January 25, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Geno Auriemma talks UConn’s injuries, expectations and Tennessee 

Howard and coach Geno Auriemma discuss everything that has gone wrong for UConn — plus three starters departed for the WNBA

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal. It has been a year when everything — everything — has gone wrong for UConn. Three starters departed for the WNBA. Iconic Paige Bueckers, lost for the season with an injury. Azzi Fudd, battling injuries of her own and virtually every other team member. Geno Auriemma himself, navigating illness and loss, has missed time.

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Coach Geno Auriemma talks about dealing with the loss of players due to injuries:

“Never to this extent. And this often and especially coming off COVID, so the uncertainty and the goals that we have for ourselves. If you’d have been here in June, during summer school and you see our workouts and then later before Caroline Ducharme had a surgery actually and you see those workouts and you look out there and see Paige Bueckers and Nika Mühl and Azzi Fudd and Caroline and Aubrey Griffin, Dorka Juhász and Aaliyah Edwards.

It just looked like it was going to be so much fun and there wasn’t anything that we could imagine that we wanted to do that we couldn’t do. Then little by little, it started to disappear and then you would get something back and then you lose something, then you get something back and then you lose something and it was just a constant punch in the gut, never a final like with Paige was final okay done. With Ice Brady, you know, it was final. That’s it done.

But with these other guys, it’s touch and go maybe, when, how long. And it’s so frustrating for the players, for us as coaches and for our team. But mostly for the kids that are affected.”

Geno Auriemma talks about UConn’s schedule and how it doesn’t help with injuries and recovery:

“You know, except for when the DePaul game got canceled and rescheduled for the other night. We don’t have two consecutive home games. So we don’t have a chance to come home and recover. We’re home one day, practice, get on a plane and go someplace. We just got done with DePaul now we’re at Tennessee; we come back and got Villanova, the best team in the league besides us. We have Providence at Providence. Then we got South Carolina, right? And then after them, Marquette at Marquette.

So I’m treating it as an NBA coach. I look up who we playing and who we got available. Alright, let’s go. Let’s do our thing. We lose. Where are we eating? And how good is the wine going to be depending on how we play?”

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