Espn.com's Pre-season Top 25 | The Boneyard

Espn.com's Pre-season Top 25

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They must think UCONN will have one of the worst teams they have had in the last 20 years! When was the last time we were picked 6th or lower in preseason lists?
 

CamrnCrz1974

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They must think UCONN will have one of the worst teams they have had in the last 20 years! When was the last time we were picked 6th or lower in preseason lists?

Or they think the loss of Maya Moore was huge and there are some questions that have yet to be answered. This is a preseason poll, not a postseason one.

I would have UConn about 5th (maybe 4th) if I were to do a preseason poll. It is not as if 6th is outrageously low.
 

speedoo

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I think UConn beats both TAMU and Stanford on a neutral court. I see both ND and Baylor as favorites, but not by a lot. Tennessee? They won't play us so unless we see them in March or April, who cares.

I think this "poll" makes too much of the loss of Maya and does not adequately recognize what the UConn coaches have to work with and what they can do with this team.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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I think UConn beats both TAMU and Stanford on a neutral court. I see both ND and Baylor as favorites, but not by a lot. Tennessee? They won't play us so unless we see them in March or April, who cares.

I think this "poll" makes too much of the loss of Maya and does not adequately recognize what the UConn coaches have to work with and what they can do with this team.

Speedoo, while I agree with you, I think the important point of your post is where you say "what they can do with this team." UConn has potential, a tremendous amount of upside if you will. But there is more to prove. With Baylor, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Tennessee, there are already established "stars" or likely All-Americans. Who is the star(s) for UConn? People on this board cannot even agree. Some think it is Hayes. Some think it is Dolson. My personal opinion is that it is Hartley.

Also, if you look at Stanford, Baylor, Notre Dame, and Tennessee, those teams are led by juniors and seniors for the most part (or have its primary star as a junior or senior). Let's be honest...the bulk of the UConn juggernaut is in its freshmen and sophomore classes (which goes along with my point about people thinking UConn has more to prove).

Again, this is the difference between a preseason poll and a postseason one. I think I would have UConn at #5, as I said earlier (maybe #4, depending on Stanford's guard situation). At this point, I think UConn is better than TAMU in the preseason.

I think a preseason ranking of #6 suggests that voters think UConn has a lot of potential (post-Maya), but needs to realize it, whereas the other teams have more established stars and are led by upperclassmen.

Or maybe the voters have no clue and I am overanalyzing this. :)
 

UConnCat

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What's great about the upcoming season is that there will be so many early match-ups between the top teams that the preseason rankings will soon be a distant memory.
 

Vowelguy

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Interesting to note that the high & low ranking for UConn was #6 -- in other words, all 4 of the ESPN analysts put UConn #6.
 
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Its really not important where a team is predicted to finish; all that matters is where they actually finish. I don't think that Geno is loosing any sleep over this poll.
 
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What's great about the upcoming season is that there will be so many early match-ups between the top teams that the preseason rankings will soon be a distant memory.

Agreed; and I don't remember a season where there was as much parity between the top 12 teams....an exciting year ahead. And I'm glad that we're not #1 or #2 preseason... I imagine that it feels good to be rid of that target on one's back.
 

MilfordHusky

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I think it reflects the loss of Maya and the respect that she deservedly had. But I think Maya's statement about her former Husky teammates is spot-on.

With Maya gone, who is left?

Tiffany Hayes, 114-2 in her career, and 3-time Wooden and Naismith pre-season list. All-Big East 1st team last year.

Caroline Doty, undefeated in her career. The only PG on a NCAA title team still in college. Starred as a frosh before her injury.

Kelly Faris, 5 straight championships, one of the best defensive players around, All-Big East Honorable mention.

Stef Dolson, unanimous selection All-Big East Freshman team, the first scoring option on a team with a 3,000 point scorer.

Bria Hartley, All-Big East second team, Big East Freshman of the Year.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, consensus high school national player of the year, whose resume is amazingly similar to Maya's. Geno describes her as a great player.

Plus 2 other freshmen Geno describes as very good, both of whom are stellar defenders.

Yes, the team is on the young side. But they are really good, very competitive, and well coached.

Next year, Tiff is gone, but everyone else is better and more experienced, and we add 3 absolutely fabulous frosh.
 

Tonyc

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Wow 6th.

Here are my thoughts. Baylor has 4 returning starters and so does UConn. Baylor has the top post player in WCBB and UConn has the number 2 post player in WCBB. Uconn beat Baylor last season with 2 inexperienced freshman starting. ND lost to UConn 3 times last season, Stanford has graduated two of their starters and are depending on guards with lesser experience then UConn guards. TN is returning 4 starters with question marks in the post and a very good incoming point guard without any experience at the college level. TAM imo could be a little underrated too. With Bone in the middle and 3 other starters returning they could make some noise in the top 4.

I guess you can argue can UConn play at a higher level without Maya? I think so. Stef is much improved and will dominate the middle, however must stay out of foul trouble. Bria and KML from the outside will force defenses to play perimiter defense. The only question mark that will need to be answered can Tiffany play at the level we know she can consistently every game? If she does we are almost unbeatable this season.
 
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I think it reflects the loss of Maya and the respect that she deservedly had. But I think Maya's statement about her former Husky teammates is spot-on.

With Maya gone, who is left?

Tiffany Hayes, 114-2 in her career, and 3-time Wooden and Naismith pre-season list. All-Big East 1st team last year.

Caroline Doty, undefeated in her career. The only PG on a NCAA title team still in college. Starred as a frosh before her injury.

Kelly Faris, 5 straight championships, one of the best defensive players around, All-Big East Honorable mention.

Stef Dolson, unanimous selection All-Big East Freshman team, the first scoring option on a team with a 3,000 point scorer.

Bria Hartley, All-Big East second team, Big East Freshman of the Year.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, consensus high school national player of the year, whose resume is amazingly similar to Maya's. Geno describes her as a great player.

Plus 2 other freshmen Geno describes as very good, both of whom are stellar defenders.

Yes, the team is on the young side. But they are really good, very competitive, and well coached.

Next year, Tiff is gone, but everyone else is better and more experienced, and we add 3 absolutely fabulous frosh.

If the voters even considered those records and previous titles they most likely attribute those to Renee, Tina, and Maya. While the players all contributed none were the stars or juggernauts of UConn. Doty, Hayes and Faris didn't strike fear in other teams...Tina and Maya did.

All that said, look at the high/low votes. In my mind you lose all credibility and an "expert analyst" if you think for one moment that Oklahoma and Purdue even before the injuries comes within a sniff of the top 10 or Gonzaga the top 12. If you participated in ESPN bracket challenged you witnessed how poorly they did.
 

MilfordHusky

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If the voters even considered those records and previous titles they most likely attribute those to Renee, Tina, and Maya. While the players all contributed none were the stars or juggernauts of UConn. Doty, Hayes and Faris didn't strike fear in other teams...Tina and Maya did.

All that said, look at the high/low votes. In my mind you lose all credibility and an "expert analyst" if you think for one moment that Oklahoma and Purdue even before the injuries comes within a sniff of the top 10 or Gonzaga the top 12. If you participated in ESPN bracket challenged you witnessed how poorly they did.
Yeah, much of the team's record can be attributed to the Big 3, but Renee, Tina, and Maya did not help Kelly win 4 high school titles, Stef and Bria win with Team USA this past summer, or Kaleena to be a top 5 player for 3 years of high school. At the end of the season, our kids will get their recognition. And we'll have another Big 3--or Big 4 or Big 5.
 

Vowelguy

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Uconn beat Baylor last season with 2 inexperienced freshman starting. ND lost to UConn 3 times last season,

Sorry, but I find it highly amusing that results from last year are used as comparison to this year. This year's UConn will be MUCH different than last year. Maybe better; maybe worse. But no question it will win a different way - it has to, it just lost one of the best players of all time.

As a result, to argue that last year's results have much relationship to how things will fare this year is, frankly, silly in my opinion.

If Baylor beats UConn twice in 2012-13, should the Bears automatically be considered the favorites in 2013-14 (even though they wont have Griner)?
 

CamrnCrz1974

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Yeah, much of the team's record can be attributed to the Big 3, but Renee, Tina, and Maya did not help Kelly win 4 high school titles, Stef and Bria win with Team USA this past summer, or Kaleena to be a top 5 player for 3 years of high school. At the end of the season, our kids will get their recognition. And we'll have another Big 3--or Big 4 or Big 5.

Certainly true, but this is not high school. Plenty of players did amazing things in high school or even with USA basketball but never even reached a Final Four (e.g., Nicole Powell).

As to the success of the Big Three, Tina Charles and Maya Moore both won National Player of the Year honors. That alone is a big contributor to the success.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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Wow 6th.

Here are my thoughts. Baylor has 4 returning starters and so does UConn. Baylor has the top post player in WCBB and UConn has the number 2 post player in WCBB. Uconn beat Baylor last season with 2 inexperienced freshman starting. ND lost to UConn 3 times last season, Stanford has graduated two of their starters and are depending on guards with lesser experience then UConn guards. TN is returning 4 starters with question marks in the post and a very good incoming point guard without any experience at the college level. TAM imo could be a little underrated too. With Bone in the middle and 3 other starters returning they could make some noise in the top 4.

I guess you can argue can UConn play at a higher level without Maya? I think so. Stef is much improved and will dominate the middle, however must stay out of foul trouble. Bria and KML from the outside will force defenses to play perimiter defense. The only question mark that will need to be answered can Tiffany play at the level we know she can consistently every game? If she does we are almost unbeatable this season.

To be fair, Tony, it seems that you are using last year's results with Maya Moore to demonstrate why UConn should be ranked higher this year.

Think of it this way. The panel recognizes that Maya is one of those "once in a generation" players. Those are tough players to replace. The voters, by picking UConn sixth, recognize that there is plenty of talent, but that UConn needs to still figure out who the "go to" player is and potential for growth.

Goodness, judging by some of the comments on the board, one might think UConn was picked 20th in a postseason poll, rather than 6th in a preseason one.
 

MilfordHusky

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Certainly true, but this is not high school. Plenty of players did amazing things in high school or even with USA basketball but never even reached a Final Four (e.g., Nicole Powell).

As to the success of the Big Three, Tina Charles and Maya Moore both won National Player of the Year honors. That alone is a big contributor to the success.
And this year's squad certainly has at least 1 player with NPOY potential, and next year's squad will have at least 3 with NPOY potential.
 

alexrgct

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Sixth is perfectly reasonable. Basically says they think UConn is solidly an E8 caliber team with a good chance to make the F4 (and BTW, the likely URI bracket location for UConn is very helpful along the lines of making the F4 as a 2 seed if that's what UConn ends up being).

Think about the names in the Huskies of Honor: Bascom, Lobo, Rizzotti, Wolters, Sales, Ralph, Abrosimova, Cash, Bird, Taurasi, Montgomery, Charles, Moore. All of UConn's 12 F4 appearences had at least one of those women leading the way.

This UConn team has a lot of potential, but no one you can point to and say, "That girl's absolutely going to put on a performance THIS SEASON that warrants having her name up there too." A number of the girls on the team might ultimately get there, but we're talking first-team AA performances in 2011-12. Not so sure about that. And if we don't get that kind of leadership, will the presumed depth we'll have this season be compensatory? And who will hit a basket when someone really needs to hit a basket in a tight game?

I think a ranking in the 4-8 range acknowledges the depth and caliber of coaching UConn has while also acknowledging that UConn is undeniably in a transitional year with a lot of questions to be answered before being considered more than a fringe contender for a national championship. Geno would probably agree.

Now, a lot of people had UConn as a fringe top 10 team at best at this same stage in 2002, and everyone knows what happened in April 2003. However, everyone already knew that DT was special. The questions were how special and how much help would she get. In 2011, the questions are different, but if they can be answered as positively as we saw in 2002-03, indeed the #6 prognostication will look foolish in hindsight. I don't think it looks especially foolish right now from where I sit.
 

MilfordHusky

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Sixth is perfectly reasonable. Basically says they think UConn is solidly an E8 caliber team with a good chance to make the F4 (and BTW, the likely URI bracket location for UConn is very helpful along the lines of making the F4 as a 2 seed if that's what UConn ends up being).

Think about the names in the Huskies of Honor: Bascom, Lobo, Rizzotti, Wolters, Sales, Ralph, Abrosimova, Cash, Bird, Taurasi, Montgomery, Charles, Moore. All of UConn's 12 F4 appearences had at least one of those women leading the way.

This UConn team has a lot of potential, but no one you can point to and say, "That girl's absolutely going to put on a performance THIS SEASON that warrants having her name up there too." A number of the girls on the team might ultimately get there, but we're talking first-team AA performances in 2011-12. Not so sure about that. And if we don't get that kind of leadership, will the presumed depth we'll have this season be compensatory? And who will hit a basket when someone really needs to hit a basket in a tight game?

I think a ranking in the 4-8 range acknowledges the depth and caliber of coaching UConn has while also acknowledging that UConn is undeniably in a transitional year with a lot of questions to be answered before being considered more than a fringe contender for a national championship. Geno would probably agree.

Now, a lot of people had UConn as a fringe top 10 team at best at this same stage in 2002, and everyone knows what happened in April 2003. However, everyone already knew that DT was special. The questions were how special and how much help would she get. In 2011, the questions are different, but if they can be answered as positively as we saw in 2002-03, indeed the #6 prognostication will look foolish in hindsight. I don't think it looks especially foolish right now from where I sit.
I think the ranking is based, perhaps rightfully so, on what the current players have accomplished on their own in college. And the answer to that is only hypothetical, because Maya was in fact on the team. However, if one looks foward to see how the team will do based on reasonable expectations grounded in recent performances of UConn underclassmen, I think they are clearly better than #6. In my view, people who rank them #6 are not giving the players or Geno enough credit. UConn was great before Tina and Maya arrived. They will be great without them, perhaps even before next year's group arrives. This year's group has the potential to be great. If they stay healthy, I seem them and Baylor at the top.
 
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I'd rather move up in the poll's then move down, 4th,5th, or 6th is good with me. I believe we are better but we won't know until we play.
 

MilfordHusky

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I'd rather move up in the poll's then move down, 4th,5th, or 6th is good with me. I believe we are better but we won't know until we play.
I disagree with the #6 ranking (and, to a lesser degree, #4), but I agree with your point.

Geno and the players will use it for motivation. Kaleena did not come 3,000 miles to play for the #6 team.
 
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Its really not important where a team is predicted to finish; all that matters is where they actually finish. I don't think that Geno is loosing any sleep over this poll.

Me neither. The national champion will be decided on the court, not by pollsters or
computers.
 

alexrgct

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I think the ranking is based, perhaps rightfully so, on what the current players have accomplished on their own in college. And the answer to that is only hypothetical, because Maya was in fact on the team. However, if one looks foward to see how the team will do based on reasonable expectations grounded in recent performances of UConn underclassmen, I think they are clearly better than #6. In my view, people who rank them #6 are not giving the players or Geno enough credit. UConn was great before Tina and Maya arrived. They will be great without them, perhaps even before next year's group arrives. This year's group has the potential to be great. If they stay healthy, I seem them and Baylor at the top.
In fairness, though, UConn was not so great the season before Tina arrived or in her freshman season. I think Geno has more to work with than he did 2004-07, but to be squarely in the hunt for the NC rather than marginally so, we're going to need to see nearly across-the-board improvement from a year ago or giant leaps forward for a couple of girls. Could happen, hope it happens, but until it does, #6 isn't a bad spot to put UConn. We won't have long to find out whether that ranking is appropriate with Stanford only two weeks away!
 
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