HARTFORD, Conn. -- On the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, Geno Auriemma visited "Krzyzewskiville" near Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. His University of Connecticut women's basketball team had just wrapped up its shootaround, the final preparation for that night's game with No. 1 the Blue Devils and Duke's "Cameron Crazies" were already ready to go.
"I did say to a kid at the tent, 'You guys got to be nuts,' " Auriemma said. "He goes, 'We're smarter than you.' I said, 'How smart are you? You're living in a tent to go to a basketball game.' He goes, 'That's a $40,000 tent you're talking about.' "
Auriemma also jokingly questioned the quality of a Duke education as he said there were just as many Duke graduates as UConn graduates working as waiters only they worked at better restaurants. Fourteen years later, Louisville may have proved it wasn't so much of a joke.
Coming out for the third quarter of their game at Duke Monday, Cardinals' coach Jeff Walz had three of his players line up at their defensive end as Louisville prepared to inbound the ball to start the period. The five Duke players followed them to that side of the court. With Duke out of position, Louisville's Mariya Moore took the pass from Briahanna Jackson and raced in for an uncontested layup as the Cardinals' bench celebrated like they had won the national championship.
One YouTube post of the play has had close to 430,000 views.
After UConn's 90-45 win over East Carolina Wednesday at the XL Center, Auriemma noted the Huskies also fell for the same thing when they faced Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center five years ago.
"We don't have that play," Auriemma said with a smile. "But Jeff did try to pull that against us one year. They came out to start the second half and all their guys went to the wrong end and our guys -- and we had talked about it -- followed.
"But I think it was (referee) Dee Kantner who went, 'Yo, you guys, you're on the wrong end.' And Walz went crazy. He had it all set up. It was really, really funny."
Of note, Duke did beat Louisville 58-55 on Monday.
UConn junior forward Gabby Williams ranks fourth in the American Athletic Conference in assists at 4.6 per game. Her total of 65 through 14 games for the top-ranked Huskies (14-0 overall, 2-0 AAC) are already a career best. She had 50 in 38 games as a freshman and 51 in 38 games a year ago.
The rise in Napheesa Collier's level of play has been a key part of that. The sophomore forward, who ranks third in the AAC in scoring (19.4) and leads the league in field-goal percentage (64.9), has been on the receiving end of 31 of Williams' 65 assists.
"I think we read each other really well," Collier said. "I know if I throw the ball up, Gabby is going to get it. She knows if she throws it up to me, I will get it. And we work hard for each other. That is a big part of it.
"She has a great feel where to get the ball to people, especially with me in the post. It is something I'm trying to get better at and learn from her. I'm not as good as passer as Gabby is. I don't know how she developed it, but I like it."
With her 21 points Wednesday night, Collier passed her scoring total from a year ago. The St. Peters, Missouri, native has 271 points in 434 minutes over 14 games this season and has taken 171 shots from the floor. A year ago, she had 258 points in 653 minutes over 38 games and took 199 shots.
"We have a lot of trust in each other right now," Williams said. "I think we've gotten more reps together than anybody else. We've played a lot of minutes together in a lot of different situations."
Williams also has 16 assists to Katie Lou Samuelson (the No. 2 scorer in the AAC at 20.1), seven to Kia Nurse, five to Saniya Chong, four to Natalie Butler, and two to Crystal Dangerfield.
Prior to the opening tip Wednesday night, Auriemma -- who coached the United States to its sixth straight Olympic gold medal last summer in Rio de Janeiro -- was presented a trophy for being named USA Basketball's 2016 Co-Coach of the Year by former Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and UConn athletic director David Benedict.
Dempsey replaced Jerry Colangelo as USA Basketball's chairman last November.
"He is one of the most incredible human beings I've ever met," Auriemma said. "All the times I've been around him, it never ceases to amaze me the things that he has done, the way he handles situations, his perspective on the world and where we are. I wish he had run for President."
In 2013, it was a phone call from Dempsey that helped convince Auriemma to accept a second term as the USA national team coach. Auriemma is the only coach to guide the Americans to two Olympic gold medals.
He has said he's not interested in another run in 2020, but he had planned to have dinner with Dempsey after leaving the XL Center.
"He hasn't brought it up, hasn't hinted at it, nothing," Auriemma said. "Let's hope it stays that way."
The NCAA record book lists the mark for consecutive road wins at 30. But the NCAA confirmed to Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register Wednesday that UConn's 34-game streak from 2001-04 was never entered into its database and is the record. The Huskies' current run is 31 in a row on the road dating back to the 2014 loss at Stanford ... UConn leads the series with East Carolina 7-0 with an average margin of victory of 47.3 points. The closest was 41 in the 2016 AAC Tournament quarterfinals. The teams play again at Minges Coliseum in Greenville Jan. 24 ... UConn's 89th straight win in 2010, a 93-62 victory over Florida State here, drew a sellout crowd of 16,294. Wednesday night's attendance was 8,452.