LOVE this team - and expectations

Discussion in 'UConn Women's Basketball' started by EricLA, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:46 AM.

  1. EricLA

    EricLA Cronus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    11,177
    Likes Received:
    16,299
    As I sat watching the game last night feeling a tad disappointed at the 2nd half, it occurred to me I was looking at it all wrong, and part of that came from preseason expectations. Last year, like many, I felt our ceiling was the elite 8. I figured we'd lose 2-3 games during the regular season and bow out before the final 4. The team defied my expectations, had an incredible season, and was a sliver away from the NC game.

    So we "only" lost Saniya. We knew everyone else would be better. We knew we'd be getting Z and Camara. We knew at the least, we had the #1 recruit and another top 15 kid coming in as freshmen. Expectations were not only sky high, but there were people talking about not only being undefeated, but having no team come within 15-20 points of UCONN.

    Not so fast. But I realized one I adjusted my expectations to something realistic, I suddenly was much happier.

    This team is magnificent. As someone said in another post, this is the Golden Age of UCONN WCBB and we'd better enjoy it while it lasts.

    We have 2 seniors who may be the hardest working kids we've ever seen suit up in a UCONN uniform. Kia might be the most intense player we've ever had in my memory, with the possible exception of Shea Ralph. She does everything really really well and has turned in to a truly elite shooter as well. Love that kid.

    Gabby - it's easy to "ooh and aah" at her spectacular athletic ability, but what's truly amazing about her is not only is she an elite all around basketball player, she's much more than just an athlete.

    I will be truly sad when the curtain finally falls on these 2 magnificent players and will enjoy every second we are honored to see them on the court the rest of this season.

    Lou - she's a legit NPOY contender. I think this is Aja's year, but IMHO she's hands down the best all around player in the country. On offense - passing, 3 point shooting, posting up, moves around the basket, mid range game. On defense - moving her feet, using her length to disrupt, getting into passing lanes - she's a really good defender.

    Pheesa - after a slow start, she's pretty much back to where she was last season and is spectacular. She reminds me of Tuck a bit - never rushed, but usually can't be stopped.

    Crystal - Has there ever been a player to improve so much between freshman and sophomore seasons? If there has, I don't remember, and if one improved more than CD, it certainly wasn't by much.

    The bench has been less than anticipated. We can all probably agree on that. With Z, we had people on here (preseason) calling her "the best player on the team", and "should be starter over Crystal". Well you know what? We are lucky to have her and I can't wait to see what she does next year - when she REALLY hears what the coaches are teaching and her mindset catches up with the physical gifts she has. But even tho she's not what was "expected", she's pretty dang good and by all accounts, loves being at UCONN and playing on this team.

    Same goes for Megan and to a lesser extent Mikayla. They will get it sooner or later, and probably later (meaning next season). Kyla and Molly are better YAY! Same goes for Lexi next season.

    But... I LOVE this team right now. They bust their butts out there every single game, even when they play less than. Geno has been hard on them at times. But that's his job. Mine is to enjoy the ride and realize how blessed I am to be a UCONN fan. Will they win the NC? I sure hope so and I think they will. Will it be 40 minutes of perfection every game? Hell no. But boy am we lucky. Thanks UCONN!!
     
    CBear01, UCONNfan1, drweo and 30 others like this.
  2. chuckhusky

    chuckhusky

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    43
    Excellent post. Spot on.
     
  3. BostonCanuck

    BostonCanuck

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Great post, and I think the board is moving towards a consensus that, while far from perfect, last night's game was a true achievement for the Huskies, and embodies all of the great things we love (and some of the frustrations we don't) about this year's team. This locks down the number one overall seed, and places in front of us the tantalizing prospect that if we do win number 12, it will be as part of another undefeated season. It's going to be one heck of a fun ride from here!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 12:17 PM
    oldude, rford53, RockyMTblue2 and 4 others like this.
  4. Bronx23

    Bronx23

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    269
    EricLa as usual you are pretty close to spot on with your comments, thoughts and feelings about how good this team and its players are!
    Only a few very minor different views on three players.
    I don't see Kia as a premiere shooter. When she's wide open, and not killing herself guarding the opponents best guard her shooting is very good. She can not create her own shot, and like last night when her defensive commitment (which was phenomenal) is unmatched it effects her offense and shooting!
    Gabby is great in so many ways but her shooting leaves a lot to be desired. Pheesa has come most of the way back but is not quite there and it might be impossible to do
    So!
    Other than those three minor differences I agree wholeheartedly!
    Bronx23
     
  5. Husky pride

    Husky pride

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    405
    Totally agree and so glad you included a mention of Lexi Gordon ...who seems at times to be the forgotten player. She came to UConn , ranked 34th , with a senior year game point average of 25 , with 10 rebounds/game and 65 3-pointers. A Texas gal, she had her choice of Baylor, Texas, and TCU ( her Dad’s school) and additionally achieved a HS 3.8 grade average!! Hopefully, she can catch-on, if not this year, next. She’s a talent and has a great future as a Husky!!!
     
    oldude and EricLA like this.
  6. EricLA

    EricLA Cronus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    11,177
    Likes Received:
    16,299
    Fair enough - Totally agree on Gabby - but let me ask you - for Lou - do you think she's an elite shooter? I think so, but she can't create her own shot either - she's more of a spot up, step back, or step to the side 3 point shooter. So is Kia IMHO. Neither are like Durr or Mitchell or some of the other more athletic players who CAN create their own shots. But IMHO that doesn't mean our kids AREN'T elite shooters... :)
     
  7. Tenspro2002

    Tenspro2002

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,455
    Likes Received:
    8,665
    It is true that this team, despite not losing a game, does appear to be less than the anticipated sum of parts that we had coming into the year.

    The bolded piece is important: being the #1 overall seed likely means that we will have to go through either MSU or Baylor, but not both.
     
    oldude, BostonCanuck and Bronxjeff like this.
  8. Bronxjeff

    Bronxjeff

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    549
    Thank you for spelling out in detail a wonderful fan analysis! I completely agree that everyone seems to forget that the team way over achieved last year. We lost by a bucket in OT in the final four! That’s terrible?

    This year may be less magical than last because great things are expected of this team, but they are playing some of the most beautiful basketball since the 1971 Knicks. Everyone should also recognize that the competition is elevating too, and give the credit for it.
     
    oldude, HuskyPhan and EricLA like this.
  9. EricLA

    EricLA Cronus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    11,177
    Likes Received:
    16,299
    Well in fairness, SOMETIMES it's beautiful basketball LOL. When they miss a ton of bunnies, it's not nice to watch at all!!
     
    UCONNfan1 likes this.
  10. chrissaran

    chrissaran

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,835
    Kia and Gabby are two of the hardest working players to ever put on a UConn uniform. However, let's not forget Jen Rizzotti and Kelly Faris. Jen didn't wear those knee pads for nothing. Kelly transformed herself into a decent shooter through a lot of hard work.
     
    Dabber, oldude and Bronxjeff like this.
  11. DefenseBB

    DefenseBB

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,312
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    ...so what took you sooo loonnngggg??:rolleyes:

    I kid of course and as I noted in another thread, last years team was my favorite of all time due their handling of the “UConn aura”, exceeding expectations by miles and truly dominating the games. Plus the HBO special series let the nation in on “our team” and their personality.

    And as you noted, far too many of our peers set completely unreal expectations for this team and continue to do so with each game prognostication of 20, 30, 40 point blowout predictions, setting up a probable failure aspect for not meeting that.

    This is greatness we are watching so enjoy as they handle all the adversity adroitly and support them when they don’t meet “your expectation”.
     
    EricLA likes this.
  12. HuskeyinSC

    HuskeyinSC

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    299
    Yup - Nailed it And on your comment about Z - Yes, Yes! I believe she is realizing how much stronger she needs to be and you will probably find her in the weight room the entire off season.
     
    Teacherdeb and EricLA like this.
  13. tony yusef

    tony yusef

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    121
    It's an overstatement to say Gabby's jumper leaves a lot to be desired, she has good form and the shot always looks like it going in. Her issue seems to be a one of confidence more than anything. Plus she is on a team that doesn't need her to shoot. The mid range game is a forgotten art at every level of basketball, as Geno has said many times once Gabby puts her mind to making that a staple in her game it will be..