The subject of Elena Delle Donne and the possibility of her playing for the Huskies at some point in the future has been relatively quiet since news broke last August that she would not be returning to UConn and would instead enroll at Delaware.
The storyline has long been one that Geno Auriemma considers to be in the past. However, it made it’s way to the present during his live show on CPTV Monday night.
Host Meghan Culmo said that she had received numerous e-mails from individuals who had concrete sources that stated Delle Donne still might play at UConn should she opt to return to the sport.
Geno quickly shot the notion down then. He did so again following practice today at Gampel Pavilion.
“One of the unfortunate situations that we’ve created – it’s nobody’s fault,’’ he said. “It is what it is. We’ve created it. The story surrounding our seasons most of the time has nothing to do with our game because the games have become so predictable. So there’s too much boredom so the thoughts go to everything else, whatever that is because there’s no mystery of how we’re going to do Saturday, how we’re going to do Sunday, Monday. The mystery’s all gone. The excitement’s all gone. The anticipation’s all gone. So the people on the Boneyard or the chat rooms and all that … what they going to talk about? Hope we play well on Saturday. We’re struggling a little bit. We’ve got to get back on track. What are they going to talk about? There’s just not a lot there. It took me by surprise when Meghan said it. I was like, `What?’ I was the most shocked person in the room I think. That’s the first I had heard of it.
“I wake up every morning hoping that I read that she’s playing basketball at Delaware or some place. That should die now. She’s not playing at Connecticut. I don’t know why people don’t understand that. She’s not going to play at Connecticut. If she was going to play at Connecticut she’d be here by now. People just don’t generally do that. You don’t go, leave and then come back. Look at the history of any sport. It just doesn’t happen.’’
The senior class will make history Saturday when they are honored prior to the Huskies/Seton Hall game at the XL Center. It will be the first time that the Senior Night festivities have not been conducted at Gampel Pavilion.
Along with the historical setting of the event, Auriemma said Thursday that Tahirah Williams and Cassie Kerns will make their first career starts. They will join fellow seniors Montgomery and Greene, who will return next season for a fifth year, in the lineup.
Moore or Charles will be the fifth starter against the last-place Pirates.
“I always have (started the seniors) so I don’t see why we would want to change now,’’ Auriemma said. “I always thought it’s quite an honor to start at Connecticut. I think everyone should experience that at least once in their life. And I think they’ll do well too.’’
Tahirah was sporting a wild hairdo at practice today. Her braids were taken out and Geno said it looked like that of Angela Davis, an American political activist who was associated with the Black Panther party. The ‘do also resembled the one that Charde Houston had for a brief spell last season.
A recruiting source said that Geno attended recruit Bria Hartley’s practice yesterday in North Babylon, N.Y. She is a 5-10 junior point guard who has drawn comparisons to Sue Bird.
Also, assistant coach Jamelle Elliott was on hand Wednesday at the Mater Dei/Laguna Hills game in California to see recruits Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Lauren Engeln.