Geno On The Frosh... | The Boneyard

Geno On The Frosh...

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sarals24

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So it sounds like he is pretty high on KML and to a certain extent BB....this is quite a contrast to last year, when he really downplayed the freshman in the first few shows he had...he definitely did not sing their praises like he did with KML last night. Interesting...either KML is that good or he is getting softer!

Sounds like he isn't too high on Kiah Stokes, though...I was impressed with her in an All-Star game I saw, but he lumped her in with Heather and MJ as "inconsistent". No bueno. He didn't really say anything else about Kiah except she gets tired quickly...

Hopefully she will improve like Stef did last year, same with Michaela. I think the coaches have given up on Heather being able to contribute significantly. But the other two are still young, so there's hope...
 
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Sounds like he isn't too high on Kiah Stokes, though...

Hopefully she will improve like Stef did last year, same with Michaela. I think the coaches have given up on Heather being able to contribute significantly. But the other two are still young, so there's hope...

Perhaps they should give up on Heather, but it didn't sound like he has. Said she is fine on defense and indicated the main obstacle is getting her to feel comfortable on the other end. ... That doesn't sound to me like he doesn't think she can contribute offensively as well, just that she has been unable to figure out how to get around one, major road block. That's different from being a lost cause.

Of course, time is running out for Heather. OTOH, Tina didn't really exploit her full potential until halfway through her junior year.
 

Icebear

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Perhaps they should give up on Heather, but it didn't sound like he has. Said she is fine on defense on indicated the main obstacle is getting to feel comfortable on the other end. ... That doesn't sound to me like he doesn't think she can contribute, just that she has been unable to figure out how to get around one, major road block.
Heather has been reasonably consistent on defense for awhile. The big problem was at the offensive end if Kelly wasn't going to be a scorer one couldn't afford a second non-scorer like Heather or Lorin on the floor for long periods and definitely could not afford two more on the floor.
 

sarals24

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He also said that she can't grasp the offense, which was "unacceptable" after four years. He is building the offense around Stef, a sophomore, so...I would be shocked if we see Heather play more than she did last year. At this point they might try to develop MJ and Kiah and get them more minutes.
 

alexrgct

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Kiah is vitally important because against teams with bigger PFs, Kelly may have problems. We're heading into this season weak in the frontcourt outside of Stef unless either a) Kiah/Michala/Heather step up or b) Kelly's offense has improved enough to create as much of a mismatch on UConn's end of the floor as the elite bigger PFs will be able to do on theirs. The Stanford game will tell us a LOT.

Generally speaking, Geno speaks his mind with a little bit of an emphasis on telling the kids what they need to hear. Last year, you're coming off of 78 straight wins and two NCs, and he wanted to be clear to those freshmen that they had nothing to do with any of that. This is a transitional season with somewhat lower expectations, and I think he's more inclined to build them up rather than putting them in their place. Having said that, if he's high on KML, and he has always been very complimentary of her dating back to the point she signed her LOI and he could talk about her at length, I believe it.
 

Icebear

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Kiah's situation is to be expected with young post coming into college. Stef proved to be an exception to the expectations of posts coming along slowly in college.
 

VAMike23

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I've only been following the Huskies closely for about 4 years, but I have never heard Geno speak THAT glowingly about any freshman. The comments had more impact because this was a wide-ranging conversation where he also threw out plenty of barbs, criticisms and jokes at players' expense. So he had ample opportunity to backtrack, retract, clarify -- but he just flat-out said she was great, period, and went on to describe why using numerous examples. Really exciting to hear!
 

VAMike23

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Kiah's situation is to be expected with young post coming into college. Stef proved to be an exception to the expectations of posts coming along slowly in college.

If Kiah makes 50% of the progress that Stef did last year, our team will be very strong by March. Also, Geno said something to the effect "they're doing all right on defense" [talking about Buck, Kiah, MJ]. This is a good thing, because this is what we will need the most at that position. And I agree that Kiah's situation as a frosh post is not unusual. It will be very interesting to see where she is this week, compared to the start of the BE season, compared to March.
 

Olde Coach

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So it sounds like he is pretty high on KML and to a certain extent BB....this is quite a contrast to last year, when he really downplayed the freshman in the first few shows he had...he definitely did not sing their praises like he did with KML last night. Interesting...either KML is that good or he is getting softer!

Sounds like he isn't too high on Kiah Stokes, though...I was impressed with her in an All-Star game I saw, but he lumped her in with Heather and MJ as "inconsistent". No bueno. He didn't really say anything else about Kiah except she gets tired quickly...

Hopefully she will improve like Stef did last year, same with Michaela. I think the coaches have given up on Heather being able to contribute significantly. But the other two are still young, so there's hope...

The biggest smiles for me were two of Geno's comments on Banks:

1. "She is the fastest player ever in the UConn program."

2. "She is a really good shooter. Much better than I thought she would be."

I can't wait to see her play.
 

HuskyNan

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If Kiah makes 50% of the progress that Stef did last year, our team will be very strong by March. Also, Geno said something to the effect "they're doing all right on defense" [talking about Buck, Kiah, MJ]. This is a good thing, because this is what we will need the most at that position. And I agree that Kiah's situation as a frosh post is not unusual. It will be very interesting to see where she is this week, compared to the start of the BE season, compared to March.

Jess Moore was so raw as a freshman that Geno redshirted her. Of course, he had the luxury of having Swin, Tamika and Asjha on the roster along with Paige Sauer but still, Jess was kind of a project. I think Kiah may be similar but she doesn't have the option of redshirting like JMo did.

I have to say, if Kiah is at all Jess-like in the way she plays I will be a happy Husky fan.
 

msf22b

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All the talk of being weak in the frontcourt is a bit difficult for me to fathom; weaker than last year? Would seem not! One of the three underachievers will likely step up, perhaps more than one. And then we'll be stronger in the frontcourt.
Stop worrying!
 

RoyDodger

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It seems pretty obvious from listening to Geno over the years that he likes to goad his players on to greater heights. If he thinks they're not practicing right or don't have the stamina to run up and down the court, he'll say so to make them understand what they have to do to improve and get minutes. His players seem to love him nevertheless. It's got to be that Auriemma sense of humor and charm. That sparkle in his eye.
 

HuskyFan1125

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I'm super excited to see ALL of the freshman play. I am not surprised by the comments on Stokes. We know that posts take longer to develop. I'm not worried. She will be fine.

KML will be great I am sure , but I am really hoping that MJ has a breakout year. I saw her play many times in high school and before her injuries she was amazing. Yes against much less talent, but just the same the potential is there and I am cheering hard for her.

GO UCONN!!
 
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All the talk of being weak in the frontcourt is a bit difficult for me to fathom; weaker than last year? Would seem not! One of the three underachievers will likely step up, perhaps more than one. And then we'll be stronger in the frontcourt.
Stop worrying!
At the present time,we ARE WEAKER in the front court since we are missing Maya who was able to do it all!!!!!!! The 3 underachievers you speak of are at this time where they are not where they may end being. I do expect Kelly to continue to be the most under appreciated and talented player across the country. Not only will she be playing the 4 who had 5'11" can rebound, play defense,do all of the intangibles,give 110% while being on the court more than anyone else! Do not be surprised for her to take her game to another level this coming season.:p
 
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Heather has been reasonably consistent on defense for awhile. The big problem was at the offensive end if Kelly wasn't going to be a scorer one couldn't afford a second non-scorer like Heather or Lorin on the floor for long periods and definitely could not afford two more on the floor.
Absolutely correct, we can't afford two non-scorers on the floor against the better teams. The last ND game proved that.
 
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Kiah's situation is to be expected with young post coming into college. Stef proved to be an exception to the expectations of posts coming along slowly in college.
Yes, but in one of her interviews a while back she admitted to a lack of offense.
 

MilfordHusky

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Absolutely correct, we can't afford two non-scorers on the floor against the better teams. The last ND game proved that.
When Stef was on the bench with foul trouble, we had 4 nonscorers on the floor in that game. To beat N.D., we needed good games from at least 2-3 players. We got 1-1/2.

I recall 4 seasons when we had scorers at all 5 positions. We had 3 losses in 2001, and 0 in 2002, 2009, and 2010. If we have 5 scorers out there, we will do very, very well.
 
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Absolutely correct, we can't afford two non-scorers on the floor against the better teams. The last ND game proved that.

Teams can play extended minutes with only a couple of scorers on floor if know how to manage the flow of the ball. If Heather stays down low and is in the way of Tiff or Maya or Bria driving or posting up is a problem; if she plays Wes Unseld re setting picks at the foul line or above, constantly making defenders switch or go under picks, then should have been very effective. Having Heather try and set up like she has the offensive skills of Stef is bad coaching. Jessica Moore had "skillet hands", couldn't shoot and was center on two national championship teams (and plays in WNBA long after Ann, Barb have gone on to other things). Use Heather in an offensive set that she can handle and she would be alright. She's a bull in a china shop, take advantage of that rather than trying to teach her ballet.
 

MilfordHusky

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More from Rich. Sounds encouraging.

“The freshmen have done a pretty good job for the most part,’’ Auriemma said. “Kaleena Lewis like we expected her to, she picks things up pretty quickly. Her high school experience was such that they played so many good games against so many good teams. They had so many good players on her team and she’s used to playing with really good players and she’s used to playing at a pretty high intensity level. And I think those practices in August really helped because it kind of got the freshman out of her a little bit. And I think when you know you can score I think that makes life real easy for you and it makes all the other things while you’re trying to learn all those a little bit easier. But the other two have their days. Brianna Banks is great some days and she’s not great some other days. Kiah Stokes is really good and other days she’s not really good. Kaleena’s probably been the most consistent out of the three.’’
 

arty155

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Heather has been reasonably consistent on defense for awhile. The big problem was at the offensive end if Kelly wasn't going to be a scorer one couldn't afford a second non-scorer like Heather or Lorin on the floor for long periods and definitely could not afford two more on the floor.

I get it now. Nice insight – thanks.
 

arty155

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Kiah is vitally important because against teams with bigger PFs, Kelly may have problems. We're heading into this season weak in the frontcourt outside of Stef unless either a) Kiah/Michala/Heather step up or b) Kelly's offense has improved enough to create as much of a mismatch on UConn's end of the floor as the elite bigger PFs will be able to do on theirs. The Stanford game will tell us a LOT.

Generally speaking, Geno speaks his mind with a little bit of an emphasis on telling the kids what they need to hear. Last year, you're coming off of 78 straight wins and two NCs, and he wanted to be clear to those freshmen that they had nothing to do with any of that. This is a transitional season with somewhat lower expectations, and I think he's more inclined to build them up rather than putting them in their place. Having said that, if he's high on KML, and he has always been very complimentary of her dating back to the point she signed her LOI and he could talk about her at length, I believe it.


There it is.
 
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