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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Presenting the best of Geno Auriemma from UConn-UCF postgame press conference

If I've learned nothing else in the nearly 20 years I've been covering the UConn women's basketball program it is when Geno Auriemma doesn't like what he sees from his team, just press the record button and let him vent.

Last year was a perfect example as Auriemma was in rare form thanks to a less than stellar offensive performance in the first half before pulling away for the 80-44 win over UCF.

Here are some of his best hits of what he had to say to us which I am sure is the watered down version of his message of his players.

"It would be great if we could call every school and (say) this is how we want to play, this is way we want you to play because this is the fun way for us to play. They (UCF) do whatever they have to do to be successful, they want to win the game so they have to do what they think they have to do to win the game and I would do the exact same thing. We didn't handle it great, we had a little chip on our shoulder towards the officials. I think our players thought the officials didn't do a good enough job of helping the UConn players look really good. Some of the players on the team think it is the officials' job to help them be really good. We are incapable of making a layup if there is anybody in the lane with us so I am sending out word to the supervisor of officials to tell the officials and I want them to get the memo that according to my players, a couple of them, their (the officials') jobs is to make sure that UConn players are not defended, nobody gets in their way, nobody tries to block their shots and if they do, the officials are supposed to tell them that is not allowed. Once we got that (stuff) cleared away at halftime, everything was pretty good

"Kesha (UCF assistant coach Nykesha Sales) was here and she reminded me when I used to be a really good coach when I could actually get guys to do exactly what I wanted them to do and if they didn't do it, I just screamed at them for 40 minutes until they did. Those days are over obviously so you have to say it a different way, you have to do certain things. It took the whole timeout to get some of our players to understand the way that this game was going to be played and to embrace the way it is played, if you want to be a great team you have to be able to win every which way once we got that squared away, we were good to go."

"All the things that Azura' does for us that are great offensively which is what? Everything. She moves without the ball, she takes up space, she has great footwork in the lane, she has become a pretty good passer, she is a huge target. The offense is so easy for her and she is not even making outside shots so when those start going in she is as good an offensive player as there is in the league or in the country maybe. However, we said, 'let's keep it under 40 and she gave up the next six points on layups and fouls so we have the only 6-6 kid who is unguardable in college basketball and we have the only 6-6 kid in college basketball who can't guard (anybody).

"They went some place, I sent Crocodile Dundee to Florida to find them, I couldn't find them. One of our problems with our guys on our bench, especially our freshmen, they are incapable of having three good days in a row, it is just not possible and until they do, they are not going to play. They looked really good when they came in. What is kind of a big takeaway tonight, those last six minutes were pretty good. Nobody closed their eyes and said this is a nightmare. I was shocked.

"I did use what happened to them in the football game as an analogy. I said do you realize that the two kids who played quarterback last night, last year they were doing the same thing you were doing so this year one kid at halftime, the best coach ever to coach college football walked in and said get ready. The guy is 18 years old so in front of 80,000 and 100,000 million watching those two guys put on a show, they are your age. I can't get you guys four minutes in a basketball game, something is wrong with that picture so until you guys start being less afraid... You need to pay more attention to what other people do in the world. The kid threw the pass to win the national championship and even if he had overthrown it, it didn't matter because it took a lot of guts to throw that pass. Even if the kid would have dropped it wouldn't matter. The kid was wide open, he actually ran a great route. Guys are not afraid no matter what age they are, you guys are afraid and as long as you act like that, you aren't going to play. Not that you don't have the ability to play, not that you don't have the talent all that other stuff."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Excellent summary, thanks. What is going on with Espinoza-Hunter?

Big Fan

9:01 PM 

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