At practice on Thursday, I asked Coach Auriemma, if after watching the replay of the Notre Dame loss on Monday, if he thought the Irish played better than his team did during the triple overtime loss.
You will be interested in his comments:
“I would have liked to see Notre Dame play with their two of their better players [Stef Dolson and Bria Hartley] on the bench [after fouling out] in all three overtimes.”
That makes sense. But I’m not sure I totally agree with what follows, unless he is referring to the fan base. It didn’t notice any particular outcry in the media after the triple overtime loss.
Then again, I don’t read his mail.
“The great thing about coaching at UConn is that we’re used to winning every game and winning those that come down to the wire. And we have not done that is some instances lately.
“The bad thing about coaching at UConn is that the other team is not allowed to win. And if they win, it’s only because we played badly. I’ve never heard anyone say to me after a loss, ‘Hey, you know what, those guys are really good.’ I don’t think it’s happened in 15 years.
“I don’t know if Notre Dame played better. If you look at how we played defensively and how many shots  their leading scorers [Skylar Diggins and Kayla McBride] had to take … Again, if make one more free throw no one is asking me these questions.
“If you are a player or a coach at UConn, that’s the world we live in. We are not allowed to lose. The other team is not allowed to win because if they win it’s because UConn stunk.
“And I don’t think anyone has any idea what that [mindset] does to a player and their psyche. Just think about that. They play in the only place in the country where you are not allowed to lose – ever, even to the top two teams in the country, even if it’s by one at home or in triple overtime [on the road] and by six to the defending national champion.
Does it wear on the players? What do you think? I am not complaining. I am just stating fact. I don’t know what I can do about it. It is what it is.”
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