Late in the fourth quarter of UConn women’s basketball’s game against Baylor with the score well out of hand, Crystal Dangerfield fouled to stop the clock. An angry Geno Auriemma immediately pulled the senior point guard for the remaining 42 seconds.
After the game, his frustration boiled over into the press conference.
“Let me tell you how immature they are too,” he said. “There’s a minute left in the game and they’re fouling thinking we can get a 16-point play. Is that dumb or what? ‘Oh you know, we’re gonna lose by eight, what’s the difference if we lose by 17?’ Dummies.”
The “dummies” comment received a fair amount of criticism both online and at ESPN, where the Golic and Wingo and Chiney Ogwumike brought it up.
After the Huskies win over Houston on Saturday, Auriemma fired back.
“You know what’s interesting in the world, I don’t get to comment on all the dumbass stuff you people say. I guarantee because you talk or write, the people on TV talk a lot more than I do, they say a lot more dumbass things on TV than I ever say in my whole life. So we’re even. I feel like I’m joining the crowd,” he said.
Auriemma is never afraid to actively criticize a player or his entire team to the media. But he’ll tell the player the same thing directly too, which is why he felt the blowback was out of line.
“I’ll bet you there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t say to at least one of my players when they do something, ‘That was dumb.’ And they look at me and they go, ‘I know.’ I go, ‘You know what? Good players, they generally don’t do dumb stuff.’ And they go, ‘I know.’ So I make it a point to tell them really good players make smart decisions.”
Former UConn star Gabby Williams came in to defend her former coach, saying the quote was taken out of context and backing up Auriemma’s assertion that those inside the program had no problem with the comment.
you don’t know what goes on in that locker room or at all how that program operates. dont post things out of context— spooky g (@gabbywilliams15) January 11, 2020
So naturally, after the Houston game, Auriemma made it a point to highlight his team’s IQ in the win.
“I’d say my players are really, really smart. They were really intelligent today,” he said. “They did a lot of really smart things. I’m really proud of their intelligence.”