Candice Dupree’s Team USA Training Camp Blog - Day 1
My plane arrived in D.C. at around 3:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday. I went straight to my hotel and chilled for a minute until we had our introductory team dinner at 7:00. Dinner was cool, Coach Geno Auriemma spoke. He pretty much just gave us the rules and guidelines for practice, it wasn't anything serious. After dinner I hung out until I went to bed.
This morning was our first practice at American University. After we stretched we did some light shooting. Then the guards and posts split up for some drills. Next, the team got back together and Coach Auriemma started going through his defensive concepts: how we're going to play ball screens, help-side defense, rotations, stuff like that.
Then he started to put in a little bit of offense. We ran a couple offensive sets and then we split up on both ends of the court and went over it. Once we got through learning some of the offense we gathered up and played four-on-four, rotating players in and out throughout the game. Most of the time I was on the court I was with; Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx), Lindsey Harding (Washington Mystics) and Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics).
Meeting and practicing with Coach Auriemma for the first time was pretty cool. He was fun; he keeps it REAL, which I like. His main message to us today was unity, that we work as a unit and nobody gets in our circle.
The things we worked on in practice revolved mostly around the fundamentals of playing basketball both individually and as a team. Most of the stuff we talked about and did was stuff I was familiar with from different points throughout my career. The biggest difference so far has been the intensity during practice. A lot of the drills are run at a fast pace. Today we didn't do too many full-court things but I'm sure once we get going full-court, it'll be even more intense!
Aside from basketball the week should be pretty interesting, they've planned events for us which will keep us occupied and give us a chance to better know our teammates. This afternoon we're going to see the Washington Nationals play against the New York Mets. We're going as a team and will be sitting in a suite. As far as the game goes I'm not too excited because baseball is kind of boring to watch if you ask me. I actually think this will be the first game I've ever been to. But I heard they're going to have baseball type foods in the suite like hotdogs and stuff like that, so that should be cool.
Right now my mind is mostly on basketball and looking forward to tomorrow's workouts. I haven't had a real good chance to get a feel for how I fit in with all the other talented players here. Coach told us our main goal should be to fit into the system, instead of standing out individually. But it'll take a couple days for me to get a feel for that. Once we start playing five-on-five it'll be easier to see who plays well with whom.
Today's mostly been an adjustment day, getting used to a new coach, a new team and a new city. Make sure to check back tomorrow to see how Day 2 went. Oh yea, I forgot my camera, but I have my blackberry so I'll try to snap as many pics as I can!!!