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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Huskies eyeing glorious finish to imperfect season


If ever you needed a reminder that the members of the UConn women's basketball team live in a different world from just about anything else, I bring you the perception of the 2012-13 season.

UConn lost one game to defending national champion and top-ranked Baylor by six points and the other three losses came to No. 2 Notre Dame by one point, in triple overtime and by two points. Yet people (myself) included are asking questions this week about UConn "salvaging" a season by winning the national title.

For the sake of full disclosure, I asked Geno Auriemma if this team has made a bigger jump in its collective mindset from the end of the Big East tournament and into the Big East tournament more than any other team he has had.


"Maybe not.  Maybe not. There's been other times when we've had to readjust how we do things, who we are and recalibrate, I guess.  I remember in 2003 and 2004 we lost in the Big East Tournament, one time in the finals and one time in the semifinals, and after that we had to go back and kind of switch gears a little bit and ended up coming out and winning the national championship both of those years.
            
"I'm kind of torn about all this, you know, because I know we made some changes and I know we changed a little bit, but, like I said yesterday ‑‑ and I know a lot of you guys weren't here ‑‑ we didn't have a ten‑game losing streak during the season and then we had to like fix everything and then come in as a 9th seed and shock the world and here we are:  How did they get here?  You know?
            
"We won 30‑some games and we beat the ACC champion by 30, the Big Ten champion by 30, the Pac‑12 champion by 26, and the Southeast Conference champion by 30.  So we didn't sneak into the tournament.  We just had to make a couple adjustments to how we thought and get a couple kids to kind of step outside their little world they lived in that was not helping them. So in terms of how much we've changed as a team, it looks like a lot on the outside to what you're seeing, but internally it wasn't that much.  It was just a few little things that had to be adjusted."

It is a bit of a double-edged sword. Players come to UConn because they want to compete for a national championship every single year but once they get here, they quickly realize the fishbowl they reside in.


"You know that when you get here," UConn senior guard Kelly Faris said. "If you don't understand how to handle that then this is not the place for you and when you get here as a freshman you will learn how to handle situations like that and understand the expectations. That is what makes this program what it is. If there is anything less that expected then you are every other school in the country. This is different because you lose a couple of games and it is like 'dang, you guy didn't do so well this season.' When you sit and think about, we only lost so many games but as a player and as a part of the program you are thinking along those lines, we should have won that game, this game and we shouldn't have a loss."

For the first time since the 1992-93 season UConn failed to win either the Big East regular season or tournament title but none of that will matter if the Huskies beat tonight to win the national title.



"That is how it is when you come to Connecticut, they win so often and they have so many undefeated seasons," UConn junior guard Bria Hartley said. "If we end this year with a national championship, I think it is a pretty great season."




2 Comments:

Blogger James Kerwin said...

True UConn Fans have "hopes" not expectations. We love those kids in any way they come. 29 wins good 35 wins very good 39 wins great. NC championship simply freaking wonderful. Lose the NC championship--disappointed for the girls, but for me there is always next year. I learned that as a Brooklyn Dodgers fans.
If you can't love these women and respect what they do--you are not a Uconn Women's fan.
Geno has expectations, and so does his kids. But those are his and their expectations and the media.

Don't put those thoughts on us True Blue Huskie Blue fans.

5:53 PM 
Blogger MikeMC said...

I agree with Kerwin's comments. I look forward to every new season and the new additions to the team. I feel sorry for Brianna Banks season-ending injury and I want nothing more than for Kia Stokes to come on strong at some point in time. I detest the bloggers who always want to fault the coaches or even the players and am a nervous wreck before big games like this. Every UCONN women's season is special to me and other "true blue fans."

7:33 PM 

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