Geno on the team and other stuff | The Boneyard
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Geno on the team and other stuff

SVCBeercats

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Ya think these two have a solid chance at the rotation?" Geno: "If we had a game tomorrow, Azzi and Caroline look like they’d blend right in."
Nika may still be in the mix for the rotation. :) “Once we harness her energy and her toughness and her emotions, she adds something to our team that no one else has,” Auriemma said of Mühl. “She actually has a physical toughness about her that I don’t know that anybody else in our team has. I love that. I love that about her. She’s relentless.”
I like this approach but with Liv taking and making intermediate jumpers to draw defenders from Dorka or Aaliyah and keeping pick and roll lanes open. "Maybe the “best version” of Olivia Nelson-Ododa is as a point forward who mostly distributes and isn’t relied on to score as much. If the Huskies need points in the paint, then they could turn to Dorka Juhász or Aaliyah Edwards, for example."

 
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MilfordHusky

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That quote on Nika sounds like one from last year. Regardless, it's still true. Some folks here are overlooking Nika. I am not. I see her as a starter and playing 18+ minutes. She brings attitude galore.
 

CocoHusky

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Geno has a full toolbox this year. All the parts are there to address a whole assortment of challenges.
The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
 
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The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
That's an interesting analysis of potential weaknesses. I think there are mitigation strategies for all of them:
  1. Regarding perimeter defense, it's possible that Aubrey can be used for that purpose, albeit at a cost in other dimensions. She did that against Carrington for much of the second half of the Baylor game, and she drew two charges. This becomes more feasible if she somewhat improves her jump shot so that she can't be completely ignored at the offensive end if she is playing in the back court. Of course, she also has to learn the offense to do that.
  2. Low post offense: It seems to me that both Dorka and Aaliyah have shown an ability in that dimension, although not perhaps an all-American level of ability. And there is always that chance that Liv will add that to her game in her senior season (a long shot, I grant).
  3. Dominant rebounder: I think it is more likely that Liv can fulfill this role. I don't think the Boneyard gives her enough credit for the major improvements that she has made in this area, to the point where she was rebounding successfully against the Syracuse and Iowa bigs, and (more significantly) against Nalyssa Smith and Queen Egbo in the Baylor game. Even if she plays away from the basket on offense, I expect her to be a rim-protector on defense (as Stewie was in her senior year). With major help from Aaliyah (if she gets her fouling under control), and perhaps short-minute assistance from Piath, Amari, Caroline, or Saylor, I don't see rebounding as a problem area for the Huskies this year. It will be the first year since 2016 where that is the case.
I think that the days when Aubrey or Mir were backups at the 4 or 5 are permanently in the rear-view mirror. There are now better alternatives with more height and strength when the starters in those positions get into foul trouble or are having a bad day. It means that if Aubrey and Mir want to get off the bench, they each need to develop a somewhat threatening jump shot, at least from midrange. I think at least one of them will do that.
 
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The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
Re rebounding: I'm from the "rebounding by committee" school. I want to see everyone crashing. A "dominant" rebounder can be dealt with by another team. Not so a team of rebounders.
Re lock-down defender: not glamorous, and tough to find them. My favorite these days is January on the Sun. Among other qualities that make her a very tough defender is her attitude. She is tough, and she takes pride in her defense. And I think Muhl has attitude, is tough, and takes pride. But, again, I would say that "defense by committee" is what shuts down teams best( no revelation there). It's been awhile since we've seen that at UConn. The UConn championship teams always played great team defense.
 
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CocoHusky

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That's an interesting analysis of potential weaknesses. I think there are mitigation strategies for all of them:
  1. Regarding perimeter defense, it's possible that Aubrey can be used for that purpose, albeit at a cost in other dimensions. She did that against Carrington for much of the second half of the Baylor game, and she drew two charges. This becomes more feasible if she somewhat improves her jump shot so that she can't be completely ignored at the offensive end if she is playing in the back court. Of course, she also has to learn the offense to do that.
  2. Low post offense: It seems to me that both Dorka and Aaliyah have shown an ability in that dimension, although not perhaps an all-American level of ability. And there is always that chance that Liv will add that to her game in her senior season (a long shot, I grant).
  3. Dominant rebounder: I think it is more likely that Liv can fulfill this role. I don't think the Boneyard gives her enough credit for the major improvements that she has made in this area, to the point where she was rebounding successfully against the Syracuse and Iowa bigs, and (more significantly) against Nalyssa Smith and Queen Egbo in the Baylor game. Even if she plays away from the basket on offense, I expect her to be a rim-protector on defense (as Stewie was in her senior year). With major help from Aaliyah (if she gets her fouling under control), and perhaps short-minute assistance from Piath, Amari, Caroline, or Saylor, I don't see rebounding as a problem area for the Huskies this year. It will be the first year since 2016 where that is the case.
I think that the days when Aubrey or Mir were backups at the 4 or 5 are permanently in the rear-view mirror. There are now better alternatives with more height and strength when the starters in those positions get into foul trouble or are having a bad day. It means that if Aubrey and Mir want to get off the bench, they each need to develop a somewhat threatening jump shot, at least from midrange. I think at least one of them will do that.
As mitigation strategies these are quite good.
1. Aubrey is definitely the best equipped on the team to be the game changing perimeter defender. What is holding Aubrey back has been well documented. Besides the Baylor game Aubrey has displayed game change perimeter defense against Seton Hall and TN.

2. Although Aaliyah Edwards finished among the NCAA leaders in FG percentage last year at close to 70% she is not ideal for that low post scoring option because I'm looking for someone who is more capable when the catch is with the players back to the basket. As a back to the basket player Dorka appears to be more capable than Aaliyah. All three of the UCONN primary post players (Liv, Dorka & Aaliyah) need to become better players when the initial catch is with you back to the basket. Ice Brady will instantly turn this weakness into a strength but she is a full year away.

3. Liv is a good rebounder but far from dominat because she does not rebound outside of her area of the floor and she is too easily boxed out and rooted out of good rebounding position. The real mitigation for this weakness is what UCONN has been doing for the last couple of years which is really "gang" rebounding. There is nothing wrong with gang rebounding but with a dominat rebounder & especially when you are playing a 4 guard line up you end up having to commit more players (wings and guards) to rebounding as opposed to freeing up at least one of those wings or guards to running up the floor.
 

RockyMTblue2

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Geno danced around it in his presser, but he acknowledged the lack of a clearly defined role for Mir and Aubrey. As @JoePgh mentioned neither has a reliable jump shot, though one would think it started to be on their to do list in junior high. They are both physical naturals to arrive in college with a well oiled midrange game and they don't have it.
 
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I was thinking the other day that just a newcomers lineup of Nika, Paige, Azzi, Edwards, and Dorka would probably be competitive with top 15, maybe even some top 10, teams.
Yes, if you give them enough time together to work on defense, they would be competitive against the top 5 players of any team in 2021-2022 should they learn that side well. But that's the point - BB has two sides to the ball. Nika and Aaliyah are already good defenders and they have familiarity playing with Paige, so those three would be fine and can improve together this year. But the other two have to learn the "read and react" system that UConn primarily uses. I am not sure it would be a good pressing team, however....have to see their footwork and footspeed again.

But this combination does have great promise on the offensive side, with Nika on her way to developing a consistent 3-pt shot.
 
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I was thinking the other day that just a newcomers lineup of Nika, Paige, Azzi, Edwards, and Dorka would probably be competitive with top 15, maybe even some top 10, teams.
Top 15, top 10? You have got to be kidding.
 

Bigboote

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The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
A healthy Nika may very well become the lockdown perimeter defender. She certainly showed it in spurts last year.

Dorka is a really good rebounder. I dunno if she fits exactly what you're talking about, but she has averaged close to 10 over her three years.
 
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The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
Coco, we sure could use AKA, whoever she is! :cool:
 

Gus Mahler

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That's an interesting analysis of potential weaknesses. I think there are mitigation strategies for all of them:
  1. Regarding perimeter defense, it's possible that Aubrey can be used for that purpose, albeit at a cost in other dimensions. She did that against Carrington for much of the second half of the Baylor game, and she drew two charges. This becomes more feasible if she somewhat improves her jump shot so that she can't be completely ignored at the offensive end if she is playing in the back court. Of course, she also has to learn the offense to do that.
  2. Low post offense: It seems to me that both Dorka and Aaliyah have shown an ability in that dimension, although not perhaps an all-American level of ability. And there is always that chance that Liv will add that to her game in her senior season (a long shot, I grant).
  3. Dominant rebounder: I think it is more likely that Liv can fulfill this role. I don't think the Boneyard gives her enough credit for the major improvements that she has made in this area, to the point where she was rebounding successfully against the Syracuse and Iowa bigs, and (more significantly) against Nalyssa Smith and Queen Egbo in the Baylor game. Even if she plays away from the basket on offense, I expect her to be a rim-protector on defense (as Stewie was in her senior year). With major help from Aaliyah (if she gets her fouling under control), and perhaps short-minute assistance from Piath, Amari, Caroline, or Saylor, I don't see rebounding as a problem area for the Huskies this year. It will be the first year since 2016 where that is the case.
I think that the days when Aubrey or Mir were backups at the 4 or 5 are permanently in the rear-view mirror. There are now better alternatives with more height and strength when the starters in those positions get into foul trouble or are having a bad day. It means that if Aubrey and Mir want to get off the bench, they each need to develop a somewhat threatening jump shot, at least from midrange. I think at least one of them will do that.
I was pleased to hear that Aubrey is practicing with the guards while Poff is practicing with the front-court players. I haven't seen anything about Mir. Despite being so athletic, I worry about her having no position suited for her (at this level).
 
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I was pleased to hear that Aubrey is practicing with the guards while Poff is practicing with the front-court players. I haven't seen anything about Mir. Despite being so athletic, I worry about her having no position suited for her (at this level).
Geno said in the pressor that he moves players like that around, including Caroline. He doesn’t exclusively keep them with one group over the other so they can learn to play different spots.
 
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A healthy Nika may very well become the lockdown perimeter defender. She certainly showed it in spurts last year.

Dorka is a really good rebounder. I dunno if she fits exactly what you're talking about, but she has averaged close to 10 over her three years.
Against tip-top competition.
Not many nights ‘off’.
I think most are underestimating what she brings to this team.
As I observe the projections of the offensive scheme, with Dorka, Liv, Aaliyah, and a touch of Piath, forget about a four guard offense.
Maybe for short spurts.
This is a big team.
Rotate guard combinations to press the heck out of them, give them one shot up against the clock, clear the boards and run run run.
 
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The tool box is more full than it was last year but it is not completely full. This team is still lacking a game changing perimeter defender (AKA someone that can disrupt or stay in front of quick guards), a reliable low post offensive option ( AKA someone who you can dump the ball to in the post and come away with two points or a trip to the foul line) and a dominant rebounder (AKA someone who is going to rebound beyond their area of the floor) which will enable UCONN to start the transition offense.
as we've discussed before, just judging from video Dorka is quite a strong finisher down low.........far better at this point than ONO........ I'm far more confident of her ability to score close to the basket than I am of her ability to consistently hitting threes at a high percentage........
 

Gus Mahler

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Geno said in the pressor that he moves players like that around, including Caroline. He doesn’t exclusively keep them with one group over the other so they can learn to play different spots.
I hope Mir gets a shot at working with the guards.
 

Gus Mahler

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Against tip-top competition.
Not many nights ‘off’.
I think most are underestimating what she brings to this team.
As I observe the projections of the offensive scheme, with Dorka, Liv, Aaliyah, and a touch of Piath, forget about a four guard offense.
Maybe for short spurts.
This is a big team.
Rotate guard combinations to press the heck out of them, give them one shot up against the clock, clear the boards and run run run.
I'm with ya. Given what Geno thinks of Nika, it wouldn't surprise me if he starts the year with the same starting five as he ended last year with. That would not be my preference, but since I'm still looking for my first D1 win, I'll defer to Geno's judgment (for now).

To your points: I'd much rather have a second big in the starting lineup. Liv with AE has great appeal, with Liv being the world's first "point center" and AE dominating down low. Liv and Dorka have appeal because of Dorka's (perceived) all-around skills, including her ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. And I like the idea of complementing that with three big guards with multiple skills (PB, CW, EW).
 

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