Last week after UConn’s win at Maryland, accomplished on home floor of the Turtle, with two of his top nine players out of game, Terps’ coach Brenda Frese was joking around – we think – about Geno Auriemma’s plight.
Frese said that maybe if Geno lost a few more of his All-Americans, he might actually have to start coaching his team.
I don’t remember hearing a “bar-rump-bump” after she said it, but I assume she was just having some fun.
Coaches don’t say that about other coaches – in public. Do they?
Nevertheless, comments like that seem to perpetuate the idea some people have in the game that Auriemma just puts his players on auto drive after he recruits them.
After last night’s win over Boston University, New London Day columnist MIke DiMauro asked Geno if he’d heard the Frese comment and what he thought of it.
Here is what Geno said:
“It’s a recurring theme stated in different ways,” Auriemma said. “Well, of course UConn gets the best players and that’s why they win national championships.”
“That’s like saying the only reason Nick Saban wins is because he recruits a lot of pros. I thought that was the point of our job. Go out and get the best players. If we get them, make them even better. If we don’t, make the kids you do get even better, too.”
“Last time I checked, except for Louisville last year – and they had a bunch too – every team that we’ve beaten for the national championship for the most part has had five All-Americans on the floor at all times. It’s not like we’re the only ones who are getting good players.
“One thing I’m proud of is we don’t lose too many games we’re not supposed to lose. Very rarely is there an upset at the University of Connecticut. Our players are really good when they come out of high school. And they get a lot better here. They get a lot better here than they do at most other places.”
“Maryland did win a national championship and they happened to have seven high school All Americans on their team. “I don’t know a coach that wins at this level that doesn’t have high school All-Americans. Trust me. I’ve tried to do it. It’s not possible.”