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UConn women’s basketball heads off on European tour

The Huskies play their first of four games on Wednesday is Croatia.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball’s European tour is officially underway. The Huskies flew out on Monday and are set for their first of four exhibitions on Wednesday (Aug. 16). They started in Croatia then will head north to Slovenia for a game (Friday, Aug. 18) before moving on to Italy, where they’ll play their final two games (Monday, Aug. 21 and Wednesday, Aug. 22).

While there won’t be a live stream of any of the contests, UConn will post the full game replays on UConn+ one day later.

Here’s everything you need to know about the trip:

What UConn hopes to gain from its European trip

By the time UConn returns home, Geno Auriemma is confident he’ll know a lot more about his team — he just doesn’t know if it’ll be good or bad.

“I tell the team every time we’ve gone over there, we found out something about somebody on our team that helps us going forward, or they find out something about themselves and their teammates,” he said. “Who’s a good teammate? You find out on these trips. Who’s selfish? Who’s unselfish? Who cares about other people? Who doesn’t care about other people? Who communicates?“

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Nika Mühl getting true homecoming with UConn’s stop in Croatia

UConn women’s basketball’s European tour is officially underway but for senior point guard Nika Mühl, the trip means more than just playing basketball internationally. The Huskies are visiting her hometown of Zagreb, Croatia, where they’ll tour the city and take on a team of Croatian All-Stars in an exhibition contest.

Mühl’s coaches and teammates will get a first-hand look at the place she calls home — and she couldn’t be more thrilled.

“Oh I’m super excited,” she said. “I don’t think it’s hit me yet that my girls are finally going to see my country, my culture, try the food that I eat, meet my friends and my family. So I’m definitely super excited.”

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Game coverage

Since UConn’s exhibition games in Europe won’t be broadcast live, our coverage will be slightly different than it is during the season. We’ll have a recap of the box score, an in-depth breakdown of every contest after watching it and film room analysis as well.

Join the UConn WBB Weekly and become a premium subscriber to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

Paige Bueckers fully cleared

Last Wednesday, Paige Bueckers announced that she received full medical clearance from her ACL injury almost exactly one-year post-surgery. Two days later, she participated in her first full practice back ahead of UConn’s trip to Europe — a key step in determining whether she’ll play in any of the team’s four exhibition games overseas...

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Paige Bueckers won’t play in UConn’s European games

Paige Bueckers won’t play in any of UConn’s four exhibition games in Europe this month, the team announced on Wednesday. Her status for the contests has been up in the air even after being fully cleared from her ACL injury last week.

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Having Bueckers back “a breath of fresh air” for UConn

On Monday, Paige Bueckers announced she was fully cleared from her ACL injury on Wednesday, though she needed to wait a day until she could take the court for her first full practice. Yet despite the limited time back, the impact her presence has on the rest of the team is already noticeable.

“Having Paige back is like a breath of fresh air,” Auriemma said. “Everything changes in the gym the minute she walks on the court. Everything changes — you can see it on their face.”

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How will UConn divide up minutes this season?

The rotation for the season opener in November will look a lot different than it will during the first game of the NCAA Tournament in March — or any other point in between. Players won’t just get minutes out of necessity anymore. Instead, it’ll be a meritocracy.

“Whatever minutes people get, they’re going to have to be really efficient and really good at it or their minutes are going to go down,” Auriemma said. “And if they’re really, really efficient, then their minutes are going to stay the same or go up.”

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