I Think It Was Must Meant To Be, That Kelly. . . | The Boneyard

I Think It Was Must Meant To Be, That Kelly. . .

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Kibitzer

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. . . would -- because of an unusual series of events, combined with a whole mess of other factors -- become UConn's "sixth 'man.'"

It seemed to me that Geno's plan for Kaleena was to sit her next to CD the Elder when game(s) started, let her get a sense of what was happening on the court, then put her in (for anyone but Stef) and let her pile up minutes and points. That, in essence, was what he had done with Diana and Maya, so he had the template.

We know that Stef would start. And Bria. And Caroline. And Tiffany. And Kelly. You all know the justification for each.

Then Caroline hurt her ankle. Kaleena starts in her place, if not at the PG position.

When she once again returns to action, Caroline will start. And Stef. And Bria. And Tiffany. So the question becomes, who else? Kaleena or Kelly?

I believe Kaleena stays in the starting lineup now and for about 150 more games.

And it seems like it was meant to be that Kelly -- because of a combination of versatility, talent, and attitude -- logically sits at the tip off, ready to be the first one off the bench (most often to replace Tiffany, Bria, or Kaleena). Brianna for Caroline and Kiah for Stefanie might happen about the same time.

Just like it was meant to be. . . .
 

MilfordHusky

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I'm hoping that Kaleena will be in the lineup--starting or otherwise--for 156 regular season and post-season games. :)

To get that number, we need to make the BE finals and NC game every year.
 

sarals24

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I don't think Geno will keep Kelly on the bench to start the game. She's always got the toughest assignment defensively, she knows the offense perfectly and he keeps raving about her shooting. She's a junior, led the team in minutes last year, and rarely gets tired. I just don't see her not starting. I could be wrong, but I love Kelly's game and think she's one of the smartest players I've ever seen. I know Geno thinks the world of her.

Good problem to have, though!
 

speedoo

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I don't see Brianna subbing for CD at the point. When CD sits, Bria takes over at the point IMO. Even if Brianna is an experienced PG, and I have no idea whether she is or not, playing PG at the elite D1 level is not something to be sprung on a frosh unless it is unavoidable.

Now next year, with Moriah, an experienced and by all accounts superb PG, the situation will probably change, as Moriah will be UConn's next PG and will need to be brought along with pt at the point, right from the get go, a la Sue, Renee and CD.
 

VAMike23

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I disagree that Kelly would be the logical one to 'sit' in case of Kaleena starting. I think she is a more important cog in the wheel. I would actually expect to see KML rotated with Bria more often. Both are excellent scorers; both are OK but not great defenders at this early stage in their careers.

But more importantly, I will say (again) that the whole correlation between 'starting', 'impact on the game', and 'minutes played' will be much weaker this year than in past years. It's clear we have a bundle of talented players in the 1-3 spots. (Kelly can also fill in at the 4 sometimes.) I agree with past posters who feel there will be a very active rotation, by committee in a way, so there is much less drama associated with the 'who starts' question to begin with. YMMV
 

vtcwbuff

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No way she doesn't start. She's a Geno fav and he's been raving about her improved offense. She's also the smart, tough type that he has always favored. She's also an upperclassman. IMO she starts all 39 this year.

Lewis will get lots of minutes this year. My guess is that she might be the 6th man subbing for Doty, Hartley and Faris.
 

Kibitzer

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I concede a point (part way) to Speedoo. If Brianna comes in as Caroline goes out, there will be a little shuffle of guards so one is the quarterback.

Any "sixth man" need not fear loss of minutes. John Havlicek (born to play that role for the perennial champion Celtics) logged 46,471 minutes in his illustrious NBA career. How many starters top that?
 
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I honestly think KML will sit on the bench.

Geno wouldn't sit Mel or Kalana for Maya, why would he sit Bria, CD, Tiffany, or Kelly for KML. That's just not how he does things.
 

Zorro

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The starting lineup is in a way more symbolic than practical. Fairly often it has little or nothing to do with playing time. I feel sure that Geno will start Kelly. Kaleena will get lots of time as will Brianna. The others will be duking it out for minutes, which is a very good thing.
 

speedoo

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Yup, the starting lineup is less important than the finishing lineup in the close games. What IS important is the regular rotation, and right now that looks like CD, Bria, Tiff, Kelly, Stef, Kaleena, Brianna or Lauren, plus hopefully one of Heather, Michala or Kiah.

Sooner or later, one of those bigs has to emerge as Stef's backup/post cohort. (Because competition for post minutes will get a little tougher next year!)
 

Kibitzer

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Good discussion of a pleasant conundrum, not a hand-wringing problem. We'll all see how it plays out and I really don't mind if it turns out that I am mistaken.

Let's watch and see. . . .
 
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Hmmmm, Didn't we have this coversation about Kelly last year and the year before? How did that work out? I am a former HS coach and no way as good as Geno. Personally I believe in not having to bring in a "game changer." I want to control the game right fron the opening bell. If Kelly is good enough to be a "game changer", she is good enough to start and more importantly, she has earned it! When Caroline is back and playing, she and Kelly starts. If Geno is anything, he is loyal to the girls.
 
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I believe Kaleena stays in the starting lineup now and for about 150 more games.

Kaleena will be a starter no later than mid-December just after Doty (not Kelly) comes off the bench (warm up be dinged). Worst case Doty starts both halves but only plays 15-20 minutes tops and Kaleena subs in for Doty and gets 20-25 minutes. Kelly will come off the bench after mid-January when Kiah or Michala get it and become the starter for the stretch drive to the Final Four.
 
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Kaleena will be a starter no later than mid-December just after Doty (not Kelly) comes off the bench (warm up be dinged). Worst case Doty starts both halves but only plays 15-20 minutes tops and Kaleena subs in for Doty and gets 20-25 minutes. Kelly will come off the bench after mid-January when Kiah or Michala get it and become the starter for the stretch drive to the Final Four.
Kelly is a better defensive rebounder and defender than either Michala or Kiah. On that basis alone neither one of them will start ahead of Kelly at any point this season.
 

EricLA

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in the rest of her career at UCONN, Kelly will start every single game she's healthy. mark that down! :) She's simply that good and that important to the team...
 

Replicant

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in the rest of her career at UCONN, Kelly will start every single game she's healthy. mark that down! :) She's simply that good and that important to the team...
Absolutely Eric, Kelly is our rock. As always, it matters little who starts games @UConn. What matters, is who is on the court to finish games when the outcomes are still in the balance.
 
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She is also much shorter than either which will be a match up disadvantage against the ranked teams and NCCA tournament teams. If she indeed has become a scoring threat then dislodging her will be tough. Nonetheless Kiah and Michala will be needed to defend the ranked teams' bigs. We shall see.

Kelly is a better defensive rebounder and defender than either Michala or Kiah. On that basis alone neither one of them will start ahead of Kelly at any point this season.
 
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in the rest of her career at UCONN, Kelly will start every single game she's healthy. mark that down! :) She's simply that good and that important to the team...
right on.
 

Vowelguy

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in the rest of her career at UCONN, Kelly will start every single game she's healthy. mark that down! :) She's simply that good and that important to the team...

Absolutely. Absolutely.
 

Icebear

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She is also much shorter than either which will be a match up disadvantage against the ranked teams and NCCA tournament teams. If she indeed has become a scoring threat then dislodging her will be tough. Nonetheless Kiah and Michala will be needed to defend the ranked teams' bigs. We shall see.
Completely disagree since it has not limited Kelly's effectiveness as a 3/4 to date. She out rebounds many players with height and reach advantages with fundamentals, quickness, reading the rim and shot and terrific athleticism. Defensively she controls such people by controlling their legs and lower body. Dennis Rodman was a tremendous rebounder in the NBA despite giving away lots of height.

Kelly was very assertive offensively last night early in the game.
 
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It all depends on who scores more points and defends well it will be a combination of talents, at first blush that gives #23 the edge, I guess Geno will have to suffer through the making of that decision...
 

vtcwbuff

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in the rest of her career at UCONN, Kelly will start every single game she's healthy. mark that down! :) She's simply that good and that important to the team...

Absolutely. Too many people here are discounting Auriemma's loyalty to his players. I'll admit to being memory challenged, but I cannot remember a player losing their starting job because there is a "better" player waiting in the wings.
Faris starts every game 'til she graduates.
 
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It would be odd that any coach would sit the better player, it would be the same as saying the success of the team is not as important as loyalty to a single player. That is not the Uconn way, its all about the team not a single player...

All the above is a hypothetical so don't take this as anything other than conversation.
 

sarals24

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He said (in his book I think) that he doesn't start freshman, and he puts his really good ones in at the 16:00 minute mark. If you look at his history this is pretty true...Diana didn't start until injuries made it neccessary, same with Maya, same with Tiff. Last year wa an exception because of injuries preseason and transfers, etc. No way he takes Kelly Faris out of the starting lineup. I could see KML starting only if there are injuries or Caroline isn't 100%. Loyalty or not, Kelly knows the system well and is Geno's most trusted player out there. Plus, having a shooter like Kaleena coming off the bench? Awesome.
 

Icebear

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He said (in his book I think) that he doesn't start freshman, and he puts his really good ones in at the 16:00 minute mark. If you look at his history this is pretty true...Diana didn't start until injuries made it neccessary, same with Maya, same with Tiff. Last year wa an exception because of injuries preseason and transfers, etc. No way he takes Kelly Faris out of the starting lineup. I could see KML starting only if there are injuries or Caroline isn't 100%. Loyalty or not, Kelly knows the system well and is Geno's most trusted player out there. Plus, having a shooter like Kaleena coming off the bench? Awesome.
Exactly, Saral, Geno prefers the frosh of the bench to be coached up as Kib noted earlier and to watch the game before they enter. It is part of the process of preparation and growth for the players, not simply a choice of the best player. KML's game time be plenty, starting will depend on whether like last night injury requires KML to start.
 
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