The greatest hits from the loquacious one following UConn’s stunning steamroll of Duke Monday night at Gampel Pavilion:
Coach Auriemma was somewhat perturbed with veteran official Bonita Spence following a fourth foul call on Stefanie Dolson with 16:15 to play and the Huskies leading, 43-35. “Oops,” said Geno, “My bad.”:
“I owe a public apology to Bonita Spence for calling the fourth foul on Stefanie Dolson,” Auriemma said. “I am dead serious. There are fouls called on Stefanie that aren’t called on other posts. I don’t know why, but it just seems that’s the case. In this case [the fourth foul Monday], if I would have taken the time to really, really study it, which you can’t at that particular time, Stefanie fouled her [Elizabeth Williams]. She did. She did. It was a dumb foul. But she fouled her. ”
On Breanna Stewart being Stewie [her unpredictable, alternate personna]:
“There are a lot of things that Stewie is going to have to get better at and she knows that,” Auriemma said. “She’s actually pretty good at following directions. But if you leave things up to her … if you tell her you want her to score every time she touches the ball or try to block a shot every time she’s down the floor, it’s like, ok, that is all you need to tell her.
“But if you just ask her to be more aggressive it sometimes doesn’t register. You need to be very specific with her. And and in the second half [when she scored each of her 13 points] she she did a great job. She did not take a shot in the first half and that is not supposed to happen. It makes us look bad as coaches. We’re bad, just not that bad. We’re smart enough to get her at least one shot.”
The truth about Bria Hartley and THE ANKLE:
“We showed Bria some film of last year’s Duke game. If you saw her then and watched her now on that ankle, it’s just not the same person. We showed her a five-minute clip of last year’s game and you would have thought we were fast-forwarding it. That’s’ how quickly she got up the floor. Duke had no answer for her. And this season, she hasn’t been able to do it. She brought that mindset to the game Monday, even though she isn’t there physically yet [a career-high nine assists].”
Professor Auriemma on the Jeffersonian Way of running a team:
“There is a great line in the book about Thomas Jefferson I am reading right now that says something like, “There are times when you are philosophical, but those ideas have to give way to practical ideas.”
“My ideas [philosophically] last night were to give a lot of players a lot of minutes,” Auriemma said. “It was going to be a big opportunity for them to play in a big game at home. Then when you saw what was happening [in the first half] you thought ‘Why?’ Why do I feel this urge.’
“So when we came out for the second half, Shea Ralph [the UConn assistant] asked me, ‘We’re not going to do that again?’ And I said no. She said put them in one at a time and don’t you dare put them all out there at the same time.’”
UConn outscored Duke 47-19 and won by 30.