Areas of improvement | The Boneyard

Areas of improvement

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nelsonmuntz

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Now that practice has started, the National Championship victory tour is over. The keys for UConn to be more than just a good team this year;

Boat - does he know that he shouldn't take over until it is time to take over? If he wants to hear Silver call his name, His APG and UConn's W/L are more important than his PPG this year. Boat is trying to go from good to great.

Brimah - there is a big difference between showing flashes of brilliance and going to work, possession after possession. The there is no Bazz, Giff or Daniels around to protect him from double teams. It is not OK for him to pick up his second 10 minutes into the game. I think Brimah could be the best center in UConn history, and if he makes a big jump towards that goal UConn could have a special season. That means he needs to be there with his 10+ and 8 every game, against the bad teams and the good ones.

Purvis - no learning curve. He has to be the real deal from the opening tip.

TSam - looked great in spot duty, but doing it in 20-25 mpg when the whole opposing defense isn't afraid of Napier is another thing entirely. In particular, he needs a 22 foot game instead of a 5 foot game.

Nolan - uconn needs good D, a little less fouling, a few low post moves. Just a little more than we got last year.

Hamilton - doesn't need to be a star this year, just a good finisher, and together with Purvis and TSam, able to make defenses pay if they cheat too much to Boat or Brimah. He also needs to hold his own defenively, because opponents are going to attack the him looking for a week spot in the D.

Calhoun, Cassell, Lubin - quality role players capable of filling minutes, playing good D, and occasionally stepping up with 8 or 10 points.
 
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Somehow I think we'll need Kentan to advance his game from last year also.

Daniel will need to be a star on occasion as will others. This team will need different guys to step up on different nights.

Defending the ball consistently will help them throughout the tough times on the offensive end. UConn's defense has always been that way and they have the horses to make that happen!
 

GemParty

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Omar looked more comfortable. With that said, his misses are confidence killers. It's one thing to miss a few shots, soft on the rim. It's a different story when a crowd gets on you for air balls. Must take rhythm shots. He does look more explosive. Purvis looks like an ox. He could wear smaller guards out, if he's willing to work hard on D.
 

patrick

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I think we will see a huge jump with Brimah from now till March.
He couldn't practice much this off season because of that injury so I wouldn't be surprised if he starts the season a little slow.

I think you're spot on with Boat!!
 

patrick

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Omar looked more comfortable. With that said, his misses are confidence killers. It's one thing to miss a few shots, soft on the rim. It's a different story when a crowd gets on you for air balls. Must take rhythm shots. He does look more explosive. Purvis looks like an ox. He could wear smaller guards out, if he's willing to work hard on D.
Hopefully Omar missing a couple shots in the beginning of the season will bother us more then him!

Shooters keep shooting!
 
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Omar looking so much more athletic . Dunked with ease last night but it's his outside shooting that we need from him. Watched him warm up and he made about half of his shots from the corner but his misses were way off. We'll need him big time , need that 3pt threat . Hard to believe guards who have played there whole lives like Tsam and Rodney have basically no mid-range or 3pt shot. I know there smart and play to to their strengths but man being a guard you should be a shooter as one of the things you do well. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong .
 

nelsonmuntz

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Forgot Facey. I will put him in the role players category for now. Good defense, run the floor, hit a three every couple of games to keep defenses honest.

I think we will be better defensively. Nolan and Brimah inside together is going to make the paint a "no fly zone" and Samuel is possibly going to be an upgrade on Shabazz defensively. Boat's defense improved 100% last year. Daniels was adequate defensively last year, although the Daniels "head whip" was still in evidence on occasion. (The Daniels' "Head Whip" is when Daniels was whipping his head around frantically because he would completely lose his guy on D). Giffey will be missed. Giffey took on some tough defensive assignments last year, and was our best defender on forwards by far. I hope Purvis can take the better wings and Nolan can cover the big guys.
 
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Forgot Facey. I will put him in the role players category for now. Good defense, run the floor, hit a three every couple of games to keep defenses honest.

I think we will be better defensively. Nolan and Brimah inside together is going to make the paint a "no fly zone" and Samuel is possibly going to be an upgrade on Shabazz defensively. Boat's defense improved 100% last year. Daniels was adequate defensively last year, although the Daniels "head whip" was still in evidence on occasion. (The Daniels' "Head Whip" is when Daniels was whipping his head around frantically because he would completely lose his guy on D). Giffey will be missed. Giffey took on some tough defensive assignments last year, and was our best defender on forwards by far. I hope Purvis can take the better wings and Nolan can cover the big guys.

That's a big statement. Last years team was dominant defensively from December on. The only way I can envision this years team being as good defensively as last years team is if Brimah takes a major step forward and/or Nolan is compatible alongside Brimah at the four. I just don't see D-Ham being a fraction of the defender that Giffey was, especially if he's forced to play out of position at the four. Facey also has a long, long way to go before he can fill Daniels' shoes. DeAndre was asked to do a ton for us defensively.

As for Boatright, I'd be cautious in assuming he will re-inherit his defensive prowess from last March. He's going to be awfully busy on the other end, especially early as we transition from what we were offensively last season to whatever identity this group will assume.
 
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Omar looking so much more athletic . Dunked with ease last night but it's his outside shooting that we need from him. Watched him warm up and he made about half of his shots from the corner but his misses were way off. We'll need him big time , need that 3pt threat . Hard to believe guards who have played there whole lives like Tsam and Rodney have basically no mid-range or 3pt shot. I know there smart and play to to their strengths but man being a guard you should be a shooter as one of the things you do well. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong .
Purvis shot 38% from 3 as a freshman and you haven't even seen him play yet, how do you know whether he has no midrange game or a jumper from distance?
 

intlzncster

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The best center in UCONN history? Only if Purvis turns into kemba walker and DHam becomes Rip Hamilton.
 

nelsonmuntz

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That's a big statement. Last years team was dominant defensively from December on. The only way I can envision this years team being as good defensively as last years team is if Brimah takes a major step forward and/or Nolan is compatible alongside Brimah at the four. I just don't see D-Ham being a fraction of the defender that Giffey was, especially if he's forced to play out of position at the four. Facey also has a long, long way to go before he can fill Daniels' shoes. DeAndre was asked to do a ton for us defensively.

As for Boatright, I'd be cautious in assuming he will re-inherit his defensive prowess from last March. He's going to be awfully busy on the other end, especially early as we transition from what we were offensively last season to whatever identity this group will assume.

We may have to agree to disagree on Daniels' defensive prowess. I am worried about Giffey's departure, and I don't expect Hamilton to remotely fill those shoes on defense this year, although I am hoping that Purvis will be strong on that end. Brimah is no longer a freshman and those times when he was a second late on the rotation will now be projectiles flying at rows 1 through 8, plus I expect a lot less fouling. Boat had a lot of responsibility on both ends last year, so I don't expect a drop off. TSam is the biggest question mark. I think he is capable of a big step up, but we won't know until the ball is tipped.
 
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We may have to agree to disagree on Daniels' defensive prowess. I am worried about Giffey's departure, and I don't expect Hamilton to remotely fill those shoes on defense this year, although I am hoping that Purvis will be strong on that end. Brimah is no longer a freshman and those times when he was a second late on the rotation will now be projectiles flying at rows 1 through 8, plus I expect a lot less fouling. Boat had a lot of responsibility on both ends last year, so I don't expect a drop off. TSam is the biggest question mark. I think he is capable of a big step up, but we won't know until the ball is tipped.

You might be right - Brimah may be the type of rare bread that can almost single-handedly lift a defense to top ten status. Purvis would seem to have game-changing ability defensively, but having potential and devoting the time to being a great defender are two different things. T-Sam was great in the tournament last year, but he's still a bit of an unknown in my mind - he was virtually buried on the scouting report last March, and he wasn't asked to do much outside his comfort zone.

The foundation of a top-shelf defense is in place. You have a bevy of quick, multidimensional perimeter defenders who are less vulnerable to the sort of cross-matching that elaborate screening and cutting produces - if he set his mind to it, Purvis is the type of player that can front the post late in the shot clock on switches, stay in front of quicker point guards, and help off his man while still being able to scramble back to his initial assignment. Samuel is a Mack truck of a guard with many of the same components, Boatright has proven slithery and disruptive enough throw a wrench into the timing and precision that all great offenses are predicated on, and Brimah's combination of length and closing speed heightens the margin of error of the entire operation. There is a lot to work with here from a talent perspective, and in unison with lunch pale guys like Phil Nolan who have spent years in the system and should be vital to communicating the principles of the defense both on and off the court, I'm pretty confident in saying this group has the makings of a top ten unit.

But we'll have to see whether the new guys inherit the same perceptive devotion to their craft that guys like Napier, Giffey, Kromah, and yes, Daniels, exhibited a year ago. I'm pretty comfortable in saying that aside from maybe the 1999 team, no UConn team in history demonstrated the type of relaxed, unblemished motion within the defensive schemes that last years team did. By the end of the year, there was no wasted motion, no lapses in communication, no missed rotations. Every formation or design that confronted them seemed to be diligently scouted and then memorized, every player on the floor knew exactly what was expected of them on every conceivable screen, back-cut, dribble-drive, you name it. They displayed, collectively, the sort of instinctual proficiency and fundamental perfection that can really only be acquired through years of religious tape-watching, training of muscle memory, and player interaction. That Ollie was able to mold all of them into genuine students of the game suggests he may well be able to do the same with Purvis, Hamilton, Cassell, Facey, Lubin, etc., but even so, it is an extensive process that cannot be executed without unadulterated love and commitment to the game.
 
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I stand corrected about Rodney's outside shot. Hopefully he will improve on 38% and he can hit those mid-range jumpers.
 
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I stand corrected about Rodney's outside shot. Hopefully he will improve on 38% and he can hit those mid-range jumpers.

If he shoots 38% from 3 along with his ability to get to the rim I promise it will look like 50%. 38's just fine for the Ferrari!
 

UConnSwag11

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We may have to agree to disagree on Daniels' defensive prowess. I am worried about Giffey's departure, and I don't expect Hamilton to remotely fill those shoes on defense this year, although I am hoping that Purvis will be strong on that end. Brimah is no longer a freshman and those times when he was a second late on the rotation will now be projectiles flying at rows 1 through 8, plus I expect a lot less fouling. Boat had a lot of responsibility on both ends last year, so I don't expect a drop off. TSam is the biggest question mark. I think he is capable of a big step up, but we won't know until the ball is tipped.
I think the size of purvis, Samuel and cassell will really help on the defensive end against bigger guards and other players on the switch. Hopefully they can have a high IQ like bazz and boat had together
 

nelsonmuntz

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Shotblockers absolve a lot of sins defensively. Okafor covered for a team that was playing a lot of Rashad Anderson and Ben Gordon on the court together. The 2006 team looked good defensively because of Boone and Armstrong, and when those two mailed in the second weekend of the Dance, it became a lot harder to get stops. Thabeet turned a good defensive team into a great one.

Brimah is not equal to Okafor or Thabeet defensively, yet. But he could be really good and make the whole defense look better.
 
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Forgot Facey. I will put him in the role players category for now. Good defense, run the floor, hit a three every couple of games to keep defenses honest.

I think we will be better defensively. Nolan and Brimah inside together is going to make the paint a "no fly zone" and Samuel is possibly going to be an upgrade on Shabazz defensively. Boat's defense improved 100% last year. Daniels was adequate defensively last year, although the Daniels "head whip" was still in evidence on occasion. (The Daniels' "Head Whip" is when Daniels was whipping his head around frantically because he would completely lose his guy on D). Giffey will be missed. Giffey took on some tough defensive assignments last year, and was our best defender on forwards by far. I hope Purvis can take the better wings and Nolan can cover the big guys.

Kromah was the best defender on the team last year, so it's odd that you're harping on Giffey leaving, and not Kromah. Obviously Giffey was also really good on defense, but as a one on one defender Kromah was one of the best I've seen at UConn.
 

intlzncster

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Kromah was the best defender on the team last year, so it's odd that you're harping on Giffey leaving, and not Kromah. Obviously Giffey was also really good on defense, but as a one on one defender Kromah was one of the best I've seen at UConn.

Boat is a better one on one defender imo.
 
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Boat is a better one on one defender imo.

Yeah, I don't think this was all that close. Kromah was a good defender and stayed in front of people well, but Boatright was always ruining somebody's day, especially late in the season.
 
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Kromah was the best defender on the team last year, so it's odd that you're harping on Giffey leaving, and not Kromah. Obviously Giffey was also really good on defense, but as a one on one defender Kromah was one of the best I've seen at UConn.

Respectfully disagree. Giffey was a phenomenal defender, both on and off ball, and he had the ability to guard a much larger range of positions that Kromah did - he shut down a few very highly rated big men in our tourney run. Kromah was a great athlete and a fantastic defender in his own right, but Giffey was really something special. What a luxury we have as UConn fans to have an argument like this though, huh?
 

nelsonmuntz

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Interesting thing about both Kromah and Giffey is that both rode the pine a lot. Kromah averaged 22.4 mpg and Giffey averaged 24.7 mpg. While both were excellent defenders that will be missed, they often subbed for each other, so it is like graduating only one player.
 
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Yeah, I don't think this was all that close. Kromah was a good defender and stayed in front of people well, but Boatright was always ruining somebody's day, especially late in the season.

It's hard to compare them because of the height difference, but there's a reason why Kromah was guarding guys like Sean Kilpatrick and CJ Wilcox.
 
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