Isaiah Whaley Appreciation Thread

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#1
Without him today we would have been out of the tournament. Phil Nolan would have been proud of IW performance.
We are a solid team when he is on the floor. He gives us a big lift with his defense and rebounding. He is the perfect contributor when JC has to be spelled for foul trouble.
Great character Isaiah for sticking out the season. You should have played more all along.
 
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#5
Not saying whose fault it was.but Whaley could have had more "moments" this season. Next one we need TODAY. Bring it against the Cougars, I.W.!
I would assume it’s Whaley’s fault, stemming from practice performance and effort.

He’s also been stuck looking like Tyler Polley with a much worse shot, so he’s not gonna have much opportunity on a team playing 3 guard ball no matter what he does. Right or wrong, in the few minutes he was on the floor this year, he always looked like the most active rebounder and defender on the floor, and I’m surprised it took him this long to break through in some way.
 
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#7
It’s a mystery to me why he doesn’t play more. I know he’s unpolished offensively but he plays with intensity, plays good defense, rebounds reasonably well, and knows where he needs to be on the court. Seems to have an overall good b-ball IQ. He looks like a guy capable of backing up the PF/C next season to me
 
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#8
I would assume it’s Whaley’s fault, stemming from practice performance and effort.
That's the mystery. It's inconceivable that a guy who puts out such intense effort every minute he's on the floor would not put out effort in practice. That can't be the reason. The reason is that coach always thought he had better options, and in that judgment, there is a case to be made that coach had it wrong.
 
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#9
It’s a mystery to me why he doesn’t play more. I know he’s unpolished offensively but he plays with intensity, plays good defense, rebounds reasonably well, and knows where he needs to be on the court. Seems to have an overall good b-ball IQ. He looks like a guy capable of backing up the PF/C next season to me
I think that's where I'm at too, especially considering how UConn struck out on all their primary big targets (Kofi, Qudus and Tre). I don't think there's any difference between two more years of Whaley and any of the JUCO guys we have a realistic shot at landing. Hopefully he stays, adds some strength, and is willing to be coached up by Hunter.
 

tzznandrew

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#11
That's the mystery. It's inconceivable that a guy who puts out such intense effort every minute he's on the floor would not put out effort in practice. That can't be the reason. The reason is that coach always thought he had better options, and in that judgment, there is a case to be made that coach had it wrong.
It's not a mystery and there's nothing nefarious. This board always overrates players based off small sample sizes. They wanted Cobb to play all the minutes early in the year and there was some "great mystery" as to why he didn't. Then he got more time and people figured it out.

The reason is:

1. He was injured with a high ankle sprain early in the year.
2. Cobb played incredibly well early in the year.
3. He's a foul machine when he's on the court (he averages almost 9 fouls per 40 minutes)
4. There's more to basketball and basketball practice than effort. You need effort and a motor, and Whaley has that, but you also need bbiq, know larger defensive and offensive schemes, etc. Simply because a kid goes all out doesn't mean they are internalizing these things or demonstrating them in practice.
 
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Doctor Hoop

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#12
I think that's where I'm at too, especially considering how UConn struck out on all their primary big targets (Kofi, Qudus and Tre). I don't think there's any difference between two more years of Whaley and any of the JUCO guys we have a realistic shot at landing. Hopefully he stays, adds some strength, and is willing to be coached up by Hunter.
It may be that Hurley, and Hunter working with the bigs, have been rightly focused on Carlton. And now in practice getting a chance to work him and see what they have in Whaley.
 
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#13
Hurley's handling of Whaley is reminiscent of Ollie's handling of Facey in his freshman year. Facey saw action only at garbage time, where he was a rebound-a-minute machine. Difference is, Ollie won a NC that year, and his failure to develop Facey can be excused. After all, he had already had a raw freshman, Brimah, is his forecourt. No such excuse for Hurley. As late as yesterday, he was going with Cobb over Whaley, despite Cobb's repeated defensive lapses and often lazy play. Whaley only saw action after Cobb lost his man on two consecutive plays. Whaley has been truly the forgotten option.
 
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#14
It's not a mystery and there's nothing nefarious. This board always overrates players based off small sample sizes. They wanted Cobb to play all the minutes early in the year and there was some "great mystery." Then he got more time and people figured it out.

The reason is:

1. He was injured with a high ankle sprain early in the year.
2. Cobb played incredibly well early in the year.
3. He's a foul machine when he's on the court (he averages almost 9 fouls per 40 minutes)
4. There's more to basketball and basketball practice than effort. You need effort and a motor, and Whaley has that, but you also need bbiq, know larger defensive and offensive schemes, etc. Simply because a kid goes all out doesn't mean they are internalizing these things or demonstrating them in practice.
This is it. Early in the season when Sid was ineligible there were minutes for him at the 4, but he had the ankle sprain. By the time he was back, we had Carlton and Cobb as the 2-deep at C (Cobb being rewarded for having transformed his body in the summer and playing well in a few games) and Tyler and Sid at the 4 (Hurley wanting to play a consistent "small" 4-out style so that he could more readily build chemistry, and needing to play 3 guards to get his best players on the court).

Everything changed with Alterique and Jalen going down. Now we can't play 3 guards so Sid moves to SF and time opens up at the 4; also the focus changes from this year to next and that means Whaley passes Cobb as backup C.

Very possibly once it made sense to play Whaley, and after the frontcourt recruiting disappointments (losing Kofi and trailing for Precious) made it more likely Whaley would play next year, coaches started to give him more attention. Also maybe he responded better to coaching once there was hope. So hopefully there is a virtuous circle building and we see him step up further.
 
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Stainmaster

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#15
Hurley's handling of Whaley is reminiscent of Ollie's handling of Facey in his freshman year. Facey saw action only at garbage time, where he was a rebound-a-minute machine. Difference is, Ollie won a NC that year, and his failure to develop Facey can be excused. After all, he had already had a raw freshman, Brimah, is his forecourt. No such excuse for Hurley. As late as yesterday, he was going with Cobb over Whaley, despite Cobb's repeated defensive lapses and often lazy play. Whaley only saw action after Cobb lost his man on two consecutive plays. Whaley has been truly the "forgotten man."
You’re making a huge assumption that Whaley circa 3/14/19 would’ve been the same Whaley who showed up in earlier games. This is incredibly off the mark.
 
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#16
Hurley explained it in the post game when asked yesterday. He was hurt in the beginning of the year. He had the high ankle sprain that kept him not 100% for several weeks. Cobb earned the spot from the Syracuse game and practice and he wanted to give the senior the chance to keep the spot. Seems consistent coaching to me. You need to earn the spot in practice no matter who is better. Lesson: work hard in practice or don't play and I mean it. Injuries are not an excuse to get a pass for hard practice. Coach building for the future got it exactly correct. Go Whaley! you are better for it now and so is our team.
 

tzznandrew

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#17
You’re making a huge assumption that Whaley circa 3/14/19 would’ve been the same Whaley who showed up in earlier games. This is incredibly off the mark.
And he fouled out in 11 minutes yesterday! That's a foul every 2.2 minutes, or 18 fouls over a 40 minute game. Against a horrible team!

I like Whaley and am pulling for him. And when he has a bad game, this context matters. But Jesus, it's going to be rough when this board turns on him. Because it always does on these low minute guys who look good in small doses.
 
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#18
I would assume it’s Whaley’s fault, stemming from practice performance and effort.

He’s also been stuck looking like Tyler Polley with a much worse shot, so he’s not gonna have much opportunity on a team playing 3 guard ball no matter what he does. Right or wrong, in the few minutes he was on the floor this year, he always looked like the most active rebounder and defender on the floor, and I’m surprised it took him this long to break through in some way.
From everything I've heard, it isn't effort or attitude. Whaley has been a hard worker and a great teammate since he arrived at UConn. It could definitely be performance in practice, but his lack of playing time mostly just comes down to Hurley going with a different style of player.
 
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#19
Whaley is a guy who always seems to make a positive contribution when he's on the floor, he just hasn't been on the floor all that much this year. Early in the year he had an injury, but I think he's been healthy for the majority. Keep in mind that this is a guy who actually played a good amount of minutes as a freshman and was decently productive in spots. The big thing with him is he needs to get stronger as his skill set makes him strictly a 5 in Hurley's offense.

I remember when he signed with us he was excited about the S & C coach....at the time we had the NBA guy who then left 5 minutes later to go back to the NBA. Forget his name. His body really hasn't seemed to develop much at all, but maybe Sal can work wonders with him in the off season.

With the way our big man recruiting has gone, I really hope Isaiah sticks around for next year. With some added strength I can seem him being a consistent 10-15 minute energy big off the bench type for his junior and senior years.
 
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#20
From everything I've heard, it isn't effort or attitude. Whaley has been a hard worker and a great teammate since he arrived at UConn. It could definitely be performance in practice, but his lack of playing time mostly just comes down to Hurley going with a different style of player.
Agreed here. Whaley seems like a guy who gives 110% at all times - I really don't think it's an attitude or effort thing at all. Just a 6'8'' 210 pound guy who can only play center in Dan Hurley's style doesn't work that great. I will say that he does seem to play bigger than that, as he is quite lengthy and seems to often be in the right place at the right time.
 
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#23
Even though Hurley hasn't played Whaley this season except in really short increments, we have not heard anything negative concerning his status as a player or his work ethic and attitude. Kind of a "program" player this year. Always has his head up on the bench, really good positive demeanor, invested in the team. Hearing Hurley speak of him as a high character individual, and seeing the impact that he does have on the court with his energy and effort, and lastly understanding that he's very coachable, leads me to believe that Isaiah is going to be here next year if he wants to be.
 
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#24
And he fouled out in 11 minutes yesterday! That's a foul every 2.2 minutes, or 18 fouls over a 40 minute game. Against a horrible team!

I like Whaley and am pulling for him. And when he has a bad game, this context matters. But Jesus, it's going to be rough when this board turns on him. Because it always does on these low minute guys who look good in small doses.
I enjoyed seeing Whaley show out for a few minutes yesterday as much as the next guy, but let's not get carried away here. He had a put-back, a dunk when the defense completely forgot about him, a banked-in jumper from the elbow, and went 2-4 from the FT line. And fouled out in 11 minutes.

He seems like a great kid, and I hope he does even better today, but he's a high-motor, low-skill player who doesn't easily slot into a 4 or 5. If he can grow into a reliably valuable first-big-off-the-bench type of player for us, I'll be very pleasantly surprised.
 

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