U.S. women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma laughed when asked Sunday if his undefeated UConn team was Olympic-caliber.
“We wouldn’t make the Olympics,” Auriemma said on ESPN. “We wouldn’t qualify. I’m dead serious. I don’t think people understand the quality of players that play on these national teams, and you can’t discount the experience. I’ve got some people that go a week in practice without scoring [at UConn]. They can’t make it at the Olympic level, trust me.”
Auriemma is leading a training camp for the finalists for the U.S. Olympic team in Storrs, Conn., from Sunday through Tuesday.
The camp includes one of his UConn players, senior National Player of the Year Breanna Stewart, who is trying to win her fourth straight NCAA title this season, too.
Auriemma’s UConn team has won 63 straight games dating to last season, all by double-digit margins.
The U.S. women’s team has won 41 straight Olympic games since a Barcelona 1992 semifinal loss. Australia, France and Spain have proven medal contenders, even pushing (and defeating) the U.S. outside of the Games.
But the field is not extremely deep in Africa and Asia, evidenced by U.S. wins over Angola (90-38) and China (114-66) at the London Games.