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John A on Heather

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From John A: Heather Buck's future with the Huskies seems to be settled, even after she returns from her bruised right wrist, the one that remains tightly wrapped. The coaching staff has decided that whatever minutes will be distributed to the post will be given primarily to Dolson and freshman Kiah Stokes, who has more offensive ability than Buck.
If everyone stays healthy and out of foul trouble, Buck will be used strictly as a situational sub, a few minutes here and there.
http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn...conn-womens-notebook-20120111,0,1667784.story

Of course the coaches have tons of information I don't have, and I'm sure they have their reasons, and UConn would lose ten times as many games if they listened to me all the time ...

But I just don't get why Geno doesn't want to use Heather more.

First off, the statistics say that she's no slouch. She has more rebounds, blocks and steals than Stef per minute played. She doesn't have much of an offensive game, but still she is number one on the team in points per field goal attempt. Now, all of this is true of Kiah (except she's number two in Pts/FGA). And Kiah has more upside, since she's just a freshman, and more of a future with the team for the same reason.

But beyond all that, here's the thing. It's very, very likely that the NCAA championship goes through Baylor. It may end up going through ND as well, but we took ND to OT in their gym, so I like our chances if we play them in Denver. Far from a guarantee, very likely a close game, but I think the odds are better than even. Perhaps only a bit, but still ...

But, that still leaves Baylor. And, we now have data from two games, one last season, one this season. And those two games tell us that Heather Buck can stop Brittney Griner. And Stef Dolson, God bless her, can't. And I highly doubt Kiah Stokes will do much better than Stef. And this year's game told us that, like it or not, on offense, your basically going to have to beat Baylor from the outside, with some occasional penetration (which probably only raises BG's block totals) to try to keep the perimeter defenders honest.

Now I'm not advocating sitting Stef against Baylor or anything like that. And Stef is a better passer for sure, so there is that sacrifice on the offensive side if you use Heather. But, at a minimum I think there's a really good chance that you're going to want HB to play 15 to 20 minutes against the Lady Bears if the championship is on the line. That's not an absolute, and if and when the time comes, all sorts of considerations come into play, including the flow of the game. But, sitting here in January, that's what you'd have to anticipate.

And if you're thinking that you will need Heather for 15 to 20 minutes to beat the team that clearly looks like the team to beat, wouldn't you want her to play more than a bit role between then and now? Wouldn't you?

Again, the coaches know way more than I do, have tons of info I don't have, and are infinitely wiser than I am on such matters. But I gotta say I'm scratchin my head on this one.
 

HuskyNan

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But I just don't get why Geno doesn't want to use Heather more.
This UConn team has had long stretches where it's been offensively challenged. Kelly is very important to the team for more than her defense; she's also the assist leader and the offense runs more smoothly with her on the floor. Part of that, I think, is her calm demeanor in the face of adversity. But Kelly's not an offensive weapon and since the team has problems scoring at times, he doesn't want two players out there that defenses feel they don't need to guard. That means double teams on both Bria and Stef (or Kaleena or Tiff). UConn is much harder to defend with four players on the floor that are a threat to score any time and, heck, even Kelly will nail a three pointer every so often to keep the defense honest.

Besides, the article said Heather will be used as a situational sub. If a situation ever called for Heather to be on the floor, it's vs Baylor as her defense against Griner helps to at least slow down Brittany on the offensive end. As Griner and Sims are the primary scorers for Baylor, that's a big deal. But just because Heather is very useful against Baylor doesn't mean she has to get a lot of minutes against teams with, say, a lot of quick guards like SJU. Geno will use Heather where he thinks she has the best chance to be successful.
 

VAMike23

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Besides, the article said Heather will be used as a situational sub. If a situation ever called for Heather to be on the floor, it's vs Baylor as her defense against Griner helps to at least slow down Brittany on the offensive end.
That's a big +1
 
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From John A: Heather Buck's future with the Huskies seems to be settled, even after she returns from her bruised right wrist, the one that remains tightly wrapped. The coaching staff has decided that whatever minutes will be distributed to the post will be given primarily to Dolson and freshman Kiah Stokes, who has more offensive ability than Buck.
If everyone stays healthy and out of foul trouble, Buck will be used strictly as a situational sub, a few minutes here and there.
http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn...conn-womens-notebook-20120111,0,1667784.story

Of course the coaches have tons of information I don't have, and I'm sure they have their reasons, and UConn would lose ten times as many games if they listened to me all the time ...

But I just don't get why Geno doesn't want to use Heather more.

First off, the statistics say that she's no slouch. She has more rebounds, blocks and steals than Stef per minute played. She doesn't have much of an offensive game, but still she is number one on the team in points per field goal attempt. Now, all of this is true of Kiah (except she's number two in Pts/FGA). And Kiah has more upside, since she's just a freshman, and more of a future with the team for the same reason.

But beyond all that, here's the thing. It's very, very likely that the NCAA championship goes through Baylor. It may end up going through ND as well, but we took ND to OT in their gym, so I like our chances if we play them in Denver. Far from a guarantee, very likely a close game, but I think the odds are better than even. Perhaps only a bit, but still ...

But, that still leaves Baylor. And, we now have data from two games, one last season, one this season. And those two games tell us that Heather Buck can stop Brittney Griner. And Stef Dolson, God bless her, can't. And I highly doubt Kiah Stokes will do much better than Stef. And this year's game told us that, like it or not, on offense, your basically going to have to beat Baylor from the outside, with some occasional penetration (which probably only raises BG's block totals) to try to keep the perimeter defenders honest.

Now I'm not advocating sitting Stef against Baylor or anything like that. And Stef is a better passer for sure, so there is that sacrifice on the offensive side if you use Heather. But, at a minimum I think there's a really good chance that you're going to want HB to play 15 to 20 minutes against the Lady Bears if the championship is on the line. That's not an absolute, and if and when the time comes, all sorts of considerations come into play, including the flow of the game. But, sitting here in January, that's what you'd have to anticipate.

And if you're thinking that you will need Heather for 15 to 20 minutes to beat the team that clearly looks like the team to beat, wouldn't you want her to play more than a bit role between then and now? Wouldn't you?

Again, the coaches know way more than I do, have tons of info I don't have, and are infinitely wiser than I am on such matters. But I gotta say I'm scratchin my head on this one.

You make a some good points, but everyone including Geno has said that Steph's problems are due to the defenses double teaming her. That leaves our others 4 on 3 and scoring opportunities for us.
No one will double team Heather on offense; in fact they might even ignore her, making it much more difficult for the rest of the team to score.
 
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I guess I should clarify my point a little. I just think that if you expect Heather to play a key role in the game you have to win to win the championship (recognizing that it's not a given that you'll make it to that game) ... if that's what you expect, then wouldn't you want Heather to have steady minutes in the interim. That way, if and when the Baylor game comes, she's as ready as possible.

The fact is that there are only two regular season games the rest of the year that are likely to be real competitive if we stay healthy. Against ND and Duke, fine go ahead sit Heather. But, if my premise is right, why not get her a steady 8 to 10 minutes in all the other games? (And so the saeme Even in the very unlikely event (IMHO) that we lose one of those games as a result, so what?

And, as far as Kelly goes, you could play Heather when you sit Kelly.

All of that said, I recognize that Geno doesn't like to think this way, that he looks at half the games on the schedule and expects them to be competitive. He has a lot of respect for his fellow coaches, and he always expects the worst. And, partly for the same reasons I don't think Geno likes to look ahead too far. And, no doubt the team is much, much better for that. But, I wonder if in this instance we wouldn't be well served to do it.
 

HuskyNan

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I guess I should clarify my point a little. I just think that if you expect Heather to play a key role in the game you have to win to win the championship (recognizing that it's not a given that you'll make it to that game) ... if that's what you expect, then wouldn't you want Heather to have steady minutes in the interim. That way, if and when the Baylor game comes, she's as ready as possible.
Heather averages 13.8 minutes a game now. I wouldn't expect that to change.
 
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I guess I should clarify my point a little. I just think that if you expect Heather to play a key role in the game you have to win to win the championship (recognizing that it's not a given that you'll make it to that game) ... if that's what you expect, then wouldn't you want Heather to have steady minutes in the interim. That way, if and when the Baylor game comes, she's as ready as possible.

The fact is that there are only two regular season games the rest of the year that are likely to be real competitive if we stay healthy. Against ND and Duke, fine go ahead sit Heather. But, if my premise is right, why not get her a steady 8 to 10 minutes in all the other games? (And so the saeme Even in the very unlikely event (IMHO) that we lose one of those games as a result, so what?

And, as far as Kelly goes, you could play Heather when you sit Kelly.

All of that said, I recognize that Geno doesn't like to think this way, that he looks at half the games on the schedule and expects them to be competitive. He has a lot of respect for his fellow coaches, and he always expects the worst. And, partly for the same reasons I don't think Geno likes to look ahead too far. And, no doubt the team is much, much better for that. But, I wonder if in this instance we wouldn't be well served to do it.

Heather averages 13.8 minutes a game now. I wouldn't expect that to change.
She is not playing in every game.
 

HuskyNan

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She is not playing in every game.
She DNP vs Stanford, College of Charleston (was injured), WVU and Notre Dame. Those are the only games she's missed.
 
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Heather averages 13.8 minutes a game now. I wouldn't expect that to change.
That's not my read from John A's comments. I'm sensing more like 5 to 8, with a good chunk of that coming in the last five minutes of blowouts. If it ends up being more like 13 or 14, then I overreacted.
 
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Thing to remember - John A DOES NOT speak for Geno or any other coach. He hears things through his own ?pre-conceived? filter and then reports what he thinks he heard. I wouldn't put lots of stock in the comments unless the rest of the horde comes out with the same.
 
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Thing to remember - John A DOES NOT speak for Geno or any other coach. He hears things through his own ?pre-conceived? filter and then reports what he thinks he heard. I wouldn't put lots of stock in the comments unless the rest of the horde comes out with the same.
Point well taken.
 
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I guess I should clarify my point a little. I just think that if you expect Heather to play a key role in the game you have to win to win the championship (recognizing that it's not a given that you'll make it to that game) ... if that's what you expect, then wouldn't you want Heather to have steady minutes in the interim. That way, if and when the Baylor game comes, she's as ready as possible.

The fact is that there are only two regular season games the rest of the year that are likely to be real competitive if we stay healthy. Against ND and Duke, fine go ahead sit Heather. But, if my premise is right, why not get her a steady 8 to 10 minutes in all the other games? (And so the saeme Even in the very unlikely event (IMHO) that we lose one of those games as a result, so what?

And, as far as Kelly goes, you could play Heather when you sit Kelly.

All of that said, I recognize that Geno doesn't like to think this way, that he looks at half the games on the schedule and expects them to be competitive. He has a lot of respect for his fellow coaches, and he always expects the worst. And, partly for the same reasons I don't think Geno likes to look ahead too far. And, no doubt the team is much, much better for that. But, I wonder if in this instance we wouldn't be well served to do it.

Finally someone sees it like I do. How do you get Heather to improve her play and get experience playing so she is ready (assuming you think you might need her) for the best post player in WCBB at Baylor and maybe the 3rd best post player in the O sister from Stanford (since we have the 2nd best in Stef) unless you try Heather out with different combos of other players in competitive games. She has only played in 11 of 15 games and has played Stanford 0, WV 0 and A&M 3 and ND 0 minutes. Maybe she works best with Kiah, or only works with a 4 guard lineup with KML in, or she needs to post up high or low or something.
Maybe NC but surely Duke will be a real test of inside play and several BE teams. Kiah seems ready for sidekick role (PF) to Dolson, think only Heather is alternative at center against top teams (although won Stanford game with Kiah as center).
What I find interesting is that no one argues that Heather wasn't at least some what effective against Griner yet no one then asks, well if she can be somewhat effective against the Wilt Chamberlain of WCBB then maybe she could be even more effective against the WV center or the Duke center.
Hmmm, the ol' "we need more offense from the post positions" issue per Geno.
Here are Dolsons stats for 5 more or less competitive games:

Stanford win by 10 = 9pts, tied 3rd scoring
Baylor lose by 5 = 6 pts, 4th in scoring
A&M win by 30 = 10 pts, 6th in scoring
WV win by 19 = 3 pts, 7th in scoring
ND lose by 7 = 9 pts , tied for 3rd in scoring

The only games where the Stef has scored more than 11 points in a game are Prov 12, Buff 17 and Fairfield 22. Overall she is averaging 9.7 pts per game (7.4 in the 5 competitive games).

Just for one last comparison. When you think of the 2002-03 37-1 team you think of DT/Conlon and freshman with AB and Jessica helping out. Don't really think of "offense running through ol' skillet hands Jessica". Well ol' Jessica averaged 10.6 pts per game (2nd highest on team) and 5.9 rebounds per game (her red shirt sophomore year)- pretty comparable to Stefs numbers so far this year.

Last thing related to 2002-03. Wilnett won the Texas game coming in and teaming with DT to pull it out that FF game. May need a Heather to do that this year and agree we need to get her as prepared as possible (also Banks and Kiah), it just seems like Banks and Kiah are somewhat in the plans and Heather isn't and think she should be.
 
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From John A: Heather Buck's future with the Huskies seems to be settled, even after she returns from her bruised right wrist, the one that remains tightly wrapped. The coaching staff has decided that whatever minutes will be distributed to the post will be given primarily to Dolson and freshman Kiah Stokes, who has more offensive ability than Buck.
If everyone stays healthy and out of foul trouble, Buck will be used strictly as a situational sub, a few minutes here and there.
http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn...conn-womens-notebook-20120111,0,1667784.story

Of course the coaches have tons of information I don't have, and I'm sure they have their reasons, and UConn would lose ten times as many games if they listened to me all the time ...

But I just don't get why Geno doesn't want to use Heather more.

First off, the statistics say that she's no slouch. She has more rebounds, blocks and steals than Stef per minute played. She doesn't have much of an offensive game, but still she is number one on the team in points per field goal attempt. Now, all of this is true of Kiah (except she's number two in Pts/FGA). And Kiah has more upside, since she's just a freshman, and more of a future with the team for the same reason.

But beyond all that, here's the thing. It's very, very likely that the NCAA championship goes through Baylor. It may end up going through ND as well, but we took ND to OT in their gym, so I like our chances if we play them in Denver. Far from a guarantee, very likely a close game, but I think the odds are better than even. Perhaps only a bit, but still ...

But, that still leaves Baylor. And, we now have data from two games, one last season, one this season. And those two games tell us that Heather Buck can stop Brittney Griner. And Stef Dolson, God bless her, can't. And I highly doubt Kiah Stokes will do much better than Stef. And this year's game told us that, like it or not, on offense, your basically going to have to beat Baylor from the outside, with some occasional penetration (which probably only raises BG's block totals) to try to keep the perimeter defenders honest.

Now I'm not advocating sitting Stef against Baylor or anything like that. And Stef is a better passer for sure, so there is that sacrifice on the offensive side if you use Heather. But, at a minimum I think there's a really good chance that you're going to want HB to play 15 to 20 minutes against the Lady Bears if the championship is on the line. That's not an absolute, and if and when the time comes, all sorts of considerations come into play, including the flow of the game. But, sitting here in January, that's what you'd have to anticipate.

And if you're thinking that you will need Heather for 15 to 20 minutes to beat the team that clearly looks like the team to beat, wouldn't you want her to play more than a bit role between then and now? Wouldn't you?

Again, the coaches know way more than I do, have tons of info I don't have, and are infinitely wiser than I am on suPch matters. But I gotta say I'm scratchin my head on this one.
"Points in field goal attempts"---she attempts very few shots: 4 0r 5 feet from the basket, with a height advantage, and she dishes the ball outside??
 

doggydaddy

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it just seems like Banks and Kiah are somewhat in the plans and Heather isn't and think she should be.

All that other stuff? When this is all you needed to say?

How about we see how the games play out first?
 

pinotbear

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How then would we pass the time?

"countin' flowers on the wall, doesn't bother me at all.
playin' solitaire 'till dawn, with the deck of 51,
smokin' cigarettes, and watching Captain..Kangaroo, now don't tell me! I've nothin' to do!"
 

Kibitzer

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I noticed the pts/shots stat was referred to occasionally. Reading this thread (a very thoughtful one), especially with complete replays of long preceding posts, I have to wonder it we will now develop a new Boneyard stat: #words per post.
 

Vowelguy

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That's not my read from John A's comments. I'm sensing more like 5 to 8, with a good chunk of that coming in the last five minutes of blowouts.

That's not very much different from now.
 

Vowelguy

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The pie is only so big.

Any minutes Heather gets are going to come at Kiah's expense, and vice versa. The coaches have decided that they have a shot to get one of them NCAA-ready. And that Kiah is further along with more upside. Splitting time between both would likely only lead to modest improvements in both. But a full-out push on Kiah might get her to where the team needs her.
 

Vowelguy

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Maybe she works best with Kiah, or only works with a 4 guard lineup with KML in, or she needs to post up high or low or something.

You're assuming that those combinations have not been tried in practice.
 

Vowelguy

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Hmmm, the ol' "we need more offense from the post positions" issue per Geno.

Overall she is averaging 9.7 pts per game (7.4 in the 5 competitive games).

Stats don't always tell the full story.

Defenses are keying on her, either with double teams or some sagging. That surely is freeing up some outside shooting, or the lane for back cuts.

That would not happen with Heather in the game.
 

pinotbear

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Y'know, vowelguy, that's a reealll good point. Likely, there have been several repetitions of almost every conceivable player combinations in practice. Very little that we see during gametime is "new" to the players. Which is why Geno's practices are so famously demanding.
 
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Does anyone think that there is a part of this that is about broader messages being sent to existing players, incoming players, and recruits? Starting to shape things for the future?
 
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