UConn Coach Geno Auriemma, Who Didn’t Offer Caitlin Clark a Scholarship, Has Some Words for Her After Dominant Win

Iowa star point guard Caitlin Clark never received a scholarship offer from her preferred school, which she now has a chance to knock out of the NCAA Tournament Friday and punch her ticket to another national title appearance.

Clark has said that before she became one of the greatest female talents to step on a court for the Hawkeyes, she wanted to play for Connecticut.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, the man who did not offer her a chance to play for the Huskies coming out of high school four years ago, had nothing but praise for her Monday after his team advanced to face Iowa in the Final Four.

Auriemma spoke at length about Clark’s greatness after UConn beat USC 80-73 in the Elite Eight round.

He noted her 41-point performance in a 94-87 victory over LSU on Monday and implied he hoped his team would not face her wrath if indeed she was motivated by a vendetta against the Tigers.


Watch: LSU Skips National Anthem, Then Gets Knocked Out of March Madness Tournament by Iowa

“I hope Caitlin Clark had a personal agenda against LSU,” Auriemma joked.

“I know there’s nothing personal between me and her, so I don’t need to be seeing her drop 50 on us next weekend, you know?” the coach said with a smirk.

“So, I love her,” he said. “I think she’s the best player. Forget I ever said [UConn guard Paige Bueckers] is the best player in the country.”

As reporters began to laugh out loud, Auriemma concluded of Clark, “I think she’s the best player of all time.”

“I don’t know whoever said that I said that Paige is the best player in the country,” he concluded.

Auriemma’s team will face Clark and the Hawkeyes at 9:30 p.m. ET at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

As the Iowa star and those close to her told ESPN two weeks ago, she waited for a call from Auriemma while in high school in her home state of Iowa.

The call never came.


Watch: Paul Pierce Throws Race into Caitlin Clark Victory – ‘We Saw a White Girl in Iowa Do It to a Bunch of Black Girls’

Clark’s high school basketball coach — Kristin Meyer of West Des Moines’ Dowling Catholic High School — said that while offers were coming in, “Geno never came.”

Meanwhile, the young star said she waited and waited for her dream school to connect with her.

“I loved UConn,” she said. “I think they’re the coolest place on Earth, and I wanted to say I got recruited by them. They called my AAU coach a few times, but they never talked to my family and never talked to me.”

Should Auriemma have given Clark a scholarship?

Clark will face UConn in what will be her final collegiate game if she and the Hawkeyes come up empty.

She might very well use Auriemma’s decision not to offer her a scholarship as fuel to continue a historic season for a chance at one more game.

But at this stage in her career, it’s difficult to imagine Clark playing college ball anywhere but in Iowa City.

At the moment, she is not only the face of Iowa basketball but is also an ambassador for the sport for women and girls at every level.

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