UConn's Auriemma: "We do what we do"
So when Auriemma was asked about the comments made by Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy about UConn's dominance hurting the women's college basketball game (something that has been uttered rather frequently in the last three seasons) during today's press conference, he didn't hold back.
"He has a lot of comments from up in Boston," Auriemma said. "My (answer) is, 'don't watch.' Don't watch. Nobody's putting a gun to your head to watch. So don't watch. And don't write about it. Spend your time on things that you think are important. If you don't think this is important, don't pay any attention to it. The fact that you have to comment on it, says something about you, doesn't it? We are where we are. We are what we are. You know? We do what we do. We do what we do.
"When Tiger (Woods) was winning every major, nobody said he was bad for golf. Actually, he did a lot for golf. He made everybody have to be a better golfer. And they did. And now there's a lot more great golfers because of Tiger. So, there's a lot better writers than Dan Shaughnessy, but that doesn't mean he's bad for the game."
Naturally he was asked a different variation of the question (with more likely to be coming assuming UConn advances to the Final Four).
"If I put it in that perspective, I think over the last 20 years, we have taken a lot of really good high school players and given them opportunities to be great, and we have been given a job to do, my coaching staff and myself. They said, here's an opportunity and what are you going to do with it?
I think what we have done is we have done our jobs. We have taken this opportunity, and we have done it as well or better than anybody's ever done it in any sport. I think when you try to defend yourself against what she was talking about, the game, you come off sounding like, petty and bitter and all that other stuff, so I certainly don't want to do that.
"If the average person out there would just take a second and think to themselves, ever in my life have I ever been that good at anything that I've ever tried to do, for that long? You know what? They would understand that what we have done, regardless of who we have done it against, what sport we have done it in, what era we have done it in, we have done something that's really, really, really hard to do. And people that care about us, and the people that I care about, really appreciate it.
"Where that stands, where that stacks up ,,, Coach Wooden did something that no one will ever, ever do again. Like you could say a lot of things, nobody's ever going to hit 56 straight games again or whatever. No men's basketball coach is going to win 11 national championships or 10 national championships or seven in a row. You can pretty much make that comment and be true. It happened in an era where it was possible. So we're doing something in an era where it's possible. Will it ever happen again? I don't know. But maybe down the road, some other coach will be sitting up here talking about how in their era, they're the best at what they do.
"Tomorrow night, it could all come crashing down, and then the Boston Globe will write a big front page story about how UConn got their (butts) kicked, and then everybody will be happy."
UConn's reigning national player of the year Breanna Stewart wasn't quite as outspoken when posed a similar question.
"Well, it's funny, I just saw something about that," Stewart said. "I think it's interesting when people say that. If you look at our game yesterday, yeah, there was a huge difference in the score, but the way that we were playing, we were executing everything we needed to execute, and I know speaking for the players, we had a great time.
"People say that women's basketball is boring to watch, but when we're playing at such a high level and because we're beating everyone else, then they don't want to watch it either. So I don't know what they want us to do about it."