Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Passion still burns for UConn's Auriemma

Predictably one of the first comments on Twitter after I posted the final score in last night's game was a shot at Geno Auriemma for winning a game by 60 points. Trolling is a popular practice on social media and I am sure the person who wasted my and everybody else's time posting the comment didn't bother watching even one second of the game.

However, after the game, Auriemma addressed the subject of UConn's dominance without flinching. UConn went 100-6 to go from 600 to 700 wins, 100-6 to move from 700 to 800 wins and were 100-6 since Auriemma won game No. 800. He was asked if it was good for the women's game that the Huskies have won 94 percent of their games to go from 600 to 900 wins.

"It is not my fault that it is not getting done at other places," Auriemma said. "I am not condemning anybody, I am not bragging, I am saying we are going to keep doing what we are doing, we are not going to stop. If there is some coach out there that hears this, sees this and says I am going to beat their (butts), we need more of that but I not going stop setting the bar and in fact I am going to try to keep raising the bar I don't want to stop setting the bar and it is up to everybody else to try to get there.

"I feel like for CD and I when we first got here, somebody gave us a blank canvas, they gave us some paint, paint brushes and we got to start working. It has taken us 30 years to paint this picture of what we have. An awful lot of coaches along the way have gotten the same canvas, same paint brushes, the same paint, maybe even a better canvas, a better set of paint brushes and a better set of paints. It is not like we have done something that hasn't been done.

"A lot of times we were just throwing the paint up there and hoping it would stick. We had no idea what the future was going to bring. We caught lighting in a bottle and we knew what to do with it. We were fortunate enough that when that window opened in '91 and then '95 came along and that was it. There are a lot of factors for it and that is why it is hard for me to describe how it happened because we aren't doing it that much different than anybody else is doing it. I am doing it with better people."

Auriemma was quick to clarify he didn't mean a better quality of human being but better assistant coaches, better players, better administrators.

For as long as I have covered this team I have received complaints from people about the margin of UConn's victories. It didn't matter that walk-on Tierney Lawlor played the final 8:42 last night or that the high-scoring duo of starters Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson checked out of the game for the final time with 13:30 left, Breanna Stewart's night was done with 11:42 left on the clock and Kia Nurse headed to the bench with 8:42 remaining. Still, people were screaming about the Huskies winning by 60 points. "Some record" or "classy coach" was a popular refrain as it is on many nights. The fact is this, Auriemma's job is to get his team to play as well as it can and he is offering no apologies for doing that. He admitted saying that the best thing to happen to this team would be for another squad to show up and run the Huskies off the court. Maybe South Carolina will be able to do that in five days, maybe not. But when it comes to UConn's dominance, it is a two-edge sword as it is a tribute to what they have been able to accomplish but also a sign that the rest of the women's basketball world with a few exceptions have allowed Auriemma, associate head coach Chris Dailey to put together a true dynasty with little resistance.

Sadly, it would not shock me in the least if Auriemma were to reach 1,000 wins by going 100-6. It's pretty clear what the Huskies will be doing over that time period and it will be up to other teams in the country to rise up to the level they play at rather than ask the Huskies to play down to the level of other programs.


Anonymous Joe said...

One of the very hardest things to do in all of sports is for the favorite to win consistently.

Every other team wants to bring their best game to the court, every time.

Even fans love the underdog story.

The discipline and character required to win convincingly and consistently as a favorite is vastly under-estimated by most people.

12:20 PM 
Anonymous Joe said...

Jim, thanks for posting Geno's remarks in full. I can tell that for the previous blog post I didn't capture what he said nearly as well as you did.

12:21 PM 
Anonymous Genosguy said...

I've hated the blow out games that happen frequently with Geno. Then I asked myself: How do you allow your team to hold back and allow the bad team to play within 15 points of you then demand they beat Baylor or ND with determination??? You don't!! You play with intensity and determination EVERY Game--or become one of the bottom feeders.
Now I get antsy when Uconn is only ahead by 15 at the half---I've seen those games turn around.
Geno's teams can and do lose--witness the fiasco at Stanford.
The competition is improving --witness the log jam of good teams
below number 6 -- Parity exists but not with the top 3 or 4 teams or usually Geno's teams.

1:09 PM 
Blogger Anthony Coppola said...

Jim this is a classic. Great job

Go Huskies


8:59 PM 
Blogger Radylady said...

You do read so many of the "classless coach" and "running up the score" regarding UConn's dominance in many places on social media. I am so glad that you made the point here that answers those folks who appear to just not get it.

Great blog. thanks.

12:41 PM 

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