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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Geno not concerned about setting 30-win mark

Geno Auriemma's biting, sarcasm-heavy sense of humor was at its best when he was asked to reflect on the Huskies posting another 30-win season.

The 103-37 win over Idaho improved the Huskies' mark to 30-4. It is the eighth straight season UConn has won 30 contests, something no other women's Division I program has accomplished and the 18th time in the last 20 seasons.


"You know there is not a lot of parity in women's basketball, there is not a lot of really good teams so we should win 40 games every year so winning 30 is no big deal so winning 40 is the bar now so I glad we only play 39 so we can't reach that bar," Auriemma said with a slight grin on his face. "It just becomes numbers, right now the only thing that matters at the University of Connecticut is winning a national championship and the fact we won 30 games in 18 of the last 20 year, I don't think anybody gives a rip about that because if they did, there would have been tremendous excitement leading up to today 'come watch Coach Auriemma win 30 games for the 18th time in 20 years.' Obviously that was way under the radar (as the crowd of 4,625 was the lowest for a Connecticut women's home game since drawing 4,165 against Providence in the semifinals of the 1994 Big East tournament) and right now it is about winning national championships so unless somebody reminds you then you really forget about the numbers but when people remind you, it is kind of staggering."

What is also staggering is that UConn is the only Division I women's program to win its first-round NCAA tournament game in each of the last 20 tournaments.

The UConn players watched many of the games in the men's tournament in the previous games and were well aware that No. 1 seeds like Kansas and Gonzaga struggled to win and No. 2 seed Georgetown was knocked out of the tournament. So when it was their time to take the court, they left little doubt using a 15-0 run to start the game and throwing in a 29-0 run later in the game for good measure.


"When you get to this point everybody is going to be gunning for you and we are going to leave it out on the court, whether they are a 16 seed, an 8 seed or 4 seed whatever it is you have to expect the most out of everybody," UConn senior guard Kelly Faris said. "If you overlook (a team)  you will see some of the teams did that today and you are not going to come out the way you wanted to.

"It was a good team effort and it was a good way to start out especially in a game like this because there were a lot of situations we wanted to put ourselves in to try to work on and I think we were able to do that, I think everybody was able to contribute."

There was another record for the Huskies thanks to the career-best scoring efforts of freshmen Moriah Jefferson (16 points) and Morgan Tuck (18 points) matched the program record for most points by a class in their first NCAA tournament game

Back in 1993 Jamelle Elliott had 21 points and Jen Rizzotti 13 in a loss to Louisville. The Stefanie Dolson-Bria Hartley led class combined for 32 points two years ago and last year Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kiah Stokes and Brianna Banks combined for 33 points..





1 Comments:

Anonymous Holly Tyler said...

UConn is 7-6 in final four semi-finals and 7-0 in national championships. Those are the only meaningful numbers because UConn's opponents had similar talent level.

30 wins in 18 out of 20 years proves that WCBB is still in the dark ages. Auriemma and CD know this. So does Idaho.

Talent drop off in high school players from top 10 to top 100 is enormous. Tina, Maya, EDD, KML, Stewart were all ranked 1st. Lauren Engeln was ranked 95th. Talent drop off from Top 100 to everyone else is so large it's meaningless to waste time measuring.

If the same WCBB teams keep getting the same kind of HS players, the results won't change. That's the problem.

Winning 30 games almost every year is not difficult when almost all of your competition is built from unranked high school players. UConn did not need any coaches to defeat Idaho. That game was an embarrassment to WCBB.

Michala Johnson and Laruen Engeln were top 100 HS players. Johnson was 46 and Engeln was 95. Yet those 2 players transferred from UConn because they would never play more than mop up duty. Two other WCBB teams gladly accepted them. UConn would not need coaches to defeat those 2 teams with Johnson and Engeln.

No disrespect to Idaho, Johnson, Engeln, and unranked players. If the same 8 or less WCBB teams keep getting the LIMITED top HS talent year in and year out, then 30 win seasons are not as difficult as the media pretends it to be.

10:21 AM 

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