Carl Adamec

Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse dribbles the ball as Maryland Terrapins guard Ieshia Small defends in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse dribbles the ball as Maryland Terrapins guard Ieshia Small defends in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Kia Nurse is an academic All-American, yet she struggles to comprehend a pair of one-syllable words when used together:

Slow down.

For example, Nurse scored 12 points and Team Canada won the gold medal at FIBA AmeriCup 2017 with a 67-65 win over host Argentina in Buenos Aires on Aug. 13. The next day, she flew to Italy -- a journey of approximately 6,930 miles -- and on Aug. 15, she scored 18 points in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 68-52 exhibition win over the Dutch national team in Rome.

Read More

Credit: USA Basketball (USA Basketball)
Credit: USA Basketball (USA Basketball)

Geno Auriemma and his University of Connecticut women's basketball coaching staff deserved to take a break after signing two of top players in the high school Class of 2018 this month.

But the Huskies didn't win 11 national championships and advance to 18 NCAA Final Fours by resting on their laurels. In modern-day recruiting, a coach's work is never done.

While UConn may add to its class of Christyn Williams (5-foot-11 guard, Little Rock, Arkansas) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (6-foot-4 forward/center, Winder, Georgia), some focus has turned to younger players, including two who represented their country for the first time last summer...

Read More

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the California Golden Bears in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the California Golden Bears in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

There are few, if any, college basketball arenas in the nation with the history and tradition of UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.

The 11-time national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team will play under the UCLA men's 11 national championship banners for the second time in its history Tuesday night. The No. 1 Huskies figure to have their toughest matchup of the young season as they take on the fifth-ranked Bruins in a nationally-televised showdown.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Azura Stevens reacts after her basket against the Maryland Terrapins in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Azura Stevens reacts after her basket against the Maryland Terrapins in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- It's not like Azura Stevens hasn't started a game before. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's redshirt junior forward was on the floor for the opening tip 51 of the 58 games she played in two seasons at Duke before transferring here 18 months ago.

But this is not Duke. And with All-American Katie Lou Samuelson sidelined with a sprained left foot, Stevens is -- what All-American Gabby Williams says -- "the next man up." In Stevens' first start for UConn on Sunday, the Raleigh, North Carolina, native responded.

Stevens finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- one of six Huskies in double figures and one of three with double-doubles -- as top-ranked UConn coasted to a 97-72 win over No. 15 Maryland before 10,126 at XL Center.

"Z did well, really well, and I was proud of her," Williams said. "She came in and knew what she was good at. She didn't look afraid. She was ready to go out there and compete."

Read More

 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- It had to feel like deja vu all over again for Katie Lou Samuelson.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior All-American hit the floor after being fouled with 4:02 left in the first half Friday night. After being helped to her feet, she gingerly took a few steps on her injured left foot and signaled to the Huskies' bench she needed to come out of the game.

In the 2016 NCAA Final Four semifinals against Oregon State in Indianapolis, Samuelson broke a bone in her left foot while grabbing an offensive rebound in the game's opening minute but managed to play the entire first half. She missed the national championship game against Syracuse two days later but then had seven months to recover.

Read More

Rebecca Lobo honored 00:09:50
Former Husky Rebecca Lobo was honored before Friday's game after being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

STORRS, Conn. -- It was 26 years ago -- Nov. 24, 1991, to be exact -- that Rebecca Lobo played her first game for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team as the Huskies took on California in Berkeley.

The coincidence that Lobo will become the first former UConn player to have her own banner recognizing her 2017 induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame placed in Gampel Pavilion on Friday with No. 20 California here to face the Huskies (SNY, 7 p.m.) wasn't lost on coach Geno Auriemma.

"It's amazing the way things come around," Auriemma said on Thursday. "How many years later, 26? She's getting a banner here and we're playing Cal. What are the chances, right? That is the craziest thing."

Read More

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the LSU Tigers in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the LSU Tigers in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II)

It was better late than never for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team. Actually, the fall recruiting signing period could not have gone any better for the Huskies.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa, a 6-foot-4 center from Winder, Georgia, has signed a letter of intent to attend UConn on Wednesday, the final day of the fall signing period. Rated the No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2018 by ESPNHoopgurlz, she also considered Duke, Florida State, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Last week, UConn signed the nation's top recruit, Christyn Williams, a 5-foot-11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas...

Read More

 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With three returning All-Americans, a four-year starter, a dynamic young point guard, and talented newcomers, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has the pieces to win a national championship.

For 20 minutes against No. 10 Stanford, the Huskies looked the part as they built an insurmountable 35-point lead. It was so insurmountable that they were never threatened in the second half though their play was quite forgettable.

Great teams, says All-American Gabby Williams, play 40 minutes every game. Top-ranked UConn showed it has the potential to get there in its 78-53 season-opening rout of the Cardinal at the Countdown to Columbus event at Nationwide Arena Sunday. But there's plenty of work to do if the Huskies hope to be back here for the final weekend of the season.

Read More

 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Its NCAA record winning streak was snapped on March 31, but another run that pre-dates the birth of any current University of Connecticut women's basketball player was on the line at Nationwide Arena Sunday.

The Huskies, coming off their loss to Mississippi State that ended their 111-game streak and season in the Final Four semifinals, has not dropped back-to-back games since losing the final three of the 1992-93 season. The oldest Huskies -- transfers Azura Stevens and Batouly Camara, along with senior Kia Nurse -- were not born until February, 1996.

And Stanford, which ended UConn's 90-game winning streak in 2010 and its 47-game winning streak in 2014, would get the shot at putting another run to rest. But the Cardinal weren't playing in Maples Pavilion and they do not have the talent and athleticism of those past teams that beat the Huskies.

Read More

Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Christyn Williams watched the University of Connecticut women's basketball team make history last January when she took a roughly five-hour drive from her Little Rock, Arkansas, home to Dallas to watch the Huskies beat SMU for their record-setting 91st consecutive win.

Now Williams -- a 5-foot-11 senior guard and the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018 according to ESPNHoopgurlz -- is hoping to make history at UConn.

Williams announced her decision to sign with the Huskies at a get-together at her school, Central Arkansas Christian, Friday. Her finalists were UConn and South Carolina. She also took official visits to Tennessee, Texas, and UCLA.

Read More

 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

STORRS, Conn. -- The target on the back of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team is always there and always seems to be growing.

But with returning WBCA All-Americans Gabby Williams, Napheesa Collier, and Katie Lou Samuelson taking up three of the five spots on the Associated Press preseason All-America team announced Tuesday, has that target extended to the backs of the Huskies' trio?

"I would yes, but being here at UConn ... Every player on this team has a target on their back," Samuelson said. "Every player wants to beat you. Every fan, but ours, wants to see us lose. It comes with being here. But if you're a competitor like I am you want to embrace that. I'm excited to see what this team can do. I know my teammates have my back so I don't worry about that stuff."

Read More

 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

STORRS, Conn. -- As the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's workout last Thursday began to wind down, coach Geno Auriemma inserted Mikayla Coombs in to work with the Huskies' first team against the practice players.

She made it through one sequence fine. But after the practice players' second possession against the Huskies' full-court pressure, Auriemma made his way over to the freshman guard.

"He asked me how I would guard my man and I completely did the wrong thing," Coombs said. "He went, 'Really? That's what you're going to do?' It's been like that. He hasn't gotten in my face about anything. That will probably come."

Read More

 (AP)
(AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Things are bigger in Texas where Lexi Gordon grew up.

But freshmen find out early that the pace with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team is faster.

The Fort Worth native knew exactly what she was getting into. She had followed the Huskies through high school and had watched them in action live before committing 20 months ago. Her short time here has already been a learning experience and her first regular season game is still two weeks away.

Read More

Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma answers questions after an overtime loss to Mississippi State Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. The Bulldogs beat the Huskies 66-64 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew Emmons)
Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma answers questions after an overtime loss to Mississippi State Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. The Bulldogs beat the Huskies 66-64 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew Emmons)

STORRS, Conn. - Geno Auriemma is usually the one answering questions, usually about his University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

Read More

Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) talks with head coach Geno Auriemma in the fourth quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew Emmons)
Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) talks with head coach Geno Auriemma in the fourth quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew Emmons)

Geno Auriemma is convinced the level of play in the American Athletic Conference is getting better.

But it's not up to Auriemma and his University of Connecticut women's basketball team to prove it. The Huskies have done their part by going 82-0 in league play since the conference was formed for the 2013-14 season, along with winning three national championships and reaching four Final Fours.

The Power 5 conferences -- the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference -- filled half of the 64-team field in the 2017 NCAA tournament. The AAC finished fifth in conference RPI ahead of the Big Ten, but received three NCAA bids to the Big Ten's four. The Big East (3) and Missouri Valley Conference (2) were the only leagues besides the Power 5 and AAC to send more than their automatic qualifier/conference tournament champion.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

It was a situation seemingly made for the point guard in Crystal Dangerfield.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team had possession with 26.6 seconds left in overtime of a tie game with Mississippi State in the NCAA Final Four semifinals last March 31 and could take the final shot.

No one may have been better equipped than Dangerfield to hold the ball out as time ran down, then make her move to the basket and either kick the ball out for a shot or put up a floater in the lane to win it, with the worst-case scenario being a second five-minute extra session...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Rob Kinnan)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Rob Kinnan)

Geno Auriemma is widely considered to be the best coach in women's college basketball today and, perhaps, in the game's history.

That doesn't mean the University of Connecticut's Hall of Famer isn't always trying to get better.

That quest took Auriemma to Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, late last month for opening day of the Boston Celtics' training camp...

Read More

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Kevin Jairaj)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma (Kevin Jairaj)

 Forty minutes of hell? Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's coaching staff should have been so lucky.

The video tape of the Huskies' loss to Mississippi State in the 2017 NCAA Final Four semifinals at the American Airlines Center in Dallas included the overtime.

"Painful," Auriemma said Monday during the American Athletic Conference's media day at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott hotel...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time Katie Lou Samuelson played against an American Athletic Conference opponent, she had a performance for the ages. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's guard scored 40 points on a NCAA-record 10-for-10 effort from 3-point land in the Huskies' win over South Florida in the AAC tournament final at Mohegan Sun Arena.

At least one coach in the league was not impressed.

After being named a unanimous first-team all-league pick and the AAC's Co-Player of the Year, the AAC tournament's Most Outstanding Player and a consensus first-team All-American last March, Samuelson was named to the 2017-18 preseason first team by league coaches at media day at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott Monday. But unlike teammates and fellow All-Americans Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier, the Huntington Beach, California, native was not a unanimous choice.

"I don't know why. I don't know," Collier, who shared Co-Player of the Year honors with Samuelson last season and was named the preseason Player of the Year on Monday, said with a shake of the head. "I was really surprised by that, too."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- Napheesa Collier was her stoic self whenever a postseason honor -- and there were many -- came her way last March.

So being named the American Athletic Conference preseason Player of the Year Monday by league coaches at AAC media day won't change anything for the junior forward.

"Obviously it's a great honor that people think that of me," Collier said. "But the season hasn't even started yet so I don't know how much of an affect it will have with anything for me. I'm going to work as hard as I always have."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Katie Lou Samuelson and her University of Connecticut women's basketball teammates have had just over six months to think about their loss to Mississippi State in the NCAA Final Four semifinals in Dallas. If the junior All-American had her way, she would have been working and playing days later. She wasn't. The saying is, "Wait till next year," after all.

"One of the biggest things after the way the season ended was that we needed to get back into it and we were able to do that earlier than usual because of the trip to Italy," Samuelson said. "We're ready to go. This team is ahead of where the others were since I've been here because we've had more time together and we know what we need to get done to get better."

The Huskies open practice officially Thursday with a workout at the Werth Family Champions Center, exactly one month before they begin the regular season against Stanford in the Countdown to Columbus at Nationwide Arena...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Molly Bent, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (23) celebrates after the game against the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals at Williams Arena. (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (23) celebrates after the game against the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals at Williams Arena. (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

It's been said and written many times the last several years that winning has a knack of following Maya Moore around.

Of course, there's a reason. The former University of Connecticut star is a winner and makes winning plays, and she added to her resume Wednesdaynight.

Moore's 15-footer with 26.5 seconds stopped a Los Angeles rally cold and started a game-closing 6-0 run as the Minnesota Lynx topped the Sparks 85-76 in the deciding Game 5 of the WNBA Finals before 14,632 fans at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and guard/forward Napheesa Collier on the sideline as they take on the Albany Great Danes in the first half during the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Katie Lou Samuelson was the youngest player at this weekend's United States senior national team training camp, which wrapped up Monday in Santa Barbara, California. 

The University of Connecticut junior was 5 when the oldest player in camp, former Huskies' point guard Sue Bird, won her first gold medal with the senior team at the 2002 FIBA world championships.

Taking a pass from a four-time Olympic gold medalist and the WNBA's all-time assist leader can leave a collegian -- even an All-American like Samuelson -- a bit awestruck.

"It's definitely one of the things we knew coming here," Samuelson said. "At the same time we're all competitors and we're all going to go out there and do our best no matter who we're playing against. But there's going to be those moments where we talk to the older guys and learn about them and from them. This is an opportunity not many of us have and I'm so fortunate to get it."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will play homecoming games for seniors Gabby Williams (at Nevada) and Kia Nurse (in Toronto vs. Duquesne) and junior Katie Lou Samuelson (at UCLA) this coming season.

Junior Napheesa Collier will be taking notes.

"The thing that I've already picked up on is how they have been asking everyone for tickets for those games," Collier said. "So I'm going to be sure to get a head start on that for next year."

The St. Charles, Missouri, native will have a homecoming of her own next year as UConn has signed a contract to play at Saint Louis University during the 2018-19 season. The deal is for just one game.

Tags: Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Charli Collier (Courtesy of USA Basketball)
Charli Collier (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Charli Collier made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Texas in eighth grade. Four years later, the 6-foot-4 forward from Baytown, Texas, has done so again. This time, though, it's at the expense of the University of Connecticut.

Collier announced her decision on Twitter Friday that has her backing out of the verbal commitment she made to the Huskies 10 months ago. Instead, she will sign a letter of intent with the Longhorns in November. She is ranked the No. 2 player in the Class of 2018 by ESPNHoopGurlz.

"I feel like this is the best decision for me personally and everything is for a reason," Collier tweeted. "Being closer to home and representing the state of Texas that has been so good to me. I have a good relationship with the coaching staff, they're like family to me. And my family and friends get to see me play and grow into a successful individual at such a prestigious university. This recruiting process has taught me so much about listening to my heart and at the end of the day I have to do what is best for me."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's road to the 2018 NCAA Final Four will see it travel to 12 states and Canada as the school released its 29-game regular season schedule for the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday.

The Huskies will play 12 home games -- six each at their on-campus home Gampel Pavilion and at the XL Center in Hartford, 13 on the road, and four at neutral sites.

All 29 games will be televised, including 16 on SNY, which is entering its sixth season broadcasting UConn women's games...

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Former WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
Former WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Rebecca Lobo was the University of Connecticut's first national Player of the Year and also its first academic All-American. So she's quite capable of writing the speech that she'll give Friday night at her Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

But if she needed a helping hand, her husband -- author and former Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin -- would certainly be there for her.

"When I went into the Women's Hall of Fame in 2010, he didn't help me," Lobo said. "I wrote that one on the hotel stationery the night before. But it's only 5-7 minutes, so it's pretty much enough time to just thank the people you need to thank and get off the stage."

Read More

Former WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
Former WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Words and actions tell Rebecca Lobo's basketball story better than any numbers ever could.

In 121 games over six WNBA seasons, the 1995 consensus national Player of the Year at the University of Connecticut scored 808 points, grabbed 500 rebounds, dished out 115 assists and blocked 104 shots. Among her fellow UConn graduates, Diana Taurasi (twice) and Maya Moore have scored more points in a season; Tina Charles was within 102 rebounds after her rookie year; Sue Bird has recorded more assists in all 16 of her seasons; Breanna Stewart, in two years, leads in blocks.

But 22 years after her final game in Storrs and 14 years after appearing for the last time in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun, Lobo continues to make a mark on the game.

For her efforts, Lobo will be inducted as a contributor into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night in a ceremony at Springfield Symphony Hall, about a 15-minute drive from her native Southwick, Massachusetts.

Read More

 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

In the almost 20 years that Sue Bird has been on basketball's national stage, her signature -- and best remembered -- play is a jump shot. Her 15-footer at the buzzer on March 6, 2001, at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs gave the University of Connecticut a two-point win over Notre Dame and the Big East tournament championship.

But history will record that she was best at setting up her teammates for baskets.

The 36-year-old guard had a season high 13 assists Friday night to become the WNBA's all-time leader in that category in the visiting Seattle Storm's 110-106 overtime loss to the Washington Mystics 110-106 at Capital One Arena...

Read More

It could be a 1-2 combination heard around the women's college basketball world.

Christyn Williams -- a 5-foot-11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, and the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018 according to ESPNHoopgurlz -- has scheduled an official visit to the University of Connecticut for Oct. 12-15, she confirmed in an e-mail on Monday. It will be the final visit of the five she has planned for the fall.

She will be joined in Storrs that weekend by Charli Collier, the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2018 according to ESPNHoopgurlz. Collier -- a 6-foot-4 forward from Baytown, Texas -- made a verbal commitment to UConn last November.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The next time the University of Connecticut women's basketball team takes the floor will be for preseason workouts at the Werth Champions Center in Storrs.

The Huskies completed the basketball-playing portion of their tour of Italy Sunday by dropping a 79-59 decision to Slovenian and Adriatic League champion Celje in Capodistria. UConn was 3-1 on its trip with two wins over the Netherlands national team and one over an Italian All-Star squad.

All-American Katie Lou Samuelson led the Huskies Sunday with 17 points. Freshman Megan Walker added a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds), while All-American Gabby Williams chipped in 12 points and five assists. Point guard Crystal Dangerfield had six assists and three steals.

Read More

 (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
(David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

Nothing like traveling some 7,000 miles to break out of a shooting slump.

Kia Nurse won a gold medal at the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 Sunday with the Canadian national team but in six tournament games shot just 28.1 percent from the floor including 21.9 percent from 3-point land. But after traveling Monday from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Rome to join her University of Connecticut teammates on their tour of Italy, the senior guard found her shot.

Nurse scored 18 points -- making 5-of-7 shots including a trio from 3-point land along with all five of her free throws -- Tuesday as the Huskies rolled past the Netherlands national team 88-66 in Game 2 of four exhibition games on their tour.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) drives the ball against Memphis Tigers guard Taylor Barnes (15) in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Memphis 91-48. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong (12) drives the ball against Memphis Tigers guard Taylor Barnes (15) in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Memphis 91-48. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- She played her final college game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Her new home court is the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, about a half-hour drive if the traffic cooperates.

But to Saniya Chong, it's an entirely different world.

The former University of Connecticut guard beat the odds as a third-round draft pick and proved many people wrong this spring by making the WNBA's Dallas Wings' roster. She has played in 28 of the Wings' 29 games -- the only miss was the Aug. 6 contest against the Los Angeles Sparks as she was in concussion protocol -- and is averaging 3.1 points, 1.1 assists and one rebound in 12.2 minutes off the bench. In her return to Connecticut Saturday, she had a steal in four minutes of a 96-88 loss to the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Tags: Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma, guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and center Natalie Butler clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma, guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and center Natalie Butler clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- There were no banners inside Gampel Pavilion the last time the University of Connecticut women's basketball team welcomed six newcomers. 

In 1988, the Huskies had not won a league or national championship. Of course, then there was no Gampel Pavilion either as it would be their last full season playing in the Storrs Field House. But that fall six freshmen -- Debbie Baer, Wendy Davis, Meghan Pattyson, Pam Rothfuss, Shannon Saunders and Stacey Wetzel -- joined the Huskies, and five months later they were Big East champs for the first time and headed to their first NCAA tournament.

A lot has happened and a lot has changed in 29 years. This season, coach Geno Auriemma returns four starters, including All-Americans Gabby Williams, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, from a 36-1 squad that advanced to the program's record 10th straight Final Four. The Huskies' only loss came in their last outing as their 111-game winning streak and four-year reign as NCAA champ ended.

Helping them start anew are four freshmen and two other players who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. And they get a head start. After a week of workouts on campus here, they will fly out of New York on Saturday to Rome to start an 11-day tour of Italy that will include playing four exhibition games.

Read More

 (AP)
(AP)

Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams have been part of two losses in three seasons with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The seniors will get the chance to avenge at least one of them.

UConn will play Stanford in its season opener on Nov. 12 in the Countdown to Columbus event to be played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Huskies were originally scheduled to take on Ohio State in the one-day showcase at the site of the 2018 NCAA Final Four. But the Buckeyes will now face Louisville in the second game of the doubleheader. Times and television information are still to be determined.

The Huskies lead the overall series with the Cardinal 10-7, including 4-2 in NCAA tournament play. But in the last meeting at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17, 2014, Stanford received a late 3-pointer from Amber Orrange to force overtime and pulled out an 88-86 victory to snap UConn's 47-game winning streak. The Huskies followed the defeat in Palo Alto by winning their next 111 games. That NCAA record run was stopped by Mississippi State in the Final Four semifinals last March 31 in Dallas.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

STORRS, Conn. -- Uniform No. 3 was just another number for the first 25 years of the University of Connecticut women's basketball program.

Only two players wore it -- Shea Matlock and Tammy Arnold. Matlock played one year here and transferred to Georgia Tech after the 1994 season. Arnold was at UConn for two years before transferring to Oregon State near her home of Oregon City after the 1997 season.

Then coach Geno Auriemma convinced Diana Taurasi to take No. 3 and the rest is history. Taurasi (2000-04) would become one of the greats of the game, a three-time national champion and All-American and two-time national Player of the Year. Tiffany Hayes (2008-12) would be next and she'd win two titles and finish among the the top 10 scorers. Morgan Tuck (2012-16) followed and was a four-time national champion and All-American.

So why would freshman Megan Walker, already under the microscope coming in as the 2017 national high school Player of the Year and the top recruit in her class, want to take on that responsibility?

Read More

 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

STORRS, Conn. -- Diana Taurasi is considered by many to be the best women's basketball player in the world, and is quick to credit a number of her coaches for helping her along the way.

But when it comes to helping her be a better person, the former University of Connecticut star and four-time United States Olympic gold medalist is quick to give credit to Huskies' associate head coach Chris Dailey.

"She made me a respectable human being," Taurasi said last Friday. "When you're around CD, there's a certain way to live life. I didn't understand it at the time I was in school. But now that I look back on it, I learned as much about life as I did about basketball with her. Every time I see her, I thank her for that."

The WNBA's Connecticut Sun will show their appreciation Tuesday night when Dailey is given the Margo Dydek Award in a ceremony at halftime of the Sun's game with Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and the Seattle Storm at Mohegan Sun Arena. The award, named after the former Sun center, is given to an outstanding woman who has distinguished herself while positively impacting the local community...

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

University of Connecticut sophomore Crystal Dangerfield has seen enough opponents celebrate in the last six months to last her a lifetime.

On March 31, it was Mississippi State that charged the court after its upset in the NCAA Final Four semifinals ended the Huskies' 111-game winning streak and four-year reign as national champion.

Then Sunday, Dangerfield and her United States teammates watched Russia grab the gold at the FIBA U-19 World Cup. The 6-foot-4 duo of Raisa Musina and Maria Vadeeva combined for 59 points and 29 rebounds as Russia ended Team USA's U-19 run with an 86-82 victory in the championship game in Udine, Italy.

Read More

Kia Nurse is back to her usual busy self.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's senior guard was named Friday to the Canadian national team that will participate in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 6-13. The top three finishers in the event receive bids to the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

After her time in Buenos Aires, Nurse will join her UConn teammates in Italy for the remainder of their tour there.

Tags: Kia Nurse, Carl Adamec
Read More

Nov 30, 2015; Chattanooga, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies logo prior to the game between the Chattanooga Lady Mocs and the Connecticut Huskies at McKenzie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)
Nov 30, 2015; Chattanooga, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies logo prior to the game between the Chattanooga Lady Mocs and the Connecticut Huskies at McKenzie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Stefanie Dolson has always been a unique individual but has never failed to be a team player.

After graduating from the University of Connecticut and winning her second national championship with the women's basketball team in 2014, the 6-foot-5 center from Port Jervis, New York joined the WNBA's Washington Mystics as the team's first-round draft pick. Part of her change to professional life was to dye her hair purple.

Read More

 (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Moriah Jefferson has always been filled with positive energy.

Over nine seasons -- five years scholastically with THESA (Texas Homeschool Educators Sports Association) and four years in college with the University of Connecticut -- her teams never lost the final game of their postseason.

But in her second year with the WNBA's San Antonio Stars, she is being tested -- on and off the court -- like never before. The Stars Thursday night's home game with the Indiana Fever at 2-18, five games clear for the worst record in the league and seven games behind the final playoff spot with 14 games to play.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies players leave the court after losing to the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs defeated the Connecticut Huskies in overtime 66-64. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies players leave the court after losing to the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs defeated the Connecticut Huskies in overtime 66-64. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team has had more than its share of top moments at the ESPYs over the past 25 years.

The Huskies, though, were on the other end during the annual awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Mississippi State's 66-64 overtime win at the NCAA Final Four semifinals on March 31 that ended UConn's 111-game winning streak and four-year reign as national champion won the ESPY as "Best Upset" of the past 12 months. The Bulldogs were considered about a 21-point underdog.

Of course, the ESPYs were far from the first time -- or the last time -- UConn will be reminded of that night at the American Airlines Center when guard Morgan William hit a shot at the buzzer to send Mississippi State to the title game against South Carolina.

Read More

 (Jeffrey Swinger)
(Jeffrey Swinger)

In their first game as a starting backcourt, they combined for a pedestrian 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 36-point victory over Villanova at Gampel Pavilion.

Who knew on Feb. 4, 2001, that Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi would go on to be the best their sport has seen? Their then-college coach and later their coach for seven years with the United States national team had an idea.

"I have always said from back in 2002 that they'd be the best backcourt in the history of women's basketball -- college basketball, pro basketball, any kind of basketball -- and I said time will prove that," Geno Auriemma said last month. "It certainly has. You'll never find something like that ever again. It's too improbable for it to happen again. Those two are pretty special. There's nothing to compare them to. There really isn't."

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard Molly Bent defends against Tulsa Golden Hurricane guard Tatyana Perez during the fourth quarter at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Molly Bent defends against Tulsa Golden Hurricane guard Tatyana Perez during the fourth quarter at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports)

On the second offensive possession of her career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, Molly Bent reached the center-court line and threw a perfect lead pass to a sprinting Napheesa Collier for a layup.

A national TV audience and a crowd of 4,753 inside the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida, saw it. One soul missed it -- the person doing the game statistics at Florida State, who gave the assist to Saniya Chong.

In a way, it sums up Bent's freshman season. As UConn coach Geno Auriemma put it, never had he seen a player work so hard and get so little reward out of it.

As the 5-foot-9 guard prepares for second year with the Huskies, she has a foundation for success. But she knows she must build confidence in herself and trust with her coaches and teammates to get meaningful minutes on what could be UConn's deepest roster in years.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Sophomore point guard Crystal Dangerfield spent a part of June talking to her University of Connecticut women's basketball freshman teammates about her experiences from her first collegiate season.

"I tell them my stories from last year and I have a lot of them," Dangerfield said. "I think ... No, I know, it will be different for each of them and it is going to be hard. But I want them to know I'll be there to listen and to talk to them."

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Carl Adamec
Read More

 (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports Images)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- During her incredible basketball career at the University of Connecticut, Breanna Stewart spoke often about her goal of winning four national championships. At least that's what the three-time national Player of the Year was asked about the most.

Little did anyone know she had so much more to add. Fifteen months after stepping off the court for the final time as a Husky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and winning that historic fourth consecutive NCAA title, she's becoming known as much for her activism as for her skills on the floor.

"I wasn't asked about it at UConn. I wasn't asked about certain things that were happening in the world," Stewart said Thursday. "So it's you (media) guys' fault. I think I would have said the same things. CD (UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey) and I would have talked about it prior if it was something I wanted to do and was constantly asked about it.

"You don't think about it so much at UConn. There's so much going on. CD has you doing so many things. My first season at Seattle, there were things that needed to be talked about. When I was at the ESPYs last year, it seemed like there was a lot happening in our world and instead of having the generic 'Thank you very, thank you to my family, blah, blah, blah,' I wanted to make it about something really important, something that needed to be said and heard."

Read More

Mikayla Coombs (USA Basketball)
Mikayla Coombs (USA Basketball)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier has always let her actions speak for her, whether it was helping the University of Connecticut women's basketball team win a national championship in 2016 or earning consensus first-team All-America honors a season ago.

So when the junior forward was told Monday that the Huskies' freshman class has given itself the nickname of "Fantastic Four" months before its first official college practice, Collier chuckled, rolled her eyes a bit, and shook her head with a smile before staying in character with a brief comment.

"Oh my goodness. It's great that they have a name for themselves, I guess," Collier said.

For sure, UConn's Class of 2021 -- Mikayla Coombs, Lexi Gordon, Andra Espinoza-Hunter, and Megan Walker -- will get the opportunity to live up to their hype. Even with three All-Americans among their four returning starters and with transfers Azura Stevens and Batouly Camara now eligible, the Huskies will likely need their freshmen to contribute if they are to regain the national championship.

Read More

WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo speaks as NBA former player Tracy McGrady listens during the Naismith Hall of Game Press Conference at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale)
WNBA former player Rebecca Lobo speaks as NBA former player Tracy McGrady listens during the Naismith Hall of Game Press Conference at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale)

Could it have been anyone else?

Rebecca Lobo and Geno Auriemma are already linked together forever in University of Connecticut women's basketball history. The two will come together again in September when Lobo's place in hoop history becomes permanent.

Auriemma will serve as Lobo's presenter when she is enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, in a ceremony at Springfield Symphony Hall on Sept. 8. A presenter must be a member of the Naismith Hall. Auriemma was inducted in his first year of eligibility in 2006.

Read More

Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) reacts after a play against he Oregon Ducks during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) reacts after a play against he Oregon Ducks during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson was feeling her age Monday as she observed some of her teammates working at coach Geno Auriemma's Fore the Kids charity tournament at Hartford Golf Club.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior All-American turned 20 two weeks ago.

"We have more younger guys than older guys and it's weird that now I'm one of the older guys," Samuelson said. "We need to bring a certain level every day to help us get where we want to go."

Only two Huskies -- seniors Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse -- have played more minutes at the college level than the 6-foot-3 guard. And while they return four starters -- including three All-Americans -- from their 36-1 team that reached the NCAA Final Four for the 10th consecutive year, nine of the 13 on the roster will be playing their first or second seasons at UConn. That group includes transfers Azura Stevens and Batouly Camara and four freshmen who make up what is considered a top-three recruiting class nationally.

Read More

Geno Auriemma calls to his players during the first half against Mississippi State. (AP)
Geno Auriemma calls to his players during the first half against Mississippi State. (AP)

CROMWELL, Conn. -- For the first time in nine years, Geno Auriemma has a summer without United States women's national basketball team responsibilities.

The University of Connecticut's Hall of Fame coach has worked on his tan but not so much on his golf game, though that would be hard to believe after seeing his drive off the first tee at the Travelers Championship Celebrity Pro-Am at TPC River Highlands Wednesday find the fairway.

"It's been busy," Auriemma said. "You don't realize that when you're doing the national team stuff, they leave you alone. The minute they think you don't have anything to do? It's been a lot. And there's a lot more to come. So this will be as busy a summer as I have ever had. I'm looking forward to it."

Read More