Is it possible that a team can be too deep? | The Boneyard

Is it possible that a team can be too deep?

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I was thinking about this with all the drama over our starting line up lately. There are a lot of weapons on this team, and players that helped win a national championship have not seen much action. In the past Calhoun has used a lot of rotations in the early part of the year, then as the year goes on it gets a lot shorter. We all know the situation with Oriakhi but in order to put up better numbers he has to see more than 10 mins a game.

Right now i would say our "best" lineup is Boat, Shabazz, Lamb, Oriakhi, Drummond...and thats probably what the starting 5 will end up being. With that type of a lineup it leaves less minutes for Smith, Daniels, Giffey, and Olander. All of those guys can play and my question is that by sacrificing their minutes, is it actually hurting them by not being able to get into a groove and playing at their full potential? Anyway its a good problem to have but i just wanted to see what everyone else thought about this
 
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Good point. Think Giffey could be a better player than he has shown but probably wont get the chance. However we only have three guards on this team so we really aren't that deep there. However we do have great front court depth.
 
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I have actually been thinking the same things and was going to post something similar. I do agree that this is the case right now. However, I hope by February/March we will have a set rotation going that is perfect for us. It may take longer to figure things out than previous seasons and I hope it doesn't end like the season when we lost to George Mason, I remember we were really deep but our chemistry and rotation seemed like an issue all season and hurt us against a team that was far less talented and deep as us.
 
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The simple answer is to really press the tempo, which they can now do with the depth that boat brings...
 
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To me its all about chemistry and bonding. If they can buy in to the team concept and enjoy the college basketball ride then it can be managed. If they have NBA aspirations 'first and foremost' then it can be a problem, usually manifested in bad shots or selfish play when inserted in the game. Its not an easy thing to manage in the college world and to be honest Calhoun's style (he won't coddle you or stroke your ego ) makes it even more challenging for a young player to adjust to. Hell, he even put Drummond on the bench, and now Alex, and Scoe, and earlier Bazz during practices.

To play at UConn you have to have patience, thick skin, be willing to be humbled and trust in the staff. As a HS superstar that 'ain't' easy to learn.
 
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As to the original question, I do think it is possible to have too much depth. It often leads to those chemistry problems. And I agree with kitaman's take that you need to see players buy into the college experience. We've seen what happens when the NBA becomes the be all and end all for a team (2006) and what can happen when winning the college championship is the priority (2011). One team was probalby the best in the country. the other probably wasn't.
 
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The simple answer is to really press the tempo, which they can now do with the depth that boat brings...
I'm no HOF coach, to be sure, but I'd love to see this team go balls to the wall for 40 minutes every game. I'm pretty sure that there isn't a team in the U.S. that could keep up with us.
 

huskyharry

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I'm no HOF coach, to be sure, but I'd love to see this team go balls to the wall for 40 minutes every game. I'm pretty sure that there isn't a team in the U.S. that could keep up with us.

Unfortunately, that is what UNC thought when they played UNLV. UConn could easily be burned by a smaller, faster team if they try to play up tempo basketball the whole game.
 

huskyharry

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I was thinking about this with all the drama over our starting line up lately. There are a lot of weapons on this team, and players that helped win a national championship have not seen much action. In the past Calhoun has used a lot of rotations in the early part of the year, then as the year goes on it gets a lot shorter. We all know the situation with Oriakhi but in order to put up better numbers he has to see more than 10 mins a game.

Right now i would say our "best" lineup is Boat, Shabazz, Lamb, Oriakhi, Drummond...and thats probably what the starting 5 will end up being. With that type of a lineup it leaves less minutes for Smith, Daniels, Giffey, and Olander. All of those guys can play and my question is that by sacrificing their minutes, is it actually hurting them by not being able to get into a groove and playing at their full potential? Anyway its a good problem to have but i just wanted to see what everyone else thought about this

Unfortunately, the statistics do not backup your proposed "best lineup"... see the article in today's news "UConn by the numbers". I do agree that that is the most talented lineup, but how the players mesh, facilitate and augment each other's abilities place a key role.
I certainly do not think it is correct that this team is too deep. The talent on the bench will be critical to the team success throughout the year. However, I do agree coaching staff will earn their pay this year by keeping everybody motivated and on the same page.
 

fleudslipcon

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Unfortunately, the statistics do not backup your proposed "best lineup"... see the article in today's news "UConn by the numbers". I do agree that that is the most talented lineup, but how the players mesh, facilitate and augment each other's abilities place a key role.
I certainly do not think it is correct that this team is too deep. The talent on the bench will be critical to the team success throughout the year. However, I do agree coaching staff will earn their pay this year by keeping everybody motivated and on the same page.
Nicely stated.

This team has a great nucleus of parts. But each part does have flaws. Sometimes teams can work together to minimize the flaws and sometimes when the group plays together they exaggerate the flaws. This is not just about bad attitudes, which seems to be the predilection of theories that a lot of us focus on. It could also be about physical or skill limitations, or coaching, or the combination of the three. It really is hard to know exactly what leads to success and what leads to failure. Listing them is about the best we can do.
 
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i think the player that is hurt the most by the depth is Roscoe..he was such an instramental player in the championship run this year and he has really been lost in the mix this year. I think this really is really frustrating for him and hurts his confidence. He is a very good defender and solid rebounder but its dissapointing that, although it is still early, his jump shot and overall offensive game hasn't improved.
 
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Also, a team's starting 5 is not always their best lineup. It matters who finishes the game not who starts. At this point (although Boat has only played one game) i would agree that our best lineup is Bazz, Boat, Lamb, AO, and Drummond but i think Roscoe should start over Boat. I like Boat as a spark off the bench.
 
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Ive been thinking this all year. It seems crazy to think we have too many guys but that may be the case, as it hasnt allowed players to settle into defined roles. We are stacked at the 3 and 4, but RS, DD and TO are all similarly skilled. They each have different strenghts, but as far as "whose better", its tough to say. Alex gets lost because we cant take AD out, and Alex needs to learn to play the 4, but he lacks some of the skill sets needed to do so. Its a luxury to have so many guys that can play but it prevents us from defining a rotation and player roles.
 
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It is possible for a team to be too deep, but that's not the case with this team (with the exception of Giffey, who may get squeezed out of the regular rotation this year).

The starting lineup with be:
PG - Shabazz
SG - Lamb
SF - Daniels
PF - Olander (hopefully Oriakhi by midseason)
C - Drummond

Boatright will spell both guard spots (and play the 2 in 3-guard sets, with Lamb shifting to the 3), Roscoe will play some SF and spend the bulk of his minutes at PF, and Oriakhi (/Olander) will play either post position. So basically, this team has one guard off the bench (Boatright), one hybrid forward (Roscoe), and one big man (Oriakhi/Olander).

The only guy who's kind of left without a role if Giffey, and I think Calhoun will find a way to find some time for him...even if it is a bit sporadic. But the point is that this team has enough bodies off the bench, and enough versatility with the lineups to play different types of styles.

Sounds good to me once everyone adjusts to his role (namely Roscoe and Oriakhi getting his head outta his a**).
 

fleudslipcon

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Ive been thinking this all year. It seems crazy to think we have too many guys but that may be the case, as it hasnt allowed players to settle into defined roles. We are stacked at the 3 and 4, but RS, DD and TO are all similarly skilled. They each have different strenghts, but as far as "whose better", its tough to say. Alex gets lost because we cant take AD out, and Alex needs to learn to play the 4, but he lacks some of the skill sets needed to do so. Its a luxury to have so many guys that can play but it prevents us from defining a rotation and player roles.
I'm not sure having "too many" skilled players is a problem. It could be but there are other factors that I think have greater weight.

This team is young. The "experienced players" are in different roles this year with KW no longer on the team and AO being moved to the four. And they need time to adjust to this new situation. Last years team struggled in the BE. They didn't gel until the end of the season. And this team started off with a handicap in that it's backup point guard wasn't available. So they had to play eight games in a modified role.
 
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i think our best lineup is AD,AO,DD,JL,BAZZ. i dont care what the numbers say those guys should play together with TO,RS,RB coming off the bench. by the end of the year i beleive this will be the rotation. you dont need to go 9 or 10 deep you need chemistry.
this team needs time and it will start coming together. i remember the 2004 team struggled with inconsistancy most of the season but really came together when RA was put in at the 3 that team took off after that. that was the difference that season not so much ok4 getting healthy. once jc finds the right mix youll see this team really start to play well till then we will have some ups and downs and some frustrating performances.
 
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I think it's possible to balance... Look at these available minutes from last years team:

37.6 per game - Kemba - Split those Between Daniels and Boatright
15.4 per game - Okuandu - Drummond
16.6 per game - Coombs - Drummond
8.5 per game - D Bev - Improved Tyler (he only logged 9.6 last season)

Granted Lamb & Shabazz will pick up more minutes (last year was 23.8 and 27.8 respectively) but in games that permit a rotation with Boat they should get away w/o having anyone needing to log "Kemba Minutes". In the end, it's who is on the floor "when it counts" that will matter most. If this season goes like it could, doesn't seem like minutes will be an issue for the crew next year, and the returning freshmen (Boat and Daniels) will play a larger role as sophmores.
 
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you dont need to go 9 or 10 deep you need chemistry.
But if you can go nine deep AND have chemistry, that's ideal. Remember in the 1999 title game, Souleymane Wane, Albert Mouring, Edmund Saunders and Rashamel Jones all played productive minutes, while Duke basically played six guys (their starters and Maggette) and the Huskies wore them down.
 
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This got me thinking, obviously they arent touted, but they are decent players who have like no hope to play : Bradley and Wolf. I wish uconn could trade some of these bodies from the front court for an extra guard or something.
 
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But if you can go nine deep AND have chemistry, that's ideal. Remember in the 1999 title game, Souleymane Wane, Albert Mouring, Edmund Saunders and Rashamel Jones all played productive minutes, while Duke basically played six guys (their starters and Maggette) and the Huskies wore them down.

in a best case scenario of course but if you can have a solid 8 3 off the bench who can score and/or rebound and a couple guys in the starting lineup who can play multiple positions your all set.
 
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Honestly, I think our "best lineup" at this point in time is Shabazz, Jeremy, Roscoe, Tyler and Drummond... I hate to say it, because I know AO is a good player and Daniels is also good ... Boat's gonna come off the bench and play minutes because we need the backcourt help... but honestly, Roscoe and Tyler started a lot of games last year on a NC team... granted, Chuck did too, but I think people are too hung up on the whole starting thing.... as Boat proved with his performance the other night, it's not who starts that matters...

I think to a certain degree that people need to calm down a bit and wait until we're into January a little bit... heck, we just got our full complement of players back (with respect to Bradley, who really won't factor into minutes this year) last game... it's gonna take a few weeks and a bunch of games until JC figures out who he wants out there when and with who... Too many people jump the gun on guys having lousy games when it's impossible for one of our 9 or 10 guys to NOT have a lousy game or play fewer minutes than we expect.... Maybe that means we're TOO deep, but I think you have a couple hundred coaches across the country who would love to have UCONN's talent and "too deep" bench... It's a problem that our HOF coach will more than handle as we go through the season.

Lamb and Bazz are gonna get 30 minutes a game, so after that it's up for grabs... Bigs can be in foul trouble often and Daniels/Scoe can essentially be interchanged depending on whether you want more offense or defense. Scoe will also see time at the 4 when we can exploit mismatches or use his versatility. Tyler is the real X factor to me, because I don't think anyone expected him to be where he's at... he's a worker and he's gonna keep playing as far as I can tell.... he does some things out there that AO doesn't want to seem to do CONSISTENTLY... can AO be a beast? no doubt. However, he can also pull a Stanley and hide for long stretches (although he seems to do it on the bench a lot lately)... Totally agree that Giffey is gonna be the odd man out, but he will be here for 4 years- by the time he's a senior, he's gonna be a decent player we rely on...

All that being said, going down the stretch at the end of games, I think you're gonna see Bazz, Boat, Lamb, Roscoe (or Daniels, maybe even Giffey in there somewhere) and Olander. If you think about free throw shooting and protecting the ball, those are the guys... AD and AO are atrocious FT shooters so it would be hackashaq on them...
 
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What I find interesting is that the parts have been sort of a hot mess as far as fitting together during the first part of the season, and the addition of Boatright makes it even more messy. Now I'm not saying this is a problem. IMO, you can't have too much talent, though you can have too little chemistry with that talent which I'm not implying is a problem.

Let me approach this for a different angle. If Alex & Roscoe had picked up where they left off last season and Daniels was able to perform in the higher pressure games of late like he did in the first few games, the rotations would look a lot less messy. Boatright not available the first 6 games, opened up some PT that will increasingly become scares to certain players, but also hurt some of the chemistry because some players had to fill roles and positions they were not well suited for.

For example Lamb sliding over to the point, meant that not only was he playing out of position, but having to slide Daniels or Giffey over to the 2. The addition of Ryan against FSU, had a huge cascading impact on PT throughout much of the line-up. It completely snuffed out Giffey's PT and a great deal of Roscoe's & Daniel's PT because JC knew his most effective line-up was playing Boat & Bazz together in the backcourt with Lamb at the wing. Maybe I'm wrong, but unless teams are able to exploit our lack of backcourt size, or problematic foul trouble or Daniels or Smith improve their SF play, we're going to see a ton of this 3G-Set.

The impact will be, as some pointed out, little to no PT for Giffey, Scoe's getting PT primarily at the 4, and a decrease in PT for Daniels until he shows he can handle the big moments and increase his impact on both ends of the floor. I'm sure there will be games where match-ups and foul trouble get some of these guys more PT, but I think JC is going to find it awfully hard to keep Bazz, Lamb and Boat off the floor.

As for the bigs, Drummond has made a huge case for himself as he's learned to stay out of foul trouble lately and continues to improve his game. Oriakhi's and Roscoe's poor play has opened the door for Olander who many thought would get spot duty like last season. I think JC will continue to liberally pass out PT to these 3 players giving the hot hand and mistake free player more than the others. Alex seems completely lost, but hopefully he'll eventually play out of this funk. Roscoe has shown some nice moments, but has not shot the ball well from outside and has been very careless with the ball, including frequent traveling calls. He's been very active on defense which will continue to earn him PT. But as long as Tyler plays hard and shoots the ball well (the FSU game not withstanding), and the other two continue to struggle, Tyler is going to get solid PT. My guess is that Alex and Scoe will slowly cut into Olander's PT where either they all get some rotation minutes or Tyler ends up as a spot role player again, similar to last season. Alex and Scoe are better athletes, but so far Tyler has out-hustled, out-played and out-smarted (BBIQ wise) the two of them.
 

UConnSwag11

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you can never be too deep...you never know when you're going to need someone... also do you think this team can get back to the full court press or trap with this depth and this speed?
 
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Well, lets put it this way. A hole can most definitely be too deep. And a team can, in fact, be too good. So the real question is, if a team is too deep, is there a hole somewhere that is too good, or vice versa ?

Similarly, a hole that is too deep is probably going to be considered "not good" (you could fall in, right?), so from the perspective of team sports, clearly the analogy works where "too deep" = "not good".

Glad we cleared that up!
 

fleudslipcon

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Well, lets put it this way. A hole can most definitely be too deep. And a team can, in fact, be too good. So the real question is, if a team is too deep, is there a hole somewhere that is too good, or vice versa ?

Similarly, a hole that is too deep is probably going to be considered "not good" (you could fall in, right?), so from the perspective of team sports, clearly the analogy works where "too deep" = "not good".

Glad we cleared that up!
Now that is what I call being really deep, man.
 
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