Hate to steal TonyC's thunder---but UConn is beginning to look.... | The Boneyard

Hate to steal TonyC's thunder---but UConn is beginning to look....

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Geno-ista

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Absolutely unstoppable . I'm not sure our defense looks just like our prior teams every possession, but this team's staring 5 is meshing and firing on all cylinders. And I've rarely seen us look this Gd 8 deep. Maybe because we haven't been 8 deep for many years. If Gabby keeps going the way she's going- forget about it. I haven't seen Texas yet. Or A & M yet. But if the smart guys think So Car is the best team, and the game vs Duke was a Gd game for them- I don't know? Cuevas could be a big positive for them, but We just seam scary good right now. How quick this ship has turned around since Stanford. It's really amazing!!! :)
 

EricLA

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I do get the enthusiasm - this was against a team who took top 5 ND to OT. But there were times where UCONN looked confused and unsure about what to do especially on offense, and the first 10-12 minutes of defense were not great. Still, I'm nitpicking I know. I think the "problem" is that while the team gets along really well and has great chemistry off the court, there are so many new parts (Tuck, Nurse, Williams) and they lost a lot (Dolson, Hartley) so the team is still finding its' way... BUT the great news is that by March, I think these guys will be ready for 40 minutes of great team ball...
 
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As of this point in the season, my impression of UConn is that they are very good - sometimes excellent - on offense. It's a bit different from UConn's usual over the last half decade; it likes the 3 as much as usual, but it also drives to the hoop more.

The defense remains a bit of a question mark, though. I feel that so far, they don't really "get it" to the extent that some of the recent teams have. They did look OK on defense after the first 10 minutes, but much work remains to be done, IMO. Depaul is probably not the best offense we'll have to deal with over the course of the season/postseason.

Until UConn shores up the defense, they will remain a bit vulnerable to a surprise loss, as they were at Stanford.
 

alexrgct

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What's obvious to me is that the Stanford game said more about UConn than it did Stanford. After the game, people thought Stanford was the #1 team in the country. Now that's obviously not the case. Also after the game, UConn looked vulnerable and lacking the identity it had in the previous season, when it went 40-0. That perception was legitimate, one Geno acknowledged and has worked on it. what can I say? He's a great coach. This team is very talented and diverse. Different kids stepped up against ND, and pretty much everybody stepped up against a pretty good Depaul team. Stewie showed she can be Stewie, Kaleena was KML, Moriah had a good game, Kia and Gabby were both terrific, and Morgan demonstrated that her performance against ND was no fluke. Finally, Kiah did her damn thing again.

Last season was memorable for its identity and the great diversity of team contributions. This season's team is featuring great diversity of contributions too...so maybe it's forging its identity. If it is, UConn is back in championship form...and Stanford's outlook is a far cry from after its early upset of UConn.
 

Icebear

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What must be realized about the Stanford game is that it was the first long road trip and the second game of the season for a team that had to spead time doing more learning in practice with four freshmen. A lot of the bolts were still being put in place and a lot of the nuts were still loose. Steadily things have been getting tighter and are looking good.

DePaul is a solid team whose only losses were those overtime losses to ND and T A&M. It was a great win shaking off the dust from a long break and bringing it all together for a big win.

Things are good in the UCONN and the team is ready for the long haul.
 

Geno-ista

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As of this point in the season, my impression of UConn is that they are very good - sometimes excellent - on offense. It's a bit different from UConn's usual over the last half decade; it likes the 3 as much as usual, but it also drives to the hoop more.

The defense remains a bit of a question mark, though. I feel that so far, they don't really "get it" to the extent that some of the recent teams have. They did look OK on defense after the first 10 minutes, but much work remains to be done, IMO. Depaul is probably not the best offense we'll have to deal with over the course of the season/postseason.

Until UConn shores up the defense, they will remain a bit vulnerable to a surprise loss, as they were at Stanford.
DePaul is the # 3 offensive scoring team in the country. Every open look was drained. They avg 90 pts+. They scored 60. I don't think they or this team looks like our most dominant teams in history. They are scoring from everywhere on the court. Almost everyone on the team are threats to score from inside or outside. Nurse is draining open look threes. Chong also is. KML obviously can't be left alone outside ever. Stewie obviously. And Morgan can drain shots from out there. Last night she didn't look to at all. They all extend the defense which allows Stewie, Morgan, Stokes & Gabby rm inside. Morgan is starting to fill those Stef high post shoes with some beautiful passing, especially to the interior. And Gabby is doing the same. She was making some beautiful quick instinctive passes down low to Stewie and great kick outs from down low when doubled. I love the ball movement combined with our talent. Everyone on this team has to be guarded closely, except Stokes and Gabby from about 15ft out! Gabby is making some moves to the hoop with those sweeping hooks that with her elevation make her look and play like she's 6'3 or 6'4. Because we are the deepest we have been in years, we have fresher legs on the court and 3 strong options off the bench- Chong,Stokes & Gabby. This team is impossible to keep down, a match up Nightmare.
 

huskeynut

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Since the Stanford game, we are seeing the evolution this team. And this evolution will continue for the rest of the season.

As many have mentioned, there are new parts moving in and out, including two very talented freshmen - Kia and Gabby. Most surprising is Gabby. A small forward to be sure, she is very athletic, very strong and has incredible leaping ability. She as seems to have a nose for the basket. For not playing for two years because of knee surgeries, she is giving valuable minutes to a very potent lineup.

Morgan is becoming the leader of this team. You can see it on the floor, team huddles on the court and according to Geno in practice as well.

Defensively, this may not be one of Geno's great defensive teams, at least not yet. What was evident against ND and last night against DePaul was early drives by ND and DePaul into the paint for easy buckets. The solution, insert one Kiah Stokes! Her reputation as a rebounder and shot blocker is well know. Her presence changed the whole tenor of the ND game. She came in last night and you could see DePaul guards choosing not to challenge her in the paint. Her teammates know Kiah will clean up anyone coming into the paint.

And finally, we are starting to see balanced scoring from all. Like last year, name your poison when you want to double team a UCONN player. Go ahead, double Stewie. That means someone else is open. We are finding the open person and nailing the shot. I am still surprised that Kaleena gets loose outside the arc for open 3's. Teams know she's a sharpshooter! They know she can hit 50% of her 3's. Yet, there she is all alone, shooting and snapping the nets! Kia Nurse is showing she can drain the 3. Another nasty weapon teams need to respect.

After last night's game, Doug Bruno said to the effect, the national championship goes thru UCONN. And he's right.
 

Geno-ista

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Since the Stanford game, we are seeing the evolution this team. And this evolution will continue for the rest of the season.

As many have mentioned, there are new parts moving in and out, including two very talented freshmen - Kia and Gabby. Most surprising is Gabby. A small forward to be sure, she is very athletic, very strong and has incredible leaping ability. She as seems to have a nose for the basket. For not playing for two years because of knee surgeries, she is giving valuable minutes to a very potent lineup.

Morgan is becoming the leader of this team. You can see it on the floor, team huddles on the court and according to Geno in practice as well.

Defensively, this may not be one of Geno's great defensive teams, at least not yet. What was evident against ND and last night against DePaul was early drives by ND and DePaul into the paint for easy buckets. The solution, insert one Kiah Stokes! Her reputation as a rebounder and shot blocker is well know. Her presence changed the whole tenor of the ND game. She came in last night and you could see DePaul guards choosing not to challenge her in the paint. Her teammates know Kiah will clean up anyone coming into the paint.

And finally, we are starting to see balanced scoring from all. Like last year, name your poison when you want to double team a UCONN player. Go ahead, double Stewie. That means someone else is open. We are finding the open person and nailing the shot. I am still surprised that Kaleena gets loose outside the arc for open 3's. Teams know she's a sharpshooter! They know she can hit 50% of her 3's. Yet, there she is all alone, shooting and snapping the nets! Kia Nurse is showing she can drain the 3. Another nasty weapon teams need to respect.

After last night's game, Doug Bruno said to the effect, the national championship goes thru UCONN. And he's right.
He said that- in press conference?
 
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Looking back I can't imagine how in gods name UCONN lost to Stanford. Stanford is not an elite team this year. If they were to play today, UCONN would beat them by 30!
 

HuskyNan

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He said that- in press conference?
``At this time of the year the perfection that's sought after by Coach isn't quite here yet,'' Bruno said. ``And, yet, the national championship of this country is going to have to be won through the UConn Huskies. They are the best team in the country. And there is nobody that's better than them.''

DePaul coach: UConn best team in country
 
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My worry is about a close game. They can beat a team by 30, but the offense was a mess (and not for the first time this season in this situation) when they were trying to score on the final possession of the first half.
 

RockyMTblue2

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My worry is about a close game. They can beat a team by 30, but the offense was a mess (and not for the first time this season in this situation) when they were trying to score on the final possession of the first half.

We are a tough bunch! I would like them to handle the "close game" issue as they did last year: They made sure they had none. Closest game was Baylor at Baylor - 11 points.
 
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Looking back I can't imagine how in gods name UCONN lost to Stanford. Stanford is not an elite team this year. If they were to play today, UCONN would beat them by 30!
We were overwhelmed by the crowd noise and enthusiasm and their shooters responded well to it.
 
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My worry is about a close game. They can beat a team by 30, but the offense was a mess (and not for the first time this season in this situation) when they were trying to score on the final possession of the first half.

A sign of how to handle adversity was the ND game where we were down by 10 in the first half, didn't panic, and went on to win handily. Last night, DePaul led early, tied it at 24-24, and had hit their first 6 shots. Again we didn't panic. Both very good signs.

At the end of the first half, the offense looked like it was thinking too much and didn't get off a good shot. . An easy thing to fix. I don't think it was a sign of how this team would handle a close game though.
 

Icebear

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A sign of how to handle adversity was the ND game where we were down by 10 in the first half, didn't panic, and went on to win handily. Last night, DePaul led early, tied it at 24-24, and had hit their first 6 shots. Again we didn't panic. Both very good signs.

At the end of the first half, the offense looked like it was thinking too much and didn't get off a good shot. . An easy thing to fix. I don't think it was a sign of how this team would handle a close game though.
Bingo, those are great signs. They didn't rush. They increased defensive pressure. They took good teams out to the woodshed and the punishment began.
 
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DePaul is the # 3 offensive scoring team in the country. Every open look was drained. They avg 90 pts+. They scored 60. I don't think they or this team looks like our most dominant teams in history. They are scoring from everywhere on the court. Almost everyone on the team are threats to score from inside or outside. Nurse is draining open look threes. Chong also is. KML obviously can't be left alone outside ever. Stewie obviously. And Morgan can drain shots from out there. Last night she didn't look to at all. They all extend the defense which allows Stewie, Morgan, Stokes & Gabby rm inside. Morgan is starting to fill those Stef high post shoes with some beautiful passing, especially to the interior. And Gabby is doing the same. She was making some beautiful quick instinctive passes down low to Stewie and great kick outs from down low when doubled. I love the ball movement combined with our talent. Everyone on this team has to be guarded closely, except Stokes and Gabby from about 15ft out! Gabby is making some moves to the hoop with those sweeping hooks that with her elevation make her look and play like she's 6'3 or 6'4. Because we are the deepest we have been in years, we have fresher legs on the court and 3 strong options off the bench- Chong,Stokes & Gabby. This team is impossible to keep down, a match up Nightmare.
After reading this, I'd have to say that no team we play is going to be able to stay within 50 points of us. The reality is it's nice to see everyone looking so good and having an exceptional game but we've also seen the other side of the coin, where we had big breakdowns on the defensive end and Stanford exploited them to a tea. They aren't actually some offensive juggernaut and yet, when we'd get a lead late in that game, they'd come down and score within seconds, as if there wasn't a defensive team on the court. We also struggled on the offensive side with the same players that you're lauding now as virtually unstoppable. I realize it may have been the perfect storm and that since then Geno and company may have resolved some of the glitches while also since then the players are probably getting more comfortable with each other and their roles but come on. There are going to be nights where the shots aren't falling and the ref's are making horrible calls but it's always been the defense that's bailed us out and I'd sure feel a lot better if I knew we were approaching the consistency levels that we've been at for a very long time. Just saying!!!!!!
 

Geno-ista

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``At this time of the year the perfection that's sought after by Coach isn't quite here yet,'' Bruno said. ``And, yet, the national championship of this country is going to have to be won through the UConn Huskies. They are the best team in the country. And there is nobody that's better than them.''

DePaul coach: UConn best team in country
Thank you Nan! Wow- that is quite a comment from a pretty smart basketball guy. The thing is- Kiah Stokes can go in at any time and nullify a great opposing star like Brianna Turner or Aja Wilson. The way Farris and Kalena Greene did. We have not only some of the greatest pieces on the chess board, but we have too many that all seem to be in pretty good sync right now. Thanks again for posting this Nan!
 

Geno-ista

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After reading this, I'd have to say that no team we play is going to be able to stay within 50 points of us. The reality is it's nice to see everyone looking so good and having an exceptional game but we've also seen the other side of the coin, where we had big breakdowns on the defensive end and Stanford exploited them to a tea. They aren't actually some offensive juggernaut and yet, when we'd get a lead late in that game, they'd come down and score within seconds, as if there wasn't a defensive team on the court. We also struggled on the offensive side with the same players that you're lauding now as virtually unstoppable. I realize it may have been the perfect storm and that since then Geno and company may have resolved some of the glitches while also since then the players are probably getting more comfortable with each other and their roles but come on. There are going to be nights where the shots aren't falling and the ref's are making horrible calls but it's always been the defense that's bailed us out and I'd sure feel a lot better if I knew we were approaching the consistency levels that we've been at for a very long time. Just saying!!!!!!
All great concerns. One of our saving graces is and will be especially in March and April, we are 8 deep right now. We have 3 great role players for Geno/Chris to move in and out depending on the game and the opponent. The difference is, our role players would be starting for almost every team we play against. Our starters will have the freshest legs they have ever had at the end of every game. This is a huge advantage that we haven't had in a very long time. We are so different than the last two years, and in some ways, we may be just as difficult to beat. And if EKmark gets healthy and can help us like Gabby, it gets worse for the opponents. We are so overly critical of our own team by definition. Then you watch Duke play So Carolina and you wonder how anyone will score 60-65 pts against us. I have become very optimistic.
 
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We were overwhelmed by the crowd noise and enthusiasm and their shooters responded well to it.

Geno can put an end to this baloney by not scheduling a road trip game against a good team early in the season. Early means in the first five games after the exhibition games.
 
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After reading this, I'd have to say that no team we play is going to be able to stay within 50 points of us. The reality is it's nice to see everyone looking so good and having an exceptional game but we've also seen the other side of the coin, where we had big breakdowns on the defensive end and Stanford exploited them to a tea. They aren't actually some offensive juggernaut and yet, when we'd get a lead late in that game, they'd come down and score within seconds, as if there wasn't a defensive team on the court. We also struggled on the offensive side with the same players that you're lauding now as virtually unstoppable. I realize it may have been the perfect storm and that since then Geno and company may have resolved some of the glitches while also since then the players are probably getting more comfortable with each other and their roles but come on. There are going to be nights where the shots aren't falling and the ref's are making horrible calls but it's always been the defense that's bailed us out and I'd sure feel a lot better if I knew we were approaching the consistency levels that we've been at for a very long time. Just saying!!!!!!

With all that said- we're still a juggernaut aren't we? or is it --until after the season is over we can put the Stanford game to bed?

Ofc I think we can lose again - but what if some of us believe Tuck was just rounding into form, that KML was sick or had some early season issues, and that we're better by starting Nurse and Tuck? What do you think those of us that believe just with the aforementioned we are a ton better? Are we wrong? For with these improvements- might that "spell" - ---"juggernaut."
 

HuskyNan

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Geno can put an end to this baloney by not scheduling a road trip game against a good team early in the season. Early means in the first five games after the exhibition games.
The ultimate goal isn't to win all of the regular season games; it's to win the league and national championships. Playing tough games on the road is important to that goal rather than scheduling cupcakes that won't teach the team anything but complacency.
 
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Is anyone else curious about how Courtney will fit in when she is healthy? It seemed like she was going to hit the ground running with all preparations she was making for freshman year.
 
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One thing Stanford had going for them was size. UConn hasn't played a big
team since the Stanford game.

I will be very interested to see how UConn performs against Duke.
 
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I do get the enthusiasm - this was against a team who took top 5 ND to OT. But there were times where UCONN looked confused and unsure about what to do especially on offense, and the first 10-12 minutes of defense were not great. Still, I'm nitpicking I know. I think the "problem" is that while the team gets along really well and has great chemistry off the court, there are so many new parts (Tuck, Nurse, Williams) and they lost a lot (Dolson, Hartley) so the team is still finding its' way... BUT the great news is that by March, I think these guys will be ready for 40 minutes of great team ball...
I really don't think it's nitpicking to worry about the defense. It was porous on occasion an a couple of trips down the floor it was godawful. I recall a DePaul player coming in from the right and blowing by not one but two UConn players who looked at each other as if they were saying, "Who? Me?" I tend t be skeptical, but I'll be convinced after I see a complete defensive game from this team.
 
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