WNBA: Draft
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Legendary UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma blasted fans of Caitlin Clark saying they set her up for failure in a league she’s just not physically built to compete in.

Yet, anyway.

The comments coming from an 11-time national champion who was never built to tackle the men’s game as a coach are rather jarring. He made his legacy in the women’s game and, as such, you’d think he’d be trying to uplift the biggest star to come out of college basketball in years.

Auriemma said Clark’s “delusional” fans disrespected the quality players in the WNBA by assuming she’d be good right from the start.

“If you’re a great college player like Caitlin was, the delusional fan base that follows her disrespected the WNBA players by saying that she’s gonna go in that league and tear it apart,” Auriemma said in an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” this week.

“These people are so disrespectful and so unknowledgeable and so stupid that it gives women’s basketball a bad name,” he continued. “So the kid was set up for failure right from the beginning.”

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Geno Auriemma: ‘Delusional’ Caitlin Clark Fans Responsible For Her Getting Whacked

Geno Auriemma went on to suggest that right now, Caitlin Clark is not built to succeed in the pro women’s league but may develop into a good player at some point.

He also suggested that she gets targeted by opponents because of her mouth.

“I think she’s handling it great,” Auriemma said. “I think she talks a lot of s—, and she gets a lot of s— back. She deserves everything she gets because she gives it as good as she gets it,” said Auriemma.

“She’s just not built for the physicality of this league, and she’s not quick enough to get away from the physicality.”

RELATED: Comedian Michael Rapaport Says ‘Cash Cow’ Caitlin Clark Needs a ‘Goon’ On Her Team to Protect Her

Why He’s Wrong

Geno Auriemma’s take here on Caitlin Clark is one of the worst I’ve heard in quite some time.

First off, were fans of young phenoms like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan also disrespectful, unknowledgeable, and stupid when they had high expectations for those once-in-a-generation players? Or did they simply want them to succeed?

Two, you’ll have to forgive those of us unknowledgeable about the WNBA since nobody gave a rip about the league for the past 20 years. Now you’ve got a star that generates interest and instead of uplifting her and her fans, you wreck them as “delusional” and knock Clark herself down a peg as being not built for the league.

Three, of the rookie class this year, Clark is far and away exceeding all of their play on the court, averaging more points (by a lot) than any other rookie and getting teammates involved by being one of the top assist leaders. Maybe the other rookies aren’t cut out for the WNBA.

Auriemma said that with a little hard work and effort, Clark might make something of herself.

“When she gets it, she has elite skills that are going to help her,” he added. “She needs to be on a better team, and she needs experience.”

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