NEW YORK — Geno Auriemma has learned over time how to conserve and restore his energy. His life is a virtual appointment book and he manages to move seamlessly during the offseason between recruiting trips, speaking engagements, wine and restaurant promotions and basketball-related functions.
"August was pretty much normal for me. But I was in many cities and never more than one night in any place [during September]," Auriemma said.
Mostly, Auriemma was making contact with high school recruits. He was even in Mexico to do some recruiting.
"The thing is, I will not be around next September because I will be in Istanbul coaching the World Championship team," Auriemma said. "We made some very good in-roads and that's important because next year when I am not there and some other coaches are, I don't want anyone wondering where Coach Auriemma is. If they do, they should know that I am away coaching the best players in the world."
On Wednesday, Auriemma, the coach of the national champion UConn women, was in New York to help promote the V Foundation, which raises money and awareness for cancer research to honor Jim Valvano.
The series with Duke ends next season with another meeting in Connecticut. Blue Devils coach Joanne P. McCallie, who was at the dinner, said that she would be interested in playing UConn again but wanted to see how this season progresses first.
"We have to look into it," McCallie said. "I'm not entirely sure what the situation is with the conference UConn is now in. It's a new time now. But we are always interested in playing the best. We are interested, but let's let the season go through so we can see what eventually happens with all these new conferences."
Auriemma spent time chatting with many of the men's coaches who will be in the event, spending a lot of time with Florida coach Billy Donovan. The UConn men play the Gators on Dec. 2 at Gampel Pavilion.
On Thursday, Auriemma flies to Las Vegas for the first training camp in his second term as coach of the USA National Team.
There, he will greet many of the players he coached to gold in London in 2012, plus some up-and-coming collegians, including four UConn players — Breanna Stewart, Bria Hartley, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stef Dolson.
"I don't know what we will be able to get done," Auriemma said. "It's so hard. We are kind of hamstrung by the WNBA schedule [the Finals begin this weekend]. I think it's going to be more important for the young guys who have never played at this level, some of the college players who aspire to play in the Olympics."
Auriemma said the camp will be his first official duties for USA Basketball since it was announced last month that he would return to the job.
He said he wasn't sure how the Las Vegas experience will help his current core four, all of whom have extensive USA Basketball experience at lower levels.
"With so many people with us at this training camp, I think it will just give them a glimpse of what it is like," Auriemma said. "For Stefanie Dolson, it will be a chance to see how she compares to Sylvia Fowles [of the Chicago Sky]. It will let her she what Sylvia can do that she can't. And maybe she will see that there's something she can do that maybe Sylvia can't."