Memo to Geno: Women’s basketball is the joke

basketball1UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma told reporters on a conference call today that men’s basketball is a “joke” and “so far behind the times it’s unbelievable.”

It gets better.

“We are fighting for the entertainment dollar here, and I have to tell you, it’s not entertainment from a fan’s standpoint.”

Can’t make this stuff up, folks.

This from the best coach in a sport that is eminently unwatchable primarily because of Auriemma’s and UConn’s success.

Women’s basketball is the one so far behind the times that it’s unbelievable. The sport is where men’s basketball was 45 years ago, when UCLA ruled the men’s game, winning 10 national titles in a 12-year span.

The UConn women are in their eighth consecutive Final Four, and the Huskies have won eight of the last 15 national titles. Congratulations, definitely, and great if you’re a UConn fan, but not so great if you want any sense of drama as to what is going to happen.

This year’s Final Four is a case in point. UConn is a 23-point favorite over its semifinal opponent, Maryland, which of course isn’t chopped liver, a #1 seed with a 34-2 record coming in.

That’s just the nature of the women’s game right now. It’s not Auriemma’s fault that he’s got such a good thing going, but honestly, there is no entertainment value whatsoever to the sport when the entire season basically serves to coronate another UConn title run.

Which puts a damper on any idea that he’s trying to be constructive with his comments about the men’s game.

Specific to his points: too much defense, not enough fundamentals on offense, blah blah blah.

Must be nice to be Geno Auriemma with the best athletes in women’s basketball stockpiled on his roster to a point where the best games played in the sport are intrasquad scrimmages in Storrs.

Coaches in the much, much more competitive men’s game have to focus on things like post doubles, rotations, transition defense and ball pressure. Which is to say, not everybody can just roll the ball out and blow a whistle to pile up the Ws.

In any case, three times as many people attend men’s games as women’s, and seven times as many watch men’s games on TV than watch women’s games.

Keep up the good fight for the entertainment dollar, Geno.

– Column by Chris Graham



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