Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Putting World Vision Classic into focus

Just a few thoughts from the past three days of action from the World Vision Classic. First, the results were pretty much status quo for tournament of this type. UConn won its three games by a total of 142 points. Geno Auriemma was asked about why this field was so weak but a quick look back to the last two regular-season tournaments hosted by the Huskies shows that UConn won by a total of 134 points against Howard, Lehigh and Louisiana State in 2010 and by 138 against Hofstra, Richmond and Clemson. The only real difference is that none of the other three teams came from a BCS conference.

With Tennessee leading Baylor in the second half, UConn was extremely close from ascending to No. 1 in the national polls. Probably nobody was happier to see that top-ranked Baylor rallied for a 76-67 win than Auriemma. With a team where two sophomores start and three freshmen play key roles off the bench, the last thing Auriemma wants is the added pressure of being the No. 1 team in the country this early in the season.

"The last time I checked, you had to have some All-Americans on your team to be No. 1, don't those two things go together?" Auriemma said. "I don't think it would be fair for us to be No. 1 in the country."

Auriemma did say he'd like to have more games like the one against Stanford than the three blowouts against overmatched teams like what transpired over the weekend.

"I'd like to do more of that," Auriemma said. "I think the whole month of November and early December, there should be a tremendous amount of non-conference games against really good opponents because I do think it creates excitement for the rest of the season. Unfortunately TV wants some in January, some in February and they want to spread them around I think all those November, early December game, I know I would rather play more of them. Trying to balance how many home games you have to play, how many top 25, top 30 teams you have to play. It is not an easy juggling act but I know I would like to do more of it and look into that for the next two or three years and see how many we could put together. You can't always get people to agree. You'd be surprised how many teams who don't want to do it, There are five, six, seven, eight schools who want to do it but we already play them but then there are a bunch of schools who don't want to do it. Carol Stiff (of ESPN) has a hard time putting games together because some schools say 'I don't want to do it' which I find hard to believe."

As for the action, UConn's average margin of victory was the second most in program history for a regular-season tournament. The Huskies beat Morgan State and Rhode Island by an average of 56.5 points in the 1994 Connecticut Classic, Still, Auriemma did not come away completely pleased with what he saw from his team.

"When we are good, we are pretty good," Auriemma said. "When we are not, we are something less than good. I don't know what that is. Sometimes when you are not good, you are awful or you just kind of bad or sloppy. When we are good, we are really good but when we are not playing well and we are not in sync we throw the ball around too much, we throw it away too much. That is my biggest complaint over the last three days that we either score or throw the ball away. I don't think that is going to get it against really good teams."

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