Geno Gone Wild

Both effusive in his praise for the Cardinal and harsh in his criticism of his Huskies, Connecticut head coach <b>Geno Auriemma</b> remained as colorful as ever following Sunday's 76-59 Cardinal victory. Read on for his quotes to the media in Kansas City immediately after the game, including some outlandish comments.

"… the 10-year run we just had.  It's hard to think like that right now.  All I'm thinking about is the final 10 minutes."
"She makes plays that make you shake your head and say how'd you do that.  She makes plays that make you shake your head and say why'd you do that."
"You wonder what she's going to be like when she figures it all out.  I hope I'm around to see it."

On the challenge of facing Stanford:
"Well, first off, I said going in that this was the hardest type of team for us to play, because offensively they just have too many things that they do well and we would have needed to do everything exactly right and get some help from them.  And for a half we did.  We started the second half with four missed lay-ups… and I think the game turned right there.  To Stanford's credit, they did what they do well and they did it really well in the second half.  Today was a really tough way to go out, but we lost to a really good team.  I don't know if we were good enough to beat them unless we played a perfect game."

On defending Stanford:
"We knew we were going to have a tough time keeping them under wraps."

On the difference between the two halves:
"The first 20 minutes, we were able to dictate the way the game was going to be played.  We made enough shots that allowed us to do things I thought would keep them off-balance, and they did.  They didn't know where our traps were coming from, and they had a difficult time getting into any offensive rhythm.  In the second half, we had an incredibly difficult time scoring points, and as we did that, we lost a little bit of our edge defensively.  As soon as we did that, some of the shots Stanford was missing in the first half, they starting making.  It just kind of snowballed, and there were a couple of key plays in the second half that might have gone either way, and they didn't.  It's not as easy to score when you're down 10, down five, down six.  In the second half, they were flowing and that's exactly what happened." 

On guard play:
"The reason Stanford is good is that they have excellent backcourt play.  Their guards are really good, and our guards really struggled.  I thought they did a really good job on Ann Strother - she wasn't herself and obviously she didn't play well.  We didn't have anyone to come in to take the load off her.  All the guards that struggled this year are going to come back and be that much better.  I'd like to think that if we're up six next year at halftime, we're going to find a way to close it out."

On succeeding in a Tournament environment:
"In order to be a contender for the National Championship, you first and foremost have to have an individual or a few individuals that have the kind of talent to survive in a game where the other team won't let you run their offense.  We struggled with that all game long."

On the Connecticut dynasty:
"Some point this summer, I might be able to look back and say I don't know that there'll be another 10-year run like the 10-year run we just had.  It's hard to think like that right now.  All I'm thinking about is the final 10 minutes."

On maintaining the Connecticut dynasty:
"We had four seniors in there that finished their careers with three national titles.  They're going to leave with their heads in the right place, and the guys coming back, we have to start over in some sense.  The fact that we had to play Stanford in the regional semifinal – that says it all.  A lot's changed in basketball in the last 10 years, and just like we've forced everybody to do things differently, now we have to go and change things."

On Connecticut's offensive woes:
"Making shots was a problem all year long and our defense bailed us out.  This was the best defensive team we've had in a long, long time.  I said going into this game, this was one game where our offense had to win it, and our offense let us down."

On the character of his team:
"The whole game was pretty much a reflection of our team the whole season.  When we're good, we're really, really good, like in the first 20 minutes. When we're bad, we're really, really bad, like in the last 20 minutes. I guess you are who you are."

On junior guard Ann Strother:
"Strother didn't practice the last two days; I don't know that she was able to move as well as I think she could have.  A lot of that has to do with the way Stanford defended her." 

On freshman forward Charde Houston's inconsistency:
"Charde is quite an enigma when you think about it.  She makes plays that make you shake your head and say, ‘How'd you do that?'  She makes plays that make you shake your head and say, ‘Why'd you do that?'  She's just a freshman, and I'm not sure she even knows how or why.  She's just a freshman and I don't think she was prepared - physically or mentally - to play 40 minutes in a game like this.  Charde - you wonder what she's going to be like when she figures it all out.  I hope I'm around to see it."

On the team's mood after the loss:
"The players in the locker room, I couldn't figure it out: why were they so devastated?…  [Perhaps] because they knew in their hearts all along they might not be good enough to do this, and their worst fear came to fruition?" 
 

Daniel Novinson is a freshman at Stanford University. He's broadcasting women's basketball on KZSU - listen along at kzsu.org or 90.1 FM.  Daniel welcomes any feedback at dannovi@stanford.edu.


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