Here's what (maybe prematurely) worries me | The Boneyard

Here's what (maybe prematurely) worries me

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joober jones

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This team is coming into the season stacked with talent, potentially moreso than any we've had in the past, but they seem to lack that killer instinct. Sure we have 2 W's to start the season with and that's all well and good, but both games should have been won by much wider margins. It seems like our guys (with the exception of Napier and Lamb) get up by 15 or so points and then get a little too comfortable and put it on cruise control. I really hope this trend is reversed soon.
 
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Exactly. They are dominant and spurts. But spurts are not good enough against the top ranked teams. You can't get up ten or fifteen and then shut it down...gotta keep playing like it is tied.
 
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I don't know about that. Shabazz and Lamb look locked in, in terms of scoring. A lot of the problems right now revolve around mistakes we didn't see nearly as much of the end of last year. Missed free throws, lots of turnovers, bad fouls, etc. I think this team needs time to gel now that there isn't one sole focus of the opposing team. That's why I think this is the best year to have an easy out of conference schedule, because there is an abnormally large shift. With all that being said, Lamb looks great, Drummond showed flashes this game, AO looked much better, DeAndre looked good and we all know what Roscoe is capable of. This team should be dominant defensively and much more in sync offensively by the start of the BE season.
 
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This team is coming into the season stacked with talent, potentially moreso than any we've had in the past, but they seem to lack that killer instinct. Sure we have 2 W's to start the season with and that's all well and good, but both games should have been won by much wider margins. It seems like our guys (with the exception of Napier and Lamb) get up by 15 or so points and then get a little too comfortable and put it on cruise control. I really hope this trend is reversed soon.
This is exactly what I said in another thread (see Uconn Leads) and some idiot told me to go root for Duke. Every year this happens. For whatever reason when our lead gets to 15 it always hangs around there and sometimes will go down to 8 or 10 and then we need to put our go to guys in and work harder than necessary. It cant be a lack of concentration, because no way Calhoun allows that, so I dont know what it is. Our D gets lazy sometimes I guess and we tend to get sloppy on offense. When the lead is 25 or 30 thats ok, but not 13-15.
 
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Not worried at all about this. We're two games into the season, roles/rotations aren't defined, no player outside of Lamb and Napier is comfortable (I think pretty much everyone else on the roster has been benched for a long period of time already) and it's the typical November/December JC coaching stretch where one mistake can land you on the pine for a good chunk of time. Players have always been nervous about it. We're almost always a mess in the first six weeks of the season. Once we settle in, JC finds what works and players know what to expect in terms of rotations we usually peak.

Plus I think AO/Drummond have been on the floor at the same time for a grand total of 5 minutes in the first two games.

If we're showing signs of this in mid-January then I'll start to be concerned.
 
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I don't think we will be bothered by these 12 point wins in March, just as no one remembers the 7 point win vs. New Hampshire last Nov.
 
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This team is coming into the season stacked with talent, potentially moreso than any we've had in the past, but they seem to lack that killer instinct. Sure we have 2 W's to start the season with and that's all well and good, but both games should have been won by much wider margins. It seems like our guys (with the exception of Napier and Lamb) get up by 15 or so points and then get a little too comfortable and put it on cruise control. I really hope this trend is reversed soon.

Agree with Lefty (above). I would attribute lackluster performances to nerves, inexperience, etc. before I would to a more generic "lack of killer instinct" on the part of the whole team. Napier and Lamb look the best because they're, frankly, the best and most veteran players on the team, and I think guys who control the ball as much as they do probably get into a better rhytmn more quickly than do the big guys. I personally think we're fine - or at least feel we have too little evidence to justifiably freak out about, as much as we'd like to cause we didn't win by 60 both times out.
 

Mr. Wonderful

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It would help if we had a backup point guard. Lamb is a superstar, but a backup point guard he ain't. I hope Boatright gets cleared soon.

Wagner pressured the heck out of Napier all game long, right in his mug 94 feet. That really bothered UConn in terms of offensive flow. Add in the fact that he only got to rest in very short spurts, and it's a little easier to understand why he had 6 turnovers.

It would help if Napier's teammates understood that teams are going to really pressure him; it's not like last year with Kemba when you could just get out of the way and let him do his thing. Lamb, Daniels, et al have to learn how to help Napier by becoming better playmakers themselves. And of course, having a guy like Boatright would really help, like I've already mentioned.
 

RS9999X

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The half court always sucks in the Fall. The defensive rotations are worse than usual. Too much playground man-on-man and too many transition open baskets against a less talented opponent.
 
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Essentially everybody on the team except for Alex is playing in a new role. It takes time to gel.
 
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Things I saw tonight that JC will fix within the next 3-4 games.

Our cuts off screens are not precise at all. Way too much room between the screener and cutter.

Our offense, generally speaking, has a lot of people standing around.

Our performance against the press tonight was abysmal at the end of the game.

Our defense was getting killed on the inside out passing of Wagner. Lots of guys converging on the ball and not so much staying home in position. Reminded me of a pew-wee soccer game.

I wonder if Tyler will be our Troy Murphy when he is a junior/senior? Kid has really stepped up his game.
 
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Right now, there are 2 guys that know what's expected of them offensively: Bazz and Jeremy. Any coincidence that they've been our 2 best players so far? Every other player is questioning every shot he takes, other than putbacks, because he knows he will get the hook from JC if he takes the wrong shot. That's what these games are for, and it's what these games have been for since Calhoun got here. In years where these games were blowouts, we had veteran teams on which offensive roles were already defined.

Add in the fact that those 2 guys are having to play far too many minutes because of the NCAA, and it's no wonder that the team goes on cruise control when the lead gets close to 20.
 
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What I saw is simply an issue of chemistry not being there yet. That takes time, we have new pieces and people are learning their roles. This should not preclude them from having fun out there. They look somewhat tight and nervous. Kemba kept them loose last year. Its early but to me they seem to need to relax and have some fun, can someone say alley-oop?
 
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Teams who also apparently lack the killer instinct even moreso that we do based on the scientific method of evaluating "killer instinct" based on a sample size of 1 or 2:
#6 Duke (only beat Belmont at home by 1 point)
#9 Pittsburgh (only beat Rider by 8)
#20 Vanderbilt (got smacked by Cleveland State at home)
Butler (aka the best-coached team in America) lost to Evansville
#14 Xavier (only beat Morgan State by 11
#1 UNC (only beat UNC-Ashville by 16, which isn't much more than our margins of victory)
 
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I'm not too worried about the level of play right now. New guys in new roles. I think we've seen Olander look much better, Napier is playing pretty well. What is a huge concern to me, though is the nature of the schedule. We pretty much play nobody until mid January. Even the way the BigEast schedule falls this season is pretty weak, with USF, St Johns, Seton Hall and Rutgers our first 4 games. West Virginia in the 2nd week of January might be the first game against anyone who isn't hoping for an NIT berth at best. I personally wouldhave liked to see a Kentucky, or a Wisconsin or even a Gonzaga somewhere along the line. I guess it is possible that Harvard will be a Top 25 team (they got 3 votes in the latest AP poll) but I'm skeptical. I think it is highly likely that this team will not have played a real tough game until mid-January and that is of some concern heading into the meat of the Big East schedule.
 
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This team is coming into the season stacked with talent, potentially moreso than any we've had in the past, but they seem to lack that killer instinct. Sure we have 2 W's to start the season with and that's all well and good, but both games should have been won by much wider margins. It seems like our guys (with the exception of Napier and Lamb) get up by 15 or so points and then get a little too comfortable and put it on cruise control. I really hope this trend is reversed soon.
IMO this concern is far too premature. Teams often play down to the level of their competition, which I think we're witnessing to a small degree. The problem with this team is more with execution than anything. If JC wanted, he could have our shooters bomb away and probably win by bigger margins. Instead he's making them run through their sets, try to get good shots and learn to execute what is expected.

They're still not setting good screens. The handlers aren't seeing things as well as they should and aren't delivering the ball on time. And when they do, our bigs are throwing up some pretty bad up there. Tyler has been solid, but Alex has been MIA, and along with AD have been misfiring from close range. They need battle harder (which they did a tad better last night) for inside position but make sure they square up when they shoot the ball. When you play with your back to the basket, you don't shoot it with your back to the basket or at some bad angle. Except for the hook shot, they should be scaring their shoulders to the basket when they are releasing the ball. That's not always happening and the staff really needs to drill this into them.

Alex looked better with this during the first exhibition game, and I think he squared up nicely on his first or second shot last night. After that he was back to his bad habits.

They're turning it over way too much, letting teams get back into the game. I'm not saying that they can't play harder. But they are often playing hard just not playing well. I'm rarely worried about JC's teams not having a killer instinct. There have been a couple teams that I felt JC wasn't able to get through that didn't seem to play with the intensity we all expect, but I don't see that as a problem with this team. Yeah, I think JC and his teammates will need to light a fire under AD at times. He's one that I don't think understands how hard he is capable of playing. Too bad we can't combine Olanders motor with AD's body and skill.
 
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I'm encouraged. we usually start off much worse and everyone is ready to jump off the ledge. We don't look great... yet. But I think we will be looking damn good when it matters. Everyone always expects the freshmen and new leaders to come in and contribute right away. It doesnt work like that and it never has.
 
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early last year kemba carried us.. This year lamb and napier are doing the same. Give them time. Takes bigs longer to get in the swing of things and develop. Bring in boatshow and Daniels continues to play well and we will be fine.

Everyone just needs to be patient and enjoy the season.
 
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In another 2 months I bet we see Daniels start to take charge offensively, and even when Boatright comes back it's gonna take time for him to be adjusted, so everybody should keep their shirts on until at least Feb 1st. We have one of the youngest teams out there.
 
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I don't think we will be bothered by these 12 point wins in March, just as no one remembers the 7 point win vs. New Hampshire last Nov.

very well said. i agree.

i will say, i think after so many HUGE games last season, they seem to be a little uninterested in playing the cupcakes. not as fired up as we'd all like. things are a bit sloppy, but JC wont let it continue.

im not too worried.
 
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