An early UConn vs Stanford analysis | The Boneyard

An early UConn vs Stanford analysis

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doggydaddy

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Well, this seems like a good game to start my attempt at analyzing selective games. The tough part is how early in the season. At least for Stanford, I can get an idea on their rotation based on the fact they played two decent opponents in Texas and BYU. And I have a feel for what Geno will do, so I’ll use that experience in writing this analysis.

You can look at this in a simplistic way. In players that will see some time Monday:

UConn loses Moore AND DIXON, gains Doty, Lewis, Banks and Stokes.
Stanford loses Pohlen, Pederson, gains Orrange, Greenfield, and maybe Samuelson (hasn't played much yet).

As great as Moore was for UConn last year, I think based on whom they gained, UConn should be the more improved team. We have seen enough of the freshman to know their potential. I did get to see the Texas game and I love how Greenfield plays. And Orrange had a great 1st game but a weak second game. Typical ups and downs for freshman. And don't underestimate the leadership void of Pohlen and Pederson.

So, I’ll jump into the position by position comparison, including the bench and coaching staff.

PG – Doty (5’10) vs Kokenis (5’11”). Too early to use this years stats. UConn doesn’t even have them up. This will really be the first time Kokenis faces UConn as she only played 7 minutes last year. The reality is that these two are very similar players. Kokenis hasn’t seen the defense she will see on Monday. Way too much speed for her. And Caroline’s fire and experience give UConn the advantage.

SG – Hartley (5’7”, errr, 5’9) vs LaRoque (5’8). Harley has had an uneven start, but she can do it all from the guard position. Shooting great so far and shot great last year, so she is just continuing her improvement. LaRoque is a weak link. Not particularly quick, Hartley will have her way with her, unless Stanford covers her with Kokenis. That won’t work either. HUGE advantage UConn.

C – Dolson (6’5”) vs N. Ogumike (6’2”) Probably the most intriguing matchup of the game. N.O. is just a flat out star. She can dominate the game from the foul line in. The question is will her quickness allow her to successfully cover Dolson. Dolson will need a lot of help covering N.O. for sure. Got to give the advantage to Stanford here, but we all could be surprised/happy on how effective Dolson is in this game.

PF – Faris (5’11”) vs C. Ogumike (6’3”). Oh boy. Very tough matchup for Kelly. C.O. is just an awesome player. Kelly will have to be at her best in blocking out. But expect LOTS of putbacks for C.O. Really looking forward to see how Faris deals with this. Advantage Stanford on this one.

SF – Hayes (5’10) vs Greenfield (6’3”). Greenfield will struggle staying in front of Hayes. And she is a freshman on a big stage for the first time. This is a great opportunity for Hayes to show everyone that she can play in the big game. Gotta give this one to Tiff. Advantage Uconn.

Bench – Stokes (6’3”), Lewis (6’), Banks (5’9), Buck (6’3”) vs Orrange (5’8”), Tinkle (6’3”) and Boothe (6’5”). Based on minutes of the first two games, I wouldn’t include any of the other Stanford players. 1 or 2 minutes each for those. While I liked how Orrange looked in the Texas game, she was not very good in the 2nd game. Tinkle and Boothe are too slow to contribute that much. Lewis is a star in the making if not already there. Her talent is off the charts. Banks is similar to Orrange in being a speedy type guard. That might be a fun matchup. And Uconn’s bench bigs will do well against the Stanford bench bigs. Advantage UConn.

Coaching staff. – Two HOFers. Tough to pick an advantage here. But I think Geno is just a little bit better coach. Slight advantage UConn.

Intangibles – Home court here will be worth at least 5 points this year. Stanford’s backcourt will struggle mightily with the speed of Uconn and the loud crowd will just make it worse. And with many players remembering last years loss, revenge is always a good motivator.

So, in summary, I would give UConn the edge. I think if they can do a solid job on the boards, UConn will win by double digits. Stanford can keep it close with a great offensive rebounding effort. They certainly are capable of that. UConn is a MUCH better shooting team, especially from deep. If they are hot, look out. UConn runs away with it at the end.

GO HUSKIES!!!!!
 
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UCONN girls, not quite ready for the big stage yet with the three freshmen.
An early loss I think, one of their 3 or 4 this year on their way to the NC.
Oh wait, I forgot, game in Hartford, the raucus crowd pushes us over the top; we win in the last minute!
 

DieHardHusky

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It's gonna be down to the wire in this one IMO! Get pumped!
 

UConnCat

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Good analysis (as always) DD. Michelle Smith, a writer who covers Stanford, was a guest on John A's chat this morning and I asked her why Orange was less productive against Gonzaga after a good game against Texas. Michelle said that Tara pulled her after a couple of mistakes and decided, with Stanford's depth, that she didn't need to allow Orange to play through those mistakes. So, as you suggest, it was a case of freshmen ups and downs.

I'm curious about Orange's perimeter shooting (cardfan?) and what impact that could have on her playing time. UConn will likely double in the post when possible and Orange would be a good one to leave open on the perimeter.
 

Joobie

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Should be an incredible match-up; especially this early in the season. Looking forward to it!

Thanks for your usual insightful observations, DD!
 

Tonyc

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You know what guys. Our quick defense is a confidence killer. It gets in your head. Dont be surprised if Stanfords guards cant handle our pressure and have a bunch of turnovers, rushed shots trying to beat the shot clock. Its early season but I dont think this one is close. I expect to see alot of Kiah and Heather. Doggy great analysis.
 

doggydaddy

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UCONN girls, not quite ready for the big stage yet with the three freshmen.
An early loss I think, one of their 3 or 4 this year on their way to the NC.
Oh wait, I forgot, game in Hartford, the raucus crowd pushes us over the top; we win in the last minute!
Big difference for freshmen playing at home vs the road.
 
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DOGGY - very interesting, detailed, and well done. Also sounds persuasive, though I don't know the Stanford team very well. Fun to read your take and it will be fun to see how it pans out. Stay well.
 

VAMike23

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You know what guys. Our quick defense is a confidence killer. It gets in your head. Dont be surprised if Stanfords guards cant handle our pressure and have a bunch of turnovers, rushed shots trying to beat the shot clock. Its early season but I dont think this one is close. I expect to see alot of Kiah and Heather. Doggy great analysis.

So do I. I also bet that we'll see a lot of the 2-3 zone. The best I have seen it work so far is with KML on one side and Buck on the other (Stef in the middle). Kiah or Kelly are the other good options. Without Pohlen and KP, I think our best strategy is to clog the middle and make post entry and penetration difficult, giving up the perimeter shots that those two excelled at. If Samuelson happens to get the hot hand, that would be huge for the Cardinal and will make them difficult to beat.

Will we be able to get our transition game going against Stanford? Or will they frustrate us too much on the boards? We shall see.
 

doggydaddy

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So do I. I also bet that we'll see a lot of the 2-3 zone. The best I have seen it work so far is with KML on one side and Buck on the other (Stef in the middle). Kiah or Kelly are the other good options. Without Pohlen and KP, I think our best strategy is to clog the middle and make post entry and penetration difficult, giving up the perimeter shots that those two excelled at. If Samuelson happens to get the hot hand, that would be huge for the Cardinal and will make them difficult to beat.

Will we be able to get our transition game going against Stanford? Or will they frustrate us too much on the boards? We shall see.
I meant to include zone defense in my post. Thanks for bringing that up. Excellent points.
 

UConnCat

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I meant to include zone defense in my post. Thanks for bringing that up. Excellent points.

Hmmm. Was anybody impressed with UConn's zone last night? I wasn't. UConn is a man team and will look to pressure Stanford's guards and try to make it difficult for the guards to pass the ball to the O sisters where they want the ball. UConn will also double in the post when it can.
 

Vowelguy

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UConn is a man team and will look to pressure Stanford's guards and try to make it difficult for the guards to pass the ball to the O sisters where they want the ball. UConn will also double in the post when it can.

I agree. Seems like a matchup of our backcourt vs their frontcourt. Key will be to disrupt their guards and keep their offense from getting going.
 

Icebear

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I agree. Seems like a matchup of our backcourt vs their frontcourt. Key will be to disrupt their guards and keep their offense from getting going.
This is one of the best uses of a light press. Instead of trying to get a turnover you try to put the opponent deep into the shot clock before they can set up their offense.
 

VAMike23

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Hmmm. Was anybody impressed with UConn's zone last night? I wasn't. UConn is a man team and will look to pressure Stanford's guards and try to make it difficult for the guards to pass the ball to the O sisters where they want the ball. UConn will also double in the post when it can.

'Tis true, Pacific slipped in for a couple of rebounds through the zone gaps last night. However I thought we ran it much better against HC, and they were much more skilled team IMO. (HC had multiple players with very good handles. I'm not sure Pacific had any.) Also, when we ran it last night, Kelly and Kiah did not appear to be quite as effective as KML and Buck in the 2-3. Buck really knows how to get after it and she knows UCONN's defenses well, being more experienced. KML also knows how to put a body on people. Although Kelly is a great option for any defensive scheme, I think she's at her best in M2M when she can stay up in somebody's grille and have a body right on her hip that she knows she should box out. She is not so much of a 'space-eater' type of rebounder that you love to have in your zone D.

You're right that UCONN is a M2M team, I just think that zone will needed for big stretches in the particular matchup we face on Monday. I think that's why Geno has had them in zone so much against Pacific despite the fact that he says we're basically a M2M team; to see who can make it work best.
 

cferraro04

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'Tis true, Pacific slipped in for a couple of rebounds through the zone gaps last night. However I thought we ran it much better against HC, and they were much more skilled team IMO. (HC had multiple players with very good handles. I'm not sure Pacific had any.) Also, when we ran it last night, Kelly and Kiah did not appear to be quite as effective as KML and Buck in the 2-3. Buck really knows how to get after it and she knows UCONN's defenses well, being more experienced. KML also knows how to put a body on people. Although Kelly is a great option for any defensive scheme, I think she's at her best in M2M when she can stay up in somebody's grille and have a body right on her hip that she knows she should box out. She is not so much of a 'space-eater' type of rebounder that you love to have in your zone D.

You're right that UCONN is a M2M team, I just think that zone will needed for big stretches in the particular matchup we face on Monday. I think that's why Geno has had them in zone so much against Pacific despite the fact that he says we're basically a M2M team; to see who can make it work best.

Geno puts his team in the zone primarily to attempt to keep the score from running up too high...didn't seem to work last night with UConn going off for 112 points.
 

MilfordHusky

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I disagree on the initial comparison of Hartley and LaRoque. Lindy hit a couple of key threes last year. Bria needs to be able to close out on the three-point shooters better than she did last year. I'd say only slight advantage UConn.

The Nneka v. Stef matchup will be very interesting. Is Stef quick enough to slow Nneka? I don't think Nneka can stop Stef, plus she is not a shot blocker.

I think Kelly has a tough matchup with Chiney. The athleticism is about the same, but Kelly gives up 4" of height and reach. I would try Kaleena to body Chiney or Kiah to use her length.

I have not seen Amber Orrange play, but she sounds a lot like Brianna Banks. Will either appreciably outperform the other?

I think foul trouble will be the key. Can Stef guard Nneka without getting in foul trouble as she did against Griner? Can Chiney rebound without going over the back? How tightly will things be called?

I like our outside shooting this year. Pohlen had a career game against us, and Pedersen was always tough. Samuelson and others can shoot, but we have Caroline, Tiffany, Bria, and Kelly. Oh, we have the Shot Magnet too.

Stanford's guards are faster than previosuly, but the experienced guards are not. We need to run them and then run them some more. Pressure!

I'm thinking/hoping that this could be a coming out party for someone. Can Kiah play even with Chiney? Can Kaleena dominate? Can Stef be Tina-like? Can Tiff star in a tough game? The environment will be more hostile than the Stanford frosh have ever seen. It will be a good measuring stick for both teams.
 
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I have a feeling that Heather and Kiah will get major minutes Monday. Both are more then capable of getting rebounds against the Stanford Posts. UCONN needs to get transition baskets. If you don't get rebounds you can't get fast break baskets. This is why are posts have to have a good game.
 

Zorro

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Quicker guards + more and better outside shooters + longer bench (for a pleasant change!) + home crowd = UConn by a dozen. I agree that Heather and Kiah will probably get a workout.
 

intlzncster

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-Quality of teams played as a measuring stick and learning tool.

Advantage Stanford. UConn has yet to play anyone, and Stanford's beaten a couple of decent teams. Hopefully UConn can ramp up everything really quick to play in a big time environment.
 
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I agree. Seems like a matchup of our backcourt vs their frontcourt. Key will be to disrupt their guards and keep their offense from getting going.
.
The Stanford guards have a unique way of passing the ball to the Ogwumike sisters; they shoot the ball. They have 29 offensive rebounds in the first two games, 20 against Texas. Result? Layups for the Ogwumikes ... lots of layups. Kelly and Stef are going to have play the rebounding game of their lives. Why only nine rebounds against Gonzaga? Their guards were able to actually pass the ball to the sisters. So it is a game of pressuring their guards and blocking out like never before.
.
 

sTu

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An excellent analysis DD especially when as you noted there really is not any data for this year to extrapolate from.

I think predictions are difficult because of the difference in size and prediciting how the refs are going to "call" the game. I will choose UConn based on as Geno has said numerous times "good guards" are what essentially win big games. And we have a LOT of really good guards. Home court helps too.
 
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The Uconn front line of Dolson, Tiff and KF will not be able to match up with the O sisters. Dolson not quick enough or good enough rebounder and Tiff and KF will get beat up based on height and weight disadvantages. May be ok a few minutes here or there, maybe press and some zone, but need Heather and Kia. If those two can't provide some good playing time and resulsts, better hope KML has a 40 point game. Maya's loss against O sisters offense and rebounding is big, big deal.
 

doggydaddy

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The Uconn front line of Dolson, Tiff and KF will not be able to match up with the O sisters. Dolson not quick enough or good enough rebounder and Tiff and KF will get beat up based on height and weight disadvantages. May be ok a few minutes here or there, maybe press and some zone, but need Heather and Kia. If those two can't provide some good playing time and resulsts, better hope KML has a 40 point game. Maya's loss against O sisters offense and rebounding is big, big deal.
Yeah, I remember those NC games where Tennessee kept outrebounding them. UConn is doomed.
 

Vowelguy

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I agree that Heather and Kiah will probably get a workout.

I'm skeptical. That would probably mean a 9-man rotation in a big/close game, which is pretty rare for Geno. I'm guessing less than 20 minutes combined for the two of them.
 

alexrgct

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This game is going to come down to whether can shoot from the outside. If UConn takes advantage of open outside shots when they're available, this game is eminently winnable. If the girls are cold from outside, Stanford sags on Dolson with impunity, and UConn suddenly has extremely limited scoring opportunities.

One intangible that UConn is missing is a go-to, crunch time player. A lot of girls are capable, but it'd be nice to go into a game like this knowing whose job it is to shoot a big shot if one is needed. I believe Bria, Tiff, and KML (and hopefully Stef) are all willing to take those shots, but I want to see who wants the ball in crunch time and who does something positive with it once she gets it.

This is not Christmas 2009. UConn does not have an unbeatable pair of aces in the starting lineup. But Stanford doesn't have Jayne, Peterson, or Poehlen either. My gut says Stanford 62-57, and I'd be overjoyed to be wrong.
 
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