Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing friends not always easy for Auriemma

On Thursday night UConn coach Geno Auriemma squared off against former UConn star and longtime assistant coach Jamelle Elliott. On Sarturday he will match wits with one of his closest friends in DePaul's Doug Bruno.

After Thursday's win over the Bearcats, I asked Auriemma his thoughts of playing against such close friends.

"I think the more you play them, the less those things come into play," Auriemma said, "I remember the first time we played Jamelle or Jen's team or you have a certain, a little apprehension there but the more we play like tonight, I was more concerned about our team. I spent a lot of time with Jamelle last night. The same with Bruno, he and I have had a long relationship but if you pay attention to him on Saturday, he doesn't treat me any different from any other guy. He is a competitive guy, he is getting after the officials when he thinks he has to, he is passionate and he is not really worried about who is on the other sideline. I am not either. The only time I feel for them is when their team doesn't play well because if you don't play well against us, you don't have a chance. The only thing I wish for when i play people I have a relationship with and hope their team plays well."

Tiffany Hayes became the 18th UConn player to score 1,500 points and moved by Asjha Jones and into 17th on Connecticut's career scoring list. She also tied Kerry Bascom for ninth on the career 3-pointer list.

"It's just a pat of it," said Hayes, who was also a part of her 130th victory at UConn. "I didn't really know. That is a plus that I have been able to be on that list with all those great players but I have to continue to focus on getting better."

Auriemma talked about the select company Hayes has put herself in during the last four years.

"Tiffany's been fortunate, she has been here during an era when we have played a lot of games. I would hate to think how many points Kerry would score if she played 40 games a year," Auriemma said. "But I think you have to give Tiffany a lot of credit because she has been pretty consistent the whole four years she has been here Yeah, she's had her moments when she's been great and had moments when she has not been great but you don't get to be on the list of most things at Connecticut (by accident). She is up there
with some good players."

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