STORRS — This time of year, Geno Auriemma's bags are always packed. It's recruiting season, when college basketball coaches hit the road to gauge the nation's gifted youth.
The only difference this autumn is where UConn's coach will be heading — and the players he will be watching; much better players in many nicer locales.
"Normally, I'd be leaving to spend a month out on the road recruiting," Auriemma said. "Last September, I was in 13 cities in 20 days. So this time of the year it's always hectic, always an unbelievable amount to things you have to do in a short period of time.
"This time, I'm still traveling, only going in a different direction."
On Sunday, Auriemma leaves for Annapolis, Md., where he officially begins his second term as coach of the USA women's senior national team.
In 2010, his team won the world championship. In 2012, his team won Olympic gold. In 2013 and '14, his UConn teams won NCAA national championships.
That's all very nice. Now, he's being asked to do it again in what almost certainly will be his final go-round of athletic service to his country.
The three-day training camp opens Monday at the U.S. Naval Academy. The team then heads to Wilmington, Del., for an intrasquad exhibition Thursday before coming to Connecticut to complete domestic training with a game against Canada Sept. 15 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
From there, the team goes on to Paris and Prague in preparation for the FIBA world championship Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Turkey.
Initially, Auriemma will have approximately 20 players. Seven of the original 27 invited will be busy playing in the WNBA Finals between Phoenix and Chicago. Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Sylvia Fowles and Elena Delle Donne won't be in camp, as well as DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and Courtney Vandersloot.
And Auriemma said last week it's unlikely that San Antonio's Jayne Appel, the former Stanford star, will be able to attend.
"We figured that would be the case," Auriemma said. "And that  is a perfect number to work with. … Any more than that would be difficult to work with, considering the schedule we have."
But what they have is still abundant, Olympians such as Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker and Lindsay Whalen mixing with new generation stars like the Ogwumike sisters, Nneka and Chiney, Kayla McBride, Odyssey Sims, former UConn All-Americans Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson and current Husky star Breanna Stewart.
"In situations like that, all you can do is try to control what you can control by bringing your best effort and attitude," said Chiney Ogwumike, the Sun forward and WNBA rookie of the year. "I feel like I've already won by knowing the committee views me as a possible national team player. It's an honor whatever happens."
Stewart, the only collegian in camp, seems a lock to join Chamique Holdsclaw, Parker and Moore as the only college kids ever to make a world championship or Olympic roster. And she wants to do more than watch.
"I have a lot to prove being the only college player in the camp," Stewart said. "I am coming to camp to make the team and my personality is such that I want to play. But if that's what happens [she is on the end of the bench], well, it's the national team and it's a steppingstone for the Olympic team."
Stewart, a junior, had an outstanding senior national camp last year.
"That gave her a really strong physical and mental charge going into last season [at UConn]," Auriemma said. "She's spent the summer trying to get bigger and stronger, which isn't easy with her body type. But she's comfortable, ready and excited.
"I may be biased, but there isn't anything [the older players] can do that Stewie cannot do. They are just at another level in terms of knowing the game. There is nothing she can do about that. … They have done things in their lives that Breanna just hasn't had the chance to do as of yet."
"Some [players] are automatic because of what they've done, some guys you want to pick because you know what they can do, some you want to pick because you know what they've done," Auriemma said. "Some guys you may need down the road. There are a lot of reasons that go into how and why you build a national team.
"If the other 10 [incumbents] show up on top of their game, it's going to be very hard for any more than two others to make the team. … Every country we will play would love to be that situation."