Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

No introductions necessary

There have been times when NFL teams picked up somebody off waivers to take advantage of their knowledge of an upcoming opponent. UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is apparently not a huge proponent of that way of doing business.

Former Maryland guard Chloe Pavlech joined Auriemma's staff as an intern and with the Huskies playing the Terrapins at 6 p.m., it would have been easy for Auriemma to sit Pavlech in a dark room, shine an unbearably bright light into her eyes and demand that she reveals all the tendencies of her former teammates.

However, Auriemma didn't do that when former Vanderbilt guard Jasmine Lister was a graduate assistant and the Huskies played Lister's old school and he didn't do it with the Pavlech this week either.

"I think there is a natural attachment to your old school and your old coaches and your old team," Auriemma said. "I am not going to put her in a situation where I am sitting down - and nether are the other coaches - 'so Chloe, tell me ...' We aren't going to do that. Hopefully there is a part of her that wants Maryland to play great and have a great showing and hopefully there is a big part of her that wants us to win. It was the same thing with Jaz, you are not going to put them in a tough situation like that."

Pavlech had nine assists in last year's UConn/Maryland game so the returning UConn players were aware of who Pavlech was when she arrived on campus.

"Coming into a new environment is always hard but from the first day that I met her, it was always a bubbly attitude, always positive," UConn junior guard Kia Nurse said. "That is something we have seen on the court, every time we need something Chloe is right there to help you out, she has done a great job of bringing a great new energy, a great new presence to this team."

Auriemma has also been impressed with what Pavlech has accomplished since her arrival.

"She has been good," Auriemma said. "It is not easy. The hardest part of going from a player to that position that she is in right now is you are not really a coach and not a player so you are walking around, you are hanging around with the players and the coaches are like 'what's wrong with you?' If you are haning around with the coaches, the players are saying 'shhh, don't say anything.' So you have a tough line to walk until you have been in it for a while."

Speaking of Auriemma's coaching staff, he has had the luxury of having associate head coach Chris Dailey will him every step of the journey since he was hired at UConn in 1985. Assistant coaches Shea Ralph and Marisa Moseley are in their ninth and eighth season respectively.

As a point of contrast, since Moseley was hired in 2009 UConn's football team has featured three head coaches (four if you count interim head coach T.J. Weist), five offensive coordinators and four defensive coordinators. That number will be increasing as both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions as currently posted on UConn's site.

"I thought about that on the ride over, the staff, their families, it is a lot involved," Auriemma said on Tuesday which fell in between the news of Bob Diaco's firing and Randy Edsall's hiring as UConn's head coach. "It is not that simple of going on talk radio, going into a chat room saying 'fire that guy, fire this guy.'  There is a lot more into that."

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