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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

DePaul coach: National championship still goes through UConn

One of the drawbacks from DePaul and UConn no longer playing in the same conference is that the media rarely gets the chance for the entertaining post-game ping pong between head coaches Doug Bruno and Geno Auriemma.

When both programs played in the Big East Bruno was never shy about proclaiming UConn as the best team in the country much earlier than Auriemma, one of his closest friends, wanted to have to deal with such banter.

Sure enough after last night's emphatic UConn win Bruno's opening statement included the proclamation that "if anyone else is going to win the national championship, they will have to beat them."

Bruno didn't stop there. He was asked about how the Huskies have gone about replacing graduated All-Americans Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley and that really got Bruno going.

"You are not going to replace Dolson, she is a unique player," Bruno said. "Kiah Stokes is the best post player we played this season and we played Notre Dame (although star freshman Brianna Turner was injured and did not play). I don't know if there is a better post player. That sounds crazy to the UConn people but you don't get 18 rebounds against Notre Dame and have that kind of impact on the win without being pretty good. Morgan Tuck is special, we saw it. I know that Coach (Auriemma) knew she was good but I don't know if Coach knew she was going to be as good as she is or appreciate how good she is. I think she is a real special basketball player. They are starting to be able to use Morgan Tuck, (take advantage) of her versatility. They have Stewie's versatility and flexibility. You lose Dolson and gain versatility and flexibility,  you have Stokes so you can play big, when Mosqueda-Lewis starts rounding into fitness ... She is still knocking down shots while she is getting into her best place. She is coming off an injury and when you are injured, it is hard and it takes time, Kia Nurse is a special freshman, she is still a freshman but she is still a special freshman. You put all of those ingredients together and I don't even mention Moriah and the Williams kid is fighting for minutes and you have a nice little nucleus of a basketball team."

Having already played - and thrown major scares - into No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 5 Notre Dame, Bruno does have a pretty good idea of the obstacles standing between the Huskies and a third straight national title.

"Notre Dame was No. 2 or No. 1 at one point and that was a pretty convincing 20-point game. Who else is there? You have the South Carolina game and that is going to be a great test. They are No. 1 and we will find out in February and hopefully find out a second time in March, that is really the way the landscape is looking to me. I don't see anybody else. I haven't studied Texas yet, I have seen just about everybody else so I don't know how good they are. This is a very special and different (team)."

FLORIDA STATE, LSU GAMES FINALIZED
UConn continues the process of bolstering its non-conference schedule for next season.

Auriemma recently mentioned that the Huskies will be playing Chattanooga, which just knocked off Stanford.  UConn Senior Women's Administrator Deb Corum said the paperwork on that is yet to be finalized but she did say that the contracts have been signed on games against LSU (at home) and Florida State (at Mohegan Sun Arena) for next year.

You can add that to return games with South Carolina, Notre Dame, DePaul among others. Details are being worked out to play Louisville and Nebraska in the coming season or seasons as well.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Joe said...

it is really too bad that the Big East, once the nation's premier basketball conference, was forced to disband over football, which always had been a secondary sport for most of the schools.

It is great news that other quality programs around the country are willing to put UConn on their schedule. Real class.

10:51 AM 

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