Dm's Aic Game Recap (general Team Observations) | The Boneyard

Dm's Aic Game Recap (general Team Observations)

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I had hoped to get this out last night after attending the game. With no Wifi, I fired up Webtop for the first time on my Droid Bionic. Had the keyboard, mouse in front of me, the Boneyard up on my widescreen but only had spotty 4G and 3G signal that would switch between the two and eventually give me No-Gs. I tried to type up the recap, but lost it all twice and decided to give up.

Anyhow, for those still interesting in some observations here you go:

It's always best to start out with the good, and their half-court D almost picked up where they left off. They had a few breakdowns, but for the most part the newbies filled right in and handled the high screens better than expected. They have incredible length and plus-quickness that gave AIC fits. They were able to get a few good shots late in the 35 sec clock, but for the most part they really struggle to get any open or even lightly contested shots.

As for half-court offensive execution, they were often mechanical and slow, and unable to free up their shooters as often as you'd like to see against a D-II team. Screeners were slow in hitting their spots and cutters were late at hitting those screens crisply. This is something that I always watch closely at the beginning of the season. Usually young teams struggle to pick up JC's half-court sets. What surprised me last year is how well that young team picked up the offense from the very beginning. I'm sure Kemba had a lot to do with it, and Napier, particularly in the 1st half had a good part in the offense not flowing well.

When they did get out and run their transition offense was very good. They seemed to finish well most of the time. A couple times Daniels snuck out a tad premature and the team got caught a man down on the defensive end of the floor.
 
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I was going to post some player observations, grouped by Guards, Wings and Bigs, but there seems to be some sort of character limitation (1800 chars) and it's just too much effort to edit them down. So unless the char count is changed, some will be happy not to see these long posts, while others will miss these game reports.

Sorry for those who wanted some more detailed observations on this game and the rest of the season.
 
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I can't believe I'm writing this, but that was too short!

Need you to be the eyes of those who cannot attend. How about at a minimum some comps for the freshman
Andre Drummond = ?? (i.e. poor man's Greg Oden)\
DeAndre Daniels - ??
Brendan Allen - ?

Any significant changes in the returnees? Is Olander truly improved? Haven't heard anything about how Giffey played.
 
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I can't believe I'm writing this, but that was too short!

Need you to be the eyes of those who cannot attend. How about at a minimum some comps for the freshman
Andre Drummond = ?? (i.e. poor man's Greg Oden)\
DeAndre Daniels - ??
Brendan Allen - ?

Any significant changes in the returnees? Is Olander truly improved? Haven't heard anything about how Giffey played.
Sorry DogDeacon. I had a nice long game report that I tried to break down into 4 parts but due to a char limitation, it was taking way too much time to edit each part down. Unless someone can convince the admins to bump up the char count, these reports will be a thing of the past.
 
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I can't believe I'm writing this, but that was too short!

Need you to be the eyes of those who cannot attend. How about at a minimum some comps for the freshman
Andre Drummond = ?? (i.e. poor man's Greg Oden)\
DeAndre Daniels - ??
Brendan Allen - ?

Any significant changes in the returnees? Is Olander truly improved? Haven't heard anything about how Giffey played.

I will try to answer your specific questions though. Let's see if I can paste some of my comments in that I saved somewhere:

Drummond is a man-child, though he showed the same thing I saw when I watched him play this summer during one of the AAU or some type of event. He hasn't learned to control his body when he's approaching the rim and tends to throw up some ugly stuff that has little chance of going in.

Daniels, did a nice job last night. He hit a beautiful 3, which I think was UConn's only one. JC got his undies all in a bunch when he saw DD put up the 3-finger salute to his forehead after knocking down that shot, something that I'm sure he'll not do again. He was very active on defense. I didn't know what to expect from him on that end of the floor, but came away pleasantly surprised. I think he's going to be a very good defender. He's at his best in transition. He runs the floor well and seems to be a good finisher.

The walk-on, Brendan Allen, held his own, though keep in mind it was against AIC. We didn't see that hot-potato thing with the ball you often see w/ inexperienced players. He never seemed to panic and delivered safe crisp passes. He defended very well, which will be his primary purpose.

I had a lot more, but I seem to be able to fit this.
 
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I can't believe I'm writing this, but that was too short!

Need you to be the eyes of those who cannot attend. How about at a minimum some comps for the freshman
Andre Drummond = ?? (i.e. poor man's Greg Oden)\
DeAndre Daniels - ??
Brendan Allen - ?

Any significant changes in the returnees? Is Olander truly improved? Haven't heard anything about how Giffey played.

As for the returning players you metioned:

Olander, as always had his motor on full throttle. The kid is a worker. He showed that nice touch on a couple Js. One in particular that I remember was when AIC left him completely open at the top of the key. He immediately saw the opening, took a couple quick dribbles and drained a sweet J from the foul line. Like Roscoe, he's very active around the offense glass, but doesn't have the length. He looks a lot stronger though and should be able to out-muscle some weaker 4s.

With Roscoe sitting out the first half, Giffey got a lot of PT as well. He seemed to earn the ire of his coach a few times. In one particular play, after a failed attempt to come over and trap a teammate's man, he failed to get back to his assignment and gave up a wide open 3. He seemed to have an uneventful game. I had hoped that he'd do more after returning from a summer playing for his national team. Again, it's just the first exhibition game, but you hate to see a player making mistakes and getting into the habit of looking over his shoulder. To his credit, he seems willing to listen when at the sideline, and knows to just run back down court and not react to the constructive comments from the side line.
 
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I agree on your point about the screens. We were spoiled with Kemba last year. He directed the screens and used them beautifully and the offense flowed well when that happened (which certainly wasn't all the time). Last night, a lot of screens seemed misplaced and poorly timed and Shabazz often didn't use them effectively when the screen was well set. Once AD starts to screen and roll with Shabazz, the points should come a lot more easily (AD's gotta show his hands after he screens; he rolled to the hoop a couple times with his hands at his sides).
 
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I'm not too worried about the half-court execution. They'll get better as the season goes on. We were spoiled last season with something you rarely see. They picked up the half-court quickly. I was shocked how well they played on both ends of the floor in Maui.

It's only one game, but it might just take a while, including a bunch of ugly games for them to learn how to execute well. A lot of fans don't realize how critical it is for the screener, those playing off the ball and the handler all hitting their spots at the right moment. If the hander gets there too soon and he end up inducing a moving screen on his teammate. The same can happen if the screener gets there too early and is not set. If it's set too early or not at the right spot, the D has time to get around it or recover easily. If you don't get the advantage, you don't create the scoring opportunities and it simply ends up a lot of folks running around creating nothing. We saw a lot of that last night in the first half. They were a tad better in the 2nd half.

Let's give them some time to learn. Although they were much better last season, don't forget that Kemba bailed them out often when they weren't able to free guys up via their sets. Who needs set offense when you can give one guy the ball and tell everyone else to get out of the way. They don't have Kemba so they need to execute better. I think they have more weapons than last season and will eventually get it and be fine.
 
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Character limits suck!!!

:)
 

tykurez

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As for half-court offensive execution, they were often mechanical and slow, and unable to free up their shooters as often as you'd like to see against a D-II team. Screeners were slow in hitting their spots and cutters were late at hitting those screens crisply. This is something that I always watch closely at the beginning of the season. Usually young teams struggle to pick up JC's half-court sets. What surprised me last year is how well that young team picked up the offense from the very beginning. I'm sure Kemba had a lot to do with it, and Napier, particularly in the 1st half had a good part in the offense not flowing well.

Thanks for the recap Dog ...

On the point about the half-court sets ... you're right, they definitely struggled a bit. The screens definitely jumped out to me as well ... they were, for the most part, not well set and late. I chalk this up to being the first game.

But I have to sort of disagree with you on the second point. The first part of last year was much more "give the ball the Kemba" and let everyone else follow behind. There were times even during the middle part of the year where the half-court sets struggled mightily. I think a big part of last year's offensive success was due to the fact that Kemba was often guarded by two or three defenders.

That's why developing an offensive flow will be even more important this year. Outside of Lamb, who is not going to be creating his own offense nearly as much as Kemba did, no one is currently warranting any extra attention. That could change but for now, I'd be looking for a lot more ball movement, a lot of high-and-low sets ... working the ball down low and working Jeremy on the baseline.
 
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Thanks for the recap Dog ...

On the point about the half-court sets ... you're right, they definitely struggled a bit. The screens definitely jumped out to me as well ... they were, for the most part, not well set and late. I chalk this up to being the first game.

But I have to sort of disagree with you on the second point. The first part of last year was much more "give the ball the Kemba" and let everyone else follow behind. There were times even during the middle part of the year where the half-court sets struggled mightily. I think a big part of last year's offensive success was due to the fact that Kemba was often guarded by two or three defenders.

That's why developing an offensive flow will be even more important this year. Outside of Lamb, who is not going to be creating his own offense nearly as much as Kemba did, no one is currently warranting any extra attention. That could change but for now, I'd be looking for a lot more ball movement, a lot of high-and-low sets ... working the ball down low and working Jeremy on the baseline.
You make a good point about them struggling w/ their half-court sets during some stretches last season, though I'm not sure if it was a matter of poor execution or a matter of anyone other than Kemba not making shots. Last season is a bit foggy to me now. My point was that the newbies picked things up much quicker last season than any other young UConn team I can remember. Hopefully this group will come together quickly as well, but learn to execute better over the long hall since they don't have a Kemba Walker type player.
 

fleudslipcon

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Thanks for the recap Dog ...

On the point about the half-court sets ... you're right, they definitely struggled a bit. The screens definitely jumped out to me as well ... they were, for the most part, not well set and late. I chalk this up to being the first game.

But I have to sort of disagree with you on the second point. The first part of last year was much more "give the ball the Kemba" and let everyone else follow behind. There were times even during the middle part of the year where the half-court sets struggled mightily. I think a big part of last year's offensive success was due to the fact that Kemba was often guarded by two or three defenders.

That's why developing an offensive flow will be even more important this year. Outside of Lamb, who is not going to be creating his own offense nearly as much as Kemba did, no one is currently warranting any extra attention. That could change but for now, I'd be looking for a lot more ball movement, a lot of high-and-low sets ... working the ball down low and working Jeremy on the baseline.
I think this is very accurate. Last season the flow in the half court was not beautiful outside of what Kemba was able to create for himself. UConn had very low numbers for assists/game.

And I felt last season the best player setting screens was Chuck. Tyler was also good. Alex was decent at the baseline but not very effective when he came to the top of the key and had to set screens on guards.

Last season the inability to set screens was not a factor with KW. This season it will be a factor. They got away with those inabilities last season. They won't get away with it this season.
 
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I think this is very accurate. Last season the flow in the half court was not beautiful outside of what Kemba was able to create for himself. UConn had very low numbers for assists/game.

And I felt last season the best player setting screens was Chuck. Tyler was also good. Alex was decent at the baseline but not very effective when he came to the top of the key and had to set screens on guards.

Last season the inability to set screens was not a factor with KW. This season it will be a factor. They got away with those inabilities last season. They won't get away with it this season.
Unless I watch some tapes from last season, I only have impressions of how things were. Kemba did have a way of masking some of the team's deficiencies. It seems like a solid assessment that this team will need to execute better in the half-court and maybe even turn the other team over more and run more to make up for what he gave us offensively. I guess they could just defend their brains out so they don't have to score as much and still be successful. I'm sure it will be a combination of many of these factors as well as the players all improving their ability to score for this team to succeed.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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The frontcourt this year is going to be very special.

This is the deepest and most talented UConn's frontcourt has ever been. Yes, I remember the championship team from '04 with Okafor, Boone, Villanueva, and Armstrong. Oriakhi, Drummond, Olander, and Smith are just as athletic, but considerably more skilled. It is my wish that the Huskies use the post as often as possible on offense, because there is no team in the country that will not foul out every big man trying to guard it.

Lamb is our best player, but if he can understand how to play with our big men, we will be unstoppable.
 
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