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Is Geno Still USA Basketball's Choice?

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    AFP/Getty Images
    Head coach of the US team Geno Auriemma speaks to his players during the match between the US and Senegal during the Women's FIBA World Basketball Championship 2010 in Ostrava on September 24, 2010. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

    Geno Auriemma has made it clear he doesn't want to coach the 2014 World Championship team. Or the 2016 Olympic team, for that matter. Maybe it's the eight national titles with the Huskies, or perhaps the three gold medals between the Olympics and FIBA World Championships were accomplishments enough. Whatever the reason, Auriemma, the best coach in college basketball, apparently has other ideas of how he'd like to spend his time.

    But that doesn't mean USA Basketball isn't still interested.

    Bill Laimbeer of the WBNA's Liberty told the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla that it was "Geno's job." And Seattle coach Brian Agler, a strong candidate for the gig in his own right, also wouldn't be shocked if Auriemma was at the top of USA Basketball's wish list.

    “I think [the Olympic committee] is trying to mirror the men’s situation [it talked Duke's Mike Krzyzewski into a third term],” said Agler, who conceded he hadn't been interviewed by USA Basketball. “And if that’s the case, I would not be surprised if they haven’t just gone back and asked Geno Auriemma to coach again because of the success he’s had and the great players he’s had come through the program. It’s a natural.

    “But at the same time, he’s the only one who can make that decision and he has a big job to do at UConn.”

    Altavilla adds that Sue Bird, USA point guard and former UConn All-American, has no clue as to who might be the next coach.

    “I don’t know what to say about that,” Bird told Altavilla Sunday. “The interesting thing about it this time around is you always seemed to be able tell who was next in line [to be coach].

    “For me, in my little career, its gone from Van Chancellor (in 2004) to Anne Donovan (in 2008) and then to Coach Auriemma (in 2012). After Van, you knew it would be Anne next and after Anne you figured Geno would take over. But this time around there hasn’t been that [natural successor]. That’s why this is taking time, especially since Coach Auriemma has made it clear he didn’t want the job. That’s been kind of floating out there.”

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