How would you play Baylor now. | The Boneyard

How would you play Baylor now.

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There seems to be a lot of discussion about Baylor in various threads now.
So I ask with this team we have now what strategy would you use against Baylor?
How about using Dolson, Stokes and Heather to hammer the basket, go directly to Griner, get her in foul trouble. Sure we'd get fouls too, but spread over the three of us.
Crazy?
 

vtcwbuff

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I would slip a mickey into Griner's water bottle.

If UConn is to beat Baylor they only have to do two things - keep Griner out of the low post (I don't think they can) and neutralize Sims (I know they can).

So many times in the past Auriemma's strategy in a game like this is to recognize that a superstar is going to do their thing and to concentrate on stopping the rest of the team.
 
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I assume that you aren't suggesting that those three bigs should be on the floor at the same time, were you? Then who is our backcourt? Bria and KML? So Caroline, Tiff, and Kelly come off the bench? And who is quick enough to stop Odyssey Sims from driving unchecked to the hoop, and perhaps dishing to Griner?

If you are saying that the three bigs may have to take turns on Griner, I'm sure that is true. That is a case where Heather may be first off the bench rather than Kiah, because of her direct experience in doing the same job (very well) last year.

I think KML will be in the starting line-up by the Baylor game, probably replacing Kelly (sad to say). I was watching her (KML) play defense last night, and she is not afraid to mix it up. I would see her guarding Destiny Williams and hopefully neutralizing her on the boards. Because of the energy that will require, and because Baylor will make sure she is well guarded, I wouldn't expect KML to score more than 15 points against Baylor. And I don't think Stef will get to double digit points against Griner. The other points will have to come from Bria's and Caroline's jump shots, Tiffany's penetration, points off turnovers and transition points, and some back door plays as Baylor (particularly Sims) gets over-aggressive on defense.

I would expect to see a lot of drives right at Griner, to get her to foul. She did that several times against Notre Dame's penetration. But Griner will get 25-30 points. The key is preventing Sims from killing us on offense. If she can be contained (probably that will be Tiffany's job, with Kelly providing key minutes off the bench in the same role, and they both should be well suited for it), then UConn should win even with 30 from Griner.
 
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I am waiting for some team to decide to go at Griner instead of away from her. Drive to the hole, go right at her chest to create some contact, and then leave it up to the officials to make the call. Griner has become a very smart player from a foul trouble standpoint, but I either have missed it or we have yet to see a team actually try and go at her. Of course this is easier said than done, and perhaps Waco may not be the best setting, but the fact that nobody seems to try and get this girl in foul trouble is mind-boggling to me.
 

speedoo

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Please. I'm begging. No more starting lineup speculation. It's set and it's not going to change unless Geno and the coaches decide to make a change.

So, IMO, starting lineup discussions are completely unnecessary. What is far more important is who plays a lot of minutes and who is playing at crunch time. Eg, Kaleena last night.
 
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Please. I'm begging. No more starting lineup speculation. It's set and it's not going to change unless Geno and the coaches decide to make a change.

So, IMO, starting lineup discussions are completely unnecessary. What is far more important is who plays a lot of minutes and who is playing at crunch time. Eg, Kaleena last night.
Agree, we're talking strategy here.
And no, not all our three bigs at once.
 

Tonyc

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Well I think Geno knows how to beat Baylor and Im sure his game plan will be right to the tee. Front Griner, take charges and have Stef behind the player fronting Griner. Put somebody on Simms to slow her down and press Baylor every play. Tire them out, and run them. UConn can beat Baylor unless we have phantom calls againest us, or we shoot like we did last night. Im not saying its given but I like our chances alot. I do expect our guards to take the ball to the hole alot.
 
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Notre Dame definitely did drive into the paint, perhaps not right at Griner, but close enough to tempt her (successfully) to foul. And Geno mentioned that one of the things that Griner had to learn at the international level is that players at that level would do just that -- drive at her to cause her to foul. He said that she did get some fouls in the games last summer as a result of that. I think it's a fair inference that he hasn't forgotten about that. Nor is it likely that Griner herself (not to mention Kim Mulkey) have failed to anticipate that that will be a big part of UConn's game plan.
 

alexrgct

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1. Griner's height, wingspan, and speed give her tremendous range on defense for a WCBB player. She is going to push a lot of your offense towards the perimeter. Thus you MUST hit your outside shots at a good rate, something Notre Dame didn't do for the most part.

2. That being said, you have to challenge Griner. If she doesn't have to work on defense, a) she's going to be unstoppable on offense because she can expend all of her energy there, and b) you WILL go cold for stretches at least from the perimeter and allow Baylor to go on runs.

3. You MUST make hay when Griner isn't out there.

4. If both Griner and Sims have good games, Baylor is really tough to beat. Sims is big-time, and she's someone who lives to shoot when her team needs a big bucket. If you can frustrate her and take her out of her game, your chance of winning increase significantly. See the E8 game last season against TAMU.

Baylor IS the best team in WCBB. I do not think UConn can beat them twice. I do think UConn can beat the Bears once in a game where we make Griner work for her production, marginalize Sims to the greatest extent possible, and get better-than-normal outside shooting nights from some combination of Bria, KML, Tiff, Caroline, and Kelly.
 

CTyankee

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My guess is that we may see more of what we saw last night: disrupt the Baylor offense and try to create more opportunities for us to score. Stef will have to have help from the others on the floor but the action will be to prevent her from getting the ball.
 

alexrgct

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As an aside, I applaud Geno for exposing Griner to an experience on Team USA that undoubtedly has made her a better player. However, a bonus from UConn's perspective is that Geno got more direct exposure to Brittney, which may help UConn play Baylor these next two seasons.
 
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I would start KLM. Hope that her scoring about equaled Giners and figure our other 4 players and bench can outscore thier other 4 players and bench.

Next year with the addition of Stewart, who plays at 6'10" with her arm reach, should be a real crazy game and with home court I figure we have a real advantage.
 
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I would slip a mickey into Griner's water bottle.

If UConn is to beat Baylor they only have to do two things - keep Griner out of the low post (I don't think they can) and neutralize Sims (I know they can).
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I think the Mickey Finn has a high probability of success. I hope this year UCONN does a better job on Sims than they did last year.
....................................FG....3FG...FT....OR.DR.TR.PF..Tyler Phommachanh...A...TO..BLK...S...MIN
SIMS, Odyssey...........7-9....3-3....0-2....0....6....6....2....17....2....5....0........3....34
.
 

doggydaddy

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Please. I'm begging. No more starting lineup speculation. It's set and it's not going to change unless Geno and the coaches decide to make a change.

So, IMO, starting lineup discussions are completely unnecessary. What is far more important is who plays a lot of minutes and who is playing at crunch time. Eg, Kaleena last night.
Excellent post.

Doty, Hartley, Faris, Hayes and Dolson. Lewis first off the bench. Stokes to rest Dolson. As Banks gets more experience, I believe she will be part of the 8 player rotation. Everyone else plays only in games that are not in question. Only foul trouble trouble will change that.
 

Icebear

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1) Griner does not like to run the court, keep the pace going. We showed last night we can do that.
2) On defense keep Griner out of the low post. Not as hard as some think. Stef, Kiah, and Heather are all strong enough physically. Body up against her. Lean on her all the time.
3) Bring the backside trap like we did all night last night.
4) Offensively: Attack Griner directly get into her armpits and make her foul you with her elbows. Do not let her use her reach advantage. The error is trying to stay away from her.
5) Be as physical as the officials will let you be.
6) Create an isolation offense to trap Griner off the ball clearing away from one side of the court using two bigs. Make Griner fight through this wall to the off side attack. This same type of isolation can be created high low as a variant draw her to the high side.
7) Always remember that to control the legs is to control the player. If a player like Kelly is quick enough to dominate Griner's lower body she can cause Griner great frustration.
 
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UConn has little chance to win in Waco. As others have said, play Griner very physical. Go with a lineup of Hartley, Doty, KML, Hayes, and Dolson. Create driving opportunites for Hayes, and plant Hartley, Doty, and KML at the three-point line. When one of them gets an open look beyond the arc, take the shot. If they can connect 40+ percent, the Huskies have a better chance. View the game as preparation for a second meeting in April, not as must-win.
 

RoyDodger

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Talking about playing Baylor, I was shocked just now to see that Yale, of all schools, was playing Baylor at Waco tonight. Needless to say, Baylor won by 50 points, 109-59. Actually, come to think of it, Yale did better than I would have expected. But what a strange mismatch. And not just on the court.
 

RoyDodger

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And speaking of Yale playing Baylor, have the UConn women ever had Yale on their schedule? Not in my memory.
 

VAMike23

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Excellent post.

Doty, Hartley, Faris, Hayes and Dolson. Lewis first off the bench. Stokes to rest Dolson. As Banks gets more experience, I believe she will be part of the 8 player rotation. Everyone else plays only in games that are not in question. Only foul trouble trouble will change that.

+1 Looks like Banks is going to develop at a more 'normal' pace for a freshman, which is fine as we're deep at the the guard spot. Once she gets some experience and feels more comfortable out there, some very good things will happen.
 
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I would slip a mickey into Griner's water bottle.

If UConn is to beat Baylor they only have to do two things - keep Griner out of the low post (I don't think they can) and neutralize Sims (I know they can).

It is amazing how little respect some of you guys seem to have for Baylor.

Odyssey Sims is a legitimate all american candidate. Uconn may play a good game against her, but she is NOT somebody that you "know" you are going to neutralize.

Last year as a true freshman, Sims played against Uconn and scored 17 points(7-9 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. That is hardly "neutralizing."

As far as outsmarting Griner, or "going right after her"......... plenty of people have tried that before. Tennessee tried it last year and they scored a grand total of one basket in the paint for the whole game. So good luck with that.

TC
 

alexrgct

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When UConn played Baylor last year, Sims was an unknown quantity. Although she was very highly regarded as a high school player, it wasn't clear how good she would be and how quickly.

In this game, UConn will obviously explicitly game plan for how to contain her. Although there is no guarantee of success, the notion that last season's stats bare much relevance to how she'll fare against this UConn team is a non sequiter. The personnel, experience level, and level of focused attention are different.

I don't see how this thread is particularly underestimating of Baylor. Baylor is the #1 ranked team. UConn is scheduled to play them in less than a month. People are interested in talking about what approach UConn should take to win the game. This being a UConn board, there's going to be some confidence that it can be done. The actual doing of it is another story.
 

ladybears4eva

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I would slip a mickey into Griner's water bottle.

If UConn is to beat Baylor they only have to do two things - keep Griner out of the low post (I don't think they can) and neutralize Sims (I know they can).

So many times in the past Auriemma's strategy in a game like this is to recognize that a superstar is going to do their thing and to concentrate on stopping the rest of the team.
Funny thing is Sims wasn't controlled by your guards last year in her first major college game, i doubt you can control her now, ND's experienced guards couldn't.
 

Icebear

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It is amazing how little respect some of you guys seem to have for Baylor.

Odyssey Sims is a legitimate all american candidate. Uconn may play a good game against her, but she is NOT somebody that you "know" you are going to neutralize.

Last year as a true freshman, Sims played against Uconn and scored 17 points(7-9 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. That is hardly "neutralizing."

As far as outsmarting Griner, or "going right after her"......... plenty of people have tried that before. Tennessee tried it last year and they scored a grand total of one basket in the paint for the whole game. So good luck with that.

TC
I saw that TN game and they did not go after Griner at all. Going at Griner is literally being into her body up against and maintaining contact physically. Go to her armpit and rise under her arm. This isn't about Griner, it was the best way to attack young Jabbar. It was a tactic that worked for us in 2010. It, also, allows the player attacking the defender in this way to control Griner when passing out and doesn't allow Griner to adjust because she is caught in the midst of contact..
 
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Icebear you are right on the money with both of your posts. Tenn didn't really go into Griners body but instead faded away from her which with her reach you shouln't really do. Cain did body her a couple of times and Griner picked up fouls. Just like you would when fighting a boxer who has a greater reach you need to get inside their reach to be effective. As was mentioned you can't block shots with your elbows.
I posted last year that WCBB coach's didn't really know how to deal with a player like Griner and should have watched to see how the NBA players dealt with very tall slender players. Shaun Bradley for example. One thing they all really have a high center of gravitys which may be exploited to keep them off balence. You can't match her with length so you must neutralize her with strength. She would have been much easier to contain last year, but this year would be much more difficult because she is a better and stronger player.
 

Icebear

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She would have been much easier to contain last year, but this year would be much more difficult because she is a better and stronger player.
Fading away is fatal and plays into Griner's greatest assets. What must been done is in a way counter intuitive.

I agree that she will be tougher to contain and counter but this is what one must do to attempt it. There are no guarantees it will work but this thread is about tactics and HOW to play her, not how we WILL beat Griner. Yes, it is about keeping her off balance and using her center of gravity and balance against her.

P.S. UConn deals with Sims the same way they have dealt any any AA candidates at guard. Their record against such guards like Diggins, Prahalis, Robinson, and others. Yes, sometimes they have big games and you isolate the rest, others you cut the snake off at the head and make the others play. Again we are talking tactics. But if one has no plan one is doomed. Geno and staff will have a great one.
 
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