It's Hard Not to Root for Molly

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oldude

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Confidence can be a fragile commodity. For over 2 seasons, Molly Bent appeared to struggle with hers. One of the hardest working players on the team, when Molly got on the court, she would play at a feverish pace, frequently turning the ball over. In addition, while Molly would practice shooting for hours on her own, at times she was reluctant to shoot, even when left wide open with the ball in her hands. In recent weeks, something remarkable has occurred. Molly still plays all out, all the time, but the game has seemingly slowed down for her, and that change has resulted in a corresponding increase in Molly’s confidence as well as her performance.

Molly has always been an absolute pest on defense, hounding opponents the full length of the court, chasing down loose balls and long rebounds like a terrier and getting a hand on wayward passes. It’s on offense that we’ve seen the biggest change. Molly’s passes are now crisper and on time. In fact, the other day she made a spectacular pass in traffic that was worthy of the very best we’ve seen from Crystal, only to have her teammate miss the resulting layup.

But it is Molly’s shooting that most clearly demonstrates her renewed confidence. Over the past two games, Molly has buried her last 3 shots from the arc. Most impressive to me was the pull up, mid-range jumper that Molly knocked down yesterday on the break. In the past Molly might have committed a charging foul or a turnover in that situation. Yesterday, she had the defender on her heels and quickly elevated to hit the shot, something I haven’t seen her do since watching her HS highlight videos.

Through all this, Molly has become a player that UConn fans enthusiastically root for. How can you not love her attitude, work ethic and commitment to excellence in and out of the classroom? To be clear, this is not the same as UConn fans support for players like Polly and Tierney, who were only going to see the court during mop-up time. There is a real sense of hope that Molly might be a prime-time contributor.

Molly is now at the level where she appears to be very comfortable against AAC foes. I am curious to see if, and when Geno uses her on Monday night against SC’s guard heavy lineup. Whatever happens, it’s hard not to root for Molly.
 
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Checking UConn’s stats page, while it’s a limited sample size, Molly is 2nd only to Pheesa, shooting 52% from the floor, and she actually leads the team at 47% from 3-pt. In addition, she has a very respectable 1.6 a/to ratio.
I agree it is hard NOT to cheer for Molly, she is a fans favorite. Then too, she is showing a level of confidence and abilities unseen until recently. Extremely nice posting @0ldude, thank you.
I do suggest that Molly has made that jumper twice in recent games, had drilled a three or more. Why she doesn't take them more often is beyond me, and probably Geno. If Molly opened up and any time REALLY open drilled a 3--my bet is she'd see much more PT during big and small games. She has the ability, talent, desire, work ethic to be outstanding--I think a few pats on the back (administered low enough) from Geno would be motivational Good Golly Miss Molly--just do it!!
 

oldude

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I agree it is hard NOT to cheer for Molly, she is a fans favorite. Then too, she is showing a level of confidence and abilities unseen until recently. Extremely nice posting @0ldude, thank you.
I do suggest that Molly has made that jumper twice in recent games, had drilled a three or more. Why she doesn't take them more often is beyond me, and probably Geno. If Molly opened up and any time REALLY open drilled a 3--my bet is she'd see much more PT during big and small games. She has the ability, talent, desire, work ethic to be outstanding--I think a few pats on the back (administered low enough) from Geno would be motivational Good Golly Miss Molly--just do it!!
If she takes more shots, and continues to shoot 52% from the floor, it's going to be awfully hard to keep Molly on the bench.
 
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Do we all agree that she has beaten out Mikayla for the "third guard" role?

A definite clue will come against the Gamecocks if Crystal's minutes need to be limited because of her injury. I'm guessing that Geno will go to Molly first, and unless she really plays poorly, he will not use Mikayla until the game has been decided. He might replace Crystal with a forward and let Lou be the de facto point guard, but I don't think he will do that as long as Molly satisfies the "not hurting us" test.
 

oldude

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Do we all agree that she has beaten out Mikayla for the "third guard" role?

A definite clue will come against the Gamecocks if Crystal's minutes need to be limited because of her injury. I'm guessing that Geno will go to Molly first, and unless she really plays poorly, he will not use Mikayla until the game has been decided. He might replace Crystal with a forward and let Lou be the de facto point guard, but I don't think he will do that as long as Molly satisfies the "not hurting us" test.
I don't know. Mikayla did hit that bank shot high off the glass from the foul line. Although I guess she didn't call glass. :rolleyes:
 
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Face it. Practices mean more than an individual game.
 

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