Creme's Way too Early Top 25



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Beyond the top 2 I still see Stanford as a major contender to win again. They lose a lot but still have so much talent.
Stanford strong frontcourt makes them a contender. They shoot very well from the perimeter and that helps.

Maryland could be a sleeper team for the Final 4. Three potential star player that don't play the same position (Owusu, Miller, Reese). Three very good supporting players who can shoot the three pointer. (Benzan, Bibby and Collins). Plus a nice bench in Masonius and Styles. I would like for the team to develop a really nice 3rd guard. (Maybe Sellers). Still, they have to break through that Sweet 16 ceiling they currently have on top of them.
 
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Cooke ended the postseason on a heater but was still pretty disappointing overall. Shot under 40% from the field and had more turnovers than assists.

I think Raven Johnson helps narrow the gap somewhat, but I'm taking Bueckers/Fudd/Westbrook/Williams every day over Cooke/Henderson/Johnson/Beal.

Williams and Bueckers are a far better combo IMO. Cooke is electric but struggles with shot selection and for the most part shot for a poor percentage last year. Henderson is solid when playing well but sometimes strays away from the gameplan and does her own thing which results in bad decisions and turnovers. It's her first year playing point for Dawn so she'll likely improve but I'd take Bueckers and Williams in a heart beat over those 2.
No issue with you preferring UCONN's backcourt. Don't agree on the "far superior" comment. Zia Cooke, like PB, was named to the Final Four "All Tournament Team". Destanni Henderson is no slouch, and other than Aari McDonald, there are few guards with her quickness and speed. I believe UCONN's backcourt is right at the top, but in no way is "far superior" to the USC backcourt.
 
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Can't forget Rivers. I really think the guards are more even then everyone think.

The only knack for SC is.. not having a Kiki type 4. Saxton and Amihere cannot just stretch the floor to give players like Cooke room to drive. Making them struggle in the half court.


Edit. I think Feagan may fit that role. But I'm not gonna be unrealistic. She may/or may not push for huge minutes
Feagin will end up better than KiKi when it’s said and done, and I loved everything about KiKi. She’s already better than KiKi was coming out of high school and she does everything well. Shoot, dribble, pass, block shots, and rebound. Feagin does it all. She dominated the competition in The Who’s nxt AA games. None of Rayah Marshall, Amari DeBerry, Destiny Adams or Aaliyah Moore could stop her from getting what she wanted on the court. Yes, it was just an All Star game but that’s quite telling when the best in the country goes head to head.
 

bballnut90

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No issue with you preferring UCONN's backcourt. Don't agree on the "far superior" comment. Zia Cooke, like PB, was named to the Final Four "All Tournament Team". Destanni Henderson is no slouch, and other than Aari McDonald, there are few guards with her quickness and speed. I believe UCONN's backcourt is right at the top, but in no way is "far superior" to the USC backcourt.

I guess it comes down to if you think Cooke is going to play like she did in the tournament or if she reverts to how she played in the regular season. Henderson is talented but has some question marks as a point guard IMO. UCONN's strength is their backcourt, SC's is Boston. Both teams have talented other pieces but I think UCONN is solidly ahead in the backcourt department while SC is far ahead in the front court.
 
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Feagin will end up better than KiKi when it’s said and done, and I loved everything about KiKi. She’s already better than KiKi was coming out of high school and she does everything well. Shoot, dribble, pass, block shots, and rebound. Feagin does it all. She dominated the competition in The Who’s nxt AA games. None of Rayah Marshall, Amari DeBerry, Destiny Adams or Aaliyah Moore could stop her from getting what she wanted on the court. Yes, it was just an All Star game but that’s quite telling when the best in the country goes head to head.
Do you know if that All Star game is on YouTube or anything?
 
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Feagin will end up better than KiKi when it’s said and done, and I loved everything about KiKi. She’s already better than KiKi was coming out of high school and she does everything well. Shoot, dribble, pass, block shots, and rebound. Feagin does it all. She dominated the competition in The Who’s nxt AA games. None of Rayah Marshall, Amari DeBerry, Destiny Adams or Aaliyah Moore could stop her from getting what she wanted on the court. Yes, it was just an All Star game but that’s quite telling when the best in the country goes head to head.
If it was my opinion. I'd have Amihere play backup center. And Feagan and Saxton battle for the 4. Or at least split the minutes.

To be honest. I remember seeing Boston struggle in the McDonald's all American. And boom. Had a triple double her first college game I think. Feagan will be fine
 
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I guess it comes down to if you think Cooke is going to play like she did in the tournament or if she reverts to how she played in the regular season. Henderson is talented but has some question marks as a point guard IMO. UCONN's strength is their backcourt, SC's is Boston. Both teams have talented other pieces but I think UCONN is solidly ahead in the backcourt department while SC is far ahead in the front court.
Henderson and Cooke will be even better for the simple fact they will have Johnson and Rivers pushing them for time in the back court.
 

triaddukefan

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Stanford strong frontcourt makes them a contender. They shoot very well from the perimeter and that helps.

Maryland could be a sleeper team for the Final 4. Three potential star player that don't play the same position (Owusu, Miller, Reese). Three very good supporting players who can shoot the three pointer. (Benzan, Bibby and Collins). Plus a nice bench in Masonius and Styles. I would like for the team to develop a really nice 3rd guard. (Maybe Sellers). Still, they have to break through that Sweet 16 ceiling they currently have on top of them.
I'm not sure if a preseason Top 5 team could be called a Sleeper for the Final 4. In that case... State is a sleeper pick as well. :cool:

A real sleeper would be choosing a slightly off the radar school... someone like Georgia Tech or Iowa State....
 
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Williams and Bueckers are a far better combo IMO. Cooke is electric but struggles with shot selection and for the most part shot for a poor percentage last year. Henderson is solid when playing well but sometimes strays away from the gameplan and does her own thing which results in bad decisions and turnovers. It's her first year playing point for Dawn so she'll likely improve but I'd take Bueckers and Williams in a heart beat over those 2.

there isn't much difference between Cooke and Williams, IMO.

Cooke is probably the better shooter while Williams is a bit better getting to the bucket.
 

nwhoopfan

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They were demonstrably better than UConn and South Carolina this past season so I do not know why they're being overlooked.
Haven't you heard? Anybody other than Arizona would've beaten Stanford in the Championship game. I see some claiming it for Baylor, some for UConn. South Carolina was an eyelash away from beating Stanford, so you might as well get in on the "We're the real Champions" sweepstakes. I mean, what actually happened is of no importance, what should've happened is the only thing that really matters. :rolleyes:
 
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They were demonstrably better than UConn and South Carolina this past season so I do not know why they're being overlooked.
Maybe because they are losing their entire backcourt. That being said I don't think they should be left out of the conversation.
 
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Haven't you heard? Anybody other than Arizona would've beaten Stanford in the Championship game. I see some claiming it for Baylor, some for UConn. South Carolina was an eyelash away from beating Stanford, so you might as well get in on the "We're the real Champions" sweepstakes. I mean, what actually happened is of no importance, what should've happened is the only thing that really matters. :rolleyes:

UConn has a few "we'd have won it all if we hadn't blown it in the semi final" claims.
 

bballnut90

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there isn't much difference between Cooke and Williams, IMO.

Cooke is probably the better shooter while Williams is a bit better getting to the bucket.

Maybe if you only look at NCAA showings. Williams is a lot more efficient and generally makes better decisions with the ball. Cooke was a 39% shooter, Williams 48%. Cooke has a .79 A/TO ratio, Williams with 1.25. Cooke struggled in almost every big game this year pre-NCAA tournament, Williams had better showings in her pre-NCAA games (aside from the SC game). Both played quite well in the tournament but Williams was solidly a better player than Cooke all year IMO.
 
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Maybe if you only look at NCAA showings. Williams is a lot more efficient and generally makes better decisions with the ball. Cooke was a 39% shooter, Williams 48%. Cooke has a .79 A/TO ratio, Williams with 1.25. Cooke struggled in almost every big game this year pre-NCAA tournament, Williams had better showings in her pre-NCAA games (aside from the SC game). Both played quite well in the tournament but Williams was solidly a better player than Cooke all year IMO.
Maybe if you only look at NCAA showings. Williams is a lot more efficient and generally makes better decisions with the ball. Cooke was a 39% shooter, Williams 48%. Cooke has a .79 A/TO ratio, Williams with 1.25. Cooke struggled in almost every big game this year pre-NCAA tournament, Williams had better showings in her pre-NCAA games (aside from the SC game). Both played quite well in the tournament but Williams was solidly a better player than Cooke all year IMO.
Cooke shot 39% from three for the season.

it's the twos that primarily got her in trouble.
 
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Cooke shot 39% from three for the season.

it's the twos that primarily got her in trouble.
People also tend to forget Williams is a Junior and Zia is a sophomore. If we look at their careers trajectory Zia looks to be better considering her sophomore year was better than Williams’, and their freshman years was about even. Honestly I think UConn did have the better backcourt this year but not by that much. Next year they bring in Azzi (who is rightfully tabbed as an outstanding player) but I really think a lot of people are sleeping on SC’s incoming guards. With Rivers, Johnson, and Hall coming Cooke and Henderson won’t have to play 30 mpg so they won’t be as fatigued or have tired legs in big games. They played well in their minutes this year but you could tell them needed a breather in a lot of games and Dawn couldn’t afford to take them out.
 

bballnut90

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People also tend to forget Williams is a Junior and Zia is a sophomore. If we look at their careers trajectory Zia looks to be better considering her sophomore year was better than Williams’, and their freshman years was about even. Honestly I think UConn did have the better backcourt this year but not by that much. Next year they bring in Azzi (who is rightfully tabbed as an outstanding player) but I really think a lot of people are sleeping on SC’s incoming guards. With Rivers, Johnson, and Hall coming Cooke and Henderson won’t have to play 30 mpg so they won’t be as fatigued or have tired legs in big games. They played well in their minutes this year but you could tell them needed a breather in a lot of games and Dawn couldn’t afford to take them out.

I'm not sure I'd conclude Cooke's sophomore year was better than Williams...I'd say they were about even. I think the big difference between the two is how they play when they're ineffective. When Williams struggles, she tends to disappear and not contribute, whereas Zia will continue to take shots at a low clip and ends up being a detriment to the team offensively. That's a big reason why I think Williams is a better player than Cooke, stats aside which also favor Williams. Both have been good, but neither has lived up to their lofty HS ranking (Williams is far from the top player from the 2018 class, Cooke isn't the 4th best in 2019).

I also disagree about the backcourt comparison, mostly due to how good Paige Bueckers is. I don't think anyone on UCONN or SC is anywhere close to being as good as Paige, we saw evidence of that in the head to head game and several other times throughout the season.

I'm very intrigued by SC's class next year and watching how Dawn integrates her players. Johnson/Rivers look electric from the footage I've seen and could be big impact players. Feagin has a tougher time making an impact IMO with Amihere/Saxton/Boston ahead of her but who knows, maybe she'll be a regular rotation player. I agree depth and playing fewer minutes will be a big factor for Dawn's kids next year, but I feel the same about UCONN who had Paige playing 36 mpg and Williams playing 34 mpg. Both in theory will play fewer minutes and have fresher legs too. We'll see though, Geno is usually tighter with his substitution patterns than most coaches, and Dawn may be more liberal in spreading around minutes.

One factor that isn't spoken enough about is that both programs will have to navigate establishing a rotation, figuring out playing time, and keeping personalities and highly touted recruits happy on the bench. Both teams will likely have multiple top 5 recruits coming off the bench, and highly touted kids who may not crack the rotation at all. Having a plethora of talent comes with a lot of pros, but it also presents some personality challenges since there are only 5 spots on the court and one ball to go around.
 
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I'm not sure I'd conclude Cooke's sophomore year was better than Williams...I'd say they were about even. I think the big difference between the two is how they play when they're ineffective. When Williams struggles, she tends to disappear and not contribute, whereas Zia will continue to take shots at a low clip and ends up being a detriment to the team offensively. That's a big reason why I think Williams is a better player than Cooke, stats aside which also favor Williams. Both have been good, but neither has lived up to their lofty HS ranking (Williams is far from the top player from the 2018 class, Cooke isn't the 4th best in 2019).

I also disagree about the backcourt comparison, mostly due to how good Paige Bueckers is. I don't think anyone on UCONN or SC is anywhere close to being as good as Paige, we saw evidence of that in the head to head game and several other times throughout the season.

I'm very intrigued by SC's class next year and watching how Dawn integrates her players. Johnson/Rivers look electric from the footage I've seen and could be big impact players. Feagin has a tougher time making an impact IMO with Amihere/Saxton/Boston ahead of her but who knows, maybe she'll be a regular rotation player. I agree depth and playing fewer minutes will be a big factor for Dawn's kids next year, but I feel the same about UCONN who had Paige playing 36 mpg and Williams playing 34 mpg. Both in theory will play fewer minutes and have fresher legs too. We'll see though, Geno is usually tighter with his substitution patterns than most coaches, and Dawn may be more liberal in spreading around minutes.

One factor that isn't spoken enough about is that both programs will have to navigate establishing a rotation, figuring out playing time, and keeping personalities and highly touted recruits happy on the bench. Both teams will likely have multiple top 5 recruits coming off the bench, and highly touted kids who may not crack the rotation at all. Having a plethora of talent comes with a lot of pros, but it also presents some personality challenges since there are only 5 spots on the court and one ball to go around.
To each is own I guess. Williams struggled throughout most of her sophomore year and a lot of her 14.6 ppg came against American conference competition. She was basically a no show against SC and Oregon. Also in the head to head matchup Zia has scored 26 points to Williams’s 8. If Zia takes better shots and protect the ball more next year she’s going to be one of the best guards in the country for sure. For the simple fact that Zia was the main offensive contributor from the perimeter for her team so the defenses honed in on her way more than they did Williams. This also goes back to my point about SC’s incoming guards not only taking some minutes but offensive responsibility as well. Henny and Cooke won’t be our only perimeter options now so teams can’t focus squarely on them. With Bueckers and a lesser extent of Muhl and Westbrook on the court Christyn didn’t have to work as hard as Zia to get shots. Teams were too focused on stopping Bueckers first. Meanwhile they tried to do the same with Zia or Aliyah. Look no further than our NCAA game versus Mercer and how they tried to defend Cooke and Henderson. Your take on Cooke IMO is overly harsh. She came off a freshman season where she could defer to veteran teammates so she was more comfortable but in her second year she had to have much much more responsibility that I don’t think she was exactly ready for. But even then she was still on the All-SEC First team, made SEC All Tournament team, named All region team and was named Hemisfair region MOP. I’m not so sure that’s a disappointing outcome for a sophomore. She’s going to be one of the Elite guards in the country next year.

As far as SC incoming recruits go I have watched enough of them to know they will play and have an impact. Henderson BADLY needed a backup this year and that job will now go to Johnson to prepare her to take over. Rivers and Hall will play 2/3 and will definitely get minutes, especially when we aren’t getting offensive contributions from Beal. Feagin will definitely get minutes for sure ain’t no doubt about that. All year teams tried to sag on our bigs or Brea and that stalled our half court offense. With LA’s improvement in the tournament and Feagin coming in that won’t happen much next year. Sania isn’t a knock down shooter KiKi was yet but she’s a tremendous passer and ball handler for her size and she still has to be respected from the 3 point line. Boston and her on the floor together will cause a lot of problems for team especially in the high low game. Feagin is so underrated as a passer but she reminds me a lot of a young Candace Parker with her vision.

I’m sure there will be someone upset along the way about playing time but if you can’t bring what the team needs Dawn will play someone else. The odd women out will likely be Wesolek, Thompson, Russell, Littleton and Hall( to a lesser extent). The other 9 players will definitely be core rotation players next year. Everything else will likely work itself out.
 

triaddukefan

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Creme is crazy... ain't no way will or should State be preseason #8. Absolutely no lower than #5 I might have to buy a ticket when the Chickens come up to Tobacco Road in the fall.
 

undersized

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Creme is crazy... ain't no way will or should State be preseason #8. Absolutely no lower than #5 I might have to buy a ticket when the Chickens come up to Tobacco Road in the fall.
Especially in light of the recent transfers they have acquired. Though to be fair, his 'rankings' came out prior to that.
 

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