A Five-Game Perspective



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The Boneyard forum went full throttle with comments and analysis of the game against UMass/Lowell and my feeling is that one needs more games to get some sort of perspective, particularly since the first opponent came from a low level Division 1 team. Indeed, none of the early opponents of the Huskies were top drawer. Villanova had by far the best record. By just following the results from each game, it is clear that the team is getting better every time it hits the floor. The format for below is a brief summary of what I saw for each game and concluding with some overall thoughts on the early part of the season.

In the UMass/Lowell (0-1), as numerous have noted, Paige Bueckers was easily to best player on the court. She should have had a double-double but several players failed to convert on her passes. I was impressed by the play of both Edwards and Mir McLean. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook on the floor and she had a pretty good game, as did Aubrey Griffin in the few minutes she played. Nothing to write home about by any of the others, although Makurat was steady.

As for the second game against Seton Hall (2-1), it was much more competitive, yet the Hall had no height and the team was short-handed. It showed that UConn could face difficulty against teams with quick guards. Once again Paige was the best player on the court (what a third quarter she had!), Aailayh Edwards was the second best, and both ONO and Christyn Williams had better games. With Edwards, the team has a banger inside that it has not really had since Stephanie Dolson and she scored 17 points in 18 minutes. Mir appeared to do well in the few minutes she played but she was not on the court during the second half, due reports say that she got into Geno’s doghouse. No one else raised an eyebrow with their play. The box score shows that Bueckers had five assists, but I noted at least seven occasions in which the recipient of her pass either failed to receive it or muffed the shot. Makurat and Williams each had seven assists.

Game 3 against Creighton (2-3) on December 17 saw the Huskies emerge victorious 80-47. Bueckers was not the best player on the court. The other four starters were equal to or better than the point guard, although she did not have a bad game. Kudos go to ONO and Williams. Evina Westbrook had her best game as a Husky thus far and Makurat her best game of the season with 12 points. Mir McLean only got into the game with less than three minutes to play. Aubrey Griffin played well. Too bad about the Muhl injury and her being sidelined until after Christmas. Perhaps this shows why in her first two games she did not play as well as anticipated. She was the first player off the bench against UMass/Lowell.

Game 4 against Xavier (3-1) was by far the best all around performance for the team thus far with 6 players in double figures. Best player on the court was Christyn Williams and she led the team with 24 points. At least until we see Nika Muhl recovered from her foot injury, the rotation is seven. Mir McLean, the 8th to play, did not enter the game until about 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook show what a good player she is with 15 points and 3-5 from 3-point range. Bueckers led the team with 13 shots from the floor and 19 points.

Villanova (7-0) completed the pre-Christmas schedule and it proved to be another solid victory against the best team played thus far. Bueckers, Williams, Westbrook, and ONO all played well, but ONO’s foul trouble hints of the possibility of future perils if Edwards is injured. Fortunately, it didn’t matter last night. Westbrook scored 17 and played for 37 minutes. An excellent performance. With two players injured, the 6 player rotation is thin. Players 6-9 were in the game for a total of 27 minutes, 17 of them by Griffin.

What can one conclude on the basis of the pre-Christmas games? First of all, the rotation consists of 7 players. Whether or not it will become 8 depends on Nika Muhl’s recovery from her injury and her getting over what appeared to be jitters, although it is certainly possible that her on court difficulties have been caused in part by the differences between European and American college style of play. Second, all of the four returnees are playing better than they did for the first five games this year. How well they might perform against high quality teams, however, is unknown. Once we see the results of the Baylor game, then we will have much better idea on the team’s ceiling. Third, Paige Bueckers is as good as advertised, if we can forget the turnovers, and Aaliyah Edwards has exceeded expectations. We knew that she was going to be good, but her impact thus far is greater than this fan anticipated. Fourth, the team will have a real bench this season and for the first time in several years. Fifth, Evina Williams has played well, nothing spectacular, but she provides a level of maturity that the Huskies need. Her play in games 4 and 5 has been impressive Sixth, Anna does the little things that are important, although she does not shoot enough and often passes up shots. She is not a flashy player, but I am certain the Geno is mostly happy with her game thus far. Seventh, the other players are still unknown quantities. Anything UConn gets out of them will be a bonus.
 
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The Boneyard forum went full throttle with comments and analysis of the game against UMass/Lowell and my feeling is that one needs more games to get some sort of perspective, particularly since the first opponent came from a low level Division 1 team. Indeed, none of the early opponents of the Huskies were top drawer. Villanova had by far the best record. By just following the results from each game, it is clear that the team is getting better every time it hits the floor. The format for below is a brief summary of what I saw for each game and concluding with some overall thoughts on the early part of the season.

In the UMass/Lowell (0-1), as numerous have noted, Paige Bueckers was easily to best player on the court. She should have had a double-double but several players failed to convert on her passes. I was impressed by the play of both Edwards and Mir McLean. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook on the floor and she had a pretty good game, as did Aubrey Griffin in the few minutes she played. Nothing to write home about by any of the others, although Makurat was steady.

As for the second game against Seton Hall (2-1), it was much more competitive, yet the Hall had no height and the team was short-handed. It showed that UConn could face difficulty against teams with quick guards. Once again Paige was the best player on the court (what a third quarter she had!), Aailayh Edwards was the second best, and both ONO and Christyn Williams had better games. With Edwards, the team has a banger inside that it has not really had since Stephanie Dolson and she scored 17 points in 18 minutes. Mir appeared to do well in the few minutes she played but she was not on the court during the second half, due reports say that she got into Geno’s doghouse. No one else raised an eyebrow with their play. The box score shows that Bueckers had five assists, but I noted at least seven occasions in which the recipient of her pass either failed to receive it or muffed the shot. Makurat and Williams each had seven assists.

Game 3 against Creighton (2-3) on December 17 saw the Huskies emerge victorious 80-47. Bueckers was not the best player on the court. The other four starters were equal to or better than the point guard, although she did not have a bad game. Kudos go to ONO and Williams. Evina Westbrook had her best game as a Husky thus far and Makurat her best game of the season with 12 points. Mir McLean only got into the game with less than three minutes to play. Aubrey Griffin played well. Too bad about the Muhl injury and her being sidelined until after Christmas. Perhaps this shows why in her first two games she did not play as well as anticipated. She was the first player off the bench against UMass/Lowell.

Game 4 against Xavier (3-1) was by far the best all around performance for the team thus far with 6 players in double figures. Best player on the court was Christyn Williams and she led the team with 24 points. At least until we see Nika Muhl recovered from her foot injury, the rotation is seven. Mir McLean, the 8th to play, did not enter the game until about 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook show what a good player she is with 15 points and 3-5 from 3-point range. Bueckers led the team with 13 shots from the floor and 19 points.

Villanova (7-0) completed the pre-Christmas schedule and it proved to be another solid victory against the best team played thus far. Bueckers, Williams, Westbrook, and ONO all played well, but ONO’s foul trouble hints of the possibility of future perils if Edwards is injured. Fortunately, it didn’t matter last night. Westbrook scored 17 and played for 37 minutes. An excellent performance. With two players injured, the 6 player rotation is thin. Players 6-9 were in the game for a total of 27 minutes, 17 of them by Griffin.

What can one conclude on the basis of the pre-Christmas games? First of all, the rotation consists of 7 players. Whether or not it will become 8 depends on Nika Muhl’s recovery from her injury and her getting over what appeared to be jitters, although it is certainly possible that her on court difficulties have been caused in part by the differences between European and American college style of play. Second, all of the four returnees are playing better than they did for the first five games this year. How well they might perform against high quality teams, however, is unknown. Once we see the results of the Baylor game, then we will have much better idea on the team’s ceiling. Third, Paige Bueckers is as good as advertised, if we can forget the turnovers, and Aaliyah Edwards has exceeded expectations. We knew that she was going to be good, but her impact thus far is greater than this fan anticipated. Fourth, the team will have a real bench this season and for the first time in several years. Fifth, Evina Williams has played well, nothing spectacular, but she provides a level of maturity that the Huskies need. Her play in games 4 and 5 has been impressive Sixth, Anna does the little things that are important, although she does not shoot enough and often passes up shots. She is not a flashy player, but I am certain the Geno is mostly happy with her game thus far. Seventh, the other players are still unknown quantities. Anything UConn gets out of them will be a bonus.
Great write-up B. It is clear that the team is improving, game by game. Paige, as you say, is the " goods." How lucky we are that she chose UCONN. Williams is growing into her leadership role as well She is hitting threes, and drives to the hoop with the best. And she is a fierce rebounder and smart player. Tough as nails. Olivia is emerging ( with her outside shooting ) to be an all around asset. Several of the fouls ( okay two ) called against her at Villanova were marginal and need not have been called. She is also passing better. Evina is returning to form, where she was destined for All American status at Tennessee. And she is doing so faster than I anticipated. Her maturity and steadiness is huge. A fine defender and, if you leave her alone on offense, you pay the price. Anna, in my view, looked "off" against Villanova. She was sluggish and lacked her usual energy. She worked hard, but the results weren't there. I am writing this off as a " bad game." When she is 100%, she is a devastating asset ( shooting, passing and defense). I love watching Aubrey. She is a silent assassin. Her leaping ability and athleticism remind me of Gabby. Aubrey doesn't look fast, but her long strides always have her down the court faster than anyone. She is a terror on defense and causers a lot of turnovers. She will just get better and better. Edwards, once she settles, will just be jaw dropping. She is powerful, athletic, and fast. At the moment, she is ( has been ) playing at too fast a pace. We have not yet learned if she can shoot from the outside ( she can, I bet ). I agree that Muhl was likely injured from day one, and we did not see what she can do. We saw grit and courage. Luckily, we can allow her to heal, and work her way back in. I also see great potential in McClain. Athletic, strong and ( potentially ) a fine basketball player. She was given a nice " taste " against Villanova and handled it pretty well. She is not ( in my opinion ) fully comfortable yet with UCONN offense or defense. That will emerge. I don't think she has taken an outside shot yet. Piath will be fun to watch...what a physical presence ! And I will always have great respect, admiration and hope for Autumn. I will not be surprised if she helps us one day. I have to say, it takes amazing will power to "walk on" at UCONN, when she might have played at other Div.1 schools. And with next year's class inked.....where does she fit? It is like being back-up QB to Patrick Mahomes. Two or three deep. Merry Xmas to all. Stay safe.
 
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Geno must really love this team because after the five games, his demeanor and his involvement in coaching the players were completely changed from the last few years. Could it be that those new freshmen did it? May be I am seeing something which is not there.
 
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Geno must really love this team because after the five games, his demeanor and his involvement in coaching the players were completely changed from the last few years. Could it be that those new freshmen did it? May be I am seeing something which is not there.
Not sure yet, we have a different view of the coaches this year being that they are on the other side of the court plus without a crowd it appears that the cameras have zeroed in on Geno more this year than in recent years. Also without the crowd we are able to hear a lot more than in the past. Coaching and involvement appear about the same to me, for me the big change have been in the half time and post game interviews, he is more animated and humorous.
 

MSGRET

MSG, US Army Retired
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The Boneyard forum went full throttle with comments and analysis of the game against UMass/Lowell and my feeling is that one needs more games to get some sort of perspective, particularly since the first opponent came from a low level Division 1 team. Indeed, none of the early opponents of the Huskies were top drawer. Villanova had by far the best record. By just following the results from each game, it is clear that the team is getting better every time it hits the floor. The format for below is a brief summary of what I saw for each game and concluding with some overall thoughts on the early part of the season.

In the UMass/Lowell (0-1), as numerous have noted, Paige Bueckers was easily to best player on the court. She should have had a double-double but several players failed to convert on her passes. I was impressed by the play of both Edwards and Mir McLean. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook on the floor and she had a pretty good game, as did Aubrey Griffin in the few minutes she played. Nothing to write home about by any of the others, although Makurat was steady.

As for the second game against Seton Hall (2-1), it was much more competitive, yet the Hall had no height and the team was short-handed. It showed that UConn could face difficulty against teams with quick guards. Once again Paige was the best player on the court (what a third quarter she had!), Aailayh Edwards was the second best, and both ONO and Christyn Williams had better games. With Edwards, the team has a banger inside that it has not really had since Stephanie Dolson and she scored 17 points in 18 minutes. Mir appeared to do well in the few minutes she played but she was not on the court during the second half, due reports say that she got into Geno’s doghouse. No one else raised an eyebrow with their play. The box score shows that Bueckers had five assists, but I noted at least seven occasions in which the recipient of her pass either failed to receive it or muffed the shot. Makurat and Williams each had seven assists.

Game 3 against Creighton (2-3) on December 17 saw the Huskies emerge victorious 80-47. Bueckers was not the best player on the court. The other four starters were equal to or better than the point guard, although she did not have a bad game. Kudos go to ONO and Williams. Evina Westbrook had her best game as a Husky thus far and Makurat her best game of the season with 12 points. Mir McLean only got into the game with less than three minutes to play. Aubrey Griffin played well. Too bad about the Muhl injury and her being sidelined until after Christmas. Perhaps this shows why in her first two games she did not play as well as anticipated. She was the first player off the bench against UMass/Lowell.

Game 4 against Xavier (3-1) was by far the best all around performance for the team thus far with 6 players in double figures. Best player on the court was Christyn Williams and she led the team with 24 points. At least until we see Nika Muhl recovered from her foot injury, the rotation is seven. Mir McLean, the 8th to play, did not enter the game until about 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. It was nice to see Evina Westbrook show what a good player she is with 15 points and 3-5 from 3-point range. Bueckers led the team with 13 shots from the floor and 19 points.

Villanova (7-0) completed the pre-Christmas schedule and it proved to be another solid victory against the best team played thus far. Bueckers, Williams, Westbrook, and ONO all played well, but ONO’s foul trouble hints of the possibility of future perils if Edwards is injured. Fortunately, it didn’t matter last night. Westbrook scored 17 and played for 37 minutes. An excellent performance. With two players injured, the 6 player rotation is thin. Players 6-9 were in the game for a total of 27 minutes, 17 of them by Griffin.

What can one conclude on the basis of the pre-Christmas games? First of all, the rotation consists of 7 players. Whether or not it will become 8 depends on Nika Muhl’s recovery from her injury and her getting over what appeared to be jitters, although it is certainly possible that her on court difficulties have been caused in part by the differences between European and American college style of play. Second, all of the four returnees are playing better than they did for the first five games this year. How well they might perform against high quality teams, however, is unknown. Once we see the results of the Baylor game, then we will have much better idea on the team’s ceiling. Third, Paige Bueckers is as good as advertised, if we can forget the turnovers, and Aaliyah Edwards has exceeded expectations. We knew that she was going to be good, but her impact thus far is greater than this fan anticipated. Fourth, the team will have a real bench this season and for the first time in several years. Fifth, Evina Williams has played well, nothing spectacular, but she provides a level of maturity that the Huskies need. Her play in games 4 and 5 has been impressive Sixth, Anna does the little things that are important, although she does not shoot enough and often passes up shots. She is not a flashy player, but I am certain the Geno is mostly happy with her game thus far. Seventh, the other players are still unknown quantities. Anything UConn gets out of them will be a bonus.
There should be an astrick next to Paige's TO's. Except for the traveling almost all of the rest are because the player's are still not ready for her passes.
 
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Well said, BfromCT. I am so excited for Tuesday’s game and hoping NM and AE are healed to play. One thing I love about this team is that on any given night the player of the game could be any of these gals! Anxious to see our defense as well on Tuesday! Tuesday can’t come soon enough!
 
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I think UConn is right about where they should be after 5 games. CW has stepped up, ONO has shown improvement, Evina has worked her way back onto the court, Paige is being Paige and Anna is just a steady piece of the puzzle. The bench is evolving and that's where the greatest growth will happen between now and March. The future looks bright.
 
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Its pretty funny how the programming on this site is putting "Chief00" in where someone is referring to themselves in the first person. I wonder when/where else it could be possible to substitute one name for another.
 

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