Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Milford's Schuler excited to meet up with UConn, Auriemma

Milford native Steve Schuler is not sure how his third season as the head coach at Post University is going to end but he can barely contain his enthusiasm with how it will get started.

The Eagles will be the opponent as the two-time defending national champion UConn women's basketball team plays its second and final preseason game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the XL Center.

"What a great experience and opportunity for not only our university but our players and myself,." Schuler said.

"We are looking to get better. Let's throw it on the table, we are probably not going to play anybody as good as them as a matter of fact I will put my house on that so let's try to do what we do, be solid in everything we do and enjoy the moment. We have so many fans coming, we can learn so much."

As a successful high school coach at Lauralton Hall and then a stint at Albertus Magnus College as well as being a regular at the Final Fours gives Schuler a real appreciation of what Geno Auriemma has accomplished during his Hall of Fame run at UConn.

"I get to shake hands with the best coach ever, the best team ever so for me it is a winning experience," Schuler said. "He has just done so much, what can you say about him?

"It is truly amazing what he has done. Being from Connecticut may people will call me biased but he is definitely the best coach ever. He has made women's basketball better not only in Connecticut but all over the world."

Schuler admitted that he has a young group of players with just one senior Jacquelynne Pugh, who averaged 8.6 points a season ago. The Eagles' top returning scorer is sophomore Liz Falcigno, who contributed 10.5 points per game and was tied for the team lead with 42 steals as a freshman. Falcigno will get a chance to square off against her former Mercy High teammate Sadie Edwards, a freshman guard at UConn.

"She always worked tremendously hard," Edwards said. "When I played with her not a lot of people loved basketball like she did, she all did all the little things, diving on the floor, she always dove on the floor for the ball more than anybody I have ever met. She worked really hard, I am really happy for her. She seems really happy at Post and it will be really good to get out and compete against her. It will be good to see her and her family. I am sure she is really excited to play in the XL Center so I am looking forward to it."

Schuler still sounds amazed at the series of events that resulted in the Eagles becoming the first in-state team to play an exhibition against UConn since Southern Connecticut State in 2007.

"My mother was ill and when she was in a (nursing) home, I met a gentleman there and through him I met some other people and (met UConn Senior Women's Administrator) Deb Corum. I went up to UConn, I met with her, Coach (Auriemma) and it came about."

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