Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When stakes are high Geno keeps it simple for UConn

There was no lack of information to the UConn players heading into last night's game against Duke.

One of the advantages of playing a team once in the regular season and occasionally running into them during the NCAA tournament is that it is easier to pick up on the tendencies of the other team.

However, UConn's Geno Auriemma has coached in enough big games to know that too much information can sometimes be a bad thing. So he had his coaching staff ease back a little in inundating the players with every little bit of info on the Duke players.

"You know what helps me a lot is we have three coaches, Marisa (Moseley) not so much but we have two coaches on our staff, Chris Dailey and Shea Ralph that I don't know what the plans look like for D-Day, I don't know what General Eisenhower had planned and what they looked like but they weren't as thorough as some of the stuff these guys bring to practice," Auriemma said after the 22-point win over the Blue Devils. "I just look at it and said 'you guys have to be kidding me.' They'll come in and tell you what Tricia Liston did for breakfast yesterday and you can get so overloaded with information on what the other team is going to do, what do we have to do, how are we going to guard this, how are we going to guard that? What are we going to do in this situation and if you are not careful, your players go into a game more overloaded with information of what we need to do to stop them as opposed of what do we have to do to win the game, what do we have to do to be really good and that is what I mean by over coaching, don't get so caught up in what the game plan is as opposed to getting our minds right and tr to simplify it as much as possible."

What UConn did was get to the ball early and often to Breanna Stewart at the start of the game and in the second half the Huskies set up Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for five 3-pointers.

Despite some rough stretches, UConn was able to return home with an impressive win.

"There are the reasons why we come to Connecticut to play in these games," Stewart said, "Obviously they don't happen all the time but we know we have a huge target on our back and teams are always looking to give us the best they have."

While Stewart and Mosqueda-Lewis were the stars and Stefanie Dolson had her typical rock-solid effort, it would be a shame if Moriah Jefferson's game flew under the radar.

Jefferson played 34 minutes and finished with nine points, three rebounds, seven assists, three steals and just one turnover.

"I thought it was one of the best games she has played at Connecticut," Auriemma said. "The way she kind of controlled our offense and how her composure kind of fed off of everybody else's. For Moriah, she just wants to get better every day and I thought today was one of her best days."

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