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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Geno on New Orleans memories, Stef Dolson's condition and Brittney Griner to the NBA

There's nothing quite like Geno Auriemma's 30-45 minutes on the annual pre-Final Four conference call as local and national media get to ask UConn's outspoken women's basketball coach any subject and get his unfiltered take.

This afternoon's call was no different. 

Let's start with his memories of the two previous Final Fours in New Orleans as the Huskies' first Final Four in 1991 was played in the Big Easy as was the 2004 event as the Huskies won their third straight title.

"We are 1-1," Auriemma said. "The first time we came down here in 1991, we were like Louisville or Cal, nobody expected us to be there but we came down and enjoyed every minute of it. When we came down in 2004, everybody expected to win the national championship and we did. As far as the city is concerned, I love it. I have been there a bunch of times and certainly enjoyed the atmosphere. I am looking forward to coming down there. My family, I know are looking forward to coming down there. My family, especially in 2004 after the national championship game really enjoyed themselves."

Both UConn director of athletics Warde Manuel and senior women's administrator Deb Corum have tied to Louisiana and that was something Auriemma also addressed.

"Warde, everybody has heard about my new contract and that was contingent with us getting to the Final Four. Warde being from New Orleans, there was a clause in my contract that it was going to be ripped up if we didn't win and get him back to his city. He has been absolutely fantastic for me, for our team, for our athletic department and our university and bring Debbie up here has been like a dream come true for me. I have never had an advocate for our program in all the years that I have been here who works as hard as Debbie does to make sure the basketball program is the best it can be. I am really in great company and I am really happy for them."

Auriemma was also asked for an update on junior center Stefanie Dolson, who is dealing with a stress fracture in her right ankle.

"Haven't done anything since Monday night and she is in great hands," Auriemma said. (UConn athletic trainer) Rosemary Ragle and our medical staff are spending every waking moment that they can (with Dolson). We are going to get together later this afternoon so I will know a little bit more. Obviously she is not going to be 100 percent come Sunday night but I thought she was magnificent over the weekend to get 21 rebounds on one leg against those two teams is pretty amazing. I am hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that we are going to get her best effort but I am not sure about that."

Then came a question which elicited a response which could make national news when he called Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban's suggestion that he may draft Baylor's Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft "a sham" and "ludicrous."

"Obviously Mark Cuban is a genius because he has been able to parlay some great ideas into a billion dollar industry and he has done a great job as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he has won an NBA championship and he has done an awful lot for basketball," Auriemma said. "His genius would take a huge hit if he drafted Brittney Griner. If Brittney Griner tried to make an NBA team, I think it would be a public relations thing and I think it would be a complete sham. The fact that a women right now could play in the NBA and compete successfully against the level of player that they have is absolutely ludicrous."


Anonymous Joe said...

Geno is absolutely right about Griner and the NBA. She wouldn't have the physical strength to compete against grown men. It would be a publicity stunt pure and simple.

9:55 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 6-8 she would probably play small forward and go up against Lebron,Carmelo,Paul Pierce,and a host of other talented NBA players. She would be embarrassed every time she went up for a shot and be posterized in every game she played. That being said I Love Britney's game and she is going to make an instant impact in the WNBA. Her new team is going to be instant contenders.

1:36 PM 

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