Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why Do I Hate Connecticut Huskies?

4 No. 1 seeded teams in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament has advanced to Final Four. It tells you one thing: The sport is stagnant. The parity is not there. Who do I blame it on?  

The answer is obvious: Connecticut Huskies.  

Some people, especially with UConn fans, tried to compare Geno's domination with John Wooden's domination. That is not even true. When I see them do that, I tossed a response similar to what Krona did to Hal Jordan when Hal thought he had the upper hand on him - Krona easily dispatched Hal and said this line:

"Is it ignorance or delusional confidence that allows you to actually believe you have the ability to do such a thing?"

Yes, there are many deaf UConn fans, mostly from New England like the Biskupiaks and so on. But do they really know the nature of the sport behind the basketball politics deeply like Mike Weinstock, Darlene Ewan and I do? Of course they may be the fans of UConn but they do not know the sport well as 3 of us do.

A true fan of the sport would not compare Geno Auriemma or Pat Summitt with John Wooden. One just cannot do that. Only a novice or bandwagon fans would do such a thing like that. Why? It all boils to the numbers!

It boils not down to the W-L records, it boils to the numbers of boys and girls basketball players! The history has proved that since 1960s, the numbers of little boys wanting to play basketball are 10 times bigger than little girls. The parents encouraged boys but discouraged girls from playing basketball. In elementary, middle schools' basketball teams as well as the AAU summer league teams, the boys still outnumber the girls.

So when the kids grew up, the numbers of outstanding high school boys basketball players are plentiful for 300 division I schools to recruit. On other hand, the girls basketball players tend to fight harder in proving their parents that they wanted to play basketball. So many girls simply gave up, the numbers of outstanding high school girls basketball players are not many.

Since 1984, I was introduced to the collegiate women's basketball by a school friend and I instantaneously was hooked to the sport. It was fun watching them play. When Virginia lost to Tennessee in Knoxville, 66-58, Mr. Richard Koch told me that it will not be easy for Virginia to win the national championship - he went on to explain about the recruiting battles and all that small details because he used to coach the girls basketball teams in the past.

In the past, it was not easy to identify the best high school girls basketball player in this country and beyond. For boys, many MBB coaches can rely on hundreds of AAU & high school observers all over the country for the tips to recruit who's who through the local or national press. For girls, many WBB coaches only had three for 30 years: Mel Greenberg, Mike Flynn & Clay Kellam through what? Because for years, the press ignored them - Mel, Mike & Clay had the Mailing List which they personally distributed to the WBB coaches when they asked them to send.

And the list is always small. The high school boys basketball players has a long list (500-800) of 5 stars, 4, stars, 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star and honorable mentions. For girls? They mostly have only Top 100 per class. The best is always in Top 10. Guess who recruited the best HS girls basketball player year in and out in the last 10 years?


They would take maybe 4 or 5 players and the rest of the crumbs goes to Tennessee, Notre Dame, South Carolina and so on. When Tennessee got 3 best Top 10 players, what did Geno do? He went crazy and attacked Tennessee. If Notre Dame got 3, what did Geno do? He went crazy and attacked Notre Dame. If South Carolina got 3, what did Geno do? He went crazy and attacked South Carolina!

Because the recruiting pool is small, the battles are very vicious and very personal. Because the sport is not like MBB where there are plenty of players to recruit, the sport is very family-like and very personal. I could visit WBB coaches during the summertime just to say hello when I travel across the country when I was at Gallaudet (Virginia, Old Dominion, George Washington, Maryland, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Arkansas, Duke, North Carolina, Temple, St. Joseph's (PA), Richmond, VCU & Clemson are the schools that I stopped by just to say hello). There is no way you can do that with MBB coaches!

Because Geno has been a bully when it comes to recruiting the limited best hs girls basketball players, the growth of the women's basketball sport has been stagnant for the last 10 years. The attendance figures has indicated that many Division I colleges are losing fans because they are sick of seeing UConn bullying around year in and out. In the last 10 years, the attendance figures at Final Four and the National Championship games has dramatically declined each time UConn got there. But when Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Baylor, Maryland and Purdue won everything, the numbers go up. With Connecticut in it, the numbers go down. 

Unlike the boys basketball players where the numbers of outstanding high school players has continued to grow at an accelerated level, the high school girls basketball players are not growing at an accelerated level, they are growing very slowly. The numbers of girls basketball players participating in summer recreational leagues & high school teams are still smaller than boys had. So the talent pool within the girls is extremely small in comparison with boys'. 

So because of that, you cannot compare Geno with John Wooden at all. John had plenty of players to recruit and so does other schools! On other hand, in WBB, we don't have that luxury like John and other MBB coaches did - so for others to compare Geno with John, you're being stupid, really.

And it is appalling that both hearing and deaf UConn fans does not respect the history, the politics and the growth of the sport. You fans are terrible, to say the least. You UConn fans are the reason on why I despised UConn. You UConn fans are part of the problem on causing the stagnant in the sport and lack of parity within this sport. The truth is that ... the folks associated with UConn are selfish pricks to begin with.



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