Stevens remains a work in progress as a junior, but her presence provided the most intriguing story line as UConn (34-0) met Duke (24-8) on Saturday in the semifinals of the Albany Regional. She entered the game as UConn’s third-leading scorer (15.1 points a game) and one of its leading rebounders (7.4 a game).
By Saturday, the tension had receded from 2016, when McCallie was quoted in The Chronicle, an independent Duke student newspaper, as saying: “Is that what we’re about now, ‘I’m going to take transfers’? That was the neat thing they used to have. Connecticut wasn’t a transfer school. Now, even if they win, who cares?”
She added of Auriemma: “You know why he’s doing that? Because talent is down. And he wants to continue to win.”
Auriemma responded at the time by noting that Duke had failed to reach the Final Four with McCallie as its coach, despite highly ranked recruiting classes year after year.
“Do you know how hard it is to coach at Duke?” he told The Hartford Courant. “It’s really challenging. It’s an impossible job. She’s tried so hard to get to a Final Four with all the disadvantages there. So I suggest she try a little harder…