UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had some choice words for his players following the Huskies’ 73-57 loss to South Carolina in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game on Monday.
“The object is to win the game and we didn’t win, so that’s a bad thing,” Auriemma told reporters after the game. “But this is a very stubborn group of players, which I don’t understand.
“Like, I’ve coached some of the most iconic players to ever play college basketball, and they weren’t stubborn. And now I’ve got guys that can barely play a lick, and they’re stubborn as s–t.”
Auriemma also addressed the performance of standout sophomore Paige Bueckers, who led UConn with 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds but also committed four turnovers and missed five shots in the fourth quarter.
“I thought the first half, there were a lot of great moments that she had,” the coach said. “But I think for the entire second half, I don’t think she was much of a factor. I don’t know whether she just got tired, she was worn down. But it wasn’t the same Paige we’re used to seeing.”
Auriemma, who has won a record 11 national championships during his UConn tenure, went on to highlight the technical details he believes his team needs to work on.
“Thirty minutes of what we did I thought was great,” he said. “I don’t know whether we got tired. I thought our transition game was great in the first half, but right now our half-court offense isn’t very good. It’s early, but it’s not very good.”
UConn (3-1) has a rematch with the No. 1 Gamecocks (6-0) on Jan. 27 in Columbia, S.C.