UConn women’s basketball coach, Geno Auriemma, was critical of the men’s game during a Wednesday NCAA Women’s Final Four teleconference
Geno Auriemma isn’t exactly known for being the friendliest or easiest guy to get along with in sports, especially in the realm of women’s college basketball.
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If anyone would know basketball greatness it’s Auriemma, who enters this weekend’s women’s Final Four having already won nine NCAA championships at UConn, including the past two.
He’s a six-time Naismith national coach of the year, seven time AP coach of the year and is in just about every Hall of Fame he is eligible for, including the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the women’s basketball and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Plus he led the USA women’s basketball team to gold medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and in 2012 in London.
Again, if anyone knows quality basketball, it’s Auriemma.
So it’s not a terrible surprise that Auriemma, when asked about the state of the men’s game, during a Final Four conference call on Wednesday, was critical of the game played by the guys.
Auriemma’s main contention with the men’s game, as he expressed Wednesday, is the slowness of the game and the fact there is so little offense.
“There’s only like 10 teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you’d like to watch…the bottom line is that nobody can score, and they’ll tell you it’s because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of team work, nonsense, nonsense.”
He continued to talk about how every other sport has made major strides in making their games more fan-friendly by changing rules to increase scoring. But not men’s (or women’s) college basketball.
He posed the question from the perspective of a fan, “Do I want to pay 25 bucks, 30 bucks, to go see a college scrum where everybody misses six out of every 10 shots they take?”
Auriemma is certainly not wrong. 2014-15 was the lowest scoring season for all of college basketball in the shot clock era and among the lowest since 1952.
But a joke?
Auriemma stated confidently, “It’s immensely popular. You look at the interest paid on the NCAA tournament. I don’t know that it’s as immensely popular during the regular season as it used to be, but obviously the tournament is just at another world when it comes to that.”
And then he dropped the hammer. “Having said that, I think the game is a joke. It really is.”
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