Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Maryland a rugged test for Huskies; Geno dishes on Delle Done

UConn coach Geno Auriemma knows that the NCAA selection committee didn't do his team any favors by making a physical Maryland team the No. 4 seed in the Bridgeport region.

Auriemma considered the Dec. 3 game against the Terrapins as one of the most physical games the Huskies have played this season and he is expecting more of the game in tomorrow's Sweet 16 game.

"I think this is one of the more difficult first-round games tomorrow among the regionals and the other game, you have really good players on every team and I am sure every region has their own but I don't know if anybody has more than what exists here," Auriemma said. "Kentucky is back again, Maryland is in it again and I think when you have this many teams who are traditionally in this situation, it is because they have really good players.

"One of the things that makes tomorrow interesting is that Alyssa Thomas is a really good passer. You look at some teams and their leading scorer can't pass and they are teams you love to play against because you know that kid is going to shoot the ball every time she touches it. What makes her difficult is when you trap her, she finds people and sometimes that is worse than letting her shoot the ball."

There are some people who love to ponder just what might have been had former UConn signee Elena Delle Donne opted to spend four seasons with the Huskies.

Auriemma and the folks at UConn have moved on after Delle Donne's to leave UConn after just two days back in 2008 to enroll and play at her home state University of Delaware.

Delle Donne scored more than 3,000 points and led the Blue Hens to their first Sweet 16 appearance where they will face Kentucky tomorrow at noon.

He was asked a couple questions about Delle Donne in Friday's press conference.

"It is hard not to follow when a team such as Delaware that is a mid-major program playing in their own little world down there all of a sudden becomes a national program because some of the teams that they beat, naturally you take notice of it," Auriemma said. "But the fact that so few of their games have been on national television and we have never really had a chance to play them or anybody they have played so I haven't really seen that much of them on film so all I can go by is what I hear, what people tell me but in terms of actually sitting down and watching I really can't comment on how much or what has changed in Elena's game or how she has impacted the game but I would say that there has been a huge chance in maybe her approach the game in that she is able to take on that responsibility with that kind of God-given talent.

"The object of going to college is to find out a little bit of who you can become. If that happens, it is a good four years or five years in her case. Whether it is at Connecticut, Delaware or Maryland or Kentucky it doesn't matter. When kids go to college and it turns out right, they have enjoyed the experience and grown up a lot, that is the whole point. When you are recruiting somebody and they decide to come to Connecticut, you hope that is what you can do for them and that is what they can do for themselves. When they go some place else, at least you know you are recruiting the right type of kids. If the kid doesn't go to Connecticut, goes somewhere else and is a failure then you were going down the wrong path anyways. I am happy for her and her family and I am glad we can still identify talent even at this old age."


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