Z's Early Departure Surprised Geno, She Admits



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I haven't seen anyone reference this article, which appeared in the Connecticut Post and was dated May 14. A reporter named Doug Bonjour interviewed Azura Stevens at the Mohegan Sun preseason tournament. The main theme of the article was that she is focused on the present and not the past, and claims not to have really thought about how her early departure from UConn affected the Huskies' hopes for a National Championship in 2019.

However, she did acknowledge that Geno was surprised by her decision, but she said that she appreciated the way he handled it "in private". So apparently Geno and the coaches had no advance warning that she was going to leave.

She was on the Dallas Wings bench for the Monday and Tuesday night games but did not play due to a minor ankle injury (if that is not an oxymoron).
 
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Interesting to hear it in her own words. Still, Not sure it clarifies much. Geno said explicitly he was surprised so nothing learned there and nothing really clarifying her decision but I do think she really had a hard decision and did not try to
"hoodwink" anybody.
 
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What's past is passed. That doesn't mean her leaving fails to resonate with me. It does. I always thought she wasn't quite ready for the big girls game and that another year under Geno, in the weight room, on the court and further fitness training at the CBB level would benefit her. Now all that off court stuff is on her. I still wish this Husky for life the best of futures.
 
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Since the subject is broached, surprise appears the operative word, all of us surprised. If the coaches had an inkling, maybe somebody could have, early on, emphasized the pros of staying for her senior year, improving her fitness, skills and, obviously, playing on a national championship team. And giving her more playing time in her last game.
 
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I haven't seen anyone reference this article, which appeared in the Connecticut Post and was dated May 14. A reporter named Doug Bonjour interviewed Azura Stevens at the Mohegan Sun preseason tournament. The main theme of the article was that she is focused on the present and not the past, and claims not to have really thought about how her early departure from UConn affected the Huskies' hopes for a National Championship in 2019.

However, she did acknowledge that Geno was surprised by her decision, but she said that she appreciated the way he handled it "in private". So apparently Geno and the coaches had no advance warning that she was going to leave.

She was on the Dallas Wings bench for the Monday and Tuesday night games but did not play due to a minor ankle injury (if that is not an oxymoron).
“Azura left early which, OK, you can’t fault the kid, but we made too many plans that involved her and never considered her leaving,” Auriemma said when discussing UConn’s effort to rebuild its depth earlier in the month.

I've commented several times that I could not/did not believe that Geno agreed to take Stevens for only one year. I wonder what was the tipping point, or the straw that broke the camel's back? I wonder if it was sometime during the tournament, which was well after the recruitment period ended for the next class. Charli Collier doing a 180 on us didn't help either. To this day, I believe if Stevens comes back (as planned/assumed), UConn wins #12. Oh well. :rolleyes:
 
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There are only a couple of players that I consider marginal Huskies - AND YES THIS IS MY OPINION THAT OTHERS SURELY WONT SHARE - because I dont think they ever bought into UConn.

Azura is one.

Thank you. Next.
Marginal is a good way to put it. I don’t know that she didn’t buy in, and she certainly had the right to do what was best for her. But to me, unless there were extenuating circumstances, her leaving left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I do have to say though, that she was more ready for the W than I thought she’d be.
 
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She’s in the past but I wonder if UConn applied for wavier for her to play immediately? I think her wavier would’ve been approved if a wavier was applied for because Coach P was being investigated by Duke’s athletics department at the time of her transfer.
 
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She’s in the past but I wonder if UConn applied for wavier for her to play immediately? I think her wavier would’ve been approved if a wavier was applied for because Coach P was being investigated by Duke’s athletics department at the time of her transfer.
Geno said he never bothered to apply. As to all the others that think she deserves an asterisk, let's not forget. Z may have played for only one year, but she was here for two. To me that's enough to qualify as a Husky for life. I frankly hope she goes on to be an all star.
 
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In all honesty, the sound of making some money probably enticed her. I am finally done with college, and am about to graduate (makes me a youngin' on this board). I can understand her perspective if it came down to being a pro. She would finally be getting paid to play, and she's good enough to get paid!! College athletes (most) do not get paid for their sacrifices. If you knew that you could make it as a pro, go for it.
 

Drumguy

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In all honesty, the sound of making some money probably enticed her. I am finally done with college, and am about to graduate (makes me a youngin' on this board). I can understand her perspective if it came down to being a pro. She would finally be getting paid to play, and she's good enough to get paid!! College athletes (most) do not get paid for their sacrifices. If you knew that you could make it as a pro, go for it.
I'm not sure It wouldn't have been very meaningful to stay and have a major chance to win a national championship.

My impression is that she didn't totally buy into the coaching which is why she didn't play more despite her amazing talent. She probably felt she was "good enough" and we know that's not Geno's standard. I'm not being overly judgmental here and I bet Geno would have demanded her to work harder work to reach her potential. Maybe the thought of that turned her off. She had two years to be reinvented as a player and she seemed to resist changing.
 
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There are only a couple of players that I consider marginal Huskies - AND YES THIS IS MY OPINION THAT OTHERS SURELY WONT SHARE - because I dont think they ever bought into UConn.

Azura is one.

Thank you. Next.
I doubt many will step forward but you ain't as alone as you think. My take on the whole AS experience was a year of lost 'Pheesa and wasn't upset in the least she left early.
 
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IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF - IF I think it is time to move on into the real world now!
 
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I’m not a Husky-for-Lifer. At least not for all of them. You stay 4 years and graduate, you’re automatically in. Have a few rings, fragile knees, and wanna leave with your class (and a degree) - great, you’re in. Give it your best shot for 2 years and face the reality you just aren’t good enough to start here, and you’d rather transfer to a school in your hometown where you can play (say ASU) - you’ve got a strong case, but I question whether you even care. Transfer in and then leave early? That’s your prerogative, but I’d like us to have an NC to show for it before you’re anointed a “Husky for Life.”

I reserve the right to invoke the, “You’re either with us or against us” clause at my sole discretion (for example, players who decide during their freshman year to leave for more playing time at a lesser D1 program where they can get exposure and chase their WNBA dreams. Not saying they’d be wrong to do this, or that I’d blame them, but why should I think of them as a “Husky for Life,” or as a Husky at all?)

(And EDD? A Husky for 24 hours who messed up our recruiting plan. I know she had her reasons, and I respect them. But that doesn’t obligate me to have some sort of “Husky” soft spot for her.)
 
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I'm not sure It wouldn't have been very meaningful to stay and have a major chance to win a national championship.

My impression is that she didn't totally buy into the coaching which is why she didn't play more despite her amazing talent. She probably felt she was "good enough" and we know that's not Geno's standard. I'm not being overly judgmental here and I bet Geno would have demanded her to work harder work to reach her potential. Maybe the thought of that turned her off. She had two years to be reinvented as a player and she seemed to resist changing.
We don't know what her family situation is or was. We don't know what her physical situation is. We don't know what promises she made to family and friends. We don't know whether she gave in to family pressure or not. We don't know any of the mental, emotional or physical pressures that led to her leaving. Even if it has merely been her cradle to adult dream to play in the Association, who's to say that's not enough for a person to forego a 5th (!) year in college? Geno constantly called her a nice kid that was perhaps a little too nice, and that occasionally she was hard to read. I never saw or heard any problem with the dynamic between her, Geno, teammates or her work ethic. Maybe you heard or saw more than I. What I saw was a young lady that gave all she had on the court for UConn, and that is enough for me. Maybe not for you and others.
 
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I'm glad she left, I'd be pissed as well sitting on the bench in crunch time!
And therein lies the simple "truth" to the matter of her leaving ... no if, ands or buts about it! She didn't feel she was treated fairly based upon her skills and obvious talents. I don't want to criticize Geno's coaching style, but it embarrassed her over and over again. Yanking her in and out of games for mistakes when she was "pro ready" and your team was consistently up by a very wide margin couldn't have been appealing. It's the type of "hurt" that never goes away!
 
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meyers7

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And therein lies the simple "truth" to the matter of her leaving ... no if, ands or buts about it! She didn't feel she was treated fairly based upon her skills and obvious talents. I don't want to criticize Geno's coaching style, but it embarrassed her over and over again. Yanking her in and out of games for mistakes when she was "pro ready" and your team was consistently up by a very wide margin couldn't have appealing. It's the type of "hurt" that never goes away!
So you're saying she ran away because she was butthurt? She didn't want to put in the effort to fix the problems?
 
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She came, she played she graduated, and she left. Do I wish she stayed? Yes. Does Geno? Yes. Could our season have been very different? Sure.

With all that being said, she made the best decision for her, and I'm happy to have had her.
 
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What appears left unsaid, but might be inferred, is that Coach Geno did have an understanding from her that she would remain for the full two years. It also might be inferred that along the way, even perhaps late in the season, Coach Geno or other coaches asked Z about her plans for the coming year and she assured them that she would stay. Why else would Coach Geno express "surprise" with her decision? And why wouldn't the coaching staff have asked Z outright what her plans were.

Suggests that Z kept mum until she pulled the trigger on her pro career. Can't blame her, but...
 

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We don't know what her family situation is or was. We don't know what her physical situation is. We don't know what promises she made to family and friends. We don't know whether she gave in to family pressure or not. We don't know any of the mental, emotional or physical pressures that led to her leaving. Even if it has merely been her cradle to adult dream to play in the Association, who's to say that's not enough for a person to forego a 5th (!) year in college? Geno constantly called her a nice kid that was perhaps a little too nice, and that occasionally she was hard to read. I never saw or heard any problem with the dynamic between her, Geno, teammates or her work ethic. Maybe you heard or saw more than I. What I saw was a young lady that gave all she had on the court for UConn, and that is enough for me. Maybe not for you and others.
Well, this is a message board and I think its pretty clear that it's just my opinion having watched her come just short of her potential as we expected and heard from the horde covering her. fwiw, you don't know squat about her either so your guess about family and other circumstances is just as much an opinion piece.

Geno, iirc was quoted many times saying she's more comfortable on the outside taking 3's and never appeared to embrace contact inside or be as open to redefining herself - like Lou going from being only a 3 point shooter for example. I believe there was a lot of coverage of his trying to change her style of playing, where there was zero talk of family or financial need.

I have a problem when a player goes back on their commitment - as in Geno was blindsided by this and had no time to find a replacement. Her leaving cost us the likelihood of a championship and that screw job isn't to us - it is to her coach and teammates. Stuff happens, doesn't mean we all have to like it.
 
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I reserve the right to invoke the, “You’re either with us or against us” clause at my sole discretion
I'll put my "husky for life" credentials against anyone on the Boneyard, but I don't have the hubris to declare myself the arbitrator of who gets to be considered Husky and who doesn't.
 
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