Auriemma Has Felt Jamelle Elliott’s Frustration

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Cincinnati women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Jamelle Elliott, UConn women's basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma is at the point of his coaching career where he can both enjoy and empathize with the successes and struggles former players and assistants are having as head coaches.

This season has brought much good news; milestones victories for Carla Berube (200 wins) at Tufts and Tanya Cardoza (100) at Temple. Jen Rizzotti’s work at Hartford speaks for itself.

But at Cincinnati, the progress has seen slower for Jamelle Elliott, now in her fourth season with the Bearcats. She has won only 12 conference games in 3 ½ seasons.

Prior to  UConn’s game Saturday at Cincinnati, the Bearcats were 8-10, 0-5 in the Big East, one year after they finished 16-16. Injuries and close calls are the reason.

“It is always a struggle when you take over a program,” Auriemma said. “Jamelle is pretty hard on herself. They [Cincinnati] can have the same exact injuries we have and we can withstand them because of the depth of the talent we have. But when you are building a program, and you lose a couple of key guys, [sometimes] you don’t recover from that. I know they played a couple of games that were really tough on them.”

Cincinnati, which had won just twice since Dec. 15, was blasted by Louisville and South Florida earlier this month.

Auriemma’s career began in very similar fashion. He was 43-39 in his first three seasons and won only 18 of 44 conference games before things began to get could in his fourth season.

“The first year you work on adrenaline,” Auriemma said. “You begin to believe think that once you put your fingerprints all over it [a program] that it is going to change, that you are going to be able to will it so.

“Your second and third years are a lot harder. You are so dependent on the kind of players you have and everything going right. You always wonder if you can get over a certain hump. Can you finish .500 in the league? Can you beat the top teams? Can you be competitive every single game? There are always a lot of questions you can ask yourself. It is very difficult especially at a place that hasn’t been successful for a long time.”

Auriemma spent time Friday night with Elliott, as he always does when the Huskies and Bearcats play. She received a three-year extension through 2018 last summer after the Bearcats finished 16-16.

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10 thoughts on “Auriemma Has Felt Jamelle Elliott’s Frustration

  1. Mike McManus

    I think all UCONN fans want to see Jamelle succeed and she must be totally frustrated. She needs some talented players and is no doubt competing with OSU, Xavier, and the many other colleges in her region. I’m sure that she won’t get much satisfaction after tonight’s game either. I hope Geno gives his 2nd line players plenty of playing time!

    1. Village idiot

      Hy Mike—Do you think those beating up on Cincinati (knowing the close relationship with Geno) are taking out their losses to UConn on Jamell??

      I’ve read and heard all the stuff about not letting down on a weak team–Yea, in the first half. But when you are up 90 points it is just cruel to pile it on.

      Father Taylor used to say: Easy on them boys, that may be you someday. Of course we were up by 30 (like 35 to 5)at the time. So we’d run every one of our plays 4 times before scoring again.

  2. No Wonder ESPN Televises Bowling

    That “game” was an embarrassment for WCBB. UConn “threw” the game to avoid running up the score on Cincy. How is that good for the sport?

    The sports world in CT praised Faris for her 2nd half effort against Duke. Tonight she gave less than 100%, as did the rest of the UConn starters. Say bye bye to 1st team All American.

    UConn’s 2nd team tonight will be the 1st team in 2014-15. They were horrendous against a terrible team.

    How exactly does tonight’s game help UConn get ready for Baylor and Notre Dame? Oh, that’s right. It doesn’t. Tonight was all about not making Jamelle too unhappy.

    Great lesson for kids. Everyone gets a trophy.

    1. TexasBogger

      Geno has a great tool for not embarrassing the opposing coach, in this case good friend Jamelle: Put the full bench on the floor at the same time for most of the 2nd half. There better be marked improvement prior to ’14-’15 or the final four days are over.

  3. Paul Knopick

    What does Geno have against Heather Buck? Two minutes in that game? She should have had 10, at least. Geno’s doghouse?






  5. Mike McManus

    Get real people…Geno took off the press, went to a zone defense, and sat most of his starters. I think he did what he could w/I reason to avoid embarrassing the Bearcats and the home crowd. I do agree that he could have given Heather more playing time but his top priority is to give more time to Tuck, Banks, Jefferson, and Stokes.

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