Nov. 2, 2012
Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma
Were you pleased with what you saw during tonight’s game?
“Well like I said last night when we talked, we are going to have instances today where we are going to look like we had things to work on. I just found out today that we had 17 practices, I didn’t know we had that many. I also thought we would see some things that were going to look really good and that’s what happened. There were some things that happened tonight where we said wow that’s really good, if they could build on that that’s going to be really something for this team. As the game went on it got better and better which is a good sign and as we saw there wasn’t a drop off that you worry about. All in all, as much as you can be from an exhibition game I thought it was good, you know some exhibition games I come out of there and I think it’s pointless but I thought tonight was good, really good.”
On young players, including the sophomores:
“One of the things that I said in the locker room after the game is part of being a really good team and a good player is that mentally you are a smart player and smart players then make smart teams. And smart teams are hard to play against if they are talented, then I looked around the room and I said the challenge for our team is six of our players are freshmen or sophomores, they don’t even know what they don’t know. They have to work that much harder to become really smart down the road to win the games were going to have to win against the really, really good teams. From a physical standpoint, the young guys have talent and ability to play. Our challenge from a coaching standpoint is to make sure we keep working on getting them to be smarter than their age. That is the key. Making sure they don’t play like freshmen and sophomores come February, March, and April.”
On Caroline Doty:
“For the most part its nothing for anybody to worry about or obsess about. There is nothing you can do about it. 90% of the time in practice and when she’s out on the floor there are no problems whatsoever, but given her history there is just enough times where it is like uh oh. And those times are just shut it down, walk away from it and live to play another day. We have practice tomorrow and she’ll be there, we have a day off Sunday, so I’m expecting her to play on Wednesday. I don’t anticipate her to not play on Wednesday.
What major differences were seen in Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis tonight?
“I thought earlier in the game she passed up on a couple shots I was hoping she would take. Stefanie has been here three years and Kaleena this is her second, I would say those two guys are on a different level then when they first got here and that changes our team unbelievably. I mean, to have one person that can anchor your offense and your defense at the center position and then to have another kid who has a reputation of just being able to shoot three’s who now wants to do four or five other things to help her and us…that’s huge. She played harder today defensively then she has in her life and that’s a great sign.”
Freshman Center Breanna Stewart
On what it was like to put on the UConn jersey for the first time:
“Putting on a UConn uniform for the first time was really exciting. It was something I have been waiting for a long time – since committing in halfway through my junior year. But to finally be able to do it and have our team win tonight like we did it was a lot of fun.”
On the impact of the new group of freshmen:
“I think that we’re all willing to do what the team needs. Any of us can on the court and contribute. Coach was just talking in the locker room about how we have 6 underclassmen – and we’re all looking to help out the team.”
Sophomore Forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
On the importance of the first game:
“We’re just trying to get out the kinks and try and get a good rhythm out there. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing if you’re not running the offense right or making the right rotations. I think tonight really helped us figure out what tweaks we need to make on defense and offense.”
On whether they can win in a different style than last year:
“Last year I feel like we were so small and undersized and this year we have so many post players. I think the options and different combinations we can throw out at different teams are awesome.”
On the impact of Stewart and Tuck:
“It definitely makes them un-guardable and it makes our team un-guardable. They have post players guarding them and Stewart and Tuck can take anyone off the dribble anytime they want. There’s always going to be a mismatch with them. Anytime we’re on the court we know we’ve got Breanna who can be a guard and a post and they fact that they’re unstoppable in and out just makes it a lot easier for everyone else on the team.”