UConn freshmen making good first impression

CROMWELL — The UConn women’s basketball team is in its fourth week of practice. Two more weeks and they return home for the summer, UConn women’s associate coach Chris Dailey said.

“Last June at this time, there was a lot of uncertainty about if we’d even be back on campus,” Dailey said on Wednesday during the Travelers Championship pro-am. “To be back and have freshmen on campus and Dorka (Juhasz) as a transfer has been great. We have done a lot of individual work and I think that really is going to help us down the road.”

Dailey said the freshmen have made good impressions thus far.

“Caroline (Ducharme) reminds me of Carla Berube. I don’t think she has said four words in four weeks, at least not to the coaches, probably to the players, so maybe she is a quiet assassin,” Dailey said. “Azzi (Fudd), she’s a worker. Every time she misses a shot, I’m surprised. Amari (DeBerry) has got some skills and Saylor (Poffenbarger) is coming off an injury, so she’s not been able to do as much. She is bringing a good energy. Dorka is nice to have, a new player with three years of college experience.”

Ducharme and Fudd were selected as Gatorade State Players of the Year for Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., respectively in late May.

It’s been almost two months since Paige Bueckers, who won several national player of the year honors, had right ankle surgery to repair an osteochondral defect.

“Paige is Paige. Whether she is injured or not, Paige is Paige,” Dailey said.

Dailey feels the individual skillwork provided in the practice time spent thus far should pay dividends down the road.

“I think we will see benefits from it, provided our kids continue to work for the rest of the summer on the stuff we have been working on,” Dailey said. “It takes awhile to get back into practice shape, standing on your feet for a few hours at a time. But it has been great, a lot of fun.”

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli