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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Geno/Tina relationship talk

The first time senior center Tina Charles heard chatter that people were using here perceived strained relationship with Geno Auriemma against the UConn Hall of Fame women's basketball coach, she could hardly believe her ears.

Sure, Charles did not like being replaced as a starter by classmate Kaili McLaren in the 2008 NCAA tournament but she was stunned that those outside the program believe there's any friction between her and Auriemma.

"I think it is ridiculous," Charles said. "I know they did that with (UConn incoming freshman) Bria Hartley, they would say that Tina doesn't like it here. I had a talk with Bria Hartley to tell her that I love it here."

Charles knew what she was getting into when she signed with UConn. Her high school coach Bob Mackey, who also coached Sue Bird at New York powerhouse Christ the King, told her as much.

Now as Charles is on the cusp of becoming the sixth UConn player to score 2,000 points, will graduate with honors, is in line to be the No. 1 pick in April's WNBA draft and has a bright future with the U.S. national team, she has no regrets. Neither does Auriemma.

"You'd be surprised how many people use it against us in recruiting about Tina Charles hates (Auriemma), she hates it up there," Auriemma said. "I said 'well, she looks pretty happy for a kid who hates it. They have this impression that I don't like her, it is just the opposite. I wish I didn't like her, I like her a lot. I wish she is the kind of kid you didn't like because 'nobody likes you, play your (butt) off.' But she is such a nice kid, she and Sylvia Fowles are identical. Her, Sylvia Fowles, Rebecca Lobo are the same kind of personalities."

Auriemma didn't name any names but I don't think you have to be at the top of the Yale graduating class to take a look at which AAU program Bria Hartley played for to surmise where some of that stuff came from. Enough said.

Changing gears, I spoke to Mackey on Wednesday as part of my advance focusing on Charles getting ready to join Nykesha Sales, Kerry Bascom, Rebecca Lobo, Diana Taurasi and Kara Wolters as the only 2,000-point scorers in UConn history.

I also talked to him about highly-touted Christ the King junior guard Bria Smith. He said Bria has been to a couple of UConn games including the Dec. 23 one against Stanford and to a UConn practice but she is nowhere near making any sort of decision. He's like her to start considering where she wants to take some unofficial visits but it sounds as if this is one recruitment process which will take some time.

I will leave you with this. I hate anonymous comments, rarely respond to them on my blog. Personally, if you aren't going to leave your name (even if it is a fake one) don't expect a response from me. But I did chuckle at an anonymous comment saying that breaking a record with five games to spare does not constitute "shattering." Well, in my eyes breaking Kerry Bascom's mark for being the quickest UConn player to 2,000 points by five games if that is the way it plays out would go down as shattering the mark in my eyes. If Albert Pujols broke the single-season home-run record in 155 games (which would be the same pace as Moore is on in quest of Bascom's program record) I'd be willing to be it would be viewed as Pujols shattering the record. Since this blog is my opinion, I love forward to Maya Moore doing some shattering in early March.

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Blogger nanronlin said...

I am one of the few who does not know where Bria plays (or played) her AAU. Would someone tell me, please. Jake

8:20 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

She played for Exodus or Exodus NYC as it is often referred to

9:56 AM 

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