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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winning percentage, scheduling Tennessee low on UConn Auriemma's priority list

Perhaps the only thing UConn coach Geno Auriemma cares less about that being on the verge of passing former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore to become the NCAA Division I career leader in winning percentage is a report by the Hartford Courant that ESPN is trying to schedule a game between rivals UConn and Tennessee.

"I haven't gotten any phone calls from anybody," Auriemma said about the prospects of revisiting the rivalry with Tennessee. "I don't go to bed every night wondering when we are going to play Tennessee. I really could give two (rips) if we ever play them again to be honest with you. That game doesn't mean anything to me. It might meana lot to them, it might mean a lot to a lot of people and those people are getting less and less each year. We've moved on and our rivalry with Notre Dame is just as good as any rivalry we've had with anybody. If somebody is out there actually trying to put that game together, I wish them all the luck in the world. Me personally, if it never happens, I could care less. I am not going to bend over backwards to make it happen."

UConn and Tennessee used to meet every season during the regular season and for a time played two regular games per season. However, former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt put an end to that series due to reports of her questioning Auriemma's recruiting tactics. Anybody who thought Holly Warlick being at the helm was going to suddenly result in the teams playing again were sadly mistaken."

Auriemma also hasn't given any thought to the prospects of moving by Barmore on the all-time winning percentage list with a win over SMU tomorrow, which was researched by Carl Adamec of the Manchester Journal Inquirer.

"I wasn't even away of it until somebody (Adamec) brought it up last week. I really stopped following that stuff about 25 years ago, about 20 years ago," Auriemma said. "I was acutely aware to what my record was relative to our conference where I wanted us to be relative to people in our conference relative to the old Big East. Ever since then I haven't really kept track off all the things that are out there. I know it would be unfair to Leon because he wouldn't have a chance to play Sunday and keep his standing at No. 1 if he ever gets passed by.

"When you win as many games as we have won, I guess you are going to end up getting into areas that very few people have gotten to. When I am not coaching anymore, whenever that is, I will probably look back and think about that kind of stuff. I usually don't do that.

Auriemma has a record of 887-134, good for a winning percentage of .868756. Barmore had a record of 576-87 which is a winning percentage of .868778.

Auriemma actually began his career with seven straight wins so you could say he was the NCAA Division I leader at that point but Auriemma wasn't putting too much into winning the first seven games of the 1985-86 season.

"Those seven games, that wouldn't do much for my RPI today," Auriemma said. "If we went back and counted the winning percentage of those seven teams, I don't know if that was going to get me a free dinner at my restaurant."


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