STORRS, Conn. -- The Geno Auriemma-coached 2000 United States U-18 national team was scrimmaging at Colorado College when Duke University-bound Alana Beard finished a stunning drive to the basket.
Auriemma blew his whistle and turned to where his assistant at the University of Connecticut, Chris Dailey, and Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt and her assistant, Mickie DeMoss, were seated in the small gym. They were watching as Team USA's roster included UConn-bound Diana Taurasi and Ashley Battle, and Tennessee-bound Ashley Robinson and Loree Moore.
He then looked over to Summitt and said: "Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss should be fired for not recruiting Alana Beard." Summitt nodded her head in agreement. They didn't get fired, though DeMoss did move on to other jobs. But this June they'll be together again in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Dailey, the Huskies' associate head coach, is one of seven people who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2018, it was announced Monday night. She will be the fifth UConn representative in the WBHOF joining Auriemma (Class of 2006) and former players Rebecca Lobo (Class of 2010), Jennifer Rizzotti (Class of 2013) and Kara Wolters (Class of 2017).
"I was hoping it would happen, but you never know because there are some great people on that list," Auriemma said. "There would be some great people that would be left off. But, obviously, she deserves it, in my mind. It's long overdue. The fact that no assistant coaches have been inducted before and the fact that her and Mickie DeMoss are going in the same year, you knew that it wouldn't be one or the other. It would be both or neither and I'm thrilled for both of them.
"I don't know if the term 'assistant coach' does CD justice, given the role that she's played in our program. I'm thrilled for her. I know that her mom and dad are looking down on her and it and nobody's more proud of her than her dad, that's for sure. I can't wait till the ceremony in June."
Rounding out the Class of 2018 are DeMoss (who is now an assistant at LSU), former University of Colorado coach Ceal Barry, former college and high school coach Rose Marie Battaglia and former NCAA/WNBA standouts and Olympic gold medalists Chamique Holdsclaw, Katie Smith and Tina Thompson.
The WBHOF Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining who will be inducted.
"I've thought for years that CD's induction was long overdue," Lobo said. "She has been a constant in recruiting, building the program, and sustaining its success. There is a reason that former players talk about 'Coach and CD' as if they are one entity. They are the reason high school players come to UConn. They are the reason the team wins. They are the reason players stay attached to the program after graduation."
Dailey, a native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was an All-State player at St. Peter's High in New Brunswick, and went on to play for four years for coach Theresa Grentz at Rutgers. She was the Scarlet Knights' captain as a junior and senior and helped Rutgers to the final AIAW national championship in 1982.
She started her coaching career as an assistant at Cornell and then returned to her alma mater as an assistant to Grentz for two years. The first thing Auriemma did when he got the UConn job in May 1985 was hire Dailey, and they've been a team since.
"My first impression of her was the fact that she is so attentive to details and taking care of little things," UConn All-American Napheesa Collier said. "I had never seen that in a coach before, or anyone really. Immediately, I really appreciated it. And still, after all these years that she has been here, is attentive to all those things.
"It's hard to put into words because she means so much to us as players and to this program as a whole. She is the person that gets everything going. She is the person, along with Coach Auriemma, that makes UConn so good. CD is the one that keeps us in line with her attention to detail that the outside world does not even know about. She's the reason we are the way we are, and that's successful."
Since Auriemma and Dailey arrived here, UConn has won 11 national championships, 23 conference regular season titles and 22 conference tournament crowns. The Huskies have made 18 NCAA Final Four appearances, including the last 10 in a row. They have reached the Sweet 16 the last 24 years and have a run of 29 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. The Huskies' record heading into Monday night's game against No. 4 Louisville: 1,015-135, with win No. 1,000 coming on Dec. 19 against Oklahoma.
Dailey coached UConn to the 1989 Big East tournament title -- the program's first -- as Auriemma served a suspension due to a scheduling error, and the 1997 Big East tournament crown after the death of Auriemma's father, Donato.
Among the personal honors she's been given is the WNBA Connecticut Sun's 2017 Margo Dydek Award, which is presented to the Woman of Inspiration for the year.
The difference that Dailey has made, Auriemma said, is immeasurable.
"It's the way we rely on her for a certain stability and attentiveness to certain things that might otherwise get overlooked," he said. "There is never anything in this program that gets overlooked. To me, that takes a special kind of person to think ahead and have everything covered even before they actually happen. Most of us are reactionary types. She is able to anticipate, 'This is what's going on, this is what will happen, and this is what we need to do and when to do it.' Our players have a certain comfort level that they know there's nothing that will happen that we haven't already prepared for. That to be go ways beyond Xs and Os and recruiting."
The Class of 2018 is the 20th that the WBHOF will honor and the induction ceremony is set for June 9.
UConn kept its spot as the unanimous No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll, receiving all 32 first-place votes. The poll was released Monday afternoon, prior to the Huskies' showdown with Louisville at Gampel Pavilion.
The top six remained the same, as the Huskies were followed by unbeaten Mississippi State, Baylor, Louisville, Notre Dame and Texas. UCLA moved up one spot to seventh and South Carolina fell one spot to eighth. Oregon and Maryland rounded out the top 10 as they did a week ago.
South Florida, out of the American Athletic Conference, re-entered the top 25 at No. 22 thanks to an 84-65 rout of then-No. 13 Ohio State at the Sun Dome on Sunday. The other newcomer was Belmont, which entered at No. 24. It marks the first time in the Bruins' NCAA Division I era that any program has earned a national ranking. Belmont (24-3) has won 15 in a row and has won 39 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference games, the second-longest streak in league play in the nation to UConn's 94.
"This is a significant moment in the history of our program, and speaks volumes to the dedication and commitment of players past and present," Belmont coach Bart Brooks said. "I could not be prouder of our team, for given the amount of adversity we have faced this season, we have continued to support each other and remain accountable each day in practice."
TCU and Arizona State dropped out of the top 25.
UConn seniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and juniors Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are among 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy as Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.
No other school had as many as three players listed. Louisville, Mississippi State, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA had two candidates each. The Pac-12 had seven players listed followed by the Southeastern Conference with six.
Ten semifinalists will be announced on Feb. 26, with four finalists revealed on March 14. The Naismith Trophy winner will be introduced on March 31.
Also Monday, Samuelson was named to the AAC weekly honor roll. The All-American and 2017 AAC Co-Player of the Year averaged 20.5 points on 61.9 percent shooting from the floor, 4.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the Huskies' league wins over Central Florida and Wichita State.
USF junior Kitija Laksa was chosen the AAC Player of the Week. She had 25 points in a win over East Carolina last Wednesday then tied the AAC single-game record with a career-high 41 points in the Bulls' rout of Ohio State. Cincinnati forward Iimar'i Thomas was named the AAC Freshman of the Week for the fifth time, as she averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds in the Bearcats' wins over Wichita State and Tulane.