Auriemma Says Team Will Be Back -- Po...

Auriemma Says Team Will Be Back -- Politics, University of Conn...

There are 56 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Apr 7, 2008, titled Auriemma Says Team Will Be Back -- Politics, University of Conn.... In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

T AMPA, Fla. - The smarter team won. Whether the team with superior players won, well, that's to be debated in Connecticut until Elena Delle Donne shows up next fall and Geno Auriemma breaks out the basketballs ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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CT AAU D1 Coach

Hartford, CT

#1 Apr 7, 2008
Geno is right.. They will be back and will match the feat of three straight National Championships.
Outcoached

Hartford, CT

#2 Apr 7, 2008
First of all, this is a tournament. You have to win six games against good opponents. And the hotest team wins the tournament. Period. It does not name the "best team" in the country. Stanford is hot right now, no doubt about it! UCONN got out played last nite, or did they??? Geno looked like a deer in the headlights at times and then he had that winey thing going on. Those two things are not going to win him a National Title. He was unable and/or unwilling to make adjustments, or did not recognized what was going on against his team. That sometimes happens when you've never had to make those adjustments because you're always winning against less formitable teams. He got out coached. Don't blame this game on injuries or poor Dixon. And don't give me that timeout crap either Geno.This team was capable, it just w-a-s n-o-t coached properly.

Since: Mar 08

New Haven, CT

#3 Apr 7, 2008
We're proud of the UConn team. They came up short but they didn't give up at the end. Geno tried to make adjustments with the three guard set but Stanford had all their "guns" working. Without Mel and Kelena they were handicapped and truth be known UConn advanced quite a bit considering the loss of those two premier players. Geno was NOT outcoached. UConn had a bad night and several key shots that would have turned the tide in this game just didn't go in the basket. As As Ct AAU wrote, "They will be back". Thank you Geno, coaches AND players for an exciting and successful season.
CTisHOME

Glastonbury, CT

#4 Apr 7, 2008
Geno has lost his ability to connect with the girls. It is time to cart his wiseguy attitude onto a second rate school.
MDct

East Granby, CT

#5 Apr 7, 2008
Geno's wise guy attitude only goes so far. Some of his remarks before the game made me shake my head--you expect better judgement from the "adult" in charge. Maybe too much success makes you a little arrogant.
Maya Moore's pre gamestatement about getting off quickly offensely so they wouldn't have to expend so much energy on defense was indicative of the wrong approach beforehand. You'd better be ready for 40 minutes of all out play at the Final Four.
It Was up to Geno and the coaches to set the game plan, and yes, I also wondered why he didn't call timeouts to make adjustments when the undisciplined offense was going haywire. These are after all still young students, though we tend to forget that.

One and done. A string but no ring.

If Geno gets the awards for victory, then he shoulders equal responsibility for defeats.

BY the way, I still think UConn had a great season and I thank the team for all the enjoyment and thrills they provided.
Donald Huffmire

Rochester, NH

#6 Apr 7, 2008
In my opinion, this was a coaching loss due to many mistakes by Geno not a loss by the UConn players. Why didn't he start two of his best players, Tina Charles and Charde Houston? Why did he take out Charles at the end? Why was Dixon playing? Why does McLaren start and play instead of Charles? Why aren't there any plays for Maya Moore? The announcers said there were none. Why did he put in his second team at the end of the first half? Where was the teamwork? This is a disorganized, dysfunctional team. Why did they use a zone defense against Wiggins and an excellent three's shooting team? Why did Geno let Swanier and Montgomery dribble up and shoot without passing off to Maya Moore? Why was Dixon playing at the end? In my opinion, UConn would have won this game with better coaching.
The Gran Sasso Girls

Westerly, RI

#7 Apr 7, 2008
Congratulations to our Huskies for making it to the Final Four!
But... this will not be their FINAL.
We'll do just fine come '09!
We would have loved to see them take the whole prize,but last night just wasn't their night.
It's not a "who's to blame" thing at all, it just happened that Stanford was on top of their game and we weren't!
We hope that Stanford is on top of their game on Tuesday and take Tenn.!
They deserve the win!
Thank you Huskies for a GREAT comeback season!

Since: Mar 08

New Haven, CT

#8 Apr 7, 2008
Let's see. UConn goes 36-2. AP Coach of the year, Geno A. Lack of depth at the guard spot; Mel and Kelena out for the season. Lights out shooting by Stanford. Now the "boo birds" and armchair coach critics want to tar and feather the Geno. Give me a break.
we will be back

North Adams, MA

#9 Apr 7, 2008
Those who are criticizing auriemma just ask yourself these questions, are you in the hall of fame, have you been to the final four 9 times I didnt think so. You just gotta give stanford credit. Honestly im not that suprised that Uconn lost this game, a bunch of times they came back from double digit deficits, if your down by double digits against a great team which stanford is you wont come back, of course its dissapointing but this loss is by no means an upset. Uconn had a great year they won everything this year except the national championship. This team will go into the offseason angry, as will the uconn men.
Jim

United States

#10 Apr 7, 2008
It is fine to take shots at Geno and put the blame on him for the loss, but the fact remains he was not out there shooting the ball (at a less than blistering 39%) or leaving Candice Wiggins alone for two consecutive, morale killing, unopposed three point shots. Add to that the fact they were out-rebounded by a pretty good margin (45-37) and you have the recipe for a loss.

But instead of hoisting Geno by his petard, why not simply accept the fact that the UConn team on the floor last night was outplayed by a team that had a hotter hand and played the cards they were dealt perfectly?

To even get this far these players and coaching staff should have hands clapping for them, instead of fingers pointing at them.

39-2 for the season. Yes that is not quite as good as 40-0, but it is nothing to be getting your panties in a bunch over either.
Jim

United States

#11 Apr 7, 2008
Sorry for the typo, they were 36-2 not 39-2

Since: Mar 08

New Haven, CT

#12 Apr 7, 2008
Well said Jim.
Cute Post

Hartford, CT

#13 Apr 7, 2008
DonCC wrote:
We're proud of the UConn team. They came up short but they didn't give up at the end. Geno tried to make adjustments with the three guard set but Stanford had all their "guns" working. Without Mel and Kelena they were handicapped and truth be known UConn advanced quite a bit considering the loss of those two premier players. Geno was NOT outcoached. UConn had a bad night and several key shots that would have turned the tide in this game just didn't go in the basket. As As Ct AAU wrote, "They will be back". Thank you Geno, coaches AND players for an exciting and successful season.
Donny, nice post, but your analysis and your excuses are way off. And if the UCONN girls had won the National Championship this year, would we have to put an asterisk next to that entry?? "**Won in 2008 without Mel and Kelena". That's not how a "team" works. Geno w-a-s definately outcoached. He had the guns to win that game, but he had to "coach" them to the win. Part of being a coach, especially at that level, is being able to recognize and adjust. You mentioned the "three guard set". That was only a small part of that game. There were other aspects that needed to be adjusted both on offense and defense. All Geno could talk about was slowing his "guys" down with timeouts. Really Geno???, is that how you slow an offense down??? And then what happens when you've got 16 seconds left on the game clock and no timeouts??? And what about all those "ass-istant" coaches that he has on the bench that should be feeding him information and analysis minute by minute??? Big help, eh??
Agree

Hartford, CT

#14 Apr 7, 2008
Jim wrote:
It is fine to take shots at Geno and put the blame on him for the loss, but the fact remains he was not out there shooting the ball (at a less than blistering 39%) or leaving Candice Wiggins alone for two consecutive, morale killing, unopposed three point shots. Add to that the fact they were out-rebounded by a pretty good margin (45-37) and you have the recipe for a loss.
But instead of hoisting Geno by his petard, why not simply accept the fact that the UConn team on the floor last night was outplayed by a team that had a hotter hand and played the cards they were dealt perfectly?
To even get this far these players and coaching staff should have hands clapping for them, instead of fingers pointing at them.
39-2 for the season. Yes that is not quite as good as 40-0, but it is nothing to be getting your panties in a bunch over either.
I agree with your first paragraph. And I'm not blaming or taking shots at Geno, I'm just saying he was out coached. He was not winning that entire game, but yet, made little or no adjustments. When you're running down the court on offense and pull up for a 15+ footer with no one else in the paint, you've g-o-t to adjust your offense.(this is why they were out rebounded!!!). When Candice is burning you with three pointers, t-r-y the box and one until they start beating you another way. I saw none of that. So no, you're right, Geno was not out there shooting the ball, but that's not his job. His job is to c-o-a-c-h, and quite honestly, he looked like a deer in the headlights!!
Andrew

Salt Lake City, UT

#15 Apr 7, 2008
Relax. UConn had a great year. We're just spoiled and expect national titles every year. As for you knuckleheads that are calling for Geno to change his approach...I don't think so. A trip to the Final Four is not a bad year. It's his attitude and ability to push the girls that make it possible to achieve greatness.
Disco

Manchester, CT

#16 Apr 7, 2008
Please do us a favor, when you jump off the bandwagon, please stay off!
Chuck Veranis

Mount Dora, FL

#17 Apr 7, 2008
I don't blame the coaching or the players effort. Right from the start, the ball just would'nt go in for us. Great team, great girls!!!

Since: Mar 08

New Haven, CT

#18 Apr 7, 2008
Cutie Post...News Flash. Sometimes the better team does NOT win the championship or get to play in the championship game. Just ask the New England Patriots, undefeated until the Super Bowl. I doubt if anyone would blaim their coach for the loss. Presenting a play by play analysis of what went wrong in the loss to Stanford does nothing but critique ONE bad game. Many of Stanford's baskets were amazing and they deserve all the credit for their win. Blaming Geno and the rest of the coaching staff only rubs salt in the wound for all involved, including many loyal fans who were with the UConn program in their formative years. If you were able to ask the players they'd all admit that they were "off" in the game. They'll be back and stronger, next year AND more mature as well.
afan

New Haven, CT

#19 Apr 7, 2008
I'd like Jeff Jacobs, or somebody else who has the insight he has, to take a look at why colleges are permitted to abuse amateur athletes. Race horses are treated better than UConn women basketball players. A horse usually has 14 days between races and never has to endure stressful training sessions. UConn's women BB players often play three games in 10 days and between contests have everyday, game-intensive workouts. Ever wonder why Mel Thomas and Kalana Greene blew out their knees? They wore them out. If players don't practice at 100 mph they risk riding the bench on game days . The outcome of UConn vs. Stamford would have been different if Thomas and, Greene were able to play and also if Brittany Hunter (an injured knee casualty) could have played more minutes. Universities teach, but their's one lesson UConn needs to learn: Stop abusing your athletes.
he is still the greates

Lincoln Park, NJ

#20 Apr 7, 2008
The article is a bit strange: Stanford with higher IQ? I think Genor Auriemma is an absolute basketball genius. His teams are even more interesting to watch then the North Carolina and UCLA men's teams under Dean Smith and John Wooden.

To be honest, UConn hasn't really had the top talent for several years now. Although we have Tina Charles and Maya Moore, Rutgers probably has had more overall talent for at least the past couple of years. And every year Tennessee lands more top-rated recruits than UConn. Yet Geno continues to make superb use of slightly less talented players. Case in point: Ketia Swanier, an un-recruited guard who went for terrible to terrific over the course of four years and earned player of the game honors for the regional NCAA final game. That's all Geno.

Next year Geno will have a team that really does equal any team in talent: Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Elena Della Donne, Kalana Green coming back from injury, freshman phenom Tiffany Hayes with Kaili McClaren coming off the bench (she needs to get in much better shape to be a real star), and Lorin Dixon perhaps a factor, or perhaps not, depending on how she develops herself this summer.

That '08/'09 team will face an LSU with all of their starters gone, a Tennessee team with four of five starters gone, a Rutgers team with its two best players gone, a Maryland team with most of its starters gone, and same with Stanford.

UConn's big hole will be at point guard, that Renee Montgomery filled so well, and Ketia Swanier filled even better over the last part of the season. Ketia's gone, and someone will have to dish the ball off to Renee and others to keep the scoring going, and avoid the defensive pressure. Elena Della Donne, at 6'5", won't be doing that. Tiffany Hayes? A freshman point guard taking the team to the national championship? Not likely. Lorin Dixon? Problematic. So UConn still will have seven players, but a questionable point guard spot.

Good, but great? Hmmm... I'd love to see Jeff Jacobs ask Geno and write an article about it.

In any case, thanks to the UConn Huskies for another enjoyable, wonderful season.

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