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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Some more history at UConn

The new Associated Press poll was released a few minutes ago and while Tennessee failing to make the top 25 for the first time since 1985 is drawing the headlines, the fact is that this marks the 200th time UConn is ranked first. As a point of reference, Tennessee is second on the list at 112 weeks atop the poll.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma is not one to focus on where his team is ranked or some of the staggering numbers the Huskies have put up since moving to No. 1 in the polls for the first time after a historic win over Tennessee back in 1995. Still, after day two of the national team training camp, he did address the Huskies' sustained excellence.

 "That is probably the big thing, the consistency," Auriemma said. "Being able to keep going, keep going, the whole thing of repeating it through different groups of kids, through different recruiting cycles and still be able (to be ranked No. 1). You will look around at what is going on around the country, it is not as easy as everybody thinks because if it was, there would be a lot more people doing it. That is something, sometimes we take it for granted because we are so focused on trying to win a national championship and that is not something that we ever talk about think about."

Hartford head coach Jen Rizzotti, who was the point guard on the first UConn team to top the polls (and first one to break into the top 10), is a court coach during the trials and she weighed in on the historic achievement.

"You are not surprised by it but when you think about the magnitude of what they've accomplished, it is really amazing that they have been able to not only reach that standard but more importantly sustain that level of success when they have that target on their back every single year," Rizzotti said. "I think the biggest desire to be No. 1 is that in that Tennessee game when we were No. 2 and we wanted to prove that we were the best and to continue it because people still thought that game was a little bit of a fluke. For us to stay undefeated and finish No. 1 was certainly a source of pride for us."

With Tennessee's streak of being ranked ending at 565 weeks, UConn has the longest active current streak at 428 weeks of being ranked followed by Stanford's run of 283 weeks.

It was also announced that the WNBA Draft will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena for the third straight time. It will mark the sixth straight time the draft is held in Connecticut. The 2016 event will be held on Apr. 14. Seattle has the No. 1 pick and the Storm are set to make Breanna Stewart the fifth UConn product to be taken first overall.

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