Random Thoughts For A Saturday

by Categorized: Brenda Frese, Brittney Griner, Connecticut Sun, Geno Auriemma, Hartford women's basketball, jen rizzotti, Kelly Faris, Mike Thibault, shea ralph, UConn women's basketball, WNBA, XL Center Date:

This and that about women’s basketball and other things on a Saturday morning..

* I get a kick (sometimes) out of seeing how dedicated some fans are to their teams, as if they can never lose, never do anything wrong, never come out on the short side of something. Look folks, Texas high school guard Recee’ Caldwell narrowed her choices to UConn and UCLA and chose UCLA. Nobody put a water balloon to her head and threatened to pop it. UConn does lose recruiting wars . It is Mike Tyson in many ways, but not immune to body blows. They wanted both Caldwell and Erica McCall, just as much as they wanted Taya Reimer, Diamond DeShields, et all. They swung and missed. It happens. But let’s not always be so quick to sideswipe kids who decide UConn isn’t the place for them.

* If Kelly Faris continues to shoot three-pointers like Steve Nash, a WNBA team would be absolutely foolhardy not to take her in the first round of the 2013 Draft. No WNBA player, with the exception of Griner, who is 6-8, will come to the pros better prepared for all facets of the game.

* In case you weren’t aware of this, Monday “Jimmy V” game at XL Center between Maryland and UConn has great significance to Terps’ coach Brenda Frese. Her young son, Tyler, has leukemia and is fighting the disease like an All-America at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. As you watch Monday’s game, please think of him.

* Now that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is back to practice, we can begin to wonder who will be the last woman out of the starting lineup when she is ready to play – which could be Monday. Who do you put on the bench, Geno wannabees? KML, Bria Hartley, Kelly Faris, Breanna Stewart? Tough choice.

* I have spent far too much time thinking about this: Who in the world will the Connecticut Sun hire to replace Mike Thibault? I can’t for the life of me think it would be Jen Rizzotti. She would never leave her team in the middle of a season. And I don’t think the Sun can pay her enough to do it. She doesn’t need the job. So who then?

* If there aren’t 15,000 human beings in the XL Center for Monday’s game, I will be OK with anyone who concludes that the thrill of seeing a national championship contender in person is gone for good in the land of steady habits. At that point, fans lose the right to bitch about conference affiliation.

* If I watch football today, and I might not, it will be Alabama-Georgia, not UConn-Cincinnati. So I also recuse myself from complaining (but not commenting) about this ACC-Big Ten madness.

* I think Shea Ralph is going to be a fantastic coach someday and I don’t know when that day will be. But she can afford to wait for the right job because there are not a lot of them out there. In many ways, she is far better off where she is than taking a chance on a program that doesn’t have institutional support.





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28 thoughts on “Random Thoughts For A Saturday

  1. Village Idiot

    John Correction if you please: If Kelly does or does not continue to hit the 3 ball any WNBA team would be ignorant to NOT take her. She will make ANY team better.

    John: The Paragraph you started with 15000 at XL Center and ends with (paraphrasing) they have no right to complain about anything, especially UConn Basketball. Be there or be square!!!

    Only fools or ignorant (you don’t know what you don’t know) people will make an issue about those Recruits that Uconn Women do not get. Be thrilled with those we have. Just think the year Kelly Faris arrived was touted by many as a very bad year–what do they think NOW????

  2. Erik

    John,You said:
    “If there aren’t 15,000 human beings in the XL Center for Monday’s game……..”

    Well here is why there may not be.

    After reading your article, I thought, “Yeah, why no go to the game”. So I went on the UCONN wbsite and clicked on the link for tickets. I just wanted ONE ticket and checked “best avilable” seat.
    All it offerred was Upper Level seats (sec 205, row P to be precise). I was willing to pay a decent mount for a decent seat, but hey, $10 for an upper level seat was still a good value (or so I thought).
    But when I went to “check out” and complete the deal, I found the following added charges:
    “Convenience Fee”: $3.00
    “Printfast Fee”: $2.50 (for me to print the tickets on my own printer!)
    “Order processing fee”: $4.60

    So total cost for my “$10 ticket” was $20.10
    THAT’s OUTRAGEOUS! So I clicked CANCEL and will be watching on the Giants-Redskins on TV instead.

    1. Nostalgic

      The seats in “heaven” on the best of games, at the XL Center, have given me the “fan” atmosphere, but not the view of the game.
      The Rah Rah Rah stuff of the Old Field house, even with wooden seating, gave one a close up view of the game and the College atmosphere. With Gampels cement seats and the XL seating so high up one gets a nose bleed–my 55 inch Pioneer gives me a better view, alas even at XL I would have missed the Rah Rah of college basketball.

      1. Family Man

        At the XL parking 15 to 20 dollars, snacks at the game (for 2) 15, 2 (10 dollar tickets)40.20. Plus gas 40 miles r/t 6.00, baby sitter 20.00 (mine is cheap). For the wife and I to go to the game–$96.00, out of my 60k per year, wife lost her job.
        Now does UConn and Geno understand why I can’t be there for only a few games?? Now if I made 10 percent of Geno’s pay, we could make it to every game.

    2. BKDad

      Not only that…

      Imagine that the game ends at 9 PM. File out of the XL Center, get to your car, and drive out of a parking garage. By the time you get home, it’s at least 10. Worse if the game is in Storrs. Even worse if the game ends later due to a late start.

      So, if you go the game in person, the whole night is taken up. Big deal, right? How about kids who have homework to do, so that they might one day get to be a UConn student? Or, how about parents who need to get up at 5 AM the next morning?

      Even if the money isn’t a question, and for a lot of folks it is, the time can be a killer. Many people are just as pressed for leisure time as they are for disposable income. Being a “live” fan is not quite all consuming, but close.

    3. Big Jim


      Did you ever hear of the “will call” window.

      Look it up – save yourself $10.20.

      1. Erik

        Yes “Big” Jim I’m heard of “will call”, and that would save the $2.50 “printfast fee” (while adding another line to wait on).
        But even with with will call, the $3.00 “convenience fee”, and $4.60 “order processing fee” are STILL charged.
        If there is a way to buy tickets in advance without paying those fees, please educate me. I’m all ears.

  3. linkster

    1. You castigate fans for attacking recruits who don’t pick UConn and then headline her announcement as “Caldwell spurns UConn”? Pot …. meet kettle!

    2. Johnny, try going up in the rafters and watch a game. Then watch a game in front of a 55″ HD set and you’ll find out wht fans don’t choose to climb into the upper reaches of the XL. I dare you.

  4. Chris Saran

    There’s no way that Breanna Stewart doesn’t start. You can see the positive effect her presence has had on Stefanie Dolson. Stef has much more room than she has ever had. Yes, even when Maya was there. Maya didn’t post up like Breanna. Breanna can change the game in more ways than Maya. Am I saying she’s as good as Maya? No. Breanna does have the chance to become the greatest UConn player ever. The chance.

    1. Big Jim

      Geno has always made those decisions based on Basketball. That won’t change just because Doty’s knee might tighten-up, if she doesn’t start.

      The best five are: Hartley, Farris, Dolson, Lewis and Stewart.

      The best five will start. Take it to the bank.

      1. Edward

        Keep in mind that the best five don’t always start, and on a team lke Geno’s, it doesn’t really matter because he plays all of the competent players anyhow. Remember that on the men’s side even Ray Allen did not start when he was a freshman

  5. nhntc47

    Breanna Stewart is amazing. She makes things look easy. I still remember how many easy layups Tina Charles missed during her first two years.

  6. Jay

    When you are making the big bucks and get a front row seat it is hard to imagine why people won’t pay upwards of 50 per tic to sit behind the basket on the 300 section. In case you haven’t noticed there a five year bush/obama recession going on. peoplew do not have the disposable income for the bb games. you can carry that to football and mens bb too

  7. billnaples

    Random answers to questions not asked.
    1. Just an opinion but I think Jen Rizzotti waits very patiently for the retirement announcement from Storrs that sends Geno on down the road. It is the only job that makes sense for her in virtually all ways.
    2. Does it really matter who the first five may be as much as when there is a close end game who is on the floor as time winds down?
    3. Kelly Faris will be a smart draft pick for virtually any WNBA team. There are few out there with her total skill set.
    4. No comments on attending games, not an option living in Florida.
    5. I can see Shea Ralph becoming Rizzotti’s CD!
    6. Recruits. Playing time, especially for freshman, can be a deal breaker. Look at the kids that have gone elsewhere and as good as they are projected to be do they jump ahead of Hartley or Dolson next fall, ahead of Lewis or Stewart and maybe Banks and Jefferson in the next two or three seasons. And barring injury the likely answer is no. Do you go to play more than to get a title? I know most of the elite want a championship but I am guessing they want time on the floor even more.

  8. Ffld County fan

    Call me “old school” but there is nothing like being at these games – especially the competitive ones! Yeah, I watch the “away” games on my big-screen TV and feel fortunate that they are televised; but if we can get to a game – we go! We don’t pay for parking at Gampel – park a distance & walk across campus instead (much easier to get in/out and beat most of the traffic – even tho we stay until the final buzzer – always!). We pay $5 bucks for covered parking in Hartford & walk a few blocks to the arena. And yes it is a full night to travel to/from, etc. – but they are worth it – always #1 or #2 in country; fun to watch; great program !! Come on folks – what can be better than that! We love supporting them in person!!

  9. HarryH

    John, What is worse than people not buying tickets is all the empty seats in the lower bowl at XL and Gampel. Those are seats that have been paid for and never used. How about the student sections – I think there might have been 30 students at the last XL game.
    I don’t blame people for not going to Storrs – it is hard and long to get there, no real place for dinner, buying seats mean sitting on benches. It may be a great environment for the kids and those who get to sit in the first row but it isn’t great for fans. $10 tickets + 12 parking, 4.50 soda, etc. etc. It is an university with costs and expenses out of control. Ticket agents and agencies are out of control. Later when big games start at 9:00 will be even worse. Some of actually have to work the next day. UCONN is big enough to say ESPN you want to broadcast you’ll do it at the time we want and not your time.
    Hopefully, this week’s games will be good but frankly so far the games have gotten boring quickly.

  10. martin fallon

    Out in the cold for X-L seats here in Florida, but we’re going to the South Florida game in Tampa. They tell me that the Uconn fans will be well represented there, coming out of the retirement woodbox for the chance to see their ladies under any conditions, USF in charge of who sits where. We are sorry that there aren’t better seating accomodations in Connecticut for reasonable prices, as the Huskies continue as the quality model for women’s college basketball. Who wouldn’t give their eye teeth for the chance to see these players in action? Down here, the computer screen gives us adequate coverage and it’s great to see the assistant coaches doing their “good cop” routines, the bench players smiling at their support, after getting reamed by Geno.

  11. Eileen

    The only way to get out of paying all the “extra fees” for the tickets is to go to the XL Center’s box office in person, which I did. BUT, I still did not get the sections(Upper level corners)I wanted even though I was there two hours after the individual game tickets went on sale. Yet at the Colgate game I saw bunches of empty seats in the those particular sections I wanted–what gives. I will be at the Maryland game and I hope 14,999 others will be there too. GO HUSKIES.

    1. Edward

      The good seats were empty because they belong to corporate “fans” whose firm donates big bucks and gets priority seating. However, these “fans” only attend the marquee games.

  12. Nick

    Big Jim is right on. But picking the starting five is as easy as pie..I mean come on,, Stewart, Dolson Faris KML and Hartley,,who else would you even consider. The other two freshmen are comers who are unafraid and very talented they will get their minutes as well..looks like brianna banks will take minutes from caroline also stokes definitely should get her minutes as well.

  13. Ffld County fan

    Some season ticket holders also get upper level seats – it all depends on your status as contributors to the university alumni fund. So if those season ticket holders don’t go to a game (say Colgate) their seats in the upper level will also be empty and not able to be sold. We were in upper level corner seats at XL for years as season ticket holders….and on the “bench” at Gampel……it was still worth it!

  14. Eileen

    Ffld County fan: Thanks for the info. Guess what we can always do is move after the game starts. I am hoping that for the Maryland game tonight the XL Center is pretty full, so I won’t be moving, just enjoying the game from our seats.

    1. Ffld County fan

      Yup – you can move anywhere except the lower bowl – they are “guarded” at both locations – don’t want interlopers I guess….

      hey John – I recall that Warde Manuel said he wanted to look atand revamp the ticket purchasing system – maybe it is time to ask if they have made any progress on that….obviously there is lots of interest …UCONN should be interested also now that the don’t come close to selling out most nights.

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