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

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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!!
An almost perfect post. Just one major correction: Lou looked like a Yankee Pitcher.:D
 
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An almost perfect post. Just one major correction: Lou looked like a Yankee Pitcher.:D
It works better with the Red Sox since UConn is also a New England team like the Red Sox and Patriots, and since it has been a long month since we've celebrated a major sports title, now would be a good time for UConn to bring one home.
 
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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!!
Thank you Eric this was a great article.
 

vtcwbuff

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I didn't see any "dirty" play in the game. There was a lot of physical play, pushing and shoving etc especially against Collier early on, but I thought UConn was holding their own, pretty much giving as good as they got. I also think that Auriemma changed the offense in the 2nd half in part to get Collier away from some of the roughness going on under the basket.
 
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I didn't see any "dirty" play in the game. There was a lot of physical play, pushing and shoving etc especially against Collier early on, but I thought UConn was holding their own, pretty much giving as good as they got. I also think that Auriemma changed the offense in the 2nd half in part to get Collier away from some of the roughness going on under the basket.
I did think that the block on Crystal was dirty: the replay showed the UCF player hitting her in the head with her arm, while also blocking the ball. Got away with a foul, and quite possibly a technical foul.
 

MilfordHusky

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Nice work, Eric! You covered things thoroughly. Just a few points to add:

We saw Jasmine with the scout twice and CD with the scout once, sitting at the front table and watching teams that we might/would play in the following round. @EricLA and I were doing an unofficial scout.

Chloe Pavlech was there working with the media. As you may recall, she was our Grad Assistant the last year and the prior year. She shared a very big hug with Jasmine, her predecessor. She also shared hugs with several UConn players and coaches.

Nykesha, whose number is retired in the rafters of the arena, shared hugs with lots of folks, including UConn coaches.

Jamelle was there at least Saturday and was doing the hugging thing as well.

Rebecca was indeed wearing sneakers when interviewing Geno. She was still about 7" taller.

Pheesa is a modest superstar. She must be a dream to coach. Geno and everyone will miss her. A lot!

Thanks to Eric for the tickets. Same time next year!
 
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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!
RSHERM: Whoa. Was not aware of your health problems. You are one of my ten or 12 posters. Please consider sending me a PM with any info you are comfortable passing along....or, better yet, contact me with a phone # or email so we could communicate a bit directly. Stay well!
 

vtcwbuff

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I did think that the block on Crystal was dirty: the replay showed the UCF player hitting her in the head with her arm, while also blocking the ball. Got away with a foul, and quite possibly a technical foul.
I think the roughest foul I saw last night was Dangerfield's fore arm to the face/throat of a UFC player. Inadvertent, but a pretty dangerous foul.
 
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I think the roughest foul I saw last night was Dangerfield's fore arm to the face/throat of a UFC player. Inadvertent, but a pretty dangerous foul.
I think ONO would have something to say about that!
 

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