Z's Early Departure Surprised Geno, She Admits

-
Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
5
Likes
38
At the time of Z leaving I was not a BY member and not as up-to-date on the intricacies of the team & players and my impression - from the media & attending some games, etc, - was that Z would play 2 full years after her sit-out period similar to her colleague BC.

I was not up current on her course completion status and where she was credit wise vis-a-vis graduation so I didn't realize she was as close to done as she apparently was - she did graduate, right?

So my question/comment is that as distant fan I wasn't thinking that it was an option - BUT the coaching staff HAD to be monitoring her completion credits and status such that they were aware of the possibility she could go. That's what I don't get.

If I'm misguided here, could be - but I've wondering for a year now.
 
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
63
Likes
124
Well in my opinion, the handling, or mishandling of Azura Stevens falls solely with Geno. You can't blame her for bolting to the WNBA when she's projected to be a top-ten pick. We can speculate with the "what-if" as to whether UConn would have won another championship this year with Azura--possibility so. But we needn't speculate much on the season before--had Geno played Azura more, we almost assuredly would have won. Azura played little more than half a game (20.9 minutes per game), yet she averaged nearly 15 ppg and 7 rebounds. Let's extrapolate those numbers to full-game minutes, and Azura would have a very extraordinarily, dynamic season.

In the semi against Notre Dame, her plus/minus was phenomenal, (as was pointed out several times by the game announcers who were all but stupefied that Azura was getting so little playing time). Yet Geno choose to stick to his player hierarchy and only give her spot duty. I know he tries to be loyal to his starters and all, but unlike Gabby and Kia, Crystal was only a sophomore, so she had two full years ahead of her--it was imminently obvious that the Huskies were a much better team against ND with Azura on the court, Kia running point and Crystal coming off the bench..

Without a doubt, had Azura played more minutes, UConn has its 12th national championship. I know it's heresy to second-guess an absolute legend, but it was Geno's lack of flexibility, perhaps mixed with an overshot of misplaced loyalty and tradition that caused the loss--and perhaps played a factor in Azura leaving early... So if in hindsight, Azura could have done some things differently, so too could have Geno...
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
9,434
Likes
15,263
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.
That's why I said "We don't know", not you. There is rarely if ever any talk about off court issues with any player, and usually it's we fans who speculate. Sometimes for years. Tell me, what were the personal reasons that Lexi Brown left Maryland? Did she share that with you? AEH is another prime example of someone who's off court issues were the prime component of her dismissal. Did any of us know of this stuff before she was shown the door?

How do we know what Z's original commitment to Geno was? Maybe she told Geno "I would like to play two years for you", or "I expect to play two years for you" or "It's my intention to play two years for you", or anything of the like. Let me as you a question as any adult. Ever have a job or a commitment that you fully intended to fulfill, but circumstances, maybe something unexpected and out of your control, led to you not fulfilling it? I'm sure she gave her reasons to Geno and her teammates. Did you share those reasons with your boss or your co-workers? With the shareholders? I've done it, more than once, and I shared my reasons with no one on the job. Did you feel it was your responsibility to stick with that job or commitment no matter the cost to you? You see her leaving as a betrayal. I see it as a terrific young lady leading her life. Not yours.

Yeah, I think her game would have benefited by staying, and yeah, I think UConn's chances at a championship would have been good. However, your opinion that we could have won a championship if she stayed is the same one Houston fans had when they cite CP3's injury last year as the reason they lost to the Warriors. Well, CP3 and Harden were healthy this year, now what's your excuse?
 

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,448
Likes
20,116
At the time of Z leaving I was not a BY member and not as up-to-date on the intricacies of the team & players and my impression - from the media & attending some games, etc, - was that Z would play 2 full years after her sit-out period similar to her colleague BC.

I was not up current on her course completion status and where she was credit wise vis-a-vis graduation so I didn't realize she was as close to done as she apparently was - she did graduate, right?

So my question/comment is that as distant fan I wasn't thinking that it was an option - BUT the coaching staff HAD to be monitoring her completion credits and status such that they were aware of the possibility she could go. That's what I don't get.

If I'm misguided here, could be - but I've wondering for a year now.
I'm sure they were very aware of her graduation. However, most players, or well a lot of players, with an extra year of eligibility will graduate, but then will pursue and Masters in their 5th season. I have to assume either she wasn't interested, or UCONN didn't have a program she was looking for. Maybe after 16 years, she was just tired of school. Can't blame her on that.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
9,434
Likes
15,263
I'm sure they were very aware of her graduation. However, most players, or well a lot of players, with an extra year of eligibility will graduate, but then will pursue and Masters in their 5th season. I have to assume either she wasn't interested, or UCONN didn't have a program she was looking for. Maybe after 16 years, she was just tired of school. Can't blame her on that.
Yep, yeah, yes and certainly. I just don't get some people. Every move these kids make needs their personal approval. On the men's side Williamson and Barrett leave after one year. No one says "What a couple of traitors. We would have won next year if they'd stayed".
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
8,205
Likes
10,435
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 and husky and who doesn't.
Haha - I have declared myself the arbiter for ME. Everyone else is free to have their own opinion. I'm just saying I'm GOING to have my own opinion and not feel compelled to jump on the "Husky for Life" bandwagon if I don't see it that way.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
64
Likes
55
So you're saying she ran away because she was butthurt? She didn't want to put in the effort to fix the problems?
Butthurt is such a vulgar, ugly word! And, no I don't believe there was anything silly about her feelings and/or reaction. I believe she looked upon the ND game as a guiding light into what the next season might be for her and decided to take her talents elsewhere.
 

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,448
Likes
20,116
Butthurt is such a vulgar, ugly word! And, no I don't believe there was anything silly about her feelings and/or reaction. I believe she looked upon the ND game as a guiding light into what the next season might be for her and decided to take her talents elsewhere.
Ok, so you are saying you think she was butthurt and not willing to fix the problems. Ok, your opinion; I just don't agree with it.
 
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
63
Likes
124
Butthurt is such a vulgar, ugly word! And, no I don't believe there was anything silly about her feelings and/or reaction. I believe she looked upon the ND game as a guiding light into what the next season might be for her and decided to take her talents elsewhere.
Exactly--well said. The ND game no doubt was a statement game for Azura.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
64
Likes
55
Ok, so you are saying you think she was butthurt and not willing to fix the problems. Ok, your opinion; I just don't agree with it.
Repeat yourself much? Glad I finally got through to you. That's what we all do here...post our opinions. Glad you also figured that out. Wow! You're having a really good day.
 
Last edited:

RockyMTblue2

Don't Look Up!
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
17,069
Likes
29,883
I did not read the article until my e-mail stuck it in my face. My guess is she still feels a cold breeze coming out of CT. If this "some things I might have done differently" is an apology Azura, lemme tell you: You suck at it.
 

Drumguy

Numbers Guru
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
1,016
Likes
614
That's why I said "We don't know", not you. There is rarely if ever any talk about off court issues with any player, and usually it's we fans who speculate. Sometimes for years. Tell me, what were the personal reasons that Lexi Brown left Maryland? Did she share that with you? AEH is another prime example of someone who's off court issues were the prime component of her dismissal. Did any of us know of this stuff before she was shown the door?

How do we know what Z's original commitment to Geno was? Maybe she told Geno "I would like to play two years for you", or "I expect to play two years for you" or "It's my intention to play two years for you", or anything of the like. Let me as you a question as any adult. Ever have a job or a commitment that you fully intended to fulfill, but circumstances, maybe something unexpected and out of your control, led to you not fulfilling it? I'm sure she gave her reasons to Geno and her teammates. Did you share those reasons with your boss or your co-workers? With the shareholders? I've done it, more than once, and I shared my reasons with no one on the job. Did you feel it was your responsibility to stick with that job or commitment no matter the cost to you? You see her leaving as a betrayal. I see it as a terrific young lady leading her life. Not yours.

Yeah, I think her game would have benefited by staying, and yeah, I think UConn's chances at a championship would have been good. However, your opinion that we could have won a championship if she stayed is the same one Houston fans had when they cite CP3's injury last year as the reason they lost to the Warriors. Well, CP3 and Harden were healthy this year, now what's your excuse?
Must be great to know it all. You seem to know everything and no one else can have any opinion that differs. I suspect these message boards are a tough read for you since there's so many of us idiots out there.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
101
Likes
160
OK after reading all of this I will post my thoughts and opinion. Z did not or could not play the way Geno wanted. He was a grump all year from the stresses of that season and it likely caused UConn to lose recruits because of his grumbling. Without her last year he knew they would not be as good but was quoted as saying it was one of his most fun seasons and was upbeat almost always last year. The recruiting results I think reflect that.

It was reported that he met with Camara in January to ask about her plans. I assume he did that with z. She said she would be returning. It is my thought that together they decided she play very little and rest he leg as much as possible to be ready for a greater role this upcoming season. Seems like they agreed with that. I can't forget one of the interview I think with Lou during the post season when you could see basket after basket swishing in the background and just before the end of the inteview you saw it ws Camara doing it. Getting ready.

Losing Z was a loss for sure for the season but quite possibly in my view a gain for the program.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
9,434
Likes
15,263
Must be great to know it all. You seem to know everything and no one else can have any opinion that differs. I suspect these message boards are a tough read for you since there's so many of us idiots out there.
Yep.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
9,434
Likes
15,263
Must be great to know it all. You seem to know everything and no one else can have any opinion that differs. I suspect these message boards are a tough read for you since there's so many of us idiots out there.
By the way, you're the one that knows it all. I keep saying we don't know anything. But I'm glad to know you're sure of my certainty of nothing. Perhaps you can repost your quote to my girlfriend?
 

bbsamjj

Rutgers Rooter
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
325
Likes
381
Azura was selected 6th overall in the WNBA Draft, and in her rookie season, averaged 8.9ppg, 4.6rpg, and 20.6mpg.

She certainly could have gotten better with another year at UConn, but she proved she was ready for the WNBA last year, and playing against other pros every day is a hell of coaching experience too.
 

DaddyChoc

Choc Full of UConn
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
12,061
Likes
8,628
Yep, yeah, yes and certainly. I just don't get some people. Every move these kids make needs their personal approval. On the men's side Williamson and Barrett leave after one year. No one says "What a couple of traitors. We would have won next year if they'd stayed".
cause they can, some would jump right out of high school if the option was still available. With the W they must be a certain age and the money isn’t all that great to jump like the NBA. remember when Muffett was shocked when Loyd left?
 

CL82

October 1, 2021
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
31,537
Likes
50,939
FWIW, I don't fault Z at all for going. This time was right as shown by her draft position. That said, I really don't have much connection with her. Don't get me wrong I wish her well, but ... [shrug].
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Messages
291
Likes
215
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 agree in theory, however I give a pass to someone like Butler who could not get their grad program at UConn.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Messages
291
Likes
215
I think AS would have been a much better player had she stayed. Draft position means nothing. She is supposed to have all world talent and I just have never seen it in her. She is a solid WNBA player. I just don't know if she will ever be the star she could have been. Time will tell.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Messages
2,286
Likes
3,240
Azura was selected 6th overall in the WNBA Draft, and in her rookie season, averaged 8.9ppg, 4.6rpg, and 20.6mpg.

She certainly could have gotten better with another year at UConn, but she proved she was ready for the WNBA last year, and playing against other pros every day is a hell of coaching experience too.
I think it wasn't really the $40 grand that she received for playing in the WNBA summer league, but the (?) $100k-plus that she earned playing overseas while Connecticut was playing their unpaid season. Don't know what she really earned overseas, but could be that she pocketed nearly $200k during the time she would have been prepping or playing for UConn.

For a pro athlete with the clock ticking on your career, can't overlook that.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,542
Likes
1,599
I'm glad she left, I'd be pissed as well sitting on the bench in crunch time!
I agree with you DC. Let's add some other points to this lack of playing time overall. Azura should have averaged at least 32 minutes a game easily with her talent and this is without garbage minutes. If she played these minutes from the start it would have made a huge difference by the end of the year.
Geno didn't use AS like he should have and that is why she left.
 

CL82

October 1, 2021
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
31,537
Likes
50,939
I agree with you DC. Let's add some other points to this lack of playing time overall. Azura should have averaged at least 32 minutes a game easily with her talent and this is without garbage minutes. If she played these minutes from the start it would have made a huge difference by the end of the year.
Geno didn't use AS like he should have and that is why she left.
... and you know that is why she left how exactly?

Let me submit an alternative theory. Z talked with her advisers and did a little due diligence and discovered that she was going to be a top 10 draft pick and made her decision to leave based on that. She was drafted 6 and averaged 14+ points. It sure seems like that was a sensible decision. To me that makes more sense than her sulking and leaving because she believed she should get more minute.

I love when people talk about playing time as if it some God given right. It isn't. When my kids were young I would tell them if they wanted more playing time, earn it. Make every minute that you play so valuable that your coaches can't afford to take you out. That approach served them well.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top