Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another McDonald's All-American

The new addition to the Huskies, at least next season, will be guard Kelly Faris out of Heritage Christian in Indiana. You can also add Faris to the long list of UConn players to play in the McDonald's All-America game.

It was a bit of a shock, at least to me, because Faris has been widely unheralded. This is a very nice feather in her cap. She deserves plenty of congratulations.

Future teammate Maya Moore had some advice for Faris regarding the April 1 game in Miami.

"Just soak in everything for every event they have planned for you," Moore said. "Don’t be shy, don’t be nervous, don’t hold back. Make sure you enjoy everything. It’s something you can always look back on. You’ll play against some other players, watch others on TV and it’s a great connection with your class."

And this from coach Geno Auriemma:
"The McDonald’s people have picked a really good player. Nobody thought Kelly Faris was the kind of player that would be on the Under-18 national team but she went out to trials and played herself onto that team. When people give her a chance to play and put her in those scenarios I think she proves to everyone that she belongs."

"Being an All-American is a lot more than being the player that scores the most points. She does all the little things that good teams like. The coaches like the kind of things that she does. We didn’t recruit her because she’s averaging 30 points per game. We recruited her because she’s a real good basketball player who is going to add a lot to what we’re doing. It’s a great honor for her and the humble kid that she is I’m sure she’ll appreciate it."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Renee's Day - pics and video

Pittsburgh pre-game

Not to take anything away from the Panthers, who are 19th in the country, but the talk around Gampel is who or what is the latest Husky of Honor addition.

Let's open the think tank and go tnrough options:

  • Associate head coach Cris Dailey. If it were her, wouldn't it have happened already? Wouldn't UConn have scheduled this to happen against Rutgers, her alma mater? She's the dark horse.
  • Any past team: The school would have issued a press release and the players, some of whom are overseas, would have to made plans to come back.
  • Kay Yow. Seeing as it's "Think Pink" day, sure. But she was never a Husky.
  • The fans. Interesting. Hmmm...
  • Renee Montgomery. This is where my money is. You don't wait until Senior Night and give one senior more attention than the others. You do this before a national TV audience, further making the case for Montgomery as the National Player of the Year. And, it's been kept so secretive that it makes perfect sense that someone close to the team is being honored.
  • The No. 1 for the most weeks at No. 1 in the polls of any team. But that could change down the road, making the plaque look silly.

Check back here for video and pictures shortly after the announcement.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

UConn notes

Laguna Hills, Calif., sophomore Lauren Engeln made an unofficial visit to UConn Saturday. The 5-foot-11 guard may be in attendance with her father at today’s game. ... UConn will unveil its latest addition to the Huskies of Honor before the game. The newest addition is being kept under lock and key so to be a surprise. ... UConn will don pink sneakers and pink trimmed jerseys as part of the team’s “Think Pink” game, promoting cancer awareness.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jess done until December

UConn sophomore center Jessica McCormack has returned to her native New Zealand to receive treatment for a nagging Achilles tendon. Pain has followed McCormack since January of last year and has kept her from practicing with the Huskies.

"She has had numerous non-operative treatments that are usually successful but continues to experience discomfort, which led to this decision," said Dr. Tom Trojian, UConn's team physician, in a statement.

A member of the New Zealand National Team, McCormack participated in the Summer Olympics, but her Achilles continued to present a problem for her. She rarely practiced with the Huskies and spent the time between semesters at home resting rather than with her teammates. It was decided that when she returned there hadn't been significant progress made, surgery would be the last option.

McCormack was sitting out this season after transferring from the University of Washington. With her not expected to return to the States until the summer, McCormack will have to sit out first semester of next season in order to satisfy NCAA regulations for transfer student-athletes.

According to UConn coach Geno Auriemma, there is no damage to the 6-foot-5 center's Achilles, but that there's some "stuff" around it that needs cleaning up. He expects a full recovery in time for training camp.

"That's what you always think," he said. "It's just like any other surgery. You go in and say, 'This is going to be good.' Her doctor believes it and she believes it and there's no reason not to believe it. Everything else she's tried hasn't worked, so hopefully this will be the final thing to get her over the hump."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mel Thomas

There was a report last week saying that according to Mel Thomas' grandmother the former UConn star would be invited to training camp with the Seattle Storm. This is something the Storm have since denied.

When I read this -- and I have no reason to doubt the validity -- I e-mailed Mel. She got back to me Thursday night as said that she doesn't know much of what's going on (I assume because an agent is handling such matters) and that she'd get back to me when there's something solid.

When I know, you'll know.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Some pictures from Tuesday's game, including one of the hero Meghan Gardler. She doesn't get a whole lot of time and isn't always dependable, but she came through big time against Rutgers. Kia Vaughn, Rutgers' one-time center, didn't know who Gardler was (does now) and threw her own teammates under the bus.

“She played well,” Vaughn said. “It had nothing to do with her height. She’s just strong and moving me around. It was just my teammates who had to actually come down and find me, so they didn’t find me and she had help from her other teammates.”

Vaughn was also asked about the WNBA and said she's still trying to figure out how the scoring is supposed to work on her team.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New starter

Tiffany Hayes will be starting in place of Lorin Dixon tonight. SHe was running the point in shoot around, so unless something changes between now and 8 p.m., Hayes is the starting point guard.

Renee in the WNBA

John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant and I were asked by the Minnesota Lynx to provide analysis of Renee Montgomery as we look ahead to April's WNBA draft.

The Lynx put together a really neat Draft Central Web page that is worth noting. Here's the link:
Minnesota Lynx Draft Central

While there, check out all of the other WNBA prospects featured as well.