Geno Says It’s Up To Stewie To Figure Things Out

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma, who said he didn’t feel his team was ready yet to beat Baylor, was philosophical Thursday about why it lost on Monday.

“The best teams the best players can always do two things well,” Auriemma said. “They can take direction and need to see things just once or twice to get them straight. And they can think for themselves.

“But when you have a bunch of young players, all they want is directions given repeatedly. The problem is, basketball is not like football where there are stoppages in play that gives you time to offer direction.”

And that’s what Friday’s practice was about – reinforcement.

“There was some stuff Monday they left me scratching my head,” Auriemma said. “You know, like ‘where did this stuff come from?’”

Very telling was that Auriemma felt confident enough to use primarily just six players, his starters and freshman Morgan Tuck, whose game and prominence are on the rise.

The pregame talk about a deeper post to help Stefanie Dolson guard Brittney Griner turned out to be hype – Breanna Stewart (seven minutes) and Kiah Stokes combined for 10 minutes, no points, no rebounds, no blocks and no steals. Heather Buck did not play.

“There really is not much you can [about Stewart],” Auriemma said. “When you are struggling like she is struggling, searching the way she is searching, it’s hard to come here [to practice] every day like you have the world in the palm of your hand.

“It’s going to take a while for her. But hopefully it will come back, little by little. But we can’t worry about Breanna right now. We have games to win. Breanna has to take care of herself. I have to make sure I am doing the best for the remainder of the team.”

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9 thoughts on “Geno Says It’s Up To Stewie To Figure Things Out

  1. Geno is imperfect

    Eddie Sutton with his final 4 team (lost to Larry Birds Indiana St Team) had a season where his player were beaten by some failure of judgement. They couldn’t fix it during the game. But never the same failure. But many games different correctable failures. Geno doesn’t have that team. His team has the intelligence and game smarts to fix it during games.
    Stewart is a High School senior extended. She needs education in Div 1 BB. Using the layups with padded prodding while attempting the shot. She needs to understand how a zone is supposed to work. Over and over and over again. That’s Marissa’s and CD’s job.
    Don’t expect a 17/18 year old sheltered kid to figure these things out. DT had trouble as a Freshman, Maya had trouble as a freshmen, Rene had trouble and the list goes on. Help her–don’t dismiss her. Teach her. That’s why Geno is the second highest paid State employee,his only job is to coach and recruit basketball.
    He is the Program Administrator-the guy in charge–the buck stops with him.
    Oh yea, most of the turnovers were by juniors and seniors in the Baylor game. Mo jeff had how many???

  2. Mare a lee we roll along

    Most University Professors would love to have classes full of students that you teach the subject once or twice to them and they ace the tests. In the real world much is done by rote, repeat repeat, repeat. Ah, College kids. I always wanted the kids that knew every thing about my subject in my classes,then I became a great teacher.
    Most blue collar worker kids do well being immersed in the work. Put Stokes, Tuck, Stewart in the next 3 games for 30 plus minutes each, immersion. Teach, educate, train. Do a lot of positive re-inforcement. Criticism is never positive, it almost always comes across as negative. Remember the old adage: You catch more great basketball players with honey than with vinegar,or something like that.

  3. Dolson in BEAR game was pooped

    Dolson did a job on Griner in the first half, with help. Picked up 2 fouls. Had to back off, Baylor caught up.
    Second half Steff picks up number 3. Has to back off further. She is thrown to the floor 3 times 2 without calls. She loses hope. She’s exhausted. No one is backing her up. The bears did what they wanted to do–they took Steff out of the game mentally (because of exhaustion) and physically with pain from take downs.

    Geno has proven time after time–Stef Dolson is the engine that runs the UConn team. KML is the gas for that engine. When your engine quits/can’t run, gas does you no good. Steff and KLM are my hero’s no one could have done more without any help

  4. mike mcmanus

    Stokes is an enigma to me. I want so much to see the kid thrive…she obviously has the physical and mental ability to be a good player; she can defend and block shots but she never seems to really exert herself and she never looks to shoot except when she grabs a rebound near the basket. She plays offense like Heather Buck, that being she roams around the perimeter setting picks and passing to her team mates but never makes an attempt to setup in the low post and ask for the ball. Maybe this is what Geno expects from her but I find that hard to believe. What does it take for the light bulb goes on?

  5. sam

    This is a tough thing to say but after being at the game on Monday Baylor is better than UCONN but I saw enough in the first half to be convinced meeting them again does not scare me.Uou beat Baylor when all five players are on the same page. Props to MLK , Dolson, Tuck. Doty as a fifth year sr should watch video of Maria Conlon on how to make 3’s in a big game…Stewart will be fine..relax stop thinking and just play don’t concede anything physically.One point most have to remember we could have used Samarie Walker…remember???

  6. R Cronin

    When no one else was contributing, why not let Heather be the #2 defense (or #1!) on Griner? She’s shown in past games against Griner that she can be an effective defensive presence. That’s 5 free fouls (maybe a takedown or two) in the post!

  7. hjoerring

    Do we really think that Buck can guard Griner- based on one previous game? Let us move on- Griner has improved, period. Steph. is capable for at best 20-30mins before the pressure sets in and exhaustion becomes a factor. Doty is limited and probably dealing with issues relating to the end of her BB days, team relations, etc. She may come alive during the NCAA Tour, who knows. I worry that they are, maybe, players who are unhappy for one reason or another. Perhaps they do not like the role mapped out for them. Perhaps it is v.difficult to play the roles. Stokes, Stokes– what is the issue. Is she hand tied. Being a non-aggressive player should not warrant benching. Geno should be careful that prospect. recruits do not say to themselves that- in the words of a former recruit, are not allow to be themselves. I am a husky fan, but in the last couple of years I have had a feeling in my stomach that it might be more fun playing at ND then Uconn. Of course I have no info on what is going on there. But we have too many good players who are not doing what they should(?) be capable of doing.

    1. Steve Gee

      I do think Dolson was tired.
      I also think all the players were tired.

      How many times did Griner (the athlete supposedly in better shape) have to hold Dolson to be able to stay close as Steph was breaking? It was a game constant. Perhaps Griner was just being lazy, but that kind of thing usually happens out of frustration and fatigue.
      Dolson didn’t have to hold Griner in order to keep-up with her.
      Griner however seemed to think it was necessary to hold Dolson.

  8. Chicago Seven

    Geno wants a 6 or 7 player rotation in big games because that reduces the number of decisions he has to make. Geno is not a teacher. He is an administrator. There is no way that Buck and Stokes received the same attention and encouragement that Tina and Dolson received. The fact that Geno wants KML to become a volume shooter is an example of reducing the number of coaching decisions he has to make.

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