3 things Geno Auriemma said at his pre-national title game press conference

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 4, 2016 at 1:47 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds INDIANAPOLIS — Syracuse will take on Connecticut in the national championship game on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It’s the No. 4 seed Orange’s (30-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) first-ever national championship game appearance while No. 1 seed Connecticut (37-0, 18-0 American Athletic) is looking to win its fourth consecutive title and 10th overall.UConn head coach Geno Auriemma addressed the media on Monday morning and here are three things he said:The attention received by SU’s men’s team can spill over and help the women’s teamFor the first time in school history, both Syracuse’s men’s and women’s programs reached the Final Four in the same season. The women’s team, which attracts under a thousand fans per home game, however, typically doesn’t receive as much attention as it’s had in the past few weeks during its NCAA tournament run. Meanwhile, the men’s team typically draws 20,000 or more fans during the regular season.Auriemma said the fans of the men’s team could carry over to the women’s side if Syracuse continues its success on a national stage beyond this year. He likened SU to South Carolina, a team that averages more than 12,000 a game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When you’re in a city like Syracuse, where the men’s team is the pro franchise and they lead the country in attendance every year, (that) can that spill over into women’s basketball, absolutely,” Auriemma said. “Absolutely. No question about it. Because it’s a captive audience.“So if every year they were a threat to win the national championship or compete at their level, like their men are, I don’t know that they’re going to get 29,000 soon at the Carrier Dome, but I can see them doing what South Carolina’s done. Just (snapping fingers), couple years it happened in South Carolina. Can it happen there? No question about it.”Parity in women’s college basketball is growing, but it’s still 45 years behind the men’s gameThree of the four teams that made it to Indianapolis were participating in their first-ever Final Four. Traditionally, women’s college basketball has struggled developing teams other than traditional powerhouses like UConn, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Stanford breaking onto the national scene.Twenty years ago, the top players in the country would all go to just a handful of powerhouses. Now, they are spread out across 25 different schools, Auriemma said.Still, he said the women’s game is in a similar spot to where men’s basketball was in the late 60s and early 70s when legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden dominated the national landscape. But having a singular dominant team can also help generate interest in the sport.“We’re really really young in our history. We’re probably where they were,” Auriemma said of basketball during UCLA’s dominance. “… I think you’re always going to have a dominant or two dominant teams that you need to have. If you have four new teams every year, I don’t know if that creates the national interest that you want. There’s always somebody that’s got to be here that half the people want to win again and the other half can’t wait for anybody but them to win.3-point shooting can make or break national championship hopesAuriemma said the Orange has displayed an odd situation in which its 3-point shooting has improved significantly in the postseason. During the regular season, Syracuse shot 29.3 percent from deep. In its last four games, however, SU has made 37.1 percent of its 3-pointers.Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman says if his team can make at least 10 3s a game, it will have a good chance to win the game. The Orange is 15-0 when accomplishing that. And that’s a reflection why Auriemma said the 3-point shot is “maybe the greatest weapon in all of basketball.”“It can make you win a national championship and it can make you lose a national championship,” Auriemma said. “… We’ll have to figure out a way to minimize that. I don’t know that you can completely eliminate it, but I think we’re going to have to figure out a way to minimize it tomorrow night.” Commentslast_img

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