Auriemma Places Players In The WNBA – Phone Calls Notwithstanding

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Kelly Faris, Mike Thibault, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Ironically, Geno Auriemma says he doesn’t take many calls from WNBA coaches and GMs about his players during the season or before the draft.

That seems very unusual, considering his players outnumbered every other college program in the league (13) last season. Six of those stars were on the Olympic team – Tina Charles and Asjha Jones [Connecticut], Maya Moore [Minnesota], Swin Cash [Chicago], Diana Taurasi [Phoenix] and Sue Bird [Seattle].

Who knows it that will change this season with Kelly Faris about to join the sorority

“I bet you that since the WNBA started I could count on one hand how many times I’ve been contacted before the draft,” Auriemma said. “So I don’t know what they [the executives] are thinking, to be honest with you. I just know that our players who play in the league end up representing themselves very well on mostly winning teams.

“And I would think that because they represent themselves that way, and because they end up on winning teams, that the coaches [in the WNBA] probably make the connection.”

“I don’t know why that is. It’s not the like the NBA or the NFL, that is for sure. It’s like our recruiting. There are no numbers that you can attach to anything that makes any sense [about evaluating a player]. If a player can throw 97 miles an hour, it doesn’t matter what league he is playing in. So he is work taking chance on. If a defensive back in college runs a 4.2, he make a team say we have to look at that guy.

But in basketball, you can’t look at a stat sheet and tell what makes a kid a good player. What they find out in football is, the first time some of those guys get hit in the face they don’t want to play anymore. You can’t measure that stuff unless you watch them play [in basketball].”

Or talk to the coach?

Some coaches do take the time; Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeves, San Antonio’s Dan Hughes and Washington coach Mike Thibault are frequently in touch. Patty Coyle was as well, when she coached the New York Liberty.

Oh yeah, former Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson called the office once to ask whether Australian center Liz Cambage was a good player. UConn returned the call and never heard back.


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4 thoughts on “Auriemma Places Players In The WNBA – Phone Calls Notwithstanding

  1. Fairfield County Fan

    Could be that UCONN’s reputation, and that of it’s players, are all that some WNBA coaches and GMs need to make their decision…and with so many games on national TV they are able to see them in action frequently. I suspect some WNBA coaches/GM’s would select a UCONN player over another because of the program’s high expectation of it’s players and it’s consistent success in player development. They pretty much know they are getting a high caliber, hard working, team oriented player.

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