Kevin Ollie's Huskies have welcomed three transfers to the program this spring, and Geno Auriemma's team has Natalie Butler, the former Big East Freshman of the Year from Georgetown, set to take the court this fall.
There has been a run across the game on players leaving their original college teams for playing time elsewhere -- Brianna Banks and Sadie Edwards departed UConn for playing time elsewhere -- and Auriemma knows that even the three-time defending national champs aren't immune.
“I’m sure we’re as susceptible as anyone else,” he said Monday, according to SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “That’s why I laugh when people talk about the kids who have transferred from our place like it’s the end of the world. I don’t begrudge anybody if they go to another school and say, ‘Hey look, I made a mistake.’ That’s not a negative. We make mistakes in recruiting. Kids make mistakes in picking schools.
“What has happened is we have a little bit more access to these kids earlier. One of the results of that is that kids commit earlier, and maybe the coaches and the players haven’t gotten a chance to know each other very well during the recruiting process. And maybe some promises were made along the way, and then you can’t deliver on those promises. Then it all kind of comes to a head. I’m not there so I don’t know.”
And that's the thing: When you're the best program in the nation, naturally you attract the best players -- none of whom are not accustomed to sitting on the bench. So when they get to college, and everyone is just as good as they are it can be a shock -- especially if it cuts into their playing time. Still, Auriemma's ability to retain players has been good during his tenure.
“I’m proud of the fact that in the 30 years that we have been doing this, very, very, very few kids that start and play 30 minutes decide that this isn’t the place for them,” Auriemma said. “I’m kind of crossing my fingers and hoping that trend continues.”
The old saying, "winning fixes everything" certainly doesn't hurt.