PHILADELPHIA - The UConn womenâ€™s basketball team had its first day off on Monday since practice began for the Huskies last Thursday.
Seniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and juniors Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson spent the first part at American Athletic Conference media day. The Huskies then concluded their obligations early so they could catch a 1:30 p.m. flight back to Bradley International Airport.
But just to make a long day longer, the flight was cancelled and they ended up taking a train from Philadelphia to New Haven and a bus back to campus.
Practice has been going better.
â€śThe first week has been really good,â€ť Williams said. â€śThe energy has been up and thereâ€™s been a new level of focus. Itâ€™s cool to see weâ€™ve been getting better every day.â€ť
UConn returns four starters but has six players who havenâ€™t played a game in a Huskiesâ€™ uniform - transfers Azura Stevens and Batouly Camara, and freshmen Mikayla Coombs, Lexi Gordon, Andra Espinoza-Hunter, and Megan Walker.
â€śThereâ€™s a lot of people, and thatâ€™s a huge difference,â€ť Samuelson said. â€śItâ€™s been hard to get everyone on that same page and itâ€™s going to take awhile to figure things out. But there are four of us that have played together the last two years and we know each otherâ€™s ins and outs. Crystal Dangerfield has stepped up and shown sheâ€™s there with us. And Z has that talent. It will take a little more time to where we feel all comfortable with each other on the court. But we have enough people to lead and take over and show the younger guys what needs to get done and get accomplished.â€ť
UConnâ€™s exhibition opener is Nov. 1 against Fort Hays State at the XL Center in Hartford.