Trying to comb through which hits to play for you after a 35-minute soiree with Geno Auriemma is like trying to decide which Sinatra CD to pop into the dashboard for the drive up to Storrs.
I’ll tell you this: “Strangers In The Night” “My Way” and”That’s Life” do not make the cut.
But making tough decisions like this is what I get paid to do.
We begin with Track 1….
On the confidence of his young players:
“The confidence that many of the kids today have is fake. It’s all posturing. The minute something goes wrong they fall apart. Breanna [Stewart] and Morgan [Tuck] are confident, they know it and they play like it. The confidence is real. There is nothing fake about these guys. They know they are good, they’ve proven it, they play like it and nothing will shake it. … They may get knocked around, but their confidence will not waver.”
On how he knew Stewart was a great player, even up there in North Syracuse:
“It doesn’t matter where they are playing. If I pitcher has a 95 mile-an-hour fastball and lives on a reservation somewhere, he still has a chance to play in the major leagues. You could see her talent would work against anyone. But we didn’t have to judge her just at Cicero-North [high school]. She’s played USA Basketball forever, and we could always see her against the best players. And she always played up [against older players]. She’s been one of the best players on the floor whenever she’s on the floor.”
On Bria Hartley, post All-American selection:
“Now is the hard part. Now everything will be scrutinized. Now everything must be All-American caliber for her. She is now being judged as an All-American and the next step for her is to embrace that responsibility and be sharp and solid. And having all the other guards on the floor that can handle [the ball] will help her get off the ball more and score. I’m not even nsure the point is her natural position.”
On whether the new practice facility will help his recruiting:
“Yeah, our recruiting has stunk. I have not had one kid come on our campus and ask me where our practice facility is in the last 15 years. I’m not saying it’s not going to help. But if kids went to school because of practice facilities, there are a lot of schools around the country that would’ve won more championships because of them. They [those programs] just don’t have great players.”
On his Olympic experience:
“I didn’t really coach that much this summer. That’s the big fallacy about the Olympics. I wouldn’t call what I did coaching. A lot of the players weren’t interested in learning anything; they just wanted to play. So it was important to me to just let them play. … With these guys [at UConn] you have to work so much harder on things. That’s why I get paid so much more to coach here.”
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