In my Opinion: Auriemma’s comments about Men’s College Basketball on Point

Geno Auriemma (right) has some strong opinions on how to improve March Madness. Photo Courtesy: CT Senate Democrats
Geno Auriemma (right) has some strong opinions on how to improve March Madness.
Photo Courtesy: CT Senate Democrats

By Alex Gustafson

University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball coach Geno Auriemma’s recent comments about the state of men’s college basketball are on point. I agree with his views on NCAA Men’s Basketball.

I agree with his point that the men’s game lacks entertainment value. I personally see a change in the speed of the game due to the number of fouls called per game. Offensive efficiency was another topic Auriemma noted.

In Michelle Smith’s article on “The bottom line is, nobody can score Auriemma said. “…they’ll tell you it’s because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of teamwork. Nonsense, nonsense. College men’s basketball is so far behind the times it’s unbelievable.”

In my opinion, the difference between the men’s and women’s game is a matter of pace. The Connecticut women’s team led the nation in points per game (90.2) and scoring defense (48.2), a difference of 42 points. On the men’s side, national title favorite Kentucky averaged 74.6 points per game while they surrender 53.9 points per game, a difference of 20.7 points per game entering their Final Four game against Wisconsin.

Another point coach Auriemma made in his conference call was the differences in viewing options for the Women’s Tournament compared to the Men’s. Beginning in 2010, the NCAA began its first year of broadcasting the Men’s Tournament on CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV. On the other hand, the Women’s tournament is only broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

With rumblings of rule changes on the horizon for college basketball, Smith notes that the winningest coach in women’s college basketball history who has led his team to eight consecutive Final Fours, highlighted professional sports that have modified the pace of play recently.

“Every other major sport in the world has taken steps to help people be better on the offensive end of the floor,” Auriemma said, noting rule changes that have occurred in Major League Baseball and the NFL to manage the pace of play in both leagues, respectively.

A notable possible change discussed in the men’s game was in regards to one-and-done players in men’s college basketball and the possibility to develop in the NBA Development League if players choose to leave college early to play professional basketball.

Thanks Coach Auriemma for your thoughts. They were needed. It brought the world of college basketball to a standstill over the past few days and should show us that there are differences in collegiate athletics now and more are likely to come in the future.