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DDDDDDfense...

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...will be the key to playing time...IMHO.

Last August Roscoe was the offensive jewel of our recruiting class. He bought into the system and deferred his O in favor of D,'bounds and the little things that win games. Olander learned to bang in stead of his sweet lefty 3ball. 'Scoe said "I love D cause I never played in HS.' Boat said he's concentrating on D cause AO said that's what makes JC happy. Giffey was a stopper and Lamb and Bazz became menaces on D.

I'm assuming that this team will be the supportive family that last year's was. Kevin and the new staff and the captains should make it so.

So what will set us apart from the rest won't be our massive talent but our chemistry. How this plays out should be the story of the season.
 
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Leadership or in this case the absence of it will be an issue that needs to evolve over the course of the season. I prefer an NBA ready talent to emerge as the leader. Neither captain is NBA ready. There are 3 big additions in Boatright, Drummond and Daniels. An easy argument can be made this threesome is more talented then Napier, Smith and Oriakhi. In a 3 on three I know who my money is on. Although these players will be sharing the court at the same time minutes will be at a premium. Last year it was KW who cooked for the team and held open "what is your beef" meetings with the team. A players biggest gripe is playing time and expect the new big three to refuse deferral to anyone. Honestly the 2010 NIT season was JC worst coaching performance I can remember. The inmates ran the asylum led by Dyson. KW put on an exhibition of leadership that will go down as one of the finest in NCAA HISTORY. We don't need the exact same quality of leadership this year BUT I think SN is to young and a year away. As for AO I think his personality and talent level lends itself to a secondary leader entering his Junior year. I think both these guys are still 1 year away.

Lamb would be the ideal choice to lead the team but his personality doesn't lend itself to taking on that role. This will be the biggest problem for this team and it may turn out to be fatal. Fatal in the sense it is the variable that prevents the repeat. JMHO
 
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and I love SN...I just think its to soon to expect other players to look up to him as the team leader. We have Mr. Basketball from the state of Illinois, arguably the #1 pick in next years draft and Daniels who is a top 10 recruit on most charts. This is a different breed of recruit than last years.
 
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Our D should be very good once again. Bazz and Lamb will be plus defenders in the backcourt, Roscoe is a rock on defense, and AO is plenty tough. AD will clog the middle and block some shots.

Off the bench, Giffey goes all out on D, and DD is a pretty good shotblocker. Boat is a tremendous athlete, which should translate into steals at a minimum.

Bazz and AO will lead. I am not worried about that at all, especially after the 2010-11 NC run.
 

Dogbreath2U

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and I love SN...I just think its to soon to expect other players to look up to him as the team leader. We have Mr. Basketball from the state of Illinois, arguably the #1 pick in next years draft and Daniels who is a top 10 recruit on most charts. This is a different breed of recruit than last years.

It was no accident that JC named SN a co-captain, not Jeremy Lamb co-captain. He will have to fight to solidify his hold on the reins, but they are in his hands right now. I expect AO to support SN and we will sink or swim with him. I agree that he may be a year away in execution, but this team now has the talent that he can be good without having to be great. If the team can stay close knit, they can be pretty darn good by the end of the regular season. AO has become a very positive and unifying force on the team.

I hope Shabazz can temper his "moxie" with taking care of the ball and running the offense without pounding the ball too long. He will get better and hopefully he will be solid from February on.
 

Chin Diesel

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This. Defense is why I'll take Uconn over UNC, OSU, Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, L'ville, etc. We have above average to excellent defense at every position and we can rotate our players.

I am stoked that the 2012 FF is in Nawlins.
 
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Shabazz, Lamb, Roscoe and Oriakhi are NCAA champions. I think you underrate the leadership bonus that gives them. Plus, all indications are that Boat and DD have completely bought it so far. If there's a problem to address this year, it will be perimeter scoring, not leadership.
 
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I really believe that we will have one of the best defensive teams in the nation. We are extremely tall and athletic at each position minus the pg. We will be able to run, press, and block shots. With the addition of Drummond I really believe that we will lead the league in blocks once again. Our offense might not be the prettiest, but our defense will exgnite tons of transition buckets. I think our D is our ticket to a deep run this year.
 

jleves

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I almost feel a little sorry for some of the early season teams we will play. They won't see any other team that starts 6'11, 6'9, 6'8, 6'5 (with a 7'4 wingspan), 6' and then brings 6'10, 6'9, 6'8, 6'7 and 6' as the first guys off the bench. Plus there's a 7'1 guy who may see some time to boot. There is some serious height on this team.
 

Chin Diesel

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I almost feel a little sorry for some of the early season teams we will play. They won't see any other team that starts 6'11, 6'9, 6'8, 6'5 (with a 7'4 wingspan), 6' and then brings 6'10, 6'9, 6'8, 6'7 and 6' as the first guys off the bench. Plus there's a 7'1 guy who may see some time to boot. There is some serious height on this team.

It's been mentioned several times in articles, blogs and message boards that Uconn's speed at the top of the defense and length on the wings and in the post is gonna be obnoxious. Simply put, passing lanes and shooting sight lines won't exist. On paper, this is easily the best defensive team we've ever put on the floor in terms of speed, length, anticipation and aggression.
 
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SN needs to get stronger defensively. Corey Fisher manhandled him in the Nova game that I just rewatched the other night. Kemba had to switch over late in the game because he was killing bazz. He's a great pick-pocket and pressure guy, but needs to be able to control bigger, stronger, faster pg's or the rest of the defense will be taxed. He was just a freshman so hopefully he'll be better this year in the leading role, because Boatright is even smaller.
 
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I think Bazz will be great, as he really does not need to score, and can be the distributor, with the occasional wide open three. Nothing says a leader like someone who makes everyone else better.
 
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It's been mentioned several times in articles, blogs and message boards that Uconn's speed at the top of the defense and length on the wings and in the post is gonna be obnoxious. Simply put, passing lanes and shooting sight lines won't exist. On paper, this is easily the best defensive team we've ever put on the floor in terms of speed, length, anticipation and aggression.

On paper 2004 has to be the best defensive team, no? Okafor, Boone, Hilt all won Big East DPOY. Taliek was great defensive pg and denham brown could hold his own at sf. Villanueva and Benjamin seemed like they played a little defense that year before forgetting how to in the NBA, but i'm sure they probably didn't.

This team has potential to be very good, but i don't think it would score many points against the 2004 title squad.
 
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It was no accident that JC named SN a co-captain, not Jeremy Lamb co-captain. He will have to fight to solidify his hold on the reins, but they are in his hands right now. I expect AO to support SN and we will sink or swim with him. I agree that he may be a year away in execution, but this team now has the talent that he can be good without having to be great. If the team can stay close knit, they can be pretty darn good by the end of the regular season. AO has become a very positive and unifying force on the team.

I hope Shabazz can temper his "moxie" with taking care of the ball and running the offense without pounding the ball too long. He will get better and hopefully he will be solid from February on.
It should be interesting. This past year SN was the perfect fit for UConn as a complimentary piece to the Nat Champ puzzle. H was an unheralded recruit unlike Cory Joseph, Josh Selby and Brandon Knight (and outplayed all of them). Some notable SN's performances included 10 pts/4rbs vs Arizona, 6 assists vs. SDSU, 23 pts vs. Louisville, 15 pts vs. Texas and 18 pts/5 assts vs. ND on the road.

Napier Velasquez "Bazz" also didn't make the cut for the USA basketball team this summer. Hopefully he will use that to fire himself up. "Bazz" is a charismatic kid with leadership potential. If "Bazz" proves me wrong this year and emerges as a second team All Big East performer and more importantly a respected leader expect the Nat Champ trophy and celebration to be back in Storrs. These accolades I believe are a year away for SN.
 
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As always:

Speed + athleticism = fun to watch
+ Leadership + chemistry + defense = championships
 
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Like everyone else I think are going to be a great team defensively. I also think SN will find that the bigger stronger PGs that get around him are going to run into a wall that we did not have last year in the paint- that should help.

I think that Bazz (anytime he was at the point last year) already thought it was his team- he does not suffer from a lack of confidence. Will the other players buy in? They better or they will be riding pine- we have the depth for JC to teach the new pups and sit players down if we need to.

I think these three freshman might be my favorite three on paper I can remember in quite some time -just remember with freshman comes the bad and the good. Be ready for both.
 
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