Defense



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After reading all the naysayers about our offensive problems as they see it, I have an opinion,
If our defense could get half as good as the last few years, we would be a lock. I n my opinion,
we are giving up 12-14 points more with no lockdown defenders. Once we get that corrected,
we celebrate.
 
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According to Massey, UConn is the best defensive team in the country. They shot 29 per cent from the field against Baylor; no one wins that game.
 
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vtcwbuff

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I'm not sure how Massey arrived at that stat, or how accurate it is, but the NCAA ranking summary has UConn defense ranked 33rd in D1.
 

oldude

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PPG is an imperfect way to measure defense. PPG is impacted significantly by SOS and the style of offense a team plays. For many years Princeton lead the nation in PPG defense, primarily because their offense would cut, weave and pass for 3-5 minutes before taking a shot. No shot clock in those days. Even with a shot clock, a team’s offensive tempo has a significant impact on their PPG allowed.

UConn’s defense is better than most, but the Huskies clearly do not have a lockdown defender this year. Last year we had 2. It will be interesting to see how well UConn does trying to contain Durr at Louisville.
 
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While the defense I have seen this year is excellent, it is also lead by what amounts to 3 guards and 2 small forwards. No real height. Just as Baylor pushed us back a few feet outside our normal shot comfort zone, would like to see UConn get more physical and keep apposing guards further away from basket. Today's system has Lou, Crystal, and Williams playing off the ball. Would help minimize drives to basket and passes underneath.
 
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The biggest difference I see this year is; that in previous years the UConn defenders always had their arms spread wide. I mean always. From the moment the opposing team got the ball over half court, they were swiping them from their waist up to over their heads constantly creating a visual wall that the opposing guards had to deal with.

This years team has their hands/arms down more. Of course, they raise them when the guard has the ball in front of them, but I maintain that the past teams, having their hands up just created a demoralizing effect the compounded during the game.
 
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The biggest difference I see this year is; that in previous years the UConn defenders always had their arms spread wide. I mean always. From the moment the opposing team got the ball over half court, they were swiping them from their waist up to over their heads constantly creating a visual wall that the opposing guards had to deal with.

This years team has their hands/arms down more. Of course, they raise them when the guard has the ball in front of them, but I maintain that the past teams, having their hands up just created a demoralizing effect the compounded during the game.
Yes! Getting in the passing lanes!
Old stat from my days working basketball camps- deflections- the big programs would have the managers chart whenever players would get their hands on passes, shots, and dribbles. Players would get awards for the most deflections.
Can’t get them if you’re playing passive. Got to get up on people.
 
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Not to say the defense isn't pretty good, but it seems clearly not as good as last year. Last year Azura had 73 blocks (who knows how many altered shots). Olivia is on a pace for maybe 30. Tough to play "in your grill" defense without someone protecting the rim if you get beat. Also, tough to play lights out defense when you're playing almost the whole game. If Ododa can get in the game more and the bench can be used more the defense will probably improve, but I doubt it will be because the current starters get better if circumstances remain the same.
 
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Totally anecdotal, non-factual (I know this blog is about facts), but maybe we're seeing a tiny drop in intensity, that we're not used to seeing. In the past, I have marveled at their intensity in pre-game and even in how they run over for TOs and into and out of the locker room.
Maybe rather than X's and O's like I'm trying to say, it's just a matter of degrees. A slight drop off that is catching us off guard.
Personally, I'm not sympathetic to it. You ever hear a Bill Walton rant about how college players ought not to need rest in a 40 minute game. (please- no one go off on Walton, who without foot injuries would be with Russell and Jabbar as greatest centers ever)
A UConn team "complaining" about a two game road trip after essentially 2 weeks off for the holidays. What is that? Post game yesterday, Geno looked like he had just been through the ringer, like some wind tunnel or something. Are we getting a glimpse of the end?
This particular team has to be tougher!
 

vtcwbuff

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At this time last year UConn ranked 26th in blocks (5.1/gm) and 64th in steals (10/gm). This year they rank 180th in blocks (3.1) and 289th in steals (6.5/gm). I think losing Stevens was as big a hit on the defense as losing Williams.
 
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PPG is an imperfect way to measure defense. PPG is impacted significantly by SOS and the style of offense a team plays. For many years Princeton lead the nation in PPG defense, primarily because their offense would cut, weave and pass for 3-5 minutes before taking a shot. No shot clock in those days. Even with a shot clock, a team’s offensive tempo has a significant impact on their PPG allowed.

UConn’s defense is better than most, but the Huskies clearly do not have a lockdown defender this year. Last year we had 2. It will be interesting to see how well UConn does trying to contain Durr at Louisville.
A couple of point I may add to your "tempo" usually decides point totals.
1. 3 experienced and knowledgable Starters (no knock on CW/MW they just didn't play much or at all last season)
2. With ONLY 5 that play at a near true Div one (or Uconn) pace. What does Geno do when Phee or KLS or Danger or Walker get into 4 fouls ? So, it my less than John Wooden belief is that Geno is raving and ranting on NO FOULs, give up 3's (they are usually thrown up with a lower percentage) if the choice is foul or allow.

With the drop off when going to the bench Geno has little choice of NOT playing the defense he has in the past.
Again No J.W., but the known ills of no effective Big and No effective Unmentionables. Geno may be the greatest of the greatest but even he cannot correct mid season, when he received no injection of that talent. He has often said Great recruits make Coaches look great. That may be the truest of all his words.
I'm critical of Geno--have no doubt--but to expect the impossible to happen or in their play is not looking at reality. Geno hates to lose--I feel sorry for Geno.
 

Huskee11

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UConn is giving up only about three more points per game (56.5) than it did for all of last season (53.4). On the other hand, they are scoring 82.8 ppg versus 89.4 last season, almost 7 points less.

Blocks are way down at 5.2 to 3.1, and steals, down from 10.2 to 6.5. Giving up about one more offensive rebound per game and three more total, but also getting about one more rebound per game.

Shooting percentage against UConn still good for UConn, 34.3% versus 33.6% last season, and three point percentage defense is actually slightly better this season. UConn is also fouling about the same, 11.6 fouls per game versus 12.1 last season.

So, it is fair to say that not having Gabby (87 steals) and Azura' (76 blocks) has hurt the numbers in those categories - but, the other numbers are fairly comparable.

On the other hand, as noted before our scoring is down almost 7 points per game. Shooting percentage is 49.7% versus 53.3% last season. 37.6% from three versus 40% last season. About two fewer shot attempts per game, but about .6 more free throw attempts per game. I don`t have stats about UConn`s points in the paint, but my guess is that those numbers are down.

The upcoming AAC schedule makes it likely that UConn`s scoring numbers will increase and UConn`s defensive numbers will improve.

I would also add that before we get too nostalgic about last season`s defensive efforts, keep in mind UConn gave up 45 points in the second half against Notre Dame in Columbus and 12 points in overtime. 91 points in total to ND even though ND was held to 10 in the second quarter.
 
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UConn is giving up only about three more points per game (56.5) than it did for all of last season (53.4). On the other hand, they are scoring 82.8 ppg versus 89.4 last season, almost 7 points less.

Blocks are way down at 5.2 to 3.1, and steals, down from 10.2 to 6.5. Giving up about one more offensive rebound per game and three more total, but also getting about one more rebound per game.

Shooting percentage against UConn still good for UConn, 34.3% versus 33.6% last season, and three point percentage defense is actually slightly better this season. UConn is also fouling about the same, 11.6 fouls per game versus 12.1 last season.

So, it is fair to say that not having Gabby (87 steals) and Azura' (76 blocks) has hurt the numbers in those categories - but, the other numbers are fairly comparable.

On the other hand, as noted before our scoring is down almost 7 points per game. Shooting percentage is 49.7% versus 53.3% last season. 37.6% from three versus 40% last season. About two fewer shot attempts per game, but about .6 more free throw attempts per game. I don`t have stats about UConn`s points in the paint, but my guess is that those numbers are down.

The upcoming AAC schedule makes it likely that UConn`s scoring numbers will increase and UConn`s defensive numbers will improve.

I would also add that before we get too nostalgic about last season`s defensive efforts, keep in mind UConn gave up 45 points in the second half against Notre Dame in Columbus and 12 points in overtime. 91 points in total to ND even though ND was held to 10 in the second quarter.
Excellent post. Massey confirms that UConn’s problems this year are offensive, not defensive. Comparing UConn’s defense to last year’s team is really pretty foolish. UConn will never play last year’s team! Each season is different; compared to any other team in the country, they are the best defensive team, at least according to Massey. Holding Baylor to 67 points on their home court wins the game 98 per cent of the time.
 
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UConn is giving up only about three more points per game (56.5) than it did for all of last season (53.4). On the other hand, they are scoring 82.8 ppg versus 89.4 last season, almost 7 points less.

Blocks are way down at 5.2 to 3.1, and steals, down from 10.2 to 6.5. Giving up about one more offensive rebound per game and three more total, but also getting about one more rebound per game.

Shooting percentage against UConn still good for UConn, 34.3% versus 33.6% last season, and three point percentage defense is actually slightly better this season. UConn is also fouling about the same, 11.6 fouls per game versus 12.1 last season.

So, it is fair to say that not having Gabby (87 steals) and Azura' (76 blocks) has hurt the numbers in those categories - but, the other numbers are fairly comparable.

On the other hand, as noted before our scoring is down almost 7 points per game. Shooting percentage is 49.7% versus 53.3% last season. 37.6% from three versus 40% last season. About two fewer shot attempts per game, but about .6 more free throw attempts per game. I don`t have stats about UConn`s points in the paint, but my guess is that those numbers are down.

The upcoming AAC schedule makes it likely that UConn`s scoring numbers will increase and UConn`s defensive numbers will improve.

I would also add that before we get too nostalgic about last season`s defensive efforts, keep in mind UConn gave up 45 points in the second half against Notre Dame in Columbus and 12 points in overtime. 91 points in total to ND even though ND was held to 10 in the second quarter.
 
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Don't want to beat this dead horse but Baylor scored 65 ASU-67 Georgetowm-66 Stamford-72 SDST I don't see any of these you can compare to UC. We gave up 21 pts to Houston, Houston? I feel Geno will get this corrected before the finals.
 
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Excellent post. Massey confirms that UConn’s problems this year are offensive, not defensive. Comparing UConn’s defense to last year’s team is really pretty foolish. UConn will never play last year’s team! Each season is different; compared to any other team in the country, they are the best defensive team, at least according to Massey. Holding Baylor to 67 points on their home court wins the game 98 per cent of the time.
I think our coach has also stated as much, and certainly after the Baylor loss.
 
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Excellent post. Massey confirms that UConn’s problems this year are offensive, not defensive. Comparing UConn’s defense to last year’s team is really pretty foolish. UConn will never play last year’s team! Each season is different; compared to any other team in the country, they are the best defensive team, at least according to Massey. Holding Baylor to 67 points on their home court wins the game 98 per cent of the time.
Agree with your primary point regarding a dip in offense, but comparing teams does give a sense of what to prioritize in recruiting, particularly regarding specific match ups. Defensive quickness and cutting off lanes, steals, and having the height to deal with bigger teams seem obvious but are reinforced by these stats.
 
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Does anyone ever look at facts before posting?! According to Massey, UConn is the best defensive team in the country. They shot 29 per cent from the field against Baylor; no one wins that game.
Unnecessarily rude post when OP clearly said it was an opinion.

Even if Massey says UConn is the best, they’ve played 2 really good teams (ND, Baylor) and two additional good teams (DePaul, Cal). Otherwise they’ve played teams that shouldn’t have scored more than 30 against UConn.

Another thing, maybe you should’ve looked up a fact or two because it was points in the paint that killed UConn in that game against Baylor. Baylor scored 52 points in an area smaller than a driveway. Baylor may have had the size advantage, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of interior defense. Baylor isn’t the only team with size and there has got to be a defensive game plan against teams that will have a size advantage over UConn. Not to mention Baylor shot 43.5% for the game. Can’t win many games when you let your opponent shoot better than you.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uconnhuskies.com/documents/2019/1/4/12_Baylor_Box.pdf
 
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Unnecessarily rude post when OP clearly said it was an opinion.

Even if Massey says UConn is the best, they’ve played 2 really good teams (ND, Baylor) and two additional good teams (DePaul, Cal). Otherwise they’ve played teams that shouldn’t have scored more than 30 against UConn.

Another thing, maybe you should’ve looked up a fact or two because it was points in the paint that killed UConn in that game against Baylor. Baylor scored 52 points in an area smaller than a driveway. Baylor may have had the size advantage, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of interior defense. Baylor isn’t the only team with size and there has got to be a defensive game plan against teams that will have a size advantage over UConn. Not to mention Baylor shot 43.5% for the game. Can’t win many games when you let your opponent shoot better than you.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/uconnhuskies.com/documents/2019/1/4/12_Baylor_Box.pdf
Well, according to Massey, at the time of the Baylor game UConn had the top SOS rating, which negates your argument. Look, I am a total believer in Sabermetric stats, which IMHO are much more reliable. The fact that a team with two tall, dominant posts scored most of their points in the paint is not surprising; if UConn shoots well, they win that game.
As to rudeness, admittedly sarcasm doesn’t work well on the internet
 

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