UConn's Auriemma Anticipating Long Wait Until Start of Hoops Season

Ignatius L Hoops

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Patience is everything:

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said Monday he's prepared for a long wait until the start of college hoops season, which he thinks will be delayed.

"Patience is everything right now," Auriemma said in a Zoom call with reporters. "You can't really have anything other than patience. I'm trying to be realistic, too. I told our staff this morning, 'Once the rest of the country cancels football, we'll know there's no fall sports at all.

"So there won't be any [basketball] games in November. And then we can start thinking about January, maybe, or February. Who knows?"

UConn canceled its football season Aug. 5 because of concerns over COVID-19, and Auriemma said Monday that he thinks it is "just a matter of time" before college football as a whole will be postponed.

The UConn women's basketball players are on campus in Storrs, Connecticut, now working in small "pods" instead of the entire team being together. Auriemma said the Huskies are working on things they would normally have been doing earlier in the summer, but it's helpful especially with six freshmen on the team, led by No. 1-ranked recruit Paige Bueckers.
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He said his players have been very diligent about following coronavirus protocols on campus.

"They know what's at stake," he said. "If something happens to one of them, they're going to shut down the whole thing. They're really holding each other and themselves accountable."

Auriemma was asked his thoughts on college athletes being more vocal about various concerns, including COVID-19. In particular, football players have been letting their thoughts be known on social media and in direct communication with their schools and conferences.

"If I was a football player, I would do exactly what they're doing," Auriemma said. "I would be asking all the questions that they're asking: 'Am I going to be safe going to practice every day? Am I going to be safe traveling ... playing games?' What is more important than the players' safety and their health? I think they have every right to voice that concern. There's an awful lot expected of them.

"I think they get a bad rap, today's generation. As a coach, I'm always saying, 'Today's players -- ah, man, they're a pain in the ass to coach.' Well, I said the same thing 50 years ago. So I haven't changed. I think they're smart, they're socially conscious. The world that we live in right now is complicated."
 
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