WEST HARTFORD — Morgan Tuck is encouraged by her recovery from knee surgery, positive news for UConn.
The Huskies need her to help Kiah Stokes and Breanna Stewart deal with the post now that Stefanie Dolson is in the WNBA.
"She's good," Geno Auriemma said. "She's working hard. She's had a great postseason. She looks great.''
Tuck missed 12 of the first 20 games last season because of trouble with her right knee. The program finally shut her down and Tuck had surgery Jan. 30.
The NCAA still has not ruled on the status of her medical hardship application, so she is essentially considered a junior until it does. UConn still believes there is no reason to doubt she will receive a fifth year of eligibility after already missing 36 games in two years because of injury.
Tuck had arthroscopic surgery to repair knee cartilage Nov. 12 and missed eight games. But when the pain persisted it was decided to have a more advanced procedure. She hopes to be cleared for full activity at the end of July.
"I always wish the process could go faster. Anyone who is hurt always does," Tuck said. "I am happy with where I am. Rosie [Ragle, UConn's athletic trainer] tells me I am right where I need to be. So now the next step for me will be to sprint and do the full conditioning workout aside from the treadmill. I can't tell the difference between the knees when I run. But I do get tired because I am not in shape. My knee feels better than it has in a very long time."
Tuck is rooming with freshman Gabby Williams, who is recovering from her second knee surgery. The two are helping each other and both expect to be ready for practice.
Auriemma has been invited to play in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament July 18-20, an event that will include Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Steph Curry and Ray Allen. Auriemma is listed at 50-1 odds to win by the Harrah's/Harveys Lake Tahoe Race & Sports Book.
"There can't be anyone lower than me," Auriemma said. "I'm 50-1 with Ray Allen. But if I finished tied with Ray Allen, I will consider it a huge success because he's not bad for a guy who only plays golf every day."
As part of its 25th anniversary, other prominent athletes scheduled to compete are John Elway, Carson Palmer, Steve Spurrier, Jason Kidd, Greg Maddux, Bode Miller, Roger Clemens, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and defending champion Billy Joe Tolliver.
"It ain't easy being me," Auriemma joked.
The American Century Championship is on NBC (Saturday and Sunday) and NBC Sports Network (Friday). It features a celebrity field of more than 80 celebrities competing for $600,000 in prize money.
"I've watched the event on television many times," Auriemma said. "It happens to fall into my schedule at a good time. It's during a dead period in recruiting and I am going to be in Las Vegas to speak at a clinic right before. I am looking forward to it."
Auriemma is considered pretty good at golf, but is realistic.
"I've played with enough PGA Tour pros in Pro-Ams to know that guys who like to think they are good enough to play with those guys are dreaming," said Auriemma, whose son Michael is going to caddie for him. "Actually, they aren't even dreaming, because even in their wildest dreams they don't realize just how good [the pros] are. They are delusional.
"You know what makes me laugh? When guys turn 50, and already are scratch players, they begin to think they are good enough to play on the Seniors Tour. Really? Freddie Couples is on the Seniors Tour. Are you telling me you are able to play [at his level]? It would be a guy who was a good basketball player in high school thinking if he practiced a little he could play in the NBA. No you can't."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun