Seattle Journal: UConn excited to be in Sue Bird's house
Sights and sounds from the Huskies' first day in Climate Pledge Arena.
Welcome to our Seattle Journal, a recap of everything that happened during UConn’s practice days during the regional rounds.
Setting the scene
It’s early on a cold, rainy morning in Seattle. The sun hasn’t even been up for an hour when UConn takes the court for its first practice at Climate Pledge Arena, the host of the Seattle Regional 3.
The arena’s located in Seattle Center, created when the city held the World’s Fair in 1962. It sits in the shadow of the iconic Space Needle and features a low, sloped roof reminiscent of a park pavilion.
Technically, Climate Pledge Arena isn’t a new facility, it just received a $1.15 billion upgrade. In reality, the roof and exterior were saved while practically everything else was demolished and rebuilt. From the outside, the arena doesn’t look that big and isn’t particularly tall, but that’s because the court is five stories below street level so once inside, the building feels cavernous.
Climate Pledge Arena serves as the home of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, so the facilities are top-notch. UConn’s inside the NHL visitor locker room, located at the end of a long series of hallways.
The Huskies take the court for an hour beginning at 8:05 a.m. PT before then fulfilling media obligations.
Geno’s thoughts on Ohio State
“They play a little different than most teams in the sense that they do a couple things exceptionally well. They get out in transition as fast and as aggressively as any team that I've seen. Defensively they create a lot of chaotic situations for you if you're not prepared to handle it. So those two things in and of itself — you might play a team that presses, which certainly we have, or you might play a team that is exceptionally good in transition. But they do both and they've got their whole team now. They were missing a couple kids early in the season when they went through a little bit of a lull, but they seem to be fully healthy and they have got great leaders, great role players.
“I think Kevin has done a remarkable job with them. There's a lot that they do that you have to prepare for offensively and defensively.”
Ohio State’s thoughts on UConn
“They have obviously had a really interesting season. Fortunately for them and unfortunately for us it seems like they're getting healthy at the right time. The players they're going to get back this year, they're back and they look really good right now. When they have the players that they have now they're certainly one of the best teams in the country.” — Head coach Kevin McGuff
Climate Pledge Arena is where Sue Bird played her final season with the Seattle Storm while KeyArena — the predecessor to the current building — served as her home court from 2002-18. That fact isn’t lost on UConn’s current players.
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