Geno Auriemma wants to lower the rim in women’s basketball

By Tim Fontenault

UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma believes that the nets should be lowered in women’s basketball in order to increase fan interest.

Seeing play at and above the rim is very rare in women’s basketball and most players (save Baylor senior Brittney Griner and UConn freshman Breanna Stewart) are unable to dunk the ball.

Auriemma thinks that to make the game more appealing to fans, lowering the rim to let more players show their athletic ability would be a beneficial move.

“What makes fans not want to watch women’s basketball is that some of the players can’t shoot and they miss layups and that forces the game to slow down,” Auriemma said. “How to help improve that? Lower the rim [from 10 feet]. Do you think the average fan knows that the net is lower in women’s volleyball than men’s volleyball? It’s about seven inches shorter so the women have the chance for the same kind of success at the net [as the men].”

According to the Hartford Courant, Auriemma argues that the lack of play around the rim has stalled the growth of women’s basketball.

“In 2002, we played the Final Four in front of 30,000 at the Alamodome in San Antonio,” Auriemma said. “Now, 10 years later, we can’t sell out the Conseco Field House [in Indianapolis for the 2011 Final Four]? So how much has the game possibly improved, in terms of how badly people want to see it?”

Auriemma also criticized the size of the ball and said that if the hoops are not lowered then the women’s ball should be scrapped and they should play with a men’s ball.

“They either need to change the ball or change the rims,” Auriemma said. “The bigger ball sits on the rim longer [for layups]. But no one wants to hear that.”

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