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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

UConn's success is not measured on the scoreboard

In a perfect world his 30th season at the helm of the UConn women's basketball program would have featured weekly games coming down to the wire where one possession could mark the difference between success and failure.

However, Geno Auriemma and his Huskies have not allowed that to happen. The one game decided by one possession resulted in an overtime loss at Stanford in the second game of the season. Nine times the Huskies won games by more than 50 points and that number could easily have doubled if posting astonishing winning margins was Auriemma's No. 1 focus. However, he is more interested in the journey rather than the destination and puts more stock in the process than any amount of number crunching.

"If you go out and play golf, you love the game and you go out to post a certain score every time you play I think you are missing the point of what the game is about,"Auriemma said. "I know you have to put the ball in the hole but to me it about beating the golf course; it has nothing to do with the score. We play basketball and we played against South Florida, the score is irrelevant. What I am measuring my team up against is we went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring during one stretch, If we are supposed to be the best team in the country how do you do that? We try to point out things even in individuals.

"Moriah (Jefferson) picked up a couple of quick fouls in the second half and she lost a little bit of her aggressiveness. (Morgan) Tuck wants to go to the basket, they stepped in front of her a couple of times and she picked up a couple of offensive fouls. What we try to do is say 'how is the game played really, really well and how do we hope to play the game really well?' Whatever the score is, the score is. We never judge ourselves by the score because there are some games that we can make the score whatever we want t make it not that we are trying to embarrass anybody, we are trying not to."

UConn won't play again until Saturday when it faces either Central Florida or Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference. UConn played those two teams in a five-day span in January and won the games by an average score of 98-38. Still, UConn's focus is not on playing well enough to win a game, two or three in the conference tournament but to play better than it has all season long.

"The season is in three parts," UConn junior forward Breanna Stewart said. "We did exactly what we wanted for the first part of the season.

"I am trying to do as much as I can out there. I am not thinking about how many minutes I play but taking advantage of the time I am out there."

Three of the 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy hail from UConn as Moriah Jefferson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart are contenders for the most prestigious national player of the year award in women's basketball. UConn is the only program with more than one candidates. Also, Geno Auriemma is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith national coach of the year.

Mosqueda-Lewis, who scored the 2,000th points of her career and inched closer to the NCAA Division I career 3-point mark, was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week. The Freshman of the Week is Temples Tanaya Atknson, a former Career High star.

Last but certainly not least, UConn incoming freshmen De'Janae Boykin, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are three of the six finalists for the McDonald's national player of the year. The other three finalists (Asia Durr, Kalani Brown and Arike Ogunbowale) were on the Huskies' recruiting radar early on in the process.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim - Do you think Stewart breaks Maya's career UConn record of 3036 points? Or will opponents maul her and dare the 3 freshmen and 1 center transfer to beat them?

4:09 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

She won't get close to Moore's record. UConn's offense next year will look similar to this year's with Mosqueda-Lewis the only starter missing.

6:31 PM 

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