As Breanna Stewart and co. move on to the WNBA, many are wondering which programs could cause frustration for Geno Auriemma and the Huskies next season as they try to repeat another undefeated season.
Many point to the program’s post-dynasty runs as an indication that the Huskies won’t return to the top for at least next season. After the 2000-2004 dominance during the Sue Bird, Swin Cash, and Diana Taurasi era, the program failed to return to the Final Four for three seasons. The same can be said for the disappointing gap year between Maya Moore and Tina Charles’ departure and the latest dominating class’ arrival.
For most programs, a few years between Final Four appearances wouldn’t raise any alarming flags, but this is UConn. If any program expects to be dancing every year it’s the Huskies, and with good reason.
It may have taken UConn 10 years to earn their first NCAA Tournament victory, defeating Pat Summitt’s Tennessee Lady Vols, but the wait paid off. Since his first title in 1995, Coach Auriemma has notched 11 tournament titles to his and UConn’s name. His recruiting and the prowess of the ladies making up these Husky rosters have been virtually untouchable.
While history leads us to believe that Connecticut might sit out a Final Four or two in the coming years, don’t go betting the bank on it either. The Huskies live up to their name as a scrappy, powerful entity that has the power to win even if its prospects look bleak. And this program looks far from bleak. While a major overhaul and leadership change is on the roster’s horizon, Connecticut’s winning culture and guidance under Geno Auriemma makes it hard to write them off.