Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Another familiar face squaring off against Geno

While I did not make the trip to cover Saturday's game at Cincinnati, I did watch the game and the post-game press conference. I was struck by the absolute misery Auriemma was in both during the second half and especially as he answered questions about the win.

I figured his sour disposition had just a little to do with the fact that he wanted nothing to do with rolling to a win against his former assistant coach and player Jamelle Elliott, who is in her fourth season as the head coach at Cincinnati.

"I think the game was, they can't make a shot, they have one field goal in the last 19 minutes of the first half and in the last 18 minutes of the second half they have one field goal," Auriemma said. "Now you are trying to figure out how are you going to keep your guys running stuff and not taking the first open shot they see. Guys don't want to shoot, now everybody wants to be like 'make the next pass, the next pass, the next pass.' It gets frustrating when you know the person on the other bench. It is not the first time it has happened. We played a year one year and I think it was 50-10 or 45-10 at halftime and I felt so bad I asked Chris Dailey went we were walking into the locker room 'what defense should we get in so they can score?' because you just don't want to see that. So is there a defense they we can play that can get them some shots.

"She is a very prideful person, takes great pride in herself, where she has come from and what she is doing and puts a lot of pressure on herself to live up to the expectations that everybody has of her and she has of herself and she takes it really hard when she feels like she is letting people down."

Now Auriemma meets up with another coach in his inner circle when the Huskies host Villanova tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the XL Center.

There is a difference as Perretta, the dean of Big East women's coaches, is obviously entrenched as the Wildcats' head coach and while Cincinnati headed up against UConn searching for its first Big East win, Villanova is tied with UConn for second place in the league standings.

There have been some expressing surprise at Villanova's impressive start, Auriemma is not one of them. With so many seniors and juniors in key roles, Auriemma figured Villanova could have one of its best teams in a few years.

"In Harry's system it takes time because of the nuances of how he does things, where he wants shots to come from," Auriemma said. "When you are playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores like he has the last couple of years it is not easy but I think he has a pretty good blend or upperclassmen, he has a couple of freshmen that are pretty good."


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