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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

UConn's Auriemma on backlash: "I don't know what the right answer is"

Although you may see posts and tweets proclaiming that Geno Auriemma is laying the blame for the scorn heading his program's way due to their incredible dominance is due to it being a women's sport, that is not an accurate characterization of his comments on today's conference call.

Auriemma actually stated that he has no idea why the dynasty he has created is viewed with a negative connotation by some but did throw out some theories.

Here's what he said

"The easiest answer is it is women's sports so the people who write, for the most part, are men; the people who follow sports a lot who have opinions that are quick to voice their opinions are men," Auriemma said. "So the easy answer, I wouldn't say it is the right answer, but the easy answer is that it is a male bias and that is easy. Because we are in the news when we do something, when we have been in the news and we are thrown out there against a lot of people's wishes so it is as if it is our fault or that the women's game is not a sport, it is a joke."

And then there is this from Auriemma

"The right answer, I don't know what the right answer is, I have no idea," Auriemma said. "We do what we do, the people who appreciate it, appreciate it. It is a constant battle, it is a constant fight to prove we are legitimate, to prove we are worthy of some of the attention that we get but what is the absolute right answer? I don't know but I don't have the right answer. Maybe because it is basketball and it is easy to compare. What other sport are you going to compare it to. If there was a women's professional football league, maybe they would compare it to the (New England) Patriots, if there was a basketball league, they would compare it to the Yankees, I don't know. I just know that what we do is really hard to do, what these three seniors (Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck) in particular and what this team has done is really hard to do. If there are people who don't appreciate it, that is fine I am not asking you to but don't demean those who do appreciate it, that is all."

UConn has won its last 73 games, all by at least 10 points. It is the second longest streak in NCAA Division I women's basketball history with the Huskies also holding the first and third longest streaks. UConn's average margin of victory is 40.3 points just short of the record of 40.6 set by last year's team and the Huskies will have the top six marks in NCAA Division I women's basketball history in scoring margin with four of the top five entries coming in the last seven seasons. The 1995-96 Louisiana Tech and 2001-02 UConn teams are the only women's Division I squads to lead the country in both scoring offense and defense in the same year. The Huskies are attempting to accomplish that feat in back to back seasons.

The conversation has intensified during the NCAA tournament when the Huskies won their first three games by 52.7 points per game before "only" topping Texas by 21 to punch a ticket to the Final Four for a record ninth season in a row.

Time for some women's sports history,

North Carolina won 14 of the first 16 women's soccer championships including nine in a row. As impressive as the 21 national titles won by the Tar Heels from 1982-2012 might be, consider that the seniors on the 1993 national championship team had a 75-0 record in their final three seasons while the Tar Heels lost one game in eight seasons. In softball UCLA and Arizona have 20 national titles between them including 10 in a row while either UCLA or Arizona played for the national title in 21 consecutive seasons. Maryland has 11 women's lacrosse championships including seven straight from 1995-2001 while the Old Dominion field hockey and Georgia gymnastics programs have matched UConn's total of 10 national titles. Then there are the indoor and outdoor track and field programs at Louisiana State which won 11 indoor titles from 1987-2004 while winning 11 straight outdoor championships with 13 of the program's 15 titles coming during those years. Villanova has won nine women's Division I cross country titles including six in a row from 1989-94  Minnesota has won four of the last five women's hockey titles. If Minnesota had won the 2014 title, all 16 titles would have been won by Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth.

"We are not even the most dominant women's program in the country when you look at Penn State volleyball, North Carolina soccer but because those sports, there is not a lot of national television coverage, there is not a lot of talk about it, they get to just do their thing," Auriemma said. "God bless them. I am really happy for them and proud of them because they have set a standard that we should all aspire to be at."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geno, there is good, but not great, TV coverage for Women's College Volleyball.
Guess you are not watching. ;-)

Women's College Volleyball is televised from September thru December.

Big Ten Network telecasts 2+ matches per week.
SEC Network telecasts 2+ matches per week.
PAC12 Network telecasts 2+ matches per week.
ESPNU telecasts 2+ matches per week.

Root Sports and other smaller networks televise Women's College Volleyball for universities which are not in the Power 5 conferences.

ESPN3, BTN2Go, PAC12 show 5 to 10 times the number of women's college volleyball matches *online*.

ESPN and SEC have *pathetic* TV coverage of Women's College Soccer.
So dismal they should be *ashamed*.

ESPNU and SEC televise an enormous amount of Women's Colleg Softball.

3:50 PM 
Anonymous Joe said...

Geno is certainly right about one thing: most people have no idea whatsoever about how hard his players work in practice every day, and how difficult it is to accomplish what they have accomplished.

5:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delusional if anyone thinks that other WCBB teams do not practice hard. Delusional if anyone thinks that UConn practices are the primary reason for UConn's 10 NC.

Auriemma and CD have coached UConn for 30 seasons. All their teams practiced hard. But all of their teams did not win a national championship.

UConn would not have won 3 straight NC and 73 straight games if Breanna was playing elsewhere. UConn failed to win a NC in between Diana and Maya. UConn failed to win a NC in between Maya and Breanna.

UConn teams still practiced hard in the seasons between those players.

People are extremely delusional if they think Auriemma and CD take 1990 UConn level talent every season, make them practice hard every day, and turn them into national champions.

Practicing hard does not guarantee a NC. Teams need one super star or multiple stars, including UConn. Name two WCBB national championship teams after the 1994 season that did not have at least one All American.

Holdsclaw, Taurasi, Parker, Maya, Griner, Stewart. No coincidence that 14 national championship teams since the 1995 UConn team had transcendent players. It takes more than just hard practices.

10:23 AM 

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