Chief’s Briefs - DePaul 2 Edition

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CL82

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Achilles is a really tough injury to cone back from. We need to be really patient.
Any idea when he’s minutes cap is going to look like on a game by game/week basis? How much more time can we expect ?
 
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There was a point in the game, where I felt like Polley was WIDE OPEN .. several times and the person with then ball didn’t even look his way. Several times in a row. We then settled for bad shot or turnover. It’s a shame.
Shouldn't Polley have pointed it out at the time with a code word , to make the person with the ball aware he was open? Players do talk to each other on the court. Quarterbacks in football call it out, like saying "Omaha" or some other word before the play.

It can't take that long for the ballhandler to process this.
 
C

Chief00

Any idea when he’s minutes cap is going to look like on a game by game/week basis? How much more time can we expect ?

I don’t know with any confidence. It will really depend on his performance frankly, how others do and how he feels after he performs. I am sure there’s some short term plan that I am unaware of that probably blows up each game due to immediate circumstances. LOL Thus far, he’s looked really lost, but Tyler had a really bad start for a couple of games and he was up to 28 minutes last game. However, there’s a lot more depth for Bigs minutes than perimeter 3 point scorer minutes right now.
Chief is always a pessimist about Achilles
injuries. Generally, there’s a recovery season. It’s both mental and physical.
 

HuskyHawk

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DePaul adjusted well since the last game. Many here said we played bad. Well, the way I see it, DePaul was ready and their defense was relentless. They out rebounded us. Many times they penetrated with ease. We didn't. Our guys fought the heck last night. Great win. I give DePaul a lot of credit. Did I notice that Butterfingers Carlton and Sonogo did not get much time in the second half?

Agreed. Depaul knew that without Bouknight our offense was going to start inside, and that our primary guards weren't great penetrators. So they played very aggressively, smothering the guards and disrupting their ability to distribute. They picked up Cole and played him tight just over half court. That made us waste about 15 seconds a trip. Very effective unless the guards beat that man and create a mismatch. Neither Gaff nor Cole did (or could). Later we started running the offense through Martin or Adams up top with Cole and Gaff on the wings and had better success. That defense will foul a lot if you attack it, but it took us too long to force them to do that.

It exposed something Hurley will need to address. Yes, Bouknight would make a difference, but it's similar to what Marquette did that frustrated him. The best response would be a passer with size and bigs cutting. Andre Jackson would fill the bill, and one of our bigs attacking the rim. We don't really have the players to consistently beat that defense with dribble penetration. We need to do it through the air. We tried with Whaley a few times, passing inside, but the passes and catches weren't as good as they could be. I suspect we will be practicing that a lot.
 
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Agreed. Depaul knew that without Bouknight our offense was going to start inside, and that our primary guards weren't great penetrators. So they played very aggressively, smothering the guards and disrupting their ability to distribute. They picked up Cole and played him tight just over half court. That made us waste about 15 seconds a trip. Very effective unless the guards beat that man and create a mismatch. Neither Gaff nor Cole did (or could). Later we started running the offense through Martin or Adams up top with Cole and Gaff on the wings and had better success. That defense will foul a lot if you attack it, but it took us too long to force them to do that.

It exposed something Hurley will need to address. Yes, Bouknight would make a difference, but it's similar to what Marquette did that frustrated him. The best response would be a passer with size and bigs cutting. Andre Jackson would fill the bill, and one of our bigs attacking the rim. We don't really have the players to consistently beat that defense with dribble penetration. We need to do it through the air. We tried with Whaley a few times, passing inside, but the passes and catches weren't as good as they could be. I suspect we will be practicing that a lot.

Yeah well said HH. It's brutal to watch our guards "walk" it up court get over with 22 seconds then be harassed by a defender who makes them back down and throw their first actual pass from the hash mark at 15-17 seconds on the shot clock left. Happened way too much last night and the inability for Cole or Gaffney to take their man off the dribble hurts that. Adams did ok a couple of times, was more aggressive but he's scary with the ball and just isn't a PG. I would consider Bouk taking it up against certain defenses and having Cole off the ball as it will be more effective. And the bigs have been ok until this game feeding each other from the FT line to the low post but last night yikes, awful. Whaley is a solid passer but had a rough night, the others just aren't that good.

I mean it's nice to have concerns after a win isn't it, but they will be magnified vs better teams if improvements aren't made.
 
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Rico444

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Agreed. Depaul knew that without Bouknight our offense was going to start inside, and that our primary guards weren't great penetrators. So they played very aggressively, smothering the guards and disrupting their ability to distribute. They picked up Cole and played him tight just over half court. That made us waste about 15 seconds a trip. Very effective unless the guards beat that man and create a mismatch. Neither Gaff nor Cole did (or could). Later we started running the offense through Martin or Adams up top with Cole and Gaff on the wings and had better success. That defense will foul a lot if you attack it, but it took us too long to force them to do that.

It exposed something Hurley will need to address. Yes, Bouknight would make a difference, but it's similar to what Marquette did that frustrated him. The best response would be a passer with size and bigs cutting. Andre Jackson would fill the bill, and one of our bigs attacking the rim. We don't really have the players to consistently beat that defense with dribble penetration. We need to do it through the air. We tried with Whaley a few times, passing inside, but the passes and catches weren't as good as they could be. I suspect we will be practicing that a lot.
Hurley's response came kind of late, but it was to get Martin the ball inside the 3 point line. It had a lot of success and I think it's something that we're going to utilize more moving forward, even when Bouknight comes back.
 
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One lineup I hope is just a result of no Bouknight is the one with a PG, Martin, Polley, Whaley, Carlton. That was brutal to watch us try to score
 
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QDOG5

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The weave is driving me crazy. Someone explain to me where the shots are supposed to come from? There are no cutters, no screen and roll to the basket, no screening away. Big men catch the ball up top never square up to the basket. Occasionally we'll get a slip screen from Whaley but the ball rarely gets passed to him. It seems like it is designed as an equal opportunity offense but no one ever seems to be in position to take advantage of it. I know a lot of teams start with some screening action up top, ours just seems to last for the majority of the shot clock. Btw, I'm happy we won the game.
 

evmore

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Tyler days of playing in obscurity are over. Especially with Boutnight out and just off Big East player of the week - he will now get defensive attention. We will see if he is clever enough to create scoring opportunities. He made a couple of 3’s in the first half but needs more consistency.

Probably the surprise of the game is that we got out rebounded. Given our difficulty scoring we need to win in this category. We also had more turnovers than assists, a metric Chief watches.

While we got out to an 11 point lead our offense isn’t pretty and that’s been Chief’s concern when well intended Casual Fans started talking top ten ranking.

Again, we did a good job on Moore.

Josh played a step slow and a thought late. Several times he did not appear to be ready for the ball or a plan what to do with it. In the post he needs to create distance for his shot by using a jump hook with his shoulder creating separation.

Martin had a very good game but still needs to work at finishing around the rim. Chief needs to study better the reasons for that deficiency. It’s not readily apparent. He’s strong, has fairly long arms and plays aggressive. It may be a mental matter of concentration.

DePaul came out with a good run to start the second half. UConn was playing very tentative offensively and DePaul did not overthink their offense. I thought Whaley played with energy but not much focus or with awareness of where his man or responsibilities were. He was running around without much purpose to his activity and lost his man or was late to an assignment several times.
I would like to see Polley come in at 17 minutes mark rather than 15 minutes. Our offense really struggles. Gaffney is turning down shots while Cole is rushing his play on offense.

We don’t have an offense that can afford lots of turnovers, since our shooting isn’t that good either. Another game and Akok doesn’t look even remotely ready. Our half court defense is really good, and I think it wore DePaul down and led to the win. Martin had 5 steaks snd Cole 4.

A win is a win especially without your star.
 

evmore

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We muffed the high/low entry twice.. Josh and Isaiah both. If they are both playing at the same time we need to exploit the mismatch & this is the easiest way to do it, so we need to execute this...

I completely agree w/ Martin finishing. My thought is that he plays so fast and hard that he has trouble slowing down at the backboard where touch is important.

AS is fitting in better than well.. his presence and activity level are huge for us.

TP is more than a catch n shoot player but he isn't able to get his own shot off the dribble so we need to set better screens for him, and he needs to work off screens better.. too much space between he and the screener in the first half.

With Bouk out RJ needs to look for his shot more than he is.. Currently it feels like he is looking for his shot only when bail out is needed. He has a great pull up game and can shoot the 3 better than BA. I'm concerned with BA.. I imagine its tough on him this year, trying to adapt and finding that his role this year is less than last year.

Akok is being eased into the lineup.. DH needs to pay attention (more attention) to who Akok is on the floor with in these next couple weeks.. He needs opportunities to build confidence again...
 
C

Chief00

Yeah well said HH. It's brutal to watch our guards "walk" it up court get over with 22 seconds then be harassed by a defender who makes them back down and throw their first actual pass from the hash mark at 15-17 seconds on the shot clock left. Happened way too much last night and the inability for Cole or Gaffney to take their man off the dribble hurts that. Adams did ok a couple of times, was more aggressive but he's scary with the ball and just isn't a PG. I would consider Bouk taking it up against certain defenses and having Cole off the ball as it will be more effective. And the bigs have been ok until this game feeding each other from the FT line to the low post but last night yikes, awful. Whaley is a solid passer but had a rough night, the others just aren't that good.

I mean it's nice to have concerns after a win isn't it, but they will be magnified vs better teams if improvements aren't made.
Speed kills and we don’t have that in the backcourt right now.
 
C

Chief00

We muffed the high/low entry twice.. Josh and Isaiah both. If they are both playing at the same time we need to exploit the mismatch & this is the easiest way to do it, so we need to execute this...

I completely agree w/ Martin finishing. My thought is that he plays so fast and hard that he has trouble slowing down at the backboard where touch is important.

AS is fitting in better than well.. his presence and activity level are huge for us.

TP is more than a catch n shoot player but he isn't able to get his own shot off the dribble so we need to set better screens for him, and he needs to work off screens better.. too much space between he and the screener in the first half.

With Bouk out RJ needs to look for his shot more than he is.. Currently it feels like he is looking for his shot only when bail out is needed. He has a great pull up game and can shoot the 3 better than BA. I'm concerned with BA.. I imagine its tough on him this year, trying to adapt and finding that his role this year is less than last year.

Akok is being eased into the lineup.. DH needs to pay attention (more attention) to who Akok is on the floor with in these next couple weeks.. He needs opportunities to build confidence again...

Still waiting for someone talented in slicing videos to do one so Chief can analyze how Martin finishes.
 
C

Chief00

Shouldn't Polley have pointed it out at the time with a code word , to make the person with the ball aware he was open? Players do talk to each other on the court. Quarterbacks in football call it out, like saying "Omaha" or some other word before the play.

It can't take that long for the ballhandler to process this.
I think the guards struggle so much just moving the ball forward - they are not seeing the court as they should. But, with no fan noise, there’s no excuse to not have good verbal communication.
 
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I could not be more impressed with their on-ball perimeter defense. Cole and Adams are both lockdown defenders on the outside, and with Whaley coming up in PnR situations, they are elite. Seriously the best defensive lineup I've seen at UConn since 2014. Only thing is, Whaley gets bullied a little bit inside the paint.

I'm still waiting for Cole to find more of a rhythm on the offensive end. I don't care that it was against lower-competition, the guy still scored 1,500 in two seasons. That is extremely impressive and I'm still optimistic that he will emerge as another viable scoring threat.
 

HuskyHawk

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Hurley's response came kind of late, but it was to get Martin the ball inside the 3 point line. It had a lot of success and I think it's something that we're going to utilize more moving forward, even when Bouknight comes back.

Yes, Martin was effectively our PG the last 3-4 minutes. He brought it up and was in the up top center position. When he's in as a 3 or 4, there's a good chance he can take his man off the dribble, which he did repeatedly. It's a skill Polley doesn't have, and both Cole and Gaff struggle against good perimeter defenders. Out weave is a pointless waste of time, as our our constant ball screens. I think the screens are a net negative most of the time, as they lead to double teams and we rarely get the ball to whoever is open.

The best option is to have our 5 posting up, occupying a defender, then if we penetrate he screens that post defender inside.
 
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Yes, Martin was effectively our PG the last 3-4 minutes. He brought it up and was in the up top center position. When he's in as a 3 or 4, there's a good chance he can take his man off the dribble, which he did repeatedly. It's a skill Polley doesn't have, and both Cole and Gaff struggle against good perimeter defenders. Out weave is a pointless waste of time, as our our constant ball screens. I think the screens are a net negative most of the time, as they lead to double teams and we rarely get the ball to whoever is open.

The best option is to have our 5 posting up, occupying a defender, then if we penetrate he screens that post defender inside.
I agree that the weave wastes time.

I like Polley's handle and I think if he is guarded outside by a 3 or 4, that he can occasionally beat his man off the dribble and drive to the basket. I would like to see him try it.

I also think I have seen him occasionally (after an infrequent rebound) dribble from the backcourt and bring it into the frontcourt. Assuming the other team is not guarding in the backcourt, why not have him dribble the ball into the frontcourt, and then shoot a 3 if he is not closely guarded, or throw a quick pass to a guard who throws it back to him and let him shoot.

Years ago, on a not great UConn team, Gary Custick was a shooting forward who regularly brought the ball into the frontcourt. Polley seems better than Custick if anyone remembers Custick.

Obviously, this strategy will not work if Polley is closely guarded in the backcourt when UConn is trying to bring the ball up the floor from the backcourt.
 

Chin Diesel

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Yes, Martin was effectively our PG the last 3-4 minutes. He brought it up and was in the up top center position. When he's in as a 3 or 4, there's a good chance he can take his man off the dribble, which he did repeatedly. It's a skill Polley doesn't have, and both Cole and Gaff struggle against good perimeter defenders. Out weave is a pointless waste of time, as our our constant ball screens. I think the screens are a net negative most of the time, as they lead to double teams and we rarely get the ball to whoever is open.

The best option is to have our 5 posting up, occupying a defender, then if we penetrate he screens that post defender inside.
I agree that the weave wastes time.

I like Polley's handle and I think if he is guarded outside by a 3 or 4, that he can occasionally beat his man off the dribble and drive to the basket. I would like to see him try it.

I also think I have seen him occasionally (after an infrequent rebound) dribble from the backcourt and bring it into the frontcourt. Assuming the other team is not guarding in the backcourt, why not have him dribble the ball into the frontcourt, and then shoot a 3 if he is not closely guarded, or throw a quick pass to a guard who throws it back to him and let him shoot.

Years ago, on a not great UConn team, Gary Custick was a shooting forward who regularly brought the ball into the frontcourt. Polley seems better than Custick if anyone remembers Custick.

Obviously, this strategy will not work if Polley is closely guarded in the backcourt when UConn is trying to bring the ball up the floor from the backcourt.

I'll split hairs. The weave isn't a waste of time if done correctly. It's basically some motion to try and get a switch from the defense setting a mismatch for the Huskies offensive sets. They're basically moving around trying to get a switch and then based on the switch run a set to exploit the mismatch.

Problem is what you two have pointed it out. The players aren't running it effectively so the switch/mismatch doesn't occur.

If I'm a betting man, which I'm not, I'd suggest Hurley work on improving the efficiency of the weave rather than going to a new offense.
 

Rico444

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I'll split hairs. The weave isn't a waste of time if done correctly. It's basically some motion to try and get a switch from the defense setting a mismatch for the Huskies offensive sets. They're basically moving around trying to get a switch and then based on the switch run a set to exploit the mismatch.

Problem is what you two have pointed it out. The players aren't running it effectively so the switch/mismatch doesn't occur.

If I'm a betting man, which I'm not, I'd suggest Hurley work on improving the efficiency of the weave rather than going to a new offense.

Not to mention we played with two bigs on the floor for almost the entire game, which means the lane is more clogged and it's going to be harder to capitalize on a mismatch since it's harder to take your man off the dribble and get an easy layup with the lane clogged.
 
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Alas I missed this game and somehow or other didn’t record it either. But good win if against an awful team. The 3 game road trip was good in that we got 3 wins and Polley emerged as a legit scorer. Last year’s Whaley returned to the lineup. Long road trips can be tough but at least we played 2 pretty bad teams so that made it less challenging The Marquette win was a good one and it was good that we played them first. A tired injured team might not have come back down a bunch... just said let’s get out of town. That game was significant. The other two fall into the category of “should wins” and we did so that was good to see.
 

UcannUconn

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A couple more thoughts after watching the replay.

- Martin should just dunk the ball. A lot of these point blank lays at the rim are dunkable for an athlete of his caliber.

- Polley needs to use the shot fake to draw fouls if they’re going to play him this tight.

- we’re still not a super developed team offensively. There are only a handful of sets we run. ie. Martin post ups, Polley/Martin off staggered screen. Teams like Nova and Creighton run plays on every possession in the half court and have a much wider playbook.

- We have to be the best team in the country at deflecting balls. Everyone on our team does it well. Part of it is just our activity level on defense.

- DePaul ran out of gas. I’m talking like stalled in the middle of the highway. They may have had to forfeit had it gone any longer.

- Paulicap was a big loss for them when he fouled out. They don’t have too many options underneath. Game totally changed after he went out.
 

Husky25

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A couple more thoughts after watching the replay.

- Martin should just dunk the ball. A lot of these point blank lays at the rim are dunkable for an athlete of his caliber.
Same for Carlton. You're 6'-10". Go up strong.
 
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