On another remarkable night for UConn, two quotes from Geno Auriemma stood out in the moments following the Huskies’ 105-49 win over Providence.
The first was his comment about UConn’s wide advantage from the foul line, where the Huskies were 24 of 30 and the Friars just 2 of 4.
You’ll recall how often this season Geno has subtly (and no so much) talked about how much trouble the Huskies have sometimes getting to the foul line – especially against Notre Dame.
“We generally don’t get to take a lot of free throws against Catholic schools,” Auriemma said smiling. “Tonight was an exception. Maybe the Pope’s retirement had something to do with it. The officials were a little lax, not paying attention as much.
“But free throws are just a function of how much you are moving [as a team]. When you are standing around a lot, you don’t get to the free throw line as much. I thought we had pretty good movement, our cuts were sharp. We probably dribbled into the lane more than we have in a while and all those things lead to putting yourself in position to get fouled. To me, it’s such an important part of the game that you would be silly not to try and take advantage of it. And I will be the first to say that we haven’t done as good a job of that as we have in the past this season.”
The other comment relates to visiting Almuni Hall perhaps for the last time as UConn’s coach. If the Catholic 7 leave the Big East as promised, this likely will be the Huskies final trip to Providence.
To commemorate the occasion, Auriemma had the chance to marvel at the renovation of historic facility, built in the 1950s. Gone are the bleachers, replaced by sharp-looking black high-backed seats. The place does look great in black and silver.
“I have always loved this place,” Auriemma said. “Providence is an example of what you can do [improving facilities] if you put your mind to it. This place is beautiful. I told them [Providence administrators and coaches] that when I walked in I said, ‘Wow.’ This is nothing like you come to remember of the place after 25 years. This place has a lot of great memories.
“And we had a lot of great games against Providence. As a matter of fact, when Bob Foley was coaching here, someone asked me once early in my career what my goal was for UConn. I him, ‘Man, I just want to be as good as Providence. And we will be OK.’”