Geno Auriemma has a little time on his hands. The Huskies last played on April 3, a loss to Notre Dame in the Final Four, the 2011-2012 recruiting appears to be all set, and the upcoming college basketball season is still more than five months off. But you don't get to be one of the best coaches on the planet by only working half the year.
Which is why Auriemma, who also currently serves as the Team USA coach, will be in Las Vegas on May 10-12 for national team training. Maya Moore, the former Huskies great drafted first overall by the Minnesota Lynx in the 2011 WNBA Draft, cites her time with Team USA as instrumental to her growth as a player.
Following Moore's first appearance with the national team last summer, Auriemma offered this: "The great thing about our team is that you can't tell who the college kid is. If you line up all of our players and say pick the one in college, you can never figure it out. [Maya] blends right in, she plays like them, she handles herself like them. It was a great way for her to get started today."
And it's no secret that Moore gives Auriemma much of the credit for her success.
"I feel so much more prepared every time I step on the court because mentally I feel like no one has trained me better or trained our team better to play," Moore said prior to being drafted earlier this month. "I've learned so much from [Auriemma]."
Now the two will be reunited for three days in Vegas.
"I'm excited to get everyone together again," said Auriemma in a press release. "We don't have a lot of time together prior to the Olympics and it's really important to be able to have everyone on the same page. It'll be great to see all the guys who didn't play last fall and how hungry they are to make the Olympic team next year. We've also had some guys with injuries, who should be back to 100 percent. It's going to be a very competitive three days."
Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Diana Taurasi, Renee Montgomery and Swin Cash will join Moore as former Huskies on Team USA.
It's hard to imagine this group not doing well on any stage. More than that, the fact that one-fourth the roster is UConn alums speaks volumes about what Auriemma has been able to accomplish in Storrs.