After Watching Canada-France, A More Detailed Assessment of Ms. Nurse | The Boneyard

After Watching Canada-France, A More Detailed Assessment of Ms. Nurse

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JoePgh

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France, who beat USA just about a week ago, only beat Canada by 2 points in today's game. I watched the replay on ESPN3 both because of the close score and to watch Kia Nurse in a difficult competitive situation.

My personal assessment after watching the game is that Kia is a good-but-not-great all-around athlete. Her speed, her shooting, her penetration, her passing, and her ability to keep her player in front of her on defense all seemed to fall into the good-but-not-great category. On one play, she tried to drive one-on-one against Celine Dumerc and didn't come close to succeeding. I didn't see any physical ability in which she seemed to have a surpassing talent. But there wasn't anything she was noticeably lacking in, either.

I would say, as a one-sentence summary, that her major athletic asset is above the shoulders. Her basketball brain seemed to work at high speed and with accuracy even in pressure situations. This was noticeable in her positioning, which seemed to be nearly flawless, especially on defense. She got several steals, tips, and one foul drawn on Sandrine Gruda (a much more experienced player) through smart positioning.

On offense, after bringing the ball up the court and passing it to a teammate, she would always go to the weak side and mostly stay there, looking for rebounds or back-door opportunities. It didn't seem like Canada planned to rely on her at all as an main offensive threat. But when the opportunities came, she was there to take advantage of them.

Another one-sentence summary would be: much closer to Kelly Faris than to Tiffany Hayes. And Geno got a lot of productivity out of Ms. Faris.

Based on reputation and press releases, the Tiffany of the new freshman class may well be Gabby Williams. It is possible that she and Kia Nurse will split the time at the 2 slot for the next two years (assuming that Saniya doesn't come back with an amazingly reliable jump shot, which she might do). That won't be a bad situation at all -- Gabby and Kia will have totally different games, and opponents may not find it comfortable to switch from one to the other.
 

UcMiami

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Very interesting and while I didn't watch the replay, from the other games I did see I think I would agree ... with the exception of the fact that Kia in the games I have watched is playing against WNBA/International players as a 17 year old. We now get to see Tiffany playing against many of those same players as a 23 year old ... as a player headed into her first college season, I doubt Tiffany would have made the Canadian team, nor most of the other teams in this WC.
Kia has a lot of growth ahead of her, but she is starting from a very good place and I suspect she will look much better playing against fellow college age players than against wily professional players.
 

DaddyChoc

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Tiffany was good coming out of HS... and it would depend on how strong or weak the Canadian team was back in 07-08
 

msf22b

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I basically don't agree with the analysis of Joe P

I didn't watch the whole game yet (have seen others) but in the FIBA highlights, Kia is in the middle of virtually every offensive highlight,
most often setting up teammates with sharp passes.

We only give lip service to the difference in level which is so off the charts as to be almost unquantifiable.
France beat the US the other day, against Di, Maya, Sue et al.
Canada stayed close to them throughout.

Imagine MoNe playing against Stewie and holding her own
that's a more apt comparison illustrating the amazing poise and skill- set of this young woman.
 

DaddyChoc

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its just that you can't pinpoint one offensive thing she does well... wow her jumpshot form is amazing, see how she skyed for that rebound, dang her handle is amazing did you see that crossover.

as I said she's perfect for UConn, very Faris-ish! Stewart doesn't look all that amazing and we know what she capable of doing. Nurse will be fine
 
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Nurse, Average guard not the best shot,as I have said all along....Gabby,if healthy.....,if healthy.... can be the 2,or for that matter can play point(her full time high school position).a confident,.good all around player,super quick with outstanding eleivation,good shot,loves to drive to the hoop and elevate. Needs coaching on defence and self contral on driving to the hoop against multiple ...2,3,4 defenders.
 
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France, who beat USA just about a week ago, only beat Canada by 2 points in today's game. I watched the replay on ESPN3 both because of the close score and to watch Kia Nurse in a difficult competitive situation.

My personal assessment after watching the game is that Kia is a good-but-not-great all-around athlete. Her speed, her shooting, her penetration, her passing, and her ability to keep her player in front of her on defense all seemed to fall into the good-but-not-great category. On one play, she tried to drive one-on-one against Celine Dumerc and didn't come close to succeeding. I didn't see any physical ability in which she seemed to have a surpassing talent. But there wasn't anything she was noticeably lacking in, either.

Wow! what more can you ask for from a hs player. If she looks good out there I'll take it.
I would say, as a one-sentence summary, that her major athletic asset is above the shoulders. Her basketball brain seemed to work at high speed and with accuracy even in pressure situations. Sandrine Gruda (a much more experienced player) through smart positioning.

Wow! do you know who Dumerc and Gruda are as players? I have seen what these two can do to top players.


Another one-sentence summary would be: much closer to Kelly Faris than to Tiffany Hayes. And Geno got a lot of productivity out of Ms. Faris. Interesting spectrum/dichotomy: one with brains but no talent, the other all talent but no brain. Why these 2 ex-players and why the presume dichot.?

My own view of Kia is that she is a HS player who is playing with and against some tough women and, her role is well defined. As for her position in her class I'll wait and see how things shake out.


Based on reputation and press releases, the Tiffany of the new freshman class may well be Gabby Williams. It is possible that she and Kia Nurse will split the time at the 2 slot for the next two years (assuming that Saniya doesn't come back with an amazingly reliable jump shot, which she might do). That won't be a bad situation at all -- Gabby and Kia will have totally different games, and opponents may not find it comfortable to switch from one to the other.
 

meyers7

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On one play, she tried to drive one-on-one against Celine Dumerc and didn't come close to succeeding.
the fact that Kia in the games I have watched is playing against WNBA/International players as a 17 year old.
Kia has a lot of growth ahead of her, but she is starting from a very good place and I suspect she will look much better playing against fellow college age players than against wily professional players.
We all have to remember Stewart is jumping 2 levels here. A college player going up not just against Professionals, but the best (National Team) Professionals. Nurse is making a 3 level jump. High School (she hasn't played a minute of college yet) going up to not just college level, not just Professional level, but again against the best (National Team) Professionals.

Both are doing well, holding their own, neither is a commanding force (yet). I've seen what Stewart can do against her peers, I'm willing to wait to see what Nurse can do against hers.

p.s. not comparing Stewart and Nurse in talent. Just hoping people look at Nurse's Canadian Team play in perspective.
 

Wbbfan1

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Although they play different positions, the comparison to Kelly Faris is reasonably accurate. When Kia starts her UConn career she'll be known as a defense stopper and great manager of the game. Kelly Faris may have a better outside shot than Kia, but rarely took it in most games. Kia will need to be more selfish when looking for her Offensive game. I can see Geno telling Kia shoot the ball when the shot is available, just like what he would do to Kelly.

With Kia's international experience, I don't see her looking to the bench when she makes a mistake. She'll have the confidence to shake off the bad play and continue playing her game. Because of this, it might give her the advantage over Saniya and she'll end up as the starting 2 guard.
 
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The experience that Kia Nurse and Stewie have gotten this summer will pay
big dividends in the future. I am sure they both have learned some valuable
lessons this summer and will come back with their confidence sky high. I
am glad they are on our team.
 

Tonyc

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I like Kia. I remember when Asia Durr had UConn in her sights and Geno signed the 4 guards/wings and there were some questions by the Durrs them thinking Asia was it. One question was UConn signed Kia Nurse. Take it for what it is but a 17 yr old playing against professionals will be taking a step down when coming to college. Yes there will be quicker girls playing against her but not more experienced. She will lead this team at some point and will imo be the coach on the floor. She doesnt have to score 20 pts a game to be effective but she will make things happen on both sides of the ball. Playing up is a huge advantage and for Kia to be able to hold her own against professionals and travel the world at 17 is a huge advantage. I can only imagine how much better she will be under Geno. As for her shot it will come around. Shes here to lead the team on the floor, UConn has plenty of scorers.
 

UcMiami

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Kia was much more of a scorer on both her HS team and her club team so I am not that worried about the scoring. We talk about a 'college ready' body when looking at recruits like Holmes and watching the kids in the all star games. Kia is coming in with a 'pro ready' body.
One comparison to Stewart - Stewart's lesson from this WC and the training camp is physical strength. Watching her play against these teams and in the scrimmage it is clear that she needs to be stronger so she can stand up defensively and finish through contact. That is not something I see as an issue with Nurse. Nurse is dealing with the speed of play, not the physicality it seems to me.
NB - I believe that is the big difference in Griner between year one and two of her pro career - she is playing much stronger that she did in college or her first year. That plus adding her mid range shot has transformed her game.
 
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France, who beat USA just about a week ago, only beat Canada by 2 points in today's game. I watched the replay on ESPN3 both because of the close score and to watch Kia Nurse in a difficult competitive situation.

My personal assessment after watching the game is that Kia is a good-but-not-great all-around athlete. Her speed, her shooting, her penetration, her passing, and her ability to keep her player in front of her on defense all seemed to fall into the good-but-not-great category. On one play, she tried to drive one-on-one against Celine Dumerc and didn't come close to succeeding. I didn't see any physical ability in which she seemed to have a surpassing talent. But there wasn't anything she was noticeably lacking in, either.

I would say, as a one-sentence summary, that her major athletic asset is above the shoulders. Her basketball brain seemed to work at high speed and with accuracy even in pressure situations. This was noticeable in her positioning, which seemed to be nearly flawless, especially on defense. She got several steals, tips, and one foul drawn on Sandrine Gruda (a much more experienced player) through smart positioning.

On offense, after bringing the ball up the court and passing it to a teammate, she would always go to the weak side and mostly stay there, looking for rebounds or back-door opportunities. It didn't seem like Canada planned to rely on her at all as an main offensive threat. But when the opportunities came, she was there to take advantage of them.

Another one-sentence summary would be: much closer to Kelly Faris than to Tiffany Hayes. And Geno got a lot of productivity out of Ms. Faris.

Based on reputation and press releases, the Tiffany of the new freshman class may well be Gabby Williams. It is possible that she and Kia Nurse will split the time at the 2 slot for the next two years (assuming that Saniya doesn't come back with an amazingly reliable jump shot, which she might do). That won't be a bad situation at all -- Gabby and Kia will have totally different games, and opponents may not find it comfortable to switch from one to the other.

Can't argue with Gabby being the most athletic of the freshman but she is coming off of knee surgery. I am amazed at your discounting Kia's level of play, at 17, against other countries national team players. In my opinion, just the fact that at her age she can compete at all against much older and experienced national team players says a lot about both her physical and mental basketball skills. There was also a complete disregard of the other highly ranked freshman, Ekmark and Edwards. Maybe I missed it, have the starting five and substitution patterns already been established ?
 

RadyLady

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JoePgh said:
France, who beat USA just about a week ago, only beat Canada by 2 points in today's game. I watched the replay on ESPN3 both because of the close score and to watch Kia Nurse in a difficult competitive situation.

My personal assessment after watching the game is that Kia is a good-but-not-great all-around athlete. Her speed, her shooting, her penetration, her passing, and her ability to keep her player in front of her on defense all seemed to fall into the good-but-not-great category. On one play, she tried to drive one-on-one against Celine Dumerc and didn't come close to succeeding. I didn't see any physical ability in which she seemed to have a surpassing talent. But there wasn't anything she was noticeably lacking in, either.

I would say, as a one-sentence summary, that her major athletic asset is above the shoulders. Her basketball brain seemed to work at high speed and with accuracy even in pressure situations. This was noticeable in her positioning, which seemed to be nearly flawless, especially on defense. She got several steals, tips, and one foul drawn on Sandrine Gruda (a much more experienced player) through smart positioning.

On offense, after bringing the ball up the court and passing it to a teammate, she would always go to the weak side and mostly stay there, looking for rebounds or back-door opportunities. It didn't seem like Canada planned to rely on her at all as an main offensive threat. But when the opportunities came, she was there to take advantage of them.

Another one-sentence summary would be: much closer to Kelly Faris than to Tiffany Hayes. And Geno got a lot of productivity out of Ms. Faris.

Based on reputation and press releases, the Tiffany of the new freshman class may well be Gabby Williams. It is possible that she and Kia Nurse will split the time at the 2 slot for the next two years (assuming that Saniya doesn't come back with an amazingly reliable jump shot, which she might do). That won't be a bad situation at all -- Gabby and Kia will have totally different games, and opponents may not find it comfortable to switch from one to the other.

My suggestion would be to do an after game analysis for Kia in every game she plays in this tournament and then do a final assessment based on all of that data. I believe that this will give you a better idea of Kia's overall performance rather than reach a final conclusion after just one game.

Data analysis and conclusion is always better when you sample from a larger pool rather than if you just stick to one set of data.
 

UcMiami

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My suggestion would be to do an after game analysis for Kia in every game she plays in this tournament and then do a final assessment based on all of that data. I believe that this will give you a better idea of Kia's overall performance rather than reach a final conclusion after just one game.

Data analysis and conclusion is always better when you sample from a larger pool rather than if you just stick to one set of data.
Good point - Dumerc and French guards have made a number of very good pros look very pedestrian including all of the USA guards in the friendly last week.
 

easttexastrash

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If I were UCONN fan I would be incredibly excited about Nurse and the experience she is getting. These WC games are very fast an physical and jumping from high school games where she could probably dominate all players she faced to facing grown women with many years of experience is pretty remarkable. She is going to go into her freshman year with tremendous confidence, which she already appears to have plenty of. She's 17!

Count me in as a Nurse fan! I think she is going to do some special things under the UCONN staff.
 

JoePgh

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Can't argue with Gabby being the most athletic of the freshman but she is coming off of knee surgery. I am amazed at your discounting Kia's level of play, at 17, against other countries national team players. In my opinion, just the fact that at her age she can compete at all against much older and experienced national team players says a lot about both her physical and mental basketball skills. There was also a complete disregard of the other highly ranked freshman, Ekmark and Edwards. Maybe I missed it, have the starting five and substitution patterns already been established ?
I wasn't showing "complete disregard" of Courtney and Sadie -- they just weren't the topic of this thread. My hunch (and it is only a hunch) is that Courtney will play in the front court as the 4th "big" behind Kiah / Stewie / Morgan (like Meghan Gardler but much more capable), and that Sadie will be Moriah's backup as PG. I think Kia N / Gabby / Saniya are the main candidates for the 2 guard, and there are arguments to be made for each of them: Kia has experience, basketball IQ, and maturity; Gabby has athleticism and highlight-reel potential; Saniya can shoot and has a year of UConn experience.

And while I didn't mention Kia's youth compared to her opponents in the current tournament (because I took that as obvious), I certainly recognize that. And her ability to process the game in real time and be in the right place on the court at that level is a major accomplishment. I just didn't see amazing athleticism in any dimension. We will see if playing against her peers in age changes that conclusion; I will be surprised if it does.
 

caramel

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I, for one ,would take any 17 year old,who is good,but not great,against professional athletes.
This hints to me,that against college athletes,Kia should do very well,once she learns the system and her place in it.
Something tells me,even with the freshmen in the mix,Connecticut will pose a nightmare for other teams to prepare for and execute against.
The luxury of having such talent-potential guards coming into the game,means someone can be off,and yet,there is someone who can come in and utilize their talents to score,pass,or defend the way the team needs them.
It will be exciting to watch the development of Kia,and the other guards this year.
If Kiah becomes a decent scorer in the low block,and the guards can contribute from the outside,or in a cleared out path to the basket,this will be one exciting team to follow.
 

EricLA

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Kia was much more of a scorer on both her HS team and her club team so I am not that worried about the scoring. We talk about a 'college ready' body when looking at recruits like Holmes and watching the kids in the all star games. Kia is coming in with a 'pro ready' body.
One comparison to Stewart - Stewart's lesson from this WC and the training camp is physical strength. Watching her play against these teams and in the scrimmage it is clear that she needs to be stronger so she can stand up defensively and finish through contact. That is not something I see as an issue with Nurse. Nurse is dealing with the speed of play, not the physicality it seems to me.
NB - I believe that is the big difference in Griner between year one and two of her pro career - she is playing much stronger that she did in college or her first year. That plus adding her mid range shot has transformed her game.
That's actually totally true for Stewie. She's managed to score 9 or 10 points in games that were blowouts, but she was continuously pushed around in the post quite easily by bigger and stronger players from opposing teams. While she's able to knock in some shots, and skill wise she's ready for playing against the "pros", her body clearly is not. Perhaps she will always be slender, but if she really wants to be a leader for team USA years down the road, it 's something she will have to address...

I think the biggest example of Stewie's lack of strength is that at least 2 or 3 times vs. Angola, she was under the basket attempting a shot. She was fouled by the stronger player from Angola, but Stewie was not strong enough to finish the shot for an "and-1". She went on to make the free throws, but missing the layup while getting fouled is a product of her lack of strength vs. much older competitors...

Additionally, Stewie has been unable to guard much of anyone from opposing teams successfully. Against Angola, there were 3 plays in a row where the player she was guarding scored on hear - rather easily, because Stewie simply could not stop her. And yet I don't her people on here saying "well Stewie will probably only be an average player for UCONN".

As for Nurse, I'm completely baffled that anyone could point out how she didn't dominate 32 year old Celine Dumerc and call Nurse an "average player" because of that. Good grief. Jefferson her freshman year at UCONN looked REALLY average at times and didn't blow up till her sophomore year. AND Moriah was a year older than Kia. AND Moriah was only playing against college kids, not against the best in the world. Good grief people!

Has anyone actually seen Kia play against kids her own age? I have not. But I know her stats in her high school league are off the charts. I'd like to see Gabby Williams competing against Dee and the rest of the world and see how good she'd be. As I pointed out, Stewie, who is easily the best player in WCBB, has totally struggled against the best in the world, and she has WAY more experience than Kia.
 
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...My hunch (and it is only a hunch) is that Courtney will play in the front court as the 4th "big" behind Kiah / Stewie / Morgan (like Meghan Gardler but much more capable).

Ekmark is not a "big". She will probably spend most of her time as a wing, a la Mosqueda-Lewis, or as a shooting guard. If her perimeter shooting is as good as it's been advertised I wouldn't be surprised to see Geno, on occasion, use both at the same time to spread the floor, KML on one side and Ekmark on the other, to open things up in the middle for Stewart, Tuck and Stokes.
 
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I have to disagree with JoePgh's analysis of Kia Nurse. Kia is anything but average. Against the toughest international competition she has more than held her own and she is still in HS. You don't have to be an expert talent scout to know that she is very special!!!
 

meyers7

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Maybe I missed it, have the starting five and substitution patterns already been established ?
Well here on the BY, yeah pretty much. ;)

If by First Night, we don't have the rotation, allotted minutes, scoring averages down, we've pretty much fallen down on the job. :rolleyes:
 
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