Geno Auriemma(isms) From Friday’s Press Briefing

by Categorized: ACC, Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

The coach of the nation’s top-ranked Division I women’s basketball team, Mr. Auriemma, on the big game to be played Saturday at Gampel Pavilion with the No. 5 Fighting Irish of South Bend, Ind.

On losing 4 of last 5 to ND, including 2 straight national semifinals

“They were really good when they needed to be and we sucked when we needed to be [good]. That leads to one team winning four out of five.

“They are as good as any team we will play, so if you play poorly, or don’t make plays when you need to, they are good enough to beat you.”

On ND freshman guard Jewel Loyd, a high school All-American who played USA Basketball with some of the UConn kids

“I think Jewel Loyd [freshman guard] may be their best player right now. She is a great individual talent. She can take the ball and score from most parts on the floor. She is different than anyone they’ve had there in a long time. That makes the [playing] experience they’ve lost [three seniors] not seem that drastic. She gets shots.”

On playing ND 11 times in last three seasons

“What makes this different is that our styles of play are so similar. That is not always ideal. Whenever u can, you like to play a team that is opposite, someone with a totally different style of play so you both are uncomfortable with whatever each of you is doing. We have many of the same concepts.”

On scheduling ND in the future once it leaves BEast for ACC, especially if the Catholic 7 bolt immediately.

“I don’t know where it stands in terms of priority [for future scheduling]. But I am sure there will be many discussions with ND about how we move forward. So much will depend on what the Big East looks like, what the eventually timetable is [for expansion or contraction]. I don’t when that will happen. But I am sure there will be a lot of conversation once the dust all settles.”

On whether he believes the last two teams that lost to ND in the Final Four were legit national championship contenders

“Any time you get to the Final Four, you are a national championship [contender]. Plain and simple. If you get there and don’t win, well, then you’ve passed up an opportunity.

“But I said before last season began that we weren’t a national championship team and that we’d have to get lucky [to win one]. The year before in Indianapolis, we played terribly and the officials helped [Notre Dame]. So to win a national championship, you need to be both good and lucky. Just one of them will not be enough. You can be really good and still lose.”

On Stanford

“The Stanford game was a bit of an anamoly. That is not what Stanford is. I don’t think Saturday’s game will be 61-35. That I am sure of.”


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27 thoughts on “Geno Auriemma(isms) From Friday’s Press Briefing

  1. Master Mind

    FEDDYKOOL–You dare to argue with a decision Geno has made?? Is this your disloyalty coming out. (Kidding)

    As a big suck up–I agree with Geno, ND will give UConn a run for their money. If they don’t –put the NCAA crown on Uconn NOW.

    His analysis of Loyd and the effect of the ND players that graduated matches mine. I’m such a suck up.

    Seriously—Mick McManus and Steve Gee, people I respect also seem to think this will not be a cake walk against ND.

    1. Steve Gee

      I don’t know……
      Everyone is expecting a tight game, so maybe this one won’t be all that close.
      Huskies by 16?

  2. Village Idiot

    Geno mentioned the REFS—Novesel was a master on jumping into you (creating the foul) and getting the Refs to call a foul on the defenders. That has to be fixed in WBB.

    Last year Uconn played with a limited bench and Freshmen.
    Say what you want about talent and abilities experience in Div 1 cannot be created in USA basketball. The pressure is more intense. I think Uconn’s starting 7 can handle any pressure brought on by ND defense.

    1. Steve Gee

      I don’t think initiating contact and getting the call will ever be “fixed”. It’s part of the game, and some just have a knack for it.

      Perspective has much to do with it. Both from the vantage point of the refs, as well as what team you’re rooting for.

      Shea Ralph knows a bit about initiating contact for the “two and one”. And when she was doing it, I don’t remember anyone in Husky Nation complaining. I know I wasn’t.

      1. Baylor 9-1 FKA "Baylor 80-0"

        Initiating contact can be a difficult call for the ref’s. What Novesel was doing was blatantly diving into vertical defenders. I can make the correct call on that one since I have no allegiance and I always look for fairness in the game. After the ref’s allowed Indiana to waltz through to a championship in the WNBA, I can’t watch that league anymore. IDK if the attempt is to share the games popularity across regions but WBB needs to be careful they don’t screw it up. Talent, determination, energy, heart and luck need to win a contest not politics.

      2. Palimpsest

        Steve Gee—I’m not doubting you. But I have almost all the games Shea played on DVD. Can you give me an instance of a game where Shea actually jumped into an opposing player.

        I don’t remember her doing it, but memory is a funny thing. Sometimes you remember what some one else was doing. But if you can–Id like to dig them out and see her doing it. I know Ralph was considered by other teams as a “dirty player”.

        1. Steve Gee

          Well Palimpsest, first-off, I don’t think I EVER said or wrote anything suggesting that Shea “actually jumped into an opposing player”, so I’m not sure what kind of gymnastics you’re employing to jump to such a conclusion.
          What I did allude to however is that Shea had a knack for initiating contact during the act of shooting that would result in an “and one”.
          If you ever watched Shea play the game, you really should know that. It’s one of the things she was known for.
          This is in no way a negative comment on her play, but was just something she was good at.
          I’m sure a simple google search would provide additional insight for you.
          If indeed you have her games on tape, go watch and enjoy.

          1. Palimpsest

            Steve Gee– you post 04/5:06 last paragraph. About Shea initiating contact sure implies she “jumped into” an opposing player.
            I guess you have no basis for your comment. I accept that–it’s an opinion.
            So–allow others to have an opinion. Don’t act like a blustering idiot and go google yourself.

          2. Steve Gee


            My post:”Shea Ralph knows a bit about initiating contact for the “two and one”. And when she was doing it, I don’t remember anyone in Husky Nation complaining. I know I wasn’t.”

            Again, I didn’t say anything about JUMPING INTO anyone. The “jumping into” implication is yours, not mine.

            If you contend that Shea Ralph was not skilled at drawing a foul while in the act of shooting ( which IS my implication, my opinion) you surely have never watched her play. Shea was great at it.

            I am not denying you or anyone else their opinion. To suggest so is rather silly.

            You requested I provide “an instance of a game where Shea actually jumped into an opposing player”. Strawman argument. You request that I defend something I clearly did NOT say. I will only defend something I actually DID say.

            Lastly, in response to your “blustering idiot” and having “no basis” for my opinion comments, I did perform the simple google search you were apparently too lazy or stubborn to do.

            I’ll provide this one by Jeff Jacobs mostly because it specifically mentions N.D.:


            There you’ll find Auriemma talking N.D., and about certain players having the ability to draw a foul when contact was easily avoidable. Comparing Ralph and Novosel specifically in this instance. The money quote:

            Auriemma:”I know what it’s like to be on the other end. If Shea Ralph had a wide-open layup, she’d wait until you got near her and then punch you and shoot a layup and go to the free-throw line. Natalie is very similar to Shea.”

            Geno sure has a way with words doesn’t he?

            So Plimpsest, please allow me my “baseless” opinions, and Auriemma his.

            Furthermore, I sincerely doubt that anyone that watched Shea play could be this ignorant to her skills in this area. It wasn’t a secret. Educate yourself.
            The web is full of similar stories with similar quotes back to Shea’s freshman season. You’ll likely even enjoy reading them.
            You say you have the games on tape.
            Watch one and enjoy.
            I know I would.

        2. allofus

          allow us to jump in here. we watched every game televised involving shea and also sveta. both of these players excelled at something practiced, legitimately, by many players. that is the art and skill of convincing others to foul you by body movement. shea in particular, was reknowned for this skill. it is a valuable skill and one which in no way makes one a “dirty player” and i challenge for some basis for the “considered by other teams as a dirty player” comment. every comment i can remember was positive about shea, except that she was a fierce competitor. i remember diana being quite skilled at this as well. certainly tiffany hayes was also good. kelly faris has a habit of lingering before making the shot sometimes, certainly for the purpose of drawing the foul. these skills are different than “leaning into a player”, which novosel is alleged to have done, and probably did on occasion. leaning in is a charge. using ones body movement to delay a shot until the opposing player runs into you is different, and was a skill which shea virtually perfected. see film of tamika catchings anytime in her career and another example will be illuminated to you.

      3. James Kerwin

        Steve Gee—It can’t be too much Perspective or team you are rooting for–if it’s part of the game.
        Also isn’t there something in the rule book at college and HS level (forget pros) that says the person “initiating contact” should be charged with a foul??
        I ask because as an “expert” you should know.

        1. Steve Gee

          James K … Thanks for elevating me to “expert” status. I’m not sure I deserve it, but just the fact that it came from what was certainly your long, logical, and thoughtful deliberation means it must be an accurate title.
          But I digress.
          Sarcasm aside, of course initiating contact can/should be called, which is why a player has to have a knack for it. If you are obvious or blatant, the basket is waved and an offensive foul is called. She however was skilled at drawing contact in the act of shooting when she could have avoided the contact. This should not be news to you if you watched her play.

          As far as perspective, it ain’t rocket science.
          The perspective of the ref on the court determines who they think committed the infraction (perhaps you may have noticed not all refs agree on all calls during a game).
          More perspective: If you’re a Husky fan, you loved it when Shea drew those fouls, and if you were a fan of the opponent, you hated it.
          The game is not played by, officiated by, or watched by robots. Yeah, perspective is part of “the game”.
          Again, not rocket science.. but perhaps when you’re sarcastically elevated to “expert” status, you’ll see things from a different point of view (read perspective).

          1. James Kerwin

            Steve Gee—
            The use of “ain’t” isn’t effective in making one’s point.
            I did’t elevate you to Expert. From your previous posts, I developed a respect for your knowledge.
            But in any case enjoy the game. We’ll both have more to say after Uconn win’s or loses.
            I do however remember one game against Hampton where a player made a cut around Shea and Shea gave her an elbow in the gut–next play a Hampton player chopped her across the throat. She was tough and at times dirty, no doubt. She did this in protection of DT–if I recall.
            But as a Basketball fan–I didn’t appreciate it when Shea elbowed or gave a player a shot any more then when it was done to Uconn.
            At times the call of Charge or Block is a coin toss for fans and at times for the Refs. When Refs see it as a coin toss–no call should be made. That’s not part of the game–it’s bad Ref’s. who get caught up in the arena’s noise.

          2. Steve Gee

            I can’t disagree with your comments here. If I mistakenly took your “expert” remark as sarcasm, I’m truly sorry. It was in quotes, so that’s the way I took it.

            Shea definitely had an “edge” to her game. She played hard and tough, but I wouldn’t call her a dirty player overall. Most players will get rough at times, sticking out an elbow, or boxing-out up high. Those things certainly happened on occasion but that did not define her play in my opinion.
            I also remember a play where Svet was intentionally fouled – shoved hard in the back after a layup. Shea got right into that players face but did not retaliate physically. She had that “edge” but knew how to remain in control.

            And my use of “ain’t” was intended as folksy sarcasm, which I’m inclined to use from time to time. A homage to my Father’s West Virginia upbringing. I think this is an acceptable forum for it’s use.= )

    2. Bud Revet

      No argument that UCONN’s defense is very, very good but so is ND’s. This will be the first time I have seen ND’s play this season, (Alaska) but if UCONN plays with the intensity and calm they had against Stanford, no one in WBB can beat them.

  3. Palimpsest

    Stanford–Interesting the comparison between the 29th’s game with Stanford and the 2011 with Maya Moore.

    Both teams relied upon a Single player (Chiney/Maya). Defense negated Chiney and Maya. Second line of scorers failed to compete. Chiney got 18 Maya got 36 –no one was there to give either relief with trying to carry the losing team. Each team looked confused and disillusioned before the half.

    I guess this is called payback in the purest sense.

    Now if Uconn can keep that going with ND, we shall call this a very good year.

    Remember Geno Freshmen in a pressure game are the weakest link–attack Loyd.

  4. RH

    Whenever u can, you like to play a team that is opposite…

    John, please don’t do that in anything more substantial than a tweet. Seeing such things in the comments is bad enough, but from a pro… shudder!

    1. allofus

      it is a blog in the sports section on line. it is not the commencement speech at harvard or oxford. we don’t use the shorthand, but we acknowledge that many do, especially readers of this blog, and many of those read it on handheld devices, which makes them more appreciative of the shorthand than are we. oh well … the times they are a changin’.

  5. Hip Hop Hood

    Will Ollie be there to support the women or will he not pretend to care anymore since he got paid?

  6. TheLoneGranger

    “They were really good when they needed to be and we sucked when we needed to be [good]. That leads to one team winning four out of five.”

    An alternative statement: Muffet McGraw was really good when she needed to be and Geno sucked when he needed to be really good. That leads to one team winning four out of five. Muffet has Geno’s number and has established herself as the best coach at least in one on one competitions with Geno and his team.

  7. Hip Hop Hood

    Another big choke from Gino against ND. Guess we will NOT be #1 next week.

  8. Bruce K

    Well, Geno, the refs didn’t give this one to ND, or are you claiming the UConn refs are in ND’s pocket.

  9. Altruist

    I think this recent loss to ND was Geno’s fault. He played Hartley and Dolson too much.
    Hartley played poorly, did not shoot well, share the ball or set players to score. Hartley appears to have a nervous breakdown when she plays Diggins. She gave her an open lane to drive instead of staying in front. what kind of a defense is that.
    Farris has more assists than Hartley.
    Banks has played well and shot the ball well lately. Geno only plays her 10 minutes, while Hartley plays 40 minutes. What’s up with that. Hartley is responsible for a few of the games that UConn lost against ND with her poor play and losing the ball at inappropriate times.

    Geno stop playing Hartley too much. she is not that good. Stop having favorites.

    ND was leaking and lobbing the ball throughout the game. Geno did not do anything to stop that. When he plays three or 4 Kids for 40 minutes, they don’t have the legs to run back.

    So, Geno play more players. Give Banks more playing time. Cut Hartley’s minutes.

    Last but not least is Dolson. Dolson is another important reason why UConn has not been cutting down the nets. Dolson is too slow and does not have legs and the intensity to get rebounds. Stop playing Dolson too many minutes. Play Buck until Stokes will be back. She will give much needed energy and rebounding.
    Farris has more rebounds than Dolson. What’s up with that.

    Geno, Learn from past mistakes, limit the minutes for Hartley and Dolson. Play more players. This way you will keep the players fresh.

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