Believe It or Not, Geno Auriemma Has a Point

ncaaUConn’s women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is a lot of things to a lot of people – most of them not so good.

He comes off as an egotistical blowhard, always seemingly bloviating over how great the women’s game is (and his team, of course), as well as other topics he may seemingly no idea of what he is talking about.  And he did not improve that perception when he said that the men’s college game was “a joke”.

Here’s his quote:

“I think the game is a joke. It really is. I don’t coach it. I don’t play it, so I don’t understand all the ins and outs of it. But as a spectator, forget that I’m a coach, as a spectator, watching it, it’s a joke. There’s only like ten teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you’d like to watch. Every coach will tell you that there’s 90 million reasons for it.”

The first thing that popped in my mind (and most people’s) was the following: “Who in the hell does he think HE is?  Didn’t Auriemma watch the NCAA tournament?”

I (and most people) also thought that of all the things that are a joke and unwatchable, women’s college basketball takes the cake.  I mean nothing says interesting more that one team (UConn) blowing the hell out of the rest of the field year in and year out.  Having women’s tournament games in the Sweet 16 drawing less than 3,000 spectators helps Auriemma’s cause too.

HOWEVER, if you listened more to what this blowhard had to say, you’d see that Auriemma actually has a point – and you may end up agreeing with him.  Here ya go:

“And the bottom line is that nobody can score, and they’ll tell you it’s because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of team work, nonsense, nonsense. College men’s basketball is so far behind the times it’s unbelievable. I mean women’s basketball is behind the times. Men’s basketball is even further behind the times.”

Let’s dissect Auriemma’s last quote.

First of all, scoring IS down and some games in the regular season are hard to watch.  Has anyone tried watching any Virginia Cavaliers games or almost all Big Ten (14) games?  Scoring points are at a premium, and watching those games are like paradise at the dentist’s office.

There are many ways scoring could be increased.

I believe the 3-point line should be moved further out.  That would help open up the court and encourage movement on offense.  Move movement = more scoring opportunities.

I think the shot clock should be lowered to 30 seconds.  Less time to take a shot means more offensive possessions.  And more offensive possessions increase the chances of more points being scored, unless that team’s offense flat-out sucks.

I also think that they should take decrease the number of timeouts: coaches and TV.  The college game is, unlike the NBA, a coach’s game.  Coaches get five timeouts (four 30-seconds and one 60-seconds), and if the game is broadcast on TV, radio and over the internet, four media timeouts PER HALF (at the first dead ball under 16, 12, 8 and 4 minutes remaining in each half).  Why in the hell do we have four media timeouts per half?  Do announcers need to take a piss at those moments?  I don’t see a damn port-a-potty chilling behind the baskets.

As a result of all those timeouts, coaches usually save their own timeouts to use at the end of competitive games, rendering the last 90 seconds of such games unbearable to watch.

So, as much as I loathe Auriemma from time to time, I have to say that I agree with dude 1,000%.

Again, people may hate on Auriemma for calling the men’s game “a joke”.  He may come off as a bit of a pompous-ass because of that.  But you can’t hate on the man for being on point.

Categories: college basketball, women's sports

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