After Saturday’s rout of Hartford, Geno Auriemma spoke about a number of things, as he usually does.
Here are two of my greatest hits from the day.
On Breanna Stewart surpassing Maya Moore for the most points ever scored by a UConn women’s player in her first 10 games. Moore had 165. Stewart has 169 after her 27 on Saturday:
“She doesn’t even know how she scores. So it’s probably best to let her figure out how she’s doing it. She takes a lot of shots and makes a lot of them. Guys who shoot a lot and make a lot score a lot of points. Let me guess, she broke Maya’s record? See, another guy who took a lot of shots. That’s what scorers do.
“They go into games and figure out how to score a lot of points. That’s what Breanna does. It’s the same thing I said when Maya was a freshman. If Breanna ever learns how to play basketball, to understand where and how her shots are coming, she is going to be really, really good.”
On the significance of the Stanford rivalry. What distinguishes it in Geno’s mind from Tennesee, Notre Dame, etc.
“I don’t know if there are any distinguishes characteristics about it [the rivalry]. The Notre Dame rivalry is so familiar; we play them so much because they are in the Big East [for now]. The Stanford rivalry has gotten interesting over the last four or five years because of the importance of the games we’ve played against each other. We’ve met so many times in the Final Four. That’s how rivalries usually become big ones. It has to do with the importance of each game you play.
“If we played each other in the regular season, but not the NCAA Tournament, it wouldn’t be as big as its become. The Notre Dame rivalry became big because it led to a number of meetings in the NCAAs [three national semifinals, including the last two]. Same with Tennessee and Stanford. That is what escalates a rivalry.
And Stanford recruits the same type of kids we do. They are extremely well-coached and always have tough, physical players. And it’s always a challenge to play them out there. It may be the hardest place in the nation for a visiting team to play.”