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Geno Auriemma says UConn is ‘in a bad way’ after crushing loss

(Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Following a historic upset by Georgia Tech, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had choice words for his team.

“We’re disorganized as a group right now, from the coaching on down,” Auriemma said after the 57-44 loss Thursday night. “There is no sense of [having] a plan of how we’re going to execute, how we’re going to get a bucket, who’s going to get it for us.

“Scoring is a function of people working together. I thought Georgia Tech did a great job of that. Their post players worked really well together, really controlled the game. In that fourth quarter, we didn’t respond. Which has happened before with this team. So you can blame Paige not being here — yeah, that’s part of it — but that’s not the real story.”

UConn is without star sophomore and leading scorer Paige Bueckers for six to eight weeks due to a knee injury. The Huskies are also missing top freshman Azzi Fudd, sophomore guard Nika Mühl and junior forward Aubrey Griffin.

Despite the injury setbacks, Auriemma said the team’s woes extend beyond the absent stars.

“What I see is a team that’s somewhat disheveled,” Auriemma said. “And that’s on me. Somehow, some way I do not have the ability at this point in time to affect my players to make sure that we’re in a better place mentally and physically, to play the kind of basketball we need to play.

“I’ve usually been pretty good over the years at making players better. We get really good players coming out of high school, but they get better and better and better every year. And right now, that’s not happening.”

It isn’t the first time Auriemma has been hard on his team this season. After UConn’s loss to South Carolina last month, he called them stubborn. When Bueckers went down with her injury in the final minute against Notre Dame on Sunday and he was asked why she had still been in the game, Auriemma said that he doesn’t “like the way our team looks when she’s not on the floor.”

The loss Thursday night snapped UConn’s 239-game winning streak against unranked opponents.