AAC Championship - thoughts from courtside - what you didn't see...

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EricLA

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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. It's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.

One other side note - Morgan Tuck was hanging out in the lobby at half time. All smiles while everyone who saw her wanted a picture, myself included. So gracious and charming. Exactly what you'd expect from a UCONN grad. She must know coming to a game and being out in public will give her no time to herself, but she was gracious from start to finish. LOVE her!!
 
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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. It's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.
Geno was actually yelling at her during the end of the game. Something about trapping with a minute left, down 20.
 

MSGRET

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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. It's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.
1,000,000 likes:cool:
 
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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. GIt's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.

One other side note - Morgan Tuck was hanging out in the lobby at half time. All smiles while everyone who saw her wanted a picture, myself included. So gracious and charming. Exactly what you'd expect from a UCONN grad. She must know coming to a game and being out in public will give her no time to herself, but she was gracious from start to finish. LOVE her!!
Great Stuff @EricLA . THanks so much for sharing!
 
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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. It's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.

One other side note - Morgan Tuck was hanging out in the lobby at half time. All smiles while everyone who saw her wanted a picture, myself included. So gracious and charming. Exactly what you'd expect from a UCONN grad. She must know coming to a game and being out in public will give her no time to herself, but she was gracious from start to finish. LOVE her!!
Such a thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing this, Eric.
 

EricLA

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One other thing I forgot to mention - I've been friends with @MilfordHusky for years, and sat with him and my parents. It was great seeing @dannykuconn and I finally got to meet his lovely wife (I've met his son many times as well - he and his dad are both crazed UCONN FANatics!!!). And then finally getting to meet @ochoopsfan - a fellow Cali UCONN fan. I thought maybe I'd run into more BY'ers - I think in the future everyone should be required to wear a UCONN shirt with their BY name proudly displayed so we know who's who!!!
 
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Hey EricLA, thanks for the great "sideline" comments!
Because of our health issues and our financial problems my buddy and I had to give up our season tickets we've had since 1998, so I appreciate the at-the-game info I would usually look for!
In-depth reporting was appreciated!
 

CL82

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Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.
Loved all of your post but especially this.
 

TheFarmFan

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Thanks for the frontlines report. Terrific stuff.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there.
One question about this: Do you know if the teams you saw were all scouting their potential next-game opponents? And were any of the teams the UConn players watching teams that weren't a likely future opponent?

I ask because I have to imagine if I were on the opposite side of the draw from another team not named UConn, I might not pay too much attention either, because, well, let's be real - I won't be facing them, and a tournament is already all-consuming enough that basically spending your limited free time scouting every other team could be mentally draining. (And for schools on the quarter system, kids are entering finals we as we speak.)

Also, the PAC-12 Network panned to the crowds during the PAC-12 tournament games to show other teams watching the teams on the floor, and every team I saw was just like UConn - all seated together, all in conversation, all focused on the game. But: the teams the PAC-12 showed were specifically scouting the game that would produce their next opponents. And even then, for example, only Coach Graves of the Oregon squad stayed to watch the Stanford-Washington semi, because I assume he didn't want his team staying up late rather than getting rest - tipoff for the Stanford-Washington game was 9 p.m., and it wasn't over until 11.

I just want to suggest the possibility that the other teams' comportment in the stands might not be entirely due to lack of team camaraderie, coaching discipline, etc., and rather just that your interest in a game will change dramatically depending on whether you think they're your next opponent. This isn't to in any way diminish how fantastic UConn players are as representatives of their school -- they are, and I say this as a loyal fan of one of UConn's few true periodic quasi-rivals -- I just want to give some benefit of the doubt to tired, overscheduled 19-year-olds.
 

EricLA

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Thanks for the frontlines report. Terrific stuff.

One question about this: Do you know if the teams you saw were all scouting their potential next-game opponents? And were any of the teams the UConn players watching teams that weren't a likely future opponent?
It was usually the winning team from the earlier game out to scout the opponents for the next game. Also, I think it's different when you are Stanford, Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA, etc etc - teams in conferences who have a much richer WCBB history than (in general) the teams in the American. And I did not mean to imply the kids paid zero attention when scouting or acted like they didn't like each other, but NONE of them had the closeness or discipline that UCONN had, and while at times they were focused on the opponent, it was more sporadic (it seemed).

In fairness I was not glued to watching the other teams activities - it's just a general impression as I was also watching the games on the court...
 

VAMike23

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Much has been said about the trapping of Kyla and the bench of UCF and the generally overly physical play and the purpose of my post is not to address that, but rather other topics I think UCONN fans might find interesting, and somewhat related.

Geno apparently either yelled at, or had some choice words for, Coach Abe after the game. He was way ahead of CD in the congrats line. When Coach Abe got down to CD, she actually pulled CD aside and had a short 15 second or so conversation with her. No idea what was said, but that probably wasn't caught on TV.

The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

The UCONN team was very jazzed in general and you could tell they were very happy with the conference tourney win. Christyn got a hold of the trophy and would not let it go. Not sure how heavy it is, but I winced when they handed it to Lou so they could take pictures of her and Pheesa holding it.

Having said that tho... I watched Lou easily bend down and scoop up some confetti and then bring it over to the band to throw it on them. In fact, the whole team collected a bunch of confetti off the court and walked into the stands to douse the band. Very cute and charming and all of them thanked the band, which I thought was incredibly classy.

They then went back and collected some more and doused the cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky with it as well. Lou looked like a Red Sox pitcher as she tossed confetti everywhere, and looked totally pain free. I believe Geno when he said she would be ready for the NCAA's.

The best thing about watching the team after the game was over when the cameras aren't on them is to see the obvious chemistry and affection they all have for each other. It's not the screeching high-five bravado of the UCF bench, but rather a genuine affection and respect for each other individually and as teammates.

One other thing that stood out - our seats were right near the reserved seats where individual teams could come out and sit in during games. Most teams came and sat and left at least one seat between them and teammates. They often hung their legs over the chair in front of them and buried their faces in cell phones and/or put on headphones to listen to music or whatever. Note - not all teams did this, but it was noticeable from most.

When UCONN came out and sat, they literally sat right next to each other - no empty seats, no burying face in cell phones, no isolating themselves with headphones etc. They either watched the game, or chatted amiably amongst themselves. To borrow from Doris Burke, the way the players comport themselves is different from most every other team out there. Even when they are introduced, there is no hip-hop crazy high fivery/dancing - just simple high fives to each player from each player. Lou leads the team huddle and it's simple and to the point - almost like professionals. Other teams... well... they look like grade school kids on the playground.

Lastly, I had a chance to speak with one of the parents from Cinci - super nice dad obviously proud of his daughter. He said she wanted to go to UCONN but wasn't good enough. He said all the players LOVE Jamelle and that his daughter went to college as a kid who "used to hide between his legs" (she was so shy). He said Jamelle taught her to speak eloquently for herself and instilled a sense of confidence in her that he knows comes from her UCONN lineage. His daughter wants to be an AD someday and Jamelle invited her up to UCONN for a few weeks this summer to shadow her and see what it is that she does.

I know coaches use bullcrap negative recruiting against UCONN and Geno, but if recruits could spend 5 minutes talking to any parent involved with ANY UCONN coach - past, present, or future, they'd see what a total class act and phenomenally caring program it is. It's NOT just about great basketball, it's also about great people treating families and their daughters with respect, and teaching their kids about far more than just hoops. I LOVE being a UCONN fan and am so proud to be associated with our program.

One other side note - Morgan Tuck was hanging out in the lobby at half time. All smiles while everyone who saw her wanted a picture, myself included. So gracious and charming. Exactly what you'd expect from a UCONN grad. She must know coming to a game and being out in public will give her no time to herself, but she was gracious from start to finish. LOVE her!!

Post of the week month !!! :cool:
 

triaddukefan

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The UCONN players politely applauded while UCF received their awards for the all tourney team. Only 2 UCF players politely applauded UCONN - KK Wright and Wilson, who quietly had a nice game off the bench for UCF while Coombs and Dangerfield and Williams smothered Wright into oblivion.

The entire UCF team stayed until UCONN received its' trophy and then they left. They did not stay to watch each UCONN player, coach, and manager receive their award for winning the tourney. Not saying anything wrong with that - just an observation.

T
N !!
Is it commonplace in the AAC championship game for the losing team to stay on the court as the winning team receives the trophy and awards, and do they actually receive awards for making the all tourney team? The reason I ask... is that for all the years Ive attended the ACC tourney... the only time the losing team stayed on the court was I think 2011....... Slyvia Hatchell made her team sit and watch as all the confetti and balloons rained down on the Duke players. All the other teams headed straight to the locker rooms after going through the handshake line. In terms of the All-Tournament teams.. they just announce it after the victorious team players receives their medals.
 

oldude

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Eric, last night I decided that Pheesa deserved to be the NPOY. This morning, after reading your detailed and thoughtful post, I decided that you deserve the BYPOY (Boneyard Post of the Year). Thank you so much for taking the time to share your observations.
 
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One other thing I forgot to mention - I've been friends with @MilfordHusky for years, and sat with him and my parents. It was great seeing @dannykuconn and I finally got to meet his lovely wife (I've met his son many times as well - he and his dad are both crazed UCONN FANatics!!!). And then finally getting to meet @ochoopsfan - a fellow Cali UCONN fan. I thought maybe I'd run into more BY'ers - I think in the future everyone should be required to wear a UCONN shirt with their BY name proudly displayed so we know who's who!!!
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vtcwbuff

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It was usually the winning team from the earlier game out to scout the opponents for the next game. Also, I think it's different when you are Stanford, Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA, etc etc - teams in conferences who have a much richer WCBB history than (in general) the teams in the American. And I did not mean to imply the kids paid zero attention when scouting or acted like they didn't like each other, but NONE of them had the closeness or discipline that UCONN had, and while at times they were focused on the opponent, it was more sporadic (it seemed).

In fairness I was not glued to watching the other teams activities - it's just a general impression as I was also watching the games on the court...
Eric - I have watched the same thing every year at the AAC tournament. Teams come out, pop in the ear buds and break out their phones paying very little attention to what's going on on the court. The only exception that I can remember is USF. They paid attention to the game and were actually cheering good plays.
 

oldude

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Eric - I have watched the same thing every year at the AAC tournament. Teams come out, pop in the ear buds and break out their phones paying very little attention to what's going on on the court. The only exception that I can remember is USF. They paid attention to the game and were actually cheering good plays.
Is it any wonder that Geno and Jose are golfing buddies, respect each other immensely and are the best of friends?
 
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Thanks for this! This is the first year I've missed the tournament in many years, which made me very sad, so I loved these observations, especially your conversation with the Cincinnati parent. Last year, I got to meet a very gracious Tulane parent. Those conversations have always been one of my favorite things about the tournament.
 

DefenseBB

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Great post by EricLA and the thing that was punctuated by his articulation was what Geno/CD have said many times, they recruit character! The former players have also said many, many times how CD would be on them for the “little things” but that they realized how important it was/is in their own evolution and focus.

Not all teams can recruit the great basketball skilled player AND the outstanding character persona that UConn demands so they have to compromise and maybe that’s the immaturity we see from some teams. Coaches like many leaders, have their teams embue their personality like Muffet’s “us against everybody” attitude where she rarely speaks eloquently about anyone on another team. While I am not a big fan of Coach A, she did speak very eloquently and in extremely high praise of Napheesa in her post game press conference.

When I think about the elite teams like ND, Stanford and Baylor, I see common traits that @EricLA described so well. It’s the up and comers or wanna be’s that don’t know yet how to behave.
 

oldude

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Great post by EricLA and the thing that was punctuated by his articulation was what Geno/CD have said many times, they recruit character! The former players have also said many, many times how CD would be on them for the “little things” but that they realized how important it was/is in their own evolution and focus.

Not all teams can recruit the great basketball skilled player AND the outstanding character persona that UConn demands so they have to compromise and maybe that’s the immaturity we see from some teams. Coaches like many leaders, have their teams embue their personality like Muffet’s “us against everybody” attitude where she rarely speaks eloquently about anyone on another team. While I am not a big fan of Coach A, she did speak very eloquently and in extremely high praise of Napheesa in her post game press conference.

When I think about the elite teams like ND, Stanford and Baylor, I see common traits that @EricLA described so well. It’s the up and comers or wanna be’s that don’t know yet how to behave.
It’s not just about recruiting “high character” kids, although that certainly makes a coach’s job a lot easier. What is college for, if not to develop character and maturity in a young person. MS St and SC are two schools that get decidedly different kinds of kids than UConn. Dawn has said as much about her team. And yet, the young ladies at those two schools always demonstrate maturity and character on and off the court.

Other than someone’s parents, there are few individuals that can have a greater influence on the character of a young person than a college coach. I know that was true for me. Some college coaches understand that their job involves more than simply winning games. Geno, Dawn, Vic, Tara and others get it.
 
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At one point in the season, Coach Geno complained to the SNY interviewer at halftime that this AAC team plays physical/dirty (not those exact words), and that they're trained this way.

Does anyone recall which team it was that was so dirty/physical/chippy? Was it UCF?
 
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