- Oct 29, 2011
We like Makurat as player and person, BUT not so sure she will be in the starting five in new season.
You are seriously comparing a once in a generation athlete/jumper like Gabby Williams to Makurat? Come on, let's be a little realistic here!I remember a person that was started at the 4 and had no size......Gabby, how did that turn out? She also moved to the 5 to make room for Pheesa to play the 4 spot.
Westbrook doesn't need to be a better rebounder. She has more size and longer arms though to potentially keep balls away form the opposing PF. IMO Anna isn't athletic enough and CWill is just too small.I can’t see Westbrook going from point guard, to power forward. Williams at 5’11 is the better rebounder, and looks a little more physical then Westbrook. If UConn runs with a 4 guard line up, I expect Williams or Anna to play the 4 on defense, the good thing only teams like Baylor, and South Carolina should give the huskies fits since they both go with size at both the front court positions.
Also Westbrook has 3 double digit assist games in her college career and 2 games with at least 9, clearly setting up her teammates is one of the strongest parts of her game.
To put things in perspective, Makurat averaged virtually the same number of rebounds per game playing the 3 as 5'7 Dangerfield did running the point! Westbrook averaged 15pts and 5ast as sophomore playing in arguably the best conference in the country, there is no way she just doesn't start! Her injury history is blown out of proportion on this board, her latest surgery was elective and she chose to have it only after being ruled ineligible last season. She has also had a year and a half learning the UConn system.There are posters on here who state in a matter of fact way who the starters will be. Why would they do that when Geno does not know who the starters will be? soxfan23, you say you can't just play a kid at the four who has never done so in her life. Using that logic, how can you start a player who has never played a minute of college ball in her life? I believe Makurat is going to be hard to keep out of the starting rotation. How can Westbrook be a lock until she has proven she is healthy and knows the UConn system?
She averaged less than 4 rebounds a game last year while playing the 3!For those who cannot see Makurat at the four I wonder if you realize the following:
She is at least 6'1", probably taller (as EricLA mentioned)
She is built solid
From day one Auriemma praised Griffin's athleticism ... but he praised Makurat's strength
She has an advanced understanding of the fundamentals from pro ball, including boxing out
In other words, she is maybe an inch short of fitting the prototypical PF if it were not for two little details, last year she became the best passer on the team and she is a good (though streaky) shooter. I have no idea if that is how Auriemma will use her, but she is probably more physically suited for PF than any other player except Edwards. (Griffin could defend all five positions, but her athleticism would lend itself best towards becoming DPOY at the 3). On the other hand, speaking of Edwards, I am not one to bet against Canadians that make it on the National Team in high school and win DPOY awards. We have a good track record with that.
Yes, but in 9 fewer minutes per game. Prorated she'd average 1.5 more boards than CD3.To put things in perspective, Makurat averaged virtually the same number of rebounds per game playing the 3 as 5'7 Dangerfield did running the point!
Chasing rebounds from the perimeter is different than fighting for rebounds in the post. If Auriemma wanted her to fight for rebounds in the post she has the physical tools for accomplishing that. Makurat would have trouble beating Dangerfield in chasing a rebound; Dangerfield would have trouble fighting Makurat for a rebound in the post. Last year Makurat would have had to mainly chase rebounds, not box out and fight for them.She averaged less than 4 rebounds a game last year while playing the 3!
All opinion here. I believe Anna will again be a starter. She made tremendous improvement throughout the season. She was in the drivers seat and I don't believe Geno will now make her sit in the back seat to a freshman. If it doesn't work out, he will make a change.I agree that other freshmen will play later in the year. Anna will not be starter.
She averaged less than 4 rebounds a game last year while playing the 3!
Don't think she is athletically suited. Don't see her as 4. But if you're right would be terrific.Not making predictions about who will start or how they would be used, outside of pointing out that Makurat is the most physically suited for the four out Westbrook, Bueckers or Williams.
On edit: Once again, not predicting Makurat will be used this way, but imagine our transition offense if Makurat became responsible for defensive rebounding. You would have Dolson/Walton-esque outlet passes to Bueckers or Westbrook, who then would find one of many great athletes running the floor.
Anna really didn’t do a lot of sitting. For a while she technically wasn’t starting but she was getting the minutes.I would have to agree with you that her initial shot results were not “super”; however, her rebounding and passing showed the kind of skill and effort Geno was looking for. And Geno’s “0 for America“ comment and sitting her for a while and working in practice did hone her shot trajectory pretty well.
When her shooting numbers skyrocketed her overall performance got a lot better. I don’t believe her effort increased even one percent during that time. So I am uncomfortable with the term underperforming for her, or for Paige or Evina should another teammate be performing at a super, super level. This is a “glass half full -glass half empty” discussion. When talking about these players I prefer to see “glass half full and better/super” a lot more than “glass half empty and bad/under- performing. That’s my feeling; I hope you’re OK with it.
Anna makes this team her team. Her skills plus her bb iq puts her in charge on the floor. She doesn’t bring ball up court but once past midpoint she controls the game.I disagree, I can’t see Anna losing her starting job, I think Griffin will be a starter at the begging of the year, but I expect Pagie to move into the starting spot similar to Lou and Gabby.
ONO Would be my starting five with Griffin, Edwards, and Mir the first 3 subs off the bench.
I think you will see UConn be a lot more aggressive on defense next year! They simply have not had the numbers or talent to do so over the past couple of years, but all that changes with this class.Nobody knows. It's just great fun to speculate.
If Edwards is the real deal she would fit easily in a conventional manner. I'd like to see how quick she is as compared to Griffin and Mir. Also could be fine - very fine in pressng/trapping too.
If Griffin improves her shot- why can't UCONN have trapping halfcourt zone defenses? How many teams have 1.) good enough guards to handle the trap, 2.) not only handle it but get into an offense quick enough, 3.) while having TWO bigs that are very good in combination of passing and scoring (you just can't have one big that is good inside and the other good passing. You need at least one that is good at both while able to shoot pretty well at 15+ feet) to wipe you out inside 4.) while having good enough shooters to blast the zone? Keep in mind Griffin will get stronger.
I have no idea - none - what to expect from Mir. Same with Piath.
We lose our best scorer and best passer. We have 6 new players. The crazy thing is UCONN could be better. Could be "much" better too. Though to start the season I suspect Geno will tell all that he expects to finish worst than last place in the Big East this year. After the 1st week of practice he'll make quips like Evina and Paige are the worst passers he has ever seen,.
Just exciting to think what will evolve.
Also- I think you're going to see much better offensive execution vs the elite teams next year. The three games vs the top 3 last year they had 36 assists vs 40 turnovers.I think you will see UConn be a lot more aggressive on defense next year! They simply have not had the numbers or talent to do so over the past couple of years, but all that changes with this class.
I expect Aaliyah to substitute for Aubrey or maybe even Liv at times with Piath depending on the other team. Aubrey will have access to the best training imaginable this summer due to her Dad who has said publicly that we haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg with her. Don't forget, she was a very young freshman. I think you are going to see a Meg like "bump" next year for her. As for Evina, she was the starting point guard on a forgettable Tennessee team as a sophomore and averaged 15 points and 5 assists with 3.6 rebounds per game. She is a point guard and a very good one and not a 3 or a 4. Geno liked Anna a lot as the secondary ball handler last year and I expect to see that again this year. BTW, she is probably going to have a "bump" this year too. She is an innate passer and when she had her confidence in her shot she was deadly and changed the team. She has to finish her drives more this year and develop an 8 foot pull up which even Meg didn't really have last year and hopefully she will become more athletic over the summer which will enable her to do so. I just think Geno will go with the strengths he has and have the new players meld into that. On the other hand, Paige could change everything. I just think there is too much pressure on her already. She will be playing against women 3 years older than her. As Geno said, the only one who ever was truly ready was Maya and we know how many Mayas there have been anywhere. Geno has said he can't wait to start coaching Paige and this new team and we can't wait to see them I dare say..The second rebounder could be Aaliyah.
Does Evina start at the 1 or the 3/4? Maybe she and Anna are the 2nd rebounders.
As for two handed over the head outlet passes among current NBA players Kevin Love is very good but the best of all time way back was probably Wes Unseld.Don't think she is athletically suited. Don't see her as 4. But if you're right would be terrific.
Secondly, Walton did over the head passes. He was 6'11. Anna can't do any of that.