End Game 101

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Sometimes I wonder if all of us were watching the same game. Clearly, UConn is a more skilled basketball team, but USF absolutely killed us inside all night. They out rebounded us 36-27 and they had 15 offensive rebounds to our 5. Their 4 front court guys were 10/14 from 2 point range! USF's front court was too big and strong for UConn's as they go 7'2'' 250 lbs, 6'10" 247 lbs, 6'11" 214 lbs, and 6'6" 223 lbs.

Manderson, a 6'10" 247 lbs senior, had his way inside. He was 6/7 shooting with 8 rebounds in 30 minutes. None of our bigs could cover him, although Onuorah seemed to be the only one who could body him. I'm not arguing that Dave O is a good big, but he is the strongest big we have right now. This was a game in which we needed Cobb.

Our freshmen forwards are not physically ready to compete. Whaley and Polley are listed at 6'8' and 190 lbs, Diarra is listed at 6'8" (doubtful) and 213 lbs, and Carlton is listed at 6'9" and 242 lbs, but he is not strong yet. Dave O is listed at 6'9" and 249 lbs and he is noticeably the strongest big we have without Cobb who is listed at 6'9" and 280 lbs.

You can't double down on USF's bigs without giving them wide open 3s. USF did have some good looks from 3, but they only shot 21%. So, we relied on our bigs to defend USF's bigs and it did not work.

Our guards have more talent than USF's, but even USF's guards were physically stronger than our guards as their 4 guards outweighed our 4 guards by >20lbs. per player.
The strength argument has some validity but our guys are just not active enough. Often getting beat for a rebound or loose ball. Lots of watching and standing around with no instincts or anticipation. We could rebound better if the desire was there.
 
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Vital is currently the leading rebounder on this team with 5 a game. I don't think lackadaisical/unfocused/unprepared fits him. He busts ass out there every game. Some nights he is more productive than others but his energy and effort should not be questioned.

Be that as it may, for whatever reason, he basically stood in the corner while the ball was in the air. While he usually hustles, I saw this play as being a microcosm of UConn’s rebounding effort and IQ.
 

Doctor Hoop

Prescribing Hardwood Excellence
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Vital is currently the leading rebounder on this team with 5 a game. I don't think lackadaisical/unfocused/unprepared fits him. He busts ass out there every game. Some nights he is more productive than others but his energy and effort should not be questioned.
Vital plays hard, and that effort gets him props and some rebounds. He also is one of our more effective offensive weapons (I realize that may be damning with faint praise, but still ..). OTOH, when will he ever realize that once he gets that defensive rebound he should look upcourt, instead of taking it coast to coast every damn time. Twice in the first half he did that, and predictably charged/turned it over, wasting offensive opportunities. In the second half I did see him kick it out to Larrier on the wing on one of these, but he did a lousy job of making the D commit, and Larrier was closed out on rapidly and couldn't get a clear shot.

Can anyone on this team run a fast break properly?
 
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We don't attack the offensive boards because our transition defense is such a liability.

Other teams attack the offensive board because our fast break self destructs on many occasions so there is little price to pay.
 
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Vital is currently the leading rebounder on this team with 5 a game. I don't think lackadaisical/unfocused/unprepared fits him. He busts ass out there every game. Some nights he is more productive than others but his energy and effort should not be questioned.

The only thing is he needs some fundamentals thrown into his game. I mean the next time he slows down on a fast break with the ball, stops at the foul line to deliver a pass to a cutter will be ummm......his first! He isn't a real smart player for now, but he's a tough SOB who plays hard. As mentioned above a solid first guard off the bench of a good team is what he should be, it fits his game. But you are correct, energy and effort should not be questioned with CV.
 
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The only thing is he needs some fundamentals thrown into his game. I mean the next time he slows down on a fast break with the ball, stops at the foul line to deliver a pass to a cutter will be ummm.his first! He isn't a real smart player for now, but he's a tough SOB who plays hard. As mentioned above a solid first guard off the bench of a good team is what he should be, it fits his game. But you are correct, energy and effort should not be questioned with CV.
Not possible to question his effort. But does effort supercede BBQ? I am not sure. I just really like CV so I am not the one to ask.
 

RichZ

Fort the ead!
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Does anyone remember just how damned good CV played last year - particularly in the 2nd half of the season?
 

UConnNick

from Vince Lombardi's home town
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If the freshmen aren’t good enough to play against the worst team in the league then who are they good enough to play against?

If the freshmen aren’t good enough to beat out DO and AA for minutes, then who are they good enough to beat out for minutes?

If not now, when? What exactly is the goal? For Nova, it’s to get a #1 seed. So sure, you may not want PT for their freshmen.

But UConn? What are we playing for? Avoiding playing the first night of the AAC tourney?

At this point shouldn’t it be to get the freshmen experience this year so they are ready for next?

Nothing personal against DO and AA but they’re marginal D1 players, and 5th year grad transfers to boot. How does playing them improve next years team, or even for that matter, this years?

There's an angry mob of Husky fans who want to see Ollie launched into a perpetual outer space orbit. Does anybody think he's not aware of this fact?

In this context, does anybody really think he's focused on developing the freshmen for next year's team? He's likely not too sure whether he's even going to be here next year. In that mindset, I'd say he's putting the players on the floor at crunch time in a tight game that he thinks give us the best chance to win those type games. If that means he uses two grad transfers because they have the most experience in such situations, then that's what he's going to do. It may be right, it may be wrong, but that's him coaching for wins so he can try to hang on to his job.
 
C

Chief00

Since the topic of rebounding position has come up, I wanted to mention a play from the USF game which stood out in my mind as being a microcosm of UConn’s rebounding troubles. Larrier took a three point corner jumper, and Vital was standing in the opposite corner when the shot went up. When the shot went long and bounced off the rim, it was predictably rebounded on the opposite side of the basket by the player who was guarding Vital, while Vital was still standing in the same spot as if he was nailed there. I have no idea what he was doing. I can understand it if UConn was pulling back after shots, rather than crashing the boards, in order to defend breaks, but he was in no position to do that. Similarly, he was not going to grab a rebound standing in the corner 20 feet away from the rim. I understand he’s a guard, but long shots lead to long rebounds, and he could have had one if he weren’t unfocused/lackadaisical/unprepared (pick one). I see that and I question how much emphasis they put on rebounding.

Quite frankly, I agree the work done before the ball hits the rim will often decide who gets the rebound. Chief always loved rebounding when a bad shooting teammate took a shot because it was likely there would be a reward. So this team has no excuse not to hit the offensive glass.
 
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C

Chief00

Vital plays hard, and that effort gets him props and some rebounds. He also is one of our more effective offensive weapons (I realize that may be damning with faint praise, but still ..). OTOH, when will he ever realize that once he gets that defensive rebound he should look upcourt, instead of taking it coast to coast every damn time. Twice in the first half he did that, and predictably charged/turned it over, wasting offensive opportunities. In the second half I did see him kick it out to Larrier on the wing on one of these, but he did a lousy job of making the D commit, and Larrier was closed out on rapidly and couldn't get a clear shot.

Can anyone on this team run a fast break properly?

Good points - but who is that point guard who gets the ball?
 

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