At The Risk Of A Stoning

RockyMTblue2

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#1
Something Lou said after the game got me thinking:

"No team, especially in March is going to give up once halftime hits," Samuelson said. "So, knowing that and if we do get up, knowing how to keep the pressure on and be able to slow the game down, being able to get the right shot is going to be the biggest thing for us to figure out."

Fueled by early run, No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville 69-58

I see that as maybe the chink in the second half. Keep pressure on, slow the game down, but keep the offense alive. Not quite right last night is what she is saying maybe? She might be repeating what Geno said in the post-game locker room.

BTW: I figured out the best way to rewatch the game. Play the first quarter 4 times.
 
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#2
Something Lou said after the game got me thinking:

"No team, especially in March is going to give up once halftime hits," Samuelson said. "So, knowing that and if we do get up, knowing how to keep the pressure on and be able to slow the game down, being able to get the right shot is going to be the biggest thing for us to figure out."

Fueled by early run, No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville 69-58

I see that as maybe the chink in the second half. Keep pressure on, slow the game down, but keep the offense alive. Not quite right last night is what she is saying maybe? She might be repeating what Geno said in the post-game locker room.

BTW: I figured out the best way to rewatch the game. Play the first quarter 4 times.
Agreed. Sounds like playing the second half not to lose, with eyes on the scoreboard. That has been happening a lot this year, unlike last year.
 
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#3
Agreed. Sounds like playing the second half not to lose, with eyes on the scoreboard. That has been happening a lot this year, unlike last year.
Right, and to my eye it's part of a deliberate strategy of trying to knock other teams out of the game early using extreme effort on defense and a fast-paced offense that the starters seem to be able to dial up at will, but is not possible or even desirable to maintain over longer periods of time. The idea probably being that Z and Megan can come in later on, hopefully with the game already out of reach for the opponents and without too much of a drop off in quality of play. Clearly team is still working on that last part.
 
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#4
Is it a result of saving something in the tank. Knowing that the starters are probably going to have to go 40 minutes would probably cause me to start to coast. Once you have started to coast, it is very difficult to get everything cranked up again.

A scenario like this is fairly common; At the beginning of the game all players a primed to go all out and the team hits on all cylinders. A substantial lead is established and gradually players begin to conserve energy for the long haul. Sporadically through the game the other team begins to perform better and close the gap, some players begin to feel an urgency and step it up. But it is not now all 5 at once, it is only ones and twos striving and the synchronic ballet cannot be rejoined. Only when the realization, or fear, of losing becomes palpable do all five players press to enter the high function mix and attempt to recover the unified balance that started the game.

Did we get a glimpse of that pattern Monday night?
 
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#5
Something Lou said after the game got me thinking:

"No team, especially in March is going to give up once halftime hits," Samuelson said. "So, knowing that and if we do get up, knowing how to keep the pressure on and be able to slow the game down, being able to get the right shot is going to be the biggest thing for us to figure out."

Fueled by early run, No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville 69-58

I see that as maybe the chink in the second half. Keep pressure on, slow the game down, but keep the offense alive. Not quite right last night is what she is saying maybe? She might be repeating what Geno said in the post-game locker room.

BTW: I figured out the best way to rewatch the game. Play the first quarter 4 times.
Actually, Kia said more or less the same thing in her post-game interview. UCONN would purposefully pass up the good shot to find a great shot. Maybe it didn't always work out that way or the shots just didn't go in.
 
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#6
The concern is: what happens if a team survives our initial punch?

If it's a wide-open, fast-paced, high-scoring game like against Texas or ND, we can make that work.

If it's a slow, grind-it-out type of game, that's the MSU outcome from last year.
 

HuskyNan

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#7
The concern is: what happens if a team survives our initial punch?

If it's a wide-open, fast-paced, high-scoring game like against Texas or ND, we can make that work.

If it's a slow, grind-it-out type of game, that's the MSU outcome from last year.
Which teams besides MSU do you see as the greatest threats? Baylor, for sure, who else?
 
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#8
Right, and to my eye it's part of a deliberate strategy of trying to knock other teams out of the game early using extreme effort on defense and a fast-paced offense that the starters seem to be able to dial up at will, but is not possible or even desirable to maintain over longer periods of time. The idea probably being that Z and Megan can come in later on, hopefully with the game already out of reach for the opponents and without too much of a drop off in quality of play. Clearly team is still working on that last part.
I think you are right on. The problem is: there is still no bench that Geno trusts. Z can do some things under the hoop that help ( though it is time for Z, Geno and everyone else to give up on that fantasy/myth, that Z can shoot from the outside. Really? Anyone can put up an " air ball."). Megan got a brief look and then disappeared. So the trust we heard " was developing" with last year's top recruit seems to have faded away. And no one else is even a consideration if the game is close, the opponent is dangerous, and the contest is meaningful. What we saw is that this team will have trouble winning with only 5 players ( and a little Z). There is no problem with the conference...the most dismal in America....but back to back games with Louisville, Baylor, Miss. State, Notre Dame ( the elite 8 round, for example) would prove too much for this team.
 
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#9
Which teams besides MSU do you see as the greatest threats? Baylor, for sure, who else?
MSU, Baylor
Louisville, ND

Seeing Texas again wouldn't be great.

Basically, any team that has or can play us tough and take us out of our game for long stretches. Louisville and ND both were better teams than us for 3 quarters, we were just exceptionally better for 1 quarter (which I'm not sure you can count on). Texas was close throughout. MSU and Baylor are tough and physical, and can slow the game down in a way that can give us problems.

Besides them, the only threat is a team like Oregon getting stupidly hot from outside and us not defending the perimeter well, but that's much less likely than the other scenario.
 
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#10
Right, and to my eye it's part of a deliberate strategy of trying to knock other teams out of the game early using extreme effort on defense and a fast-paced offense that the starters seem to be able to dial up at will, but is not possible or even desirable to maintain over longer periods of time. The idea probably being that Z and Megan can come in later on, hopefully with the game already out of reach for the opponents and without too much of a drop off in quality of play. Clearly team is still working on that last part.
CViv used to (maybe still does) have Rutgers run a defense she called the "55 Press" or something like that. The team could maintain the intensity require for short spurts but it was hell on the opponents while it lasted.
 
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#11
I think you are right on. The problem is: there is still no bench that Geno trusts. Z can do some things under the hoop that help ( though it is time for Z, Geno and everyone else to give up on that fantasy/myth, that Z can shoot from the outside. Really? Anyone can put up an " air ball."). Megan got a brief look and then disappeared. So the trust we heard " was developing" with last year's top recruit seems to have faded away. And no one else is even a consideration if the game is close, the opponent is dangerous, and the contest is meaningful. What we saw is that this team will have trouble winning with only 5 players ( and a little Z). There is no problem with the conference...the most dismal in America....but back to back games with Louisville, Baylor, Miss. State, Notre Dame ( the elite 8 round, for example) would prove too much for this team.
Nah we got this. Stop worrying.
 
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#12
MSU, Baylor
Louisville, ND

Seeing Texas again wouldn't be great.

Basically, any team that has or can play us tough and take us out of our game for long stretches. Louisville and ND both were better teams than us for 3 quarters, we were just exceptionally better for 1 quarter (which I'm not sure you can count on). Texas was close throughout. MSU and Baylor are tough and physical, and can slow the game down in a way that can give us problems.

Besides them, the only threat is a team like Oregon getting stupidly hot from outside and us not defending the perimeter well, but that's much less likely than the other scenario.
I think the best team out there, and the most serious threat to UCONN, is the one we haven't played, and who beat us last year. And with no bench, and Z unable to do anything from the outside except turn the ball over, we could easily lose. Miss. State has a 6'7" center who is experienced and athletic. We can only win in a perfect game scenario, where Crystal , Kia and Katy are all near 100% from the arc, Pheessa is 85% on those 8-10 footers, and Gabby is passing like an NBA all star and driving to the hoop. We have seen such performances this season in several quarters against top talent. But I don't think anyone can do that for 40 minutes. Miss. State is the danger.

As an aside; Have we ever had a top recruit ( best HS player in the nation) who has been this unproductive, this late in the season? By mid-February ( in my memory ), I am usually salivating for such a player to get more court time and, when they did, they always met or exceeded my very high expectations.. With Megan, I have come to hope for a lot but expect little. And like yesterday..( or did I miss an injury or something?)....we get nothing. Thoughts? Reactions?
 
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iamcbs

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#13
Which teams besides MSU do you see as the greatest threats? Baylor, for sure, who else?
Teams that have played Connecticut at least once seem to give them trouble so add Maryland to any list of teams that people give you on this post. They are not intimidated by Connecticut and they've seen the speed and precision live, so they'll better prepared for it if they see it again, same for ND and Texas. Mississippi State is similar to Louisville, they have one offensive weapon in Vivians and if she isn't scoring consistently then they stand around not knowing what to do. McCowan will be a difficult guard, even for Gabby, but you don't have to be concerned with her offense and they don't have Dillingham this year so their on-ball D won't be as tenacious as last season plus Connecticut is much better at the PG position with Dangerfield than last season with Saniya Chong.
 

iamcbs

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#14
I think the best team out there, and the most serious threat to UCONN, is the one we haven't played, and who beat us last year. And with no bench, and Z unable to do anything from the outside except turn the ball over, we could easily lose. We can only win in a perfect game scenario, where Crystal , Kia and Katy are all near 100% from the arc, Pheessa is 85% on those 8-10 footers, and Gabby is passing like an NBA all star and driving to the hoop. We have seen such performances in several quarters against top talent. But I don't think anyone can do that for 40 minutes. Miss. State is the danger.

As an aside; Have we ever had a top recruit ( best HS player in the nation) who has been this unproductive, this late in the season? By this time ( in my memory ) ,I am usually salivating for such a player to get more court time and, when they do, they never disappointed. With Megan, I have come to hope for a lot but expect little. And like yesterday.( or did I miss an injury or something?)....we get nothing.
Your handle belies this post, Stewie's Frosh season was a lot like Megan Walker's, she didn't come alive until the NCAA Tournament. Geno benched her twice during her freshman season for her uninspired play.
 

CocoHusky

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#15
Which teams besides MSU do you see as the greatest threats? Baylor, for sure, who else?
I would add Oregon and Texas.
Both teams have played UCONN recently. Both teams have outstanding guard play in (McCarthy and Ionescu). Both team have multiple bigs that must be accounted for defensively. The multiple bigs becomes important because that limits how and where you can deploy Gabby defensively. Without multiple bigs, Gabby can be "occasionally" deployed to the perimeter defensively to cool down a hot wing or SG & spell Kia as she did last night against Louisville.
 
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#16
Something Lou said after the game got me thinking:

"No team, especially in March is going to give up once halftime hits," Samuelson said. "So, knowing that and if we do get up, knowing how to keep the pressure on and be able to slow the game down, being able to get the right shot is going to be the biggest thing for us to figure out."

Fueled by early run, No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville 69-58

I see that as maybe the chink in the second half. Keep pressure on, slow the game down, but keep the offense alive. Not quite right last night is what she is saying maybe? She might be repeating what Geno said in the post-game locker room.

BTW: I figured out the best way to rewatch the game. Play the first quarter 4 times.
Lou gets it and is constantly trying to better herself and the team! As I've stated before her improvement over the past almost two season is quite remarkable!
She enjoys every moment then moves on to how can we or I make it better!
Bronx24
 
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#17
If they hit shots in the 2nd half, granted a bunch of them seemed to be not good shots, we really wouldn't be taking too much about this right now. I didn't mind the slower pace in the 2nd half; it almost put Louisville in the position that they would need to make every shot to complete a comeback. The slower pace actually worked to minimize the number of possessions Louisville had in the 2nd half.
 
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#18
As an aside; Have we ever had a top recruit ( best HS player in the nation) who has been this unproductive, this late in the season? By this time ( in my memory ) ,I am usually salivating for such a player to get more court time and, when they do, they never disappointed. With Megan, I have come to hope for a lot but expect little. And like yesterday.( or did I miss an injury or something?)....we get nothing.
Not precisely, but we had a #3 who was #1 at her position (Crystal) who was basically as unproductive a year ago.
 
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#19
Your handle belies this post, Stewie's Frosh season was a lot like Megan Walker's, she didn't come alive until the NCAA Tournament. Geno benched her twice during her freshman season for her uninspired play.
Was thinking the same. Stewie "came to life" during the playoffs and excelled during the NCAAs. I get excited every time Geno puts Megan in because in my mind, "this is the game". It will come, we just don't know when. IMHO she is dealing with self doubt. I'm hoping that she will excel at some part of her game and then the rest will come because of building confidence like building blocks. I'm the optimist and feel that her freshman year will blossom before it's too late.

Go Huskies and don't forget to have fun. Love to see the excitement when they are "on".
 

CocoHusky

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#20
Teams that have played Connecticut at least once seem to give them trouble so add Maryland to any list of teams that people give you on this post. They are not intimidated by Connecticut and they've seen the speed and precision live, so they'll better prepared for it if they see it again, same for ND and Texas. Mississippi State is similar to Louisville, they have one offensive weapon in Vivians and if she isn't scoring consistently then they stand around not knowing what to do. McCowan will be a difficult guard, even for Gabby, but you don't have to be concerned with her offense and they don't have Dillingham this year so their on-ball D won't be as tenacious as last season plus Connecticut is much better at the PG position with Dangerfield than last season with Saniya Chong.
Have to disagree, Holmes of MSU has emerged as one of the best on ball defenders in the country. She turned the SC Vs. MSU game with defense and passes to Shaffer in transition.
 
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#21
The concern is: what happens if a team survives our initial punch?

If it's a wide-open, fast-paced, high-scoring game like against Texas or ND, we can make that work.

If it's a slow, grind-it-out type of game, that's the MSU outcome from last year.
As we've seen, the Huskies can deliver that punch immediately (Louisville) or in early in the second quarter (South Carolina). If an opponent survives that, they can turn it on again at the start of the second half.

If all of that somehow hasn't worked, well now you're in a grind-it-out affair like last year's semi final. But with Azura and Megan available this year, and the individual and team improvements since last year, frankly I like our chances even then (Notre Dame), and even against a team like Mississippi State.
 
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#22
Longtime fan, who is Katy? If you mean Lou, she was once asked what name she went by? She replied Lou or Katie Lou but never Katie. Texas was at Texas and Miss. St. put the beat down on Oregon. UConn will take of Oregon, although it could be a bit closer than last year Miss. St. and Baylor are the two threats to UConn winning number 12. Hopefully, UConn will run them into the ground. We'll see if their stamina holds up.
 
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#23
I think you are right on. The problem is: there is still no bench that Geno trusts. Z can do some things under the hoop that help ( though it is time for Z, Geno and everyone else to give up on that fantasy/myth, that Z can shoot from the outside. Really? Anyone can put up an " air ball."). Megan got a brief look and then disappeared. So the trust we heard " was developing" with last year's top recruit seems to have faded away. And no one else is even a consideration if the game is close, the opponent is dangerous, and the contest is meaningful. What we saw is that this team will have trouble winning with only 5 players ( and a little Z). There is no problem with the conference...the most dismal in America....but back to back games with Louisville, Baylor, Miss. State, Notre Dame ( the elite 8 round, for example) would prove too much for this team.
Why would it prove too much for UCONN and not other teams? Two of the teams you mentioned have lost to UCONN this season. UCONN has as much of a chance of winning in that situation as any other team. Baylor and MS have struggled with teams that were not considered even ELITE Eight material.
 
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#24
But with Azura and Megan available this year, and the individual and team improvements since last year, frankly I like our chances even then, and even against a team like Mississippi State.
They are available, but are they effective? Walker hasn't done anything in a meaningful game since UCLA. Stevens has had some good performances against top competition, but her soft style of play is neutralized in the kind of game we're talking about vs. MSU or Baylor.

Some individual improvements are there:
- Big leap by Dangerfield
- Lou's game is more well-rounded
- Nurse's game benefiting from being off the ball (though she hasn't done much on offense against top competition)

But on the other hand, Collier has taken a significant step backward -- another poor shooting night last night.

At the end of the day, we're about 0.5 players deeper than we were last year, with net improvement at maybe 1 position. The one team that beat us is even better. We'll see if it's enough.
 
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#25
I would add Oregon and Texas.
Both teams have played UCONN recently. Both teams have outstanding guard play in (McCarthy and Ionescu). Both team have multiple bigs that must be accounted for defensively. The multiple bigs becomes important because that limits how and where you can deploy Gabby defensively. Without multiple bigs, Gabby can be "occasionally" deployed to the perimeter defensively to cool down a hot wing or SG & spell Kia as she did last night against Louisville.
Maybe Texas but not Oregon. No way they would beat UCONN even if they played their "A" game. Ionescu can be stopped by Nurse and their size is not so much that it would be an advantage to them Their bigs are not as good as UCONN's.
 


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