like Latta does for UNC--j/k!!)
Last night, Connecticut opened the season for the 11th consecutive time with a W!! The Huskies defeated the Spiders 84-50 and were led by Jr. co-captain Mel Thomas, who continued her HOTTT shooting last night with 23 pts. (8-14 FGs, 5-8 3pt. FGs), 6 rebs., 4 asts., and 1 stl. Richmond also found it hard to stop both Houston (20 pts., 9 rebs., 3 stl., 2 blks., and 1 ast.) and Greene (14 pts., 7 rebs.). The defense looked good as well, except for a few lapses in the 1st half and especially in the beginning of the 2nd half when Richmond SF Christina Campion who already had 12 pts at halftime reeled off 8 straight points in the opening minutes due to miscommunication between Houston and Montgomery (12 pts., 7 asts., and 3 stls.) 3 possessions in a row. Everyone finally got on the same page and as Campion (20 pts.) wouldn't score again. As many thought, the freshmen showed nerves and the veterans carried the load in the first real game of the season. Charles and co. just need to calm down and they will be fine. Thankfully, next game is back 'home' at Gampel. Hunter saw a little action hitting both her shots for 4 pts. and 3 rebs. in 7 mins.

Shout-out to speedy Swanier who was more than her usual game-changing self, making some great plays and dropping some nice dimes throughout the night.
In recruiting news, the #1 2007 prospect Maya Moore will sign her LOI today at a ceremony at Collins Hill HS and the #12 2008 prospect Caroline Doty discusses her decision to commit to Connecticut early. She says she did her homework on all 5 of her final schools and tried to keep an open mind at all the schools in order to give each school an equal chance. She says she just couldn't shake a gut feeling the Storrs was the right place for her. And unfortunately for the other 4 schools, they didn't have the U.S. Senior National team's starting backcourt for the 2008 Olympics.

"I was sitting in his office with Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi eating Wendy's and just hanging out with them, talking, having normal conversations, feeling comfortable," Doty said. "And I just felt like, 'wow, I could see myself here.' And I wanted to give the other schools an opportunity for me to feel that way, and I did at other schools. It was just that that moment was stuck in my head and it still is."

Doty also insists that her decision to attend UConn is not a guarantee that her good friends 6'1 SG Alicia Manning and 6'5 SF Elena DelleDonne will come as well (but it sure is nice to hope it helps).

Monday, November 13, 2006

8/8 Connecticut Huskies (1-0)

Results: Connecticut 84, Richmond 50
Player of the Game: Jr. SG Mel Thomas
Defensive Player of the Game: Jr. PG Ketia Swanier
Freshman Player of the Game: Fr. C Tina Charles
Stat of the Game: 24 Asts. to 11 TO's (and this after 20+ TO's in both exb. games)
Great news...5'10 Combo guard out of Germantown Acadamy, Caroline Doty has verbally committed to the UConn Huskies. In the end, she went with her gut which told her to come to Connecticut.
The quest for their Tennessee-tying 6th Women's NCAA title begins tonight. They will be led by their unquestionable leader, General Montgomery. Geno admits the feel-good preseason leaves him wary, but he hopes the offense is ready and they (the freshmen) don't suffer 'stage' fright tonight. So as the Huskies look to rev up the offense, Geno says there is no reason to think his team can't score 80-85 a night. The team opens tonight with no seniors, he is looking to depend on the juniors and understands anything to go wrong in the first game. And as we saw from the 2 exhibition games, the Huskies are big upfront and have the potential to be a force inside--no we just wait for that potential to translate into consistent dominance!! For the 2006-07 Huskies, tonight it's time to get real.
Game notes (pdf) for today's game vs. Richmond Spiders.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The starting line-up will remain the same according to the Hartford Courant Blog. Charles will start in her first official game. Her teammates say she brings a "weird, crazy, NY-crazy" style to the court. Charles says this summer with the U-18 U.S. National team helped prepare her for her college career and she's already thinking championships!! The young Huskies are ready to get underway in their quest for a championship of there own, because for only the second time (the other being 1999) in UConn history since the 1995 championship--no players on the team have a ring.
Update on Hunter...

She says as of today she is a GO to play tomorrow in the home opener vs. Richmond and hopes to play 10-20 minutes. While there is a tear in her MCL, she is opting not to undergo arthroscopic surgery at this time. She does admit that if the doctors tell her she can't go because she'll shatter "this, this, and this" then she will stop. She knows she wants to still be able to walk at 35. Geno says everyone is a go for tomorrow's game at this point, but is cautious that anything can happen from now until game time.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

For those of you who are interested in attending the 2007 Paradise Jam, here is more info on the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Tournament. While all that is listed is the 2006 Paradise Jam info...offered is a better understanding of the tournament--well actually tournaments. You see, the Paradise Jam has two divisions...the St. John's and the St. Thomas. Now while the CT Post reported 6 teams participating in a 6-team field with all the teams guaranteed to play 3 games each (now if all us math freaks of the world do the math--we will realize 6 teams cannot play in a guaranteed 3 games each tournament--8 teams are needed--which is how many they have had each year in the tournament's history of 2 divisions (4 teams per division)), both divisions this year call for 4 teams each...meaning next year's tournament is either different or there are really 8 teams going and the CT Post only has info on 6 of the 8 attending. If the latter is true then no one has any clue on who will be in each division. The only thing I'm guessing is that if there are 2 divisions and since we play Purdue in a home and away series this year and next, (in all likelihood) we probably wouldn't be in the same division as them.

I guess my point is to hold off on booking your tickets until it is finalized on where and when UConn is actually playing.
It's Official...

Lorin Dixon the 5'4 lightning quick PG out of Christ the King HS in NY signed her LOI yesterday. Her father says she welcomes Geno's demanding coaching style and would not be intimidated. Now we sit (or pace!) and (try to) wait patiently for Monday and Tuesday.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Update on Caroline Doty's college decision...she will be announcing the school of her choice this Monday at 3 pm at a news conference at her HS Germantown Academy. She has a final list of Connecticut, Maryland, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Tennessee with a "focus on UConn, Tennessee, and Maryland".
Hot Off The Press...

The CT Post's UConn women's notebook confirms Doty's press conference but says it's at 3pm...discusses Geno's excitement or hesitating excitement about this year's team and its offensive abilities...and last but certainly not least gives us a partial preview of UConn's schedule for next season (Paradise Jam here we come)--just wait til you see the teams--start booking your plane tickets now!!! Plus a trip to San Diego State for Houston's homecoming.
Last night, Thomas chewed up the Jaguars 2-3 zone scoring 28 pts. on 10-16 shooting (6-11 from 3-pt. land) in UConn final tune-up before their home opener Monday by running away from Houston and winning 102-61...hopefully this confident quicker shot will continue to fall throughout the season. Thomas knows she will be the subject to the defense Strother had to put up with her final 2 seasons, but she is ready for the challenge. Montgomery is also up the challenge of living up to being put in the same breathe of great UConn point guards such as Bird, Taurasi, and Rizzotti. Meanwhile, Charles who posted her second straight double-double with 16 pts. and 14 rebs. welcomes the hype and expectations of UConn--she says, "this is why I came here!" and that ladies and gentlemen is why she is one of the country's top freshmen to watch. Greene finally translates great practices into at least one great game.'s Season Preview continues with a breakdown of the Top 6 conferences in the country...UConn is picked to win the Big East (boy did those experts go out on a limb there).

The Hartford Courant also comes out with their WCBB Season Preview...first with a Super 16 then naming 10 players and 10 games to watch...going inside UConn's roster as well as giving fans an in depth look at the ups and downs of the rookie class...also being a limb walker by picking UConn to finish 1st in the Big East...and discussing our Hall of Famer's impact on UConn--the job of a lifetime plus a list of his possible successors when he's all said and done (my vote's for the fisty PG from New Fairfield).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In more UConn recruiting news, Lorin Dixon will sign her LOI tomorrow at a ceremony at her HS Christ the King and Elena DelleDonne will use the next 6 months to evaluate which of her 5 schools she wants to attend. Caroline Doty will hold a press conference Monday 11/13 to announce which of the 5 schools she has decided to attend. Consenus #1 recruit for the Class of 2007 Maya Moore will sign her LOI Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

AP Preseason Poll is out...and to no suprise, Maryland is #1 (deservedly so). UConn again, like the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll, comes in at #8. I have them as #6 and Hartford as #25 on my list as of today.

My Preseason List:

1. Maryland 2. UNC 3. Stanford 4. Oklahoma 5. Tennessee
6. UConn 7. Duke 8. Ohio State 9. Purdue 10. Georgia
11. Rutgers 12. Vanderbilt 13. Arizona State 14. LSU 15. Texas A&M
16. St. John's 17. California 18. Virginia 19. Michigan State 20. DePaul
21. Texas 22. USC 23. Kentucky 24. Louisville 25. Hartford

(had Pittsburgh in my Top 25 until Winn tore her ACL)
Game notes (pdf) for today's exhibition game vs. Houston Jaguars.
According to her coach, McLaren is a work in progress, but all signs are pointing in the right direction. A player with a Janel McCarville-type style to her game and who just needs to get into better shape. Another freshman post, Phillips, should be available tonight while Hunter will sit out again. For Hunter, surgery is a possiblility at this point not a definite. Houston looks to build on last game's performance and is using this season as a fresh start to her UConn career.'s Season preview continues...

Experts pick Houston, Montgomery, and Thomas to lead the way as 3 of the top players at their positions in the country. Hayes thinks UConn could be something special, discusses what Houston has to do to be more consistant, and wonders if anyone in the Big East will challenge UConn this year. Lieberman thinks they will also be aided by Charles, one of the top freshmen in the country and picks UConn to defeat Tennessee in their annual rivalry matchup. In some non-UConn questions, Mowins wonders if Tennessee's Parker can match Taurasi's ability to evalate the play of her teammates and win national championships, she also names Notre Dame as her team on the decline, and Voepel thinks Duke's backcourt of Harding and Waner are the best (hey, where's the love for Maryland's Toliver and Doron and UConn's Montgomery and Thomas).

Now we wait and see how all these 20 questions will be answered.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Recap from the Geno Call-in Show tonight...

1. Hunter has been practicing, but will likely sit out tomorrow's game because she wants to play in the opener vs. Richmond this coming Monday.

2. Phillips has been practicing, but is still experiencing pain in her ankle.

3. Charles has the ability to be an All-American this year and have a Courtney Paris-type impact on UConn, but first she needs to learn how to play defense, block shots, and rebound.

4. McLaren is going to be a really special player as soon as she gets into better shape and can play extended minutes.

5. Greene was really disappointed in herself for the way she played vs. Team Concept. She is tremendously athletic, but right now too nice--needs to develop an edge.

6. Thomas is learning how to be a vocal leader, but she alreadys leads by example. Great shooter and no one is tougher than her.

7. Montgomery runs UConn's plays like Taurasi and Williams and runs it to perfection, which will allow for more motion offense.

8. Gardler is the do-all-the-dirty-work kind of player that UConn needs.

9. Williams is trying to figure out her role for the team. He says she played center in HS and is know learning how to play the guard position.

10. Kerns is improved and stronger than last year, but needs to develop a consistent 15-foot jumper (a la Moore) to play more.

11. Fernandes is learning how to play Division I ball right now, but he is really happy with her and all the freshmen so far.

12. Swanier will see more playing time this year and since the end of last season has started to put things together and playing really well.

13. Houston is FOCUSED!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

UConn's first (and hopefully only) bit of bad news this season...Hunter has a tear in her MCL is will likely be out at least four to six weeks if she opts to have arthroscopic surgery to fix it. She also has the option to play through the pain...but we (and Duke) all know how well that turned out the first time. Let's all pray for a FULL recovery, however long it may take...we need you Feb-Apr not Nov-Jan!!!
ESPN's 2006-07 Women's College Basketball Preview starts today...first up is's Preseason Top 25...

Top 10
1. Maryland 2. Stanford 3. Oklahoma 4. UNC 5. Tennessee
6. Duke 7. UConn 8. Ohio State 9. Georgia 10. Purdue

and Charlie Creme's 1-64 Tournament Projection...

6. UConn 44. Hartford

more to come all week long...stay tuned!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

While all is quiet in the UConn basketball world...the UConn field hockey world is glowing with a new Big East Championship in hand. #9 UConn defeated #11 Providence 4-3 on a penalty kick by Jr. Lizzy Peijs with 39 seconds left in regulation. Congratulations Girls!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

One exhibition game--only one exhibition game...i don't think one player has ever created so much buzz from one exhibition game performance, but that's what Houston has done...practically the entire basketball world (at least the entire UConn basketball world) hasn't been able to stop talking about Houston, her performances in practices and against Team Concept, and most importantly how much she has improved in every area of herself and her she's finally ready to create good memories and forget the old (aka bad) ones...she's even back in the past, present, and future stars of the women's basketball world equation
The Seniors...

For all you fans who don't know...there aren't any!!! No Senior Night until next year...sorry (well not really)
The Juniors...

6'1 PF Charde Houston: holy cow!! what a difference an offseason of almost transferring, being lectured by teammates, refocusing and recommitting yourself to UConn and its history, learning the plays as well as from your mistakes, and getting into better shape makes...she was on fire last night...there wasn't one player on the court who could or was going to stop her...her focus, concentration, and moves were was like a totally (and i'm not at all exaggerating) person and player...drop steps, pull ups, reverse lay-ups, put backs, made FT's, rebounds, wrap around passes, steals, blocks, leadership, hustle...if she even gives us only 75% of what i saw on any given night she'll average 14-17 ppg and 6-8 rpg easily, but if we get 100% of what i saw then we are talking All-American, BE POTY, 18-20 ppg and 8-10 rpg

6'3 C Brittany Hunter: did not play (knee)...please take your time and rest that knee...we need you Feb-Apr not Nov-Jan!!!

5'7 PG Ketia Swanier: fast, faster, fastest...the girl's got speed and now she's also got a shot to go with it...nailed back-to-back treys and looked confident doing it...still the wonderful game changer she has always been...still just needs to make the unspectacular play/pass at the right time instead of trying to make the spectacular play/pass at the wrong time

5'9 SG Mel Thomas: well what can you say about her that no one already doesn't know...Mel is Mel...all out hustle all the shooting night, but don't forget about the experimental 3-pt line that was in are post play improves Mel will have that second longer to make sure most of her 3's go in (which is usually the case when she is set and not rushed)...i look for her to take people off the dribble even more this season and hopefully get to the line much more often
The Sophomores...

5'10 SG Kalana Greene: didn't show us what the coaching staff has been bragging about for the past few weeks, but i'm sure they will fix that problem fast(CD addressed it in the post game interview)...she just has to figure out how to translate great practice play into great game play...although i'm sure having someone like Taurasi defending you and having to defend didn't help matters much...look for her to get into the flow early in next Wed.'s exhibition better as the game went on, nice put backs on the offensive glass, and had some nice moves during set plays--just didn't hit the shots

6'3 PF Cassie Kerns: didn't play much, but only because Houston and Charles were playing so well...does all the dirty work like box out and sets solid screens...with Hunter out she'll definitely see more playing time especially while Geno is yanking the freshmen in and out to coach mistakes...and i'm sure there will be plenty of them

5'7 PG Renee Montgomery: off shooting night, but still Renee was Renee...great floor general who found people in their spots...had many awesome Hammon-like scoop shoots with taller players draped all over her...the undeniable vocal leader of the team...will make up for not fully rising to the challenge of Bird and beat a few too many times last night on defense especially by Williams, but i don't think Geno nor Renee will allow things like that to occur again this season...another thing is she needs to make sure she hits 90-95% of her FT's because the ball will always be in her hands at the key moments in the games and we need our PG to be almost automatic from the charity stripe (see Bird)

6'0 SF Tahirah Williams: still seemed unsure of herself out there...sort of like a deer in headlights, but again facing the likes of the UConn greats didn't help her confidence...there's something special about her that i haven't quite figured out yet, but i look for much better things from her in the future (and hopefully near future)...she's too athletic to not be in the rotation even if it is just for defensive purposes...needs to work on her shot so she can hit the open jumper if and when left open (which will be a lot since everyone on the court will be more of a threat)
The Freshmen...

6'4 C Tina Charles: that's all i can say...i get the feeling that she is going to have the greatest impact that a freshmen has ever had on UConn...she played awesome last night and yet Geno's only had 3 weeks with her...blended in with the vets like she was a vets...made some mistakes, but so did everyone so i wouldn't even call them rookie mistakes--just unfamilarity with each other mistakes...great post moves, handle, rebounding...just needs to work on them FT's...deserves to be in the starting line-up even if Hunter comes back

5'9 PG Jacquie Fernandes: hustler...not even in the game for one minute and dove over the UConn bench through trainer Rosemary to save the ball...obviously nervous, but that was totally expected...went from scholarship at D-111 WCSC to walk-on at D-1 UConn to scholarship at D-1 UConn to guarding All-Everything Diana Taurasi in her very 1st about life changing experiences for one person...she is already a fan favorite and exceeding all expectations

6'0 SG Meghan Gardler: tough...played the best one on one defense on Taurasi last night and that's saying a lot since almost everyone got a shot...very good shooter from anywhere on the court and didn't seem to hestitate even for her 1st game...i don't foresee a redshirt year, but rather a gradual increase in minutes and a steady place in the rotation maybe even ahead of some vets

6'2 PF Kaili McLaren: sweet...has a very nice touch with the ball...great nose for the ball and moved a lot better than i expected...seemed unsure of herself during set plays, but flurished once shots went up...offensive rebounds and put backs...will play 15-20 min/gm and more once she grasps the concepts of UConn style and improves her conditioning

6'5 C Kristen Phillips: did not play (ankle)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Former Husky Barbara Turner update from Israeli League play. Her team is 2-2 and she had 23 pts. (9-12), 4 asts., and 2 rebs. in a 93-56 win for her team Maccabi Ramat Hen...she's averaging 17.8 ppg, 62% 2ptFG%, 6.2 rpg, 32 mpg.
Former Huskies and All-American Huskies returning to Storrs to help out in practice and help make the current roster better has been going on for as long as I can remember, but now Geno says other programs think those days should end.

"God forbid you are to use some of the positives that come out of your program and go forward," Auriemma said. "Maybe we should do a poor job of coaching them and treat them poorly the four years that they're here so they won't want to come back."
She made Gampel glow for 4 years and made it glow again last night. She is always having fun, but is always on top of Her game. Fade away-rainbow 3's, turn-around baseline jumpers, 3-quarter court bombs, pull-up in your face shots, trash talking, jersey grabbin', shot blockin', running defenders into screen after screen, throwin' no-look dimes, touch passes, you name it--She did it. No one does it like or better than Her. She is UConn. She is the best. She is Diana Taurasi, still walkin' the walk and talkin' the talk!!!

Speaking of my father and I drove past the new football practice facility I said to my father, "Where's the new basketball practice facility...they're the ones who have the rings!!"...and he laughed and said, "Your crazy, why would they need one!" But what he doesn't remember is that I went to school here for 4 years, had cheerleading practices in Gampel after the basketball teams, and know that Gampel isn't always available due to other obligations--sending teams to the fieldhouse. I've always thought they needed a seperate practice facility and now it looks as though my thoughts are becoming UConn Athletic Dept. thoughts as well. As UConn A.D. Jeff Hathaway looks to bring UConn Athlethics to the forefront of the collegiate world.