Look, there isn’t really much to say about Wednesday’s 97-25 win over Oakland. What did you expect? Exactly my point.
So I thought I would relay a story Geno told at the end of his press conference about how the impending induction of Hartford coach Jen Rizzotti into the Women’s Hall of Fame next June delayed his professorial debut.
Geno said he was all set to spend three weeks in Florence, Italy over the spring teaching a course at UConn’s international branch campus there – until he discovered Rizzotti, his former All-American point guard was being inducted.
“The course wasn’t about cheese, wine and pasta,” Auriemma said.” But when I found out the dates of the induction ceremony in June , I said there was no way I was going to fly back over [from Italy to the United States]. So I just decided to put that [the teaching] off.
“Instead, we are going to attend [the induction], spend some time there, do a bunch of things and have a little fun. It means a lot to Jen, a lot to the University of Connecticut. There was a three-year time frame [1992-95] when people got to know Rebecca Lobo. But in many ways, our program was defined by the little kid in the ponytail [Rizzotti] who dove all over the place.
“It’s hard for a 6-5 player [Lobo] to inspire many because you realize there’s no way you likely will be that tall. But when you saw a little player like Jennifer become national player of the year as a senior averaging 11.0 points a game, every little kid in Connecticut and the country said, ‘I can do that.’ Just for that alone she should be in the Hall of Fame.”
Oh by the way, Geno said he was planning to lecture about his fascination with the difference in the way Americans and Europeans treat sports.
“We were going to do a three-week seminar on how sport affects cultures in different ways,” Auriemma said. “We had a lot of great things planned. We hope to do it next year .
“It’s a great opportunity for me to learn more and to be in a different environment. But as for this spring, I will be in Knoxville [where the induction takes place]. When did anyone ever think they would hear me say I’d trade Florence for Knoxville?”