Auriemma at his best against the best

By Carl Adamec

Geno Auriemma’s record speaks for itself.

Heading into Saturday’s Big East game against Rutgers at the RAC in Piscataway, N.J. (4 p.m., SNY), the University of Connecticut women’s basketball Hall of Fame coach ranks sixth all-time in wins (827) and second all-time in winning percentage (.864). He has led the Huskies to seven national championships, 13 Final Four appearances, 24 consecutive NCAA tournament bids, 19 Big East regular season titles, and 18 Big East tournament crowns.

And he’s been successful against the best of the best.

The game with Rutgers will be the 93rd time he’s gone up against a fellow coach that’s been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as the Scarlet Knights’ C. Vivian Stringer goes for her 900th career win. Auriemma’s record against the Hall of Famers is 65-27 (.707) overall including 22-6 (.786) in the postseason. The seven Hall of Fame coaches he has gone up against have a combined winning percentage of .766.

Auriemma vs. Naismith Hall of Fame inductees
C. Vivian Stringer (Iowa/Rutgers) 29-8
Pat Summitt (Tennessee) 13-9
Tara VanDerveer (Stanford) 8-6
Kay Yow (North Carolina State) 6-2
Leon Barmore (Louisiana Tech) 5-2
Jody Conradt (Texas) 3-0
Sue Gunter (LSU) 1-0
Note: Not counting 2-0 vs. Anne Donovan (Seton Hall), who was inducted as a player.

Lobo passed over
Rebecca Lobo will have to wait till at least next year. The former UConn star was not among the 12 finalists named from the North America and women’s committees for the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2013, it was announced Friday.

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell, who recently won her 900th career game, and five-time WNBA All-Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time national college player of the year at Virginia, and current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley were named by the women’s committee. Other finalists include players Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton and Mitch Richmond, and coaches Tom Heinsohn (Boston Celtics), Guy Lewis (University of Houston), Rick Pitino (University of Louisville), and Jerry Tarkanian (UNLV).

The Class of 2013 will be announced in Atlanta on April 8.