Alums return to watch UConn's run at history
However, Auriemma doesn't often take time to marvel at the incredible run of success even with posters, pictures and banners features images of his best players seemingly around every corner.
Recently, however, that all changed.
"One day, I don't remember when it was but I might have been going to the training room," Auriemma said, "I walked across the court and there was nobody in the building, 7 o'clock in the morning and it was dead empty, silent and when I was walking across the court I just stopped. I looked around the only time I can remember and I go 'wow.' Times like that kind of hits you with what we've done, then another time was (Tuesday) night when I saw all of our former players, you look at them, kind of shake your head and go how could one program be blessed with that many great, great players."
It's not unusual to see former UConn stars show up for the Final Four. The recent stars usually are overseas so it is hard for them to take in games during the regular season. If a tally was kept on the number of former UConn stars in attendance at a game, it is more than likely the number who made their way into the locker room after the Huskies won the national championship would have easily been the most in program history.
"It was really cool," UConn senior forward Morgan Tuck said. "There were a lot of people I haven't been able to meet yet. Just to have them come in and see how excited they were for us, to be able to spend time with the people who really made UConn what it is today is really cool."
More than once in the postseason Auriemma referenced the great players of the past and present that he has coached at UConn. He was asked about his Pyramid of Success at a press conference since there were multiple attempts to once again link him with UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden, who won 10 national titles and it gave him a chance to once again focus the attention to where he thinks it belongs - with his players.
"If you asked me where Coach Wooden's pyramid of success was I couldn't name you one of them. So my pyramid of success is the same as his. His was (Lew) Alcindor, (Bill) Walton, and Gail Goodrich, and you name them down the line. Mine is Diana (Taurasi), Maya (Moore), Stewie, that's my pyramid of success. I think that's every great coach's pyramid of success. So once you start with that then you go, 'OK, well, he got the absolute best players in America every year. We get the best players in America every year.' That's what everybody thinks."
Seeing Moore, Tina Charles, Jen Rizzotti, Rebecca Lobo, Sue Bird and Asjha Jones among the UConn players of the past in Indianapolis and clearly the Huskies don't lack for talented prodigies among its alumni base.
"Just to see all those names on the wall that you see every day in practice, to see them in person and see how much they really still care about this program, everything they put in, the legacy, we wouldn't be here without them," UConn sophomore guard Kia Nurse said.