Even if Geno Auriemma is to be compared George Washington – let’s face it, the UConn coach is the “Father of Women’s College Basketball” – documentation is still required to link the men historically.
And as bad as it seems, losing three national semifinal games to Notre Dame since 2001 is nothing like a winter in Valley Forge.
Auriemma delivered the goods this week with his “I can’t tell a lie” admission that his 2012-13 team is going to be very good, perhaps national championship good. He didn’t try to deny it, play it down or distort it.
“When you’ve done what we’ve done, how do you temper the expectations?” said Auriemma, who has seven national titles. “You can’t even try. It’s silly. At the same time, what are we going to do that hasn’t been done?”
With no cherry tree is sight, here are 10 things UConn has going for it as it makes the attempt:
Take a look at the UConn roster and try to decide who will start the opener Nov. 11 against College of Charleston.
Just for fun, let’s say Stefanie Dolson, Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kelly Faris and Bria Hartley do?
That still leaves a second unit – Caroline Doty, Brianna Banks, Morgan Tuck, Kiah Stokes and Moriah Jefferson – strong enough to finish 2nd or 3rd in the Big East, if stays out of foul trouble.
That’s not depth. That’s profundity.
At Big East media day, DePaul coach Doug Bruno said UConn may have two “Hall of Famers” in its freshman class. He is speaking of Stewart and Tuck, who he described as a cross between Nykesha Sales and Jamelle Elliott.
As for Stewart, Auriemma thinks she looks a little like former NBA great George Gervin or perhaps Kevin Durant.
Good luck, Seton Hall
Aside from the options Auriemma has, he can also mix and match players depending on the situation and mood. Faris, a rebounding machine at guard, could even play center in a most extreme set-up.
And once you see Stewart, the 6-4 center, shoot from 17 feet, you will realize she could be a two-guard.
When Dolson wasn’t sky-diving this summer or watching GLEE reruns, she was working on the construction of a thinner, stronger more efficient body type. She has succeeded.
Dolson says she has lost about 12 pounds by pushing away carbohydrates. But she looks much leaner thanks to a work out regime that has put the wind into her sails jumping out of a plane can’t match.
At UConn, just making it to five straight Final Fours (stop to contemplate) is not good enough. You should read Auriemma’s mail.
Losing the last two years in the national semifinals to Notre Dame has not settled well with the upper classmen. They are disappointed, somewhat embarrassed and ready to make amends.
MORE TO COME in part 2
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