Good grief are we ever loaded. | The Boneyard

Good grief are we ever loaded.

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I was just going down the roster. This is insane. We could lose four or five games but it isn't likely.

I put the over under at four losses and pick the under.

2006 was a very talented team. But it had a weakness at PG because of AJ's illness. This team has quality depth everywhere, it can play big or small, run or pound it, and it has youth and experience.

Kill me if you want for being so positive but cheezey, peasy this group is off the charts.
 
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Devil's advocate:

1) Do we get consistent decision making from our point guards.
2) Is Lamb anywhere close to the "closer" that Kemba was at the end of games last year.

If the answer to either or both of those questions is no, we'll lose our fair share of the many close games we'll have during the season.
 

tykurez

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I agree we're stacked ... there's clearly no debating that.

I'm trying to temper my excitement, however, because of the general youth of the team. Sure, the majority of them experienced a national title run, but there's only 1 upperclassman. We're counting on sophomores to lead the team and a freshman big man to be the difference maker.

In the end, this team will be nothing if not fun to watch. Just like last year, watching a bunch of underclassman who are eager to learn and get better is a recipe for a good time. It helps that they've also built such strong camaraderie. I have high hopes, but tempered expectations, if that's even possible.
 

Waquoit

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Devil's advocate:

If the answer to either or both of those questions is no, we'll lose our fair share of the many close games we'll have during the season.

Fair share of many close games? Define many. 10? So that would give us 5 losses. This team is going to D-up like few others.
 
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Yes, we have a lot of sophomores.

But they are sophomores that have played 40 games.

They are sophomores that have played in 14 tournament games.

They are sophomores that have played in 11 elimination games.

These are very old sophomores.
 

tykurez

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Yes, we have a lot of sophomores.

But they are sophomores that have played 40 games.

They are sophomores that have played in 14 tournament games.

They are sophomores that have played in 11 elimination games.

These are very old sophomores.

I don't disagree with any of those statements. But I'd add one more:

They are sophomores who lost arguably the best on-court leader a UConn team has seen.

One of those sophomores (or Junior) needs to step up ... be it Shabazz, Lamb, Oriahki.
 
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Devil's advocate. We don't shoot well from long range. AD,DD, and RB have difficulty at the higher level BE. Drummond gets in foul trouble, averages 6 points a game. We go 9-9.
 
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Devil's advocate:

1) Do we get consistent decision making from our point guards.
2) Is Lamb anywhere close to the "closer" that Kemba was at the end of games last year.

If the answer to either or both of those questions is no, we'll lose our fair share of the many close games we'll have during the season.
One answer to your question regarding Lamb at the end of games was in the U 19 games this summer, he hit the game winner twice including the game vs Latvia (or was it Lithuania) who had the #5 NBA pick on that team.
 

Drumguy

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I agree we're stacked ... there's clearly no debating that.

I'm trying to temper my excitement, however, because of the general youth of the team. Sure, the majority of them experienced a national title run, but there's only 1 upperclassman. We're counting on sophomores to lead the team and a freshman big man to be the difference maker.

In the end, this team will be nothing if not fun to watch. Just like last year, watching a bunch of underclassman who are eager to learn and get better is a recipe for a good time. It helps that they've also built such strong camaraderie. I have high hopes, but tempered expectations, if that's even possible.
+1
 

Drumguy

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One answer to your question regarding Lamb at the end of games was in the U 19 games this summer, he hit the game winner twice including the game vs Latvia (or was it Lithuania) who had the #5 NBA pick on that team.
Also his performance in the second half of the NC game.
 
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We often forget that Tyler was a starter at the end of the season.
 
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and his HUGE 3, with ice in his veins, to stop the momentum swing against AZ in the last 90 seconds of the Elite 8 game.

I think in the NCAA tourney, he was more clutch than Kemba.
 
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and his HUGE 3, with ice in his veins, to stop the momentum swing against AZ in the last 90 seconds of the Elite 8 game.

I think in the NCAA tourney, he was more clutch than Kemba.

That was against SDSU.

He had back to back 2-pointers on the baseline against Zona I think around the 8 minute mark after they had taken the lead.
 
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Devil's advocate. We don't shoot well from long range. AD,DD, and RB have difficulty at the higher level BE. Drummond gets in foul trouble, averages 6 points a game. We go 9-9.

Even with that, 9-9 sounds low. No games are locks, but 9 loses with AO, JL, RS, SN and the big O starting with the Giffer off the bench and anything from Bradley/Wolfe would seem to get Uconn more than 9 wins. These other BE teams do also graduate players and also need players to get better (and some get worse or get hurt).

Just help from the freshman and this is top 15 team and legit FF and BE regular season contender; these 3 are the real deal and are legit BE favorites. I'm sure could have come up with devils advocate that Oden/Connolly/etc. Ohio State team would play 50% ball in Big 10, but would have been quite a stretch, and that wasn't a team returning a national championship team with 4 of 5 starters (including a potential 2012 lottery pick, and probably at least 2 other NBA talents) and top scorers.
 

Waquoit

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Devil's advocate. We don't shoot well from long range. AD,DD, and RB have difficulty at the higher level BE. Drummond gets in foul trouble, averages 6 points a game. We go 9-9.

I think I might enjoy a little of what you seem to have cooking before the "Tommy" show at the XL.
 

District-Husky

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Devil's advocate. We don't shoot well from long range. AD,DD, and RB have difficulty at the higher level BE. Drummond gets in foul trouble, averages 6 points a game. We go 9-9.

Weren't we 9 - 9 BE last year prior to winning the BET and NC?
 
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I think I might enjoy a little of what you seem to have cooking before the "Tommy" show at the XL.
Just funnin', but crazy things can happen in this world and I would have been placed in a straight jacket if at the beginning of last year I professed that we could win the NCAA with our team. No, I think we are at the top of the BE.
 

prankster

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This year (at least early in teh year) things will likely come down to passing ability.

I look for the early approach to contianing the Huskies to be "they have lost Kemba, so pressure Napier". Which could work....unless Napier continues his ability to pass out of that double.

And I see good things happening down low, especially with good interior passing. What happens when they double Drummond....and he can dump a pass over to AO?

Good things, I think.

We won't need a particular "closer" so much if we can simply make the pass. We are too good at too many positions. They can't double us everywhere. If we can complete the pass....we win.
 
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Fair share of many close games? Define many. 10? So that would give us 5 losses. This team is going to D-up like few others.

W-L predictions and post season success are quite often a crap shoot, particularly the latter. There are some years where there is a dominant team or two that you can bank on winning a lot of conference and OOC games. But even those teams that look like should run through the field to at least the E-8 often get derailed along the way. There are a number of teams that look back at last March and are still scratching their heads as to how they lost to VCU and Butler.

What makes predicting UConn's success this season are so many variables.

+ Last year's team which brings back most of the contributors had an unprecedented 11 game post season run the ended with the NC
- It's not like they were some 30-4 team. They lost 9 games, finished tied for 9th in the BE along with 2 other programs.
+ Player improvement over the summer, particularly with the teams likely new team leader, J Lamb.
- Lost team's most important player, and POY candidate, Kemba Walker
+ Team seems to be deeper at most to all positions
- That depth is predominantly young, not to mention made up of some unproven freshmen and a couple of inexperienced sophs
+ Those unproven Freshman are among the best in the nation and 2 of the 3 fill some significant needs.
- Lost their primary go-to-player
+ Might have more winning time options than they did last season.

You could go on and on. It is clear that on paper they are deep and talented, albeit inexperienced with some of that talent and quite experienced as far as success is concerned with most of the returning players.

Before last season began, I suggested that last years team could end up with a better record than the prior season even though they were very young and inexperienced. Part of my logic was that the year prior to that one underachieved grossly and had a worse record than they should have had. Plus I felt there simply weren't that many scary teams out there.

This season is simply a lot tougher predict due to the Kemba factor and the question, "What type of record would last year's team have had if they had played during the regular season at the same level as they did during the post season?" Based on the easy OOC schedule this upcoming season, the lack of any real scary BE team(s), I think this team will have a better regular season record than last year. So I expect them to have less than 9 losses before the BET.

As for the post season, I just don't know. How well this group of talent comes together, particularly defensively, will IMO be the biggest factor. The personnel that I see on the team, makes me believe that this group could turn out to be the best defensive team since the Dream Season and I guess I'd have to include last season's team. If any of you think that last season's team was one of JC's best defensive teams, then take not that most of the key ingredients have returned. Kemba was a better defender than he was often credited for. But I think Boatright has the chance to contribute on that end as much as Kemba did. Chuck during the minutes he was in there did a great job defensively during hte post season, but I think Drummond will be even better. And lastly along with the improvement we'll see from Alex, Tyler, Roscoe, Lamb, Boatright & Giffey in that area, Daniels gives them another long athlete who will give teams fits at trying to create open shots.

Keep in mind that I thought the Sticks-Dyson team had the pieces to be a dangerous on both ends of the floor. At times they were very good defensively, but what looked good on paper turned out to be a disaster on the court.
 
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Yes, we have a lot of sophomores.

But they are sophomores that have played 40 games.

They are sophomores that have played in 14 tournament games.

They are sophomores that have played in 11 elimination games.

These are very old sophomores.
All true but this team is still young with no established leader. As usual, we will be a lot better by BE tourney time.
 
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This does look like a great team, and one that's very balanced. However, this is that rare year in which there are 3-4 teams that have enough talent to win it all. Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio State are all right there with us in terms of talent, but I put my faith in JC that we'll be the best team at the end of the year.
 
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The notion that UConn is a young team is a myth.

There's two questions regarding this team, and I'm confident both will be answered resoundingly:
1. Who will step up at the end of games with Kemba gone? This team appears to have the players to handle that role (Lamb, to a lesser extent Shabazz), but until it's proven on the court this will continue to be a question.
2. How much do the guys improve from last year? Considering the reports have been nothing but positive in regards to Lamb, Shabazz, Oriakhi, and Roscoe, I think we will end up liking the answer to this question.

UConn will be an underdog if they every do face UNC. They'll likely be at least even with everyone else.
 
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We have to stay healthy because key injuries can be the difference down the stretch. We only have the 10 and other teams are going to be at an advantage on that front.
 
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