“(Samuelson) came here with a reputation as a shooter and we were determined to try and make her into a well-rounded basketball player,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday. “So I’m not surprised that she has scored 2,000 points because she’s always had the ability to make shots. She is making them from a lot more different places now than she did early in her career.”
This season, UConn is playing without much depth and it isn’t unheard of for its starters to play a full forty minutes in tight games. In Sunday’s game however, the bench was thrust into the spotlight when Auriemma made wholesale substitutions, taking the five starters out and putting the bench in to play just halfway into the first quarter.
“Yeah that's a big deal right. Sometimes it just doesn't look right, and it didn't look right,” Auriemma said of his team’s lethargic start. “So, like I was saying earlier, its gotten to a point where coaching, you just make suggestions, now you can't tell people what you want them to do. You just make a suggestion, if they wanna do it, they do it, if they don't, they don't. So, I suggested that they sit down.”
“We always had some great games with (USF), regardless of the fact that we won them all,” Auriemma said. “There is always an element of competitiveness. You always want to be playing teams at their best.”
“You really have to work hard to create those opportunities and I think we were more aggressive defensively tonight than we have been in a while,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “And because the ball went in the basket, it allowed us to set up some things that we wanted to work on. I thought we did a lot of really good things tonight and our defense started it off.”
“It’s funny how that works, if defensively you can create some opportunities for yourself, I think it shows on the other end,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “I think we were more aggressive tonight than we had been in a while, and because the ball went in the basket it allowed us to set up some things we wanted to work on.”
The Huskies (11-1) were outscored 52-10 in the paint, largely due to Baylor’s dramatic size advantage. UConn understood the height advantage was going to be a big factor in the matchup but they were hoping to overcome the issue by making shots in transition.
“It’s probably a unique challenge for anybody in the country when you think about the size that they have,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said in an interview posted by the UConn Blog. “And the combination of the size and the quickness in their guards.”
“The guys showed the type of grit you like to see,” head coach Dan Hurley told the media after the game. "Especially in the first year of what we’re trying to build here. That unwillingness to give in, and to stay in the game against the best team in the league, the bully in the conference. Obviously, the result was devastating, but you feel unbelievably respectful of that team.”
“It was determination. These guys really didn’t hang their heads in the lead-in here,” head coach Dan Hurley said. “All the credit to these guys, in particular Jalen [Adams’] leadership, and [Alterique Gilbert] hit some really tough shots.”
“It’s kind of hard to sit up here as a coach at UConn and feel real good about the effort or feel better about yourself after a 12-point home loss,” Hurley said postgame. “But after Wednesday’s game, the shame and embarrassment of our effort, the way we challenged guys coming in here about their effort, competitive nature, competitive character, I’m not sure we could have played much harder.”