UConn, Louisville women's coaches respect one another



NEW ORLEANS — When Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma compared Jeff Walz’s shirt in the women’s NCAA semifinals to an “Italian tablecloth,” and then joked about hiring Louisville’s coach at his restaurant, Walz ran with it.

“This will most likely be the last game that I coach,” Walz said during the lead-up to Tuesday night’s national title tilt between Louisville and UConn. “As a women’s basketball coach, you go through times where you’re always wondering, ‘What are you going to do when you’re finished?’

“So my goal is to become the head waiter. Not just one that sits in the back. I want to be the best damn one he’s got,” Walz continued. “So I’m going to talk to him after the game ... and see when I can start.”

All kidding aside, the last two coaches standing in the 2013 women’s college basketball season really do seem to like and respect one another.

Auriemma even noted at one point, “As far as Jeff is concerned, I see a lot of myself in him.

“You look around the country – who’s done a better job than him in six years?” Auriemma asked. “I don’t think there’s another coach in America that’s accomplished as much as he has from where they started in the last six years than he has.”


PLAYING THROUGH PAIN: Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson admitted that in the past she might not have been able to play through the level of pain that she is dealing with right now. She has a stress fracture in a non-weight bearing bone in her right ankle and plantar fasciitis in her left foot.

“Last year probably, the year before probably not,” the junior said referring to whether or not she would have been able to play through these injuries.

She said she’s not looking into having surgery.

“Just a lot of rehab and stuff,” Dolson said.