Geno Auriemma decries men's game

ByMichelle Smith ESPN logo
Thursday, April 2, 2015

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has no love for the current state of men's college basketball.

Auriemma, speaking on a conference call with national media before taking his Huskies team to Tampa in its quest for a record 10th national championship, called the men's game "a joke."

"It really is," Auriemma said. "I don't coach it. I don't play it, so I don't understand the ins and outs of it. But as a spectator watching it, it's a joke. There's only like 10 teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you'd like to watch."

Auriemma said he is speaking as a fan. And he doesn't like what he sees.

"The bottom line is, nobody can score," Auriemma said. "And they'll tell you that it's because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of teamwork. Nonsense, nonsense. College men's basketball is so far behind the times it's unbelievable."

In particular, Auriemma -- who has the highest winning percentage in the history of women's basketball and has led his team to eight straight Final Fours -- criticized the poor quality of offensive play.

"Every other major sport in the world has taken steps to help people be better on the offensive end of the floor," Auriemma said, citing rules changes that have been made in sports such as Major League Baseball and the NFL.

"This is entertainment we are talking about," Auriemma said. "People have to decide, do I want to spend 25 bucks, 30 bucks to go see a college scrum where everybody misses six of every 10 shots they take or do I want to go to a movie?

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

Auriemma later expounded on his displeasure at the men's game in an ESPN Radio interview Wednesday.

"Hey look, the women's game is less watchable, don't get me wrong," Auriemma said on "SVP & Russillo." "But what I'm saying is the ability of kids to make shots like they used to back in the day ... is gone."

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