Geno Auriemma took a break from his annual "Fore the Kids" golf tournament earlier this week to talk to the media about his freshman class and what they'll need to do to help keep the Huskies' (seemingly) unstoppable basketball machine fully operational.
"You know, I really haven't done all that much with them, which might be a good thing," he said, according to the Hartford Courant. "I haven't paid that much attention to them at all. I'm not one to spend a lot of time in the summer concentrating on every little thing they do. Right now, they are here to get used to going to school. They are working with Amanda Kimball [strength and conditioning coach]. They get out on the floor occasionally with the assistant coaches to work on things. We're just trying to get them involved."
But as we get later into summer, involvement will be critical because Auriemma has to replace Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley, who are now in the WNBA. It's something the freshman understand too.
"When every one of us walks into the gym with the same goal, it makes it a lot easier for all of us because we are all working as hard as we can," Sadie Edwards said.
Another freshman, Courtney Ekmark added, "It's pretty crazy to think back to how long ago it was when I committed to UConn and now to realize that I am finally here. But it's also great. I am really loving it. I feel very accustomed to the program and close to my teammates."
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, the rising senior who has been an integral part of the back-to-back championships, talked about what it meant to be a fresh-faced rookie in Auriemma's system.
"It's interesting," she said. "They really don't know about anything other than to do all they can to keep everyone happy. They are working as hard as they can and whatever you say [as upperclassmen] they immediately say, 'OK, we will try to do that.'
"It's nice to be able to have the chance to teach them the UConn values, mold them into great UConn players," Mosqueda-Lewis continued. "It's clear they are interested in doing whatever they can to meet those expectations."