We all are waiting for that day – you know the last day at work or the imminent end of our career where we can come in and tell the boss (and the world) what we really think. Then, walk out that door for the last time.
Geno Auriemma‘s recent antics are seemingly those of someone doing so… except the problem is… he is still there! He has become enamored with his soundbites and post game press conferences on how things are “supposed to be” or how they “used to be”. Now, he is blasting off on his players, saying how they “can barely play a lick”, and that they are “stubborn as s**t”.
Now I get it when you have spent your entire career getting attention for winning national championships and now someone else is getting that very attention, you have to really say some wild stuff so that people continue to pay attention. Maybe if other sports teams who used to be the best did the same thing, they could sell more tickets or their head coach could get more attention.
The issue for Geno Auriemma is that he is constantly doing it in the first five games of the year. He is attacking his own players and not holding any of the accountability on his own.
Does he think he is motivating his players to be better? Maybe it will work, but if you ask us about more likely end result? Geno is getting farther and farther from winning another national title.
The perfect storm which made UConn the women’s basketball power that it was, is now trending towards a stop in Irrelevantville. Between playing in the Big East and not winning national titles, the appeal of UConn is not what it was even 5 years ago.
Don’t you remember? Once Paige and Azzi got together at UConn, no one was going to beat them … well what now? Is it because Azzi and Paige are not any good like Geno insinuating or is it actually the way the program is being run just cant compete with Dawn Staley and a more modern approach to women’s basketball.
Geno dominated an age of basketball without many minority female coaches by being less boring than other coaches, plus he won. Now you can get a minority coach who can connect to the next great generation of women’s basketball players at a level that Geno cannot. Not only do you have Dawn Staley, but you have Adia Barnes, Kara Lawson, and you better believe there will be others coming in the next hiring cycle.
Geno saying that Paige Bueckers wasn’t any good just is another ploy to take the attention away from the real issues at UConn. A coach who now has to recruit the best players in the country against some real competition. A coach who goes on video after video talking about the team, then loses a game and blames it on one player like her super powers should have been good enough to beat the best team in the country. Saying they need another guard to step up and make shots is a pretty obvious attack on super freshman Azzi Fudd who is averaging just 6 shot attempts per game, and shot just once against South Carolina. Hard to make shots you don’t take and even harder to make a difference when it is clear that Auriemma is not all in on Fudd yet. Any school in America would have taken Fudd and given her the keys to their program, but not UConn.
What is scary is how long will Fudd have to have to wait for UConn to work for her. Right now Geno and UConn are not working for Azzi Fudd.
Without Azzi Fudd being elite, UConn does not win a national championship. Geno has to know that every elite player in the country is watching how the dynamic between him and Fudd when deciding whether they should attend UConn. If he cant get it going (and soon) with Fudd, the days of UConn being able to compete for a national title may be over.
At least we will still have the video monologues of how the game is supposed to be played and how it was played when UConn was a national title team.
We continue to look at the things others don’t talk about in the world of women’s basketball this college season.
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