My take on defending Griner. | The Boneyard

My take on defending Griner.

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Well, I am probably going to get crucified for what I have to say, but here goes. I was at the game having driven down from Fort Worth, Texas. Dolson did much better against Griner this year than last but not good enough. Kiah Stokes in her very few minutes was very soft versus Griner. The star defensive effort was once again put in by Heather Buck, just like last year. She was absolutely great. So I cannot understand why she played only two minutes in the second half. She should have played 20. Had she, I believe that Griner would not have gotten her two layups late in the game nor would she have shot as many fouls.

I am disappointed we lost but I am even more disappointed that Heather was not in the game shutting down Griner.
 
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If you express opinions about which you feel strongly and can back them up when challenged, then do not be overly concerned about being crucified.

Taking Stefanie out for Heather? No doubt Heather defended quite well and kept UConn in the game in the first half. But Stefanie is, arguably, the second best center in the country. How do you take her out?

Heather Buck, to the delight of all of her fans, will now become the first post off the bench, and will start to average double digit minutes. Overall, this will make Ms Dolson more effective in that she will not be compelled to conserve stamina or aggressiveness.
 
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If you express opinions about which you feel strongly and can back them up when challenged, then do not be overly concerned about being crucified.

Taking Stefanie out for Heather? No doubt Heather defended quite well and kept UConn in the game in the first half. But Stefanie is, arguably, the second best center in the country. How do you take her out?

Heather Buck, to the delight of all of her fans, will now become the first post off the bench, and will start to average double digit minutes. Overall, this will make Ms Dolson more effective in that she will not be compelled to conserve stamina or aggressiveness.

To play devils advocate: why is this year going to be different than last regarding Heather's new effectiveness? If I recall correctly, the Baylor game was her breakout last year according to post game opinions. It didn't happen. Hopefully, this year, the great game she played will stick as she moves forward. She has definitely played better this year leading up to the Baylor game. Hope it continues for all concerned.

I do agree, she will be first post off the bench, just as she was coming into this game.
 
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To play devils advocate: why is this year going to be different than last regarding Heather's new effectiveness? If I recall correctly, the Baylor game was her breakout last year according to post game opinions. It didn't happen. Hopefully, this year, the great game she played will stick as she moves forward. She has definitely played better this year leading up to the Baylor game. Hope it continues for all concerned.

I do agree, she will be first post off the bench, just as she was coming into this game.

Good point. One would have thought that last year's Baylor game would have earned Ms Buck fewer minutes riding the pine. Either the level of Ms Buck's performance last year was overexaggerated by casual observers, or she just does not practice well; At least not to the satisfaction of the coaching staff. However, I saw enough yesterday to convince me that Ms Buck deserves more playing time. UConn played quite well offensively with Buck in the game. Quite possibly because the other players green-lighted themselves.
 

FairView

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Hasn't the coaching staff said that they've changed their approach to Heather this year and they are focusing on having her do what she is good at? I believe that has made her much more effective in the minutes she played in all of her games this year.
 
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If you express opinions about which you feel strongly and can back them up when challenged, then do not be overly concerned about being crucified.

Taking Stefanie out for Heather? No doubt Heather defended quite well and kept UConn in the game in the first half. But Stefanie is, arguably, the second best center in the country. How do you take her out?

Heather Buck, to the delight of all of her fans, will now become the first post off the bench, and will start to average double digit minutes. Overall, this will make Ms Dolson more effective in that she will not be compelled to conserve stamina or aggressiveness.

How do you take her out you ask, Just look at what was happening on the court. BG scored at will on SD all game long, But when HB was in she effectively stopped BG from scoring for the most part. Not saying that one would not keep SD as the starter but in this game HB was the obvious choice to be the player going against BG, when HB came into the game we were down 7ish points, and when Geno pulled her we had the lead.
 
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Yes, I understand how the game was playing out. Pre game , it seemed that an important key was keeping Stefanie on the floor. I just cannot justify taking a player the caliber of Dolson out of an important game. She is the second best post in the country.
Griner may have been scoring at will because Dolson realized how important it was for her to try to stay out of foul trouble.
 
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Stef is the second best center in the country; but, she is also the second best center on the Uconn team defensively against Griner.

Against Griner, Stef should be shooting short jumpers all night. That would force Griner out and open up cutters underneath, utilizing Stef's great passing abilities.

HB should be in the game at the same time, to guard Griner on defense. On offense, Heather could open cutting lanes by sealing Griner off or putting up a layup on a pass from Stef.

Even Griner can't do two things at the same time- guarding against Stef's jumpers from the foul line or guarding the basket.

I think Bayler played their A game and Uconn a B+ game. That was the best that Baylor has; but, Uconn can beat them with their A game, by doing the above and having KLM make 1/3 of her threes in the second half.

It's too bad they lost, but very few people on this board predicted that Uconn would be ranked #2 at this point with the likelihood of losing only one game this season.

Notre Dame played great, but they don't have anyone to match up against Stef. That's when she she resumes her position as Uconn's best center.
 

Icebear

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Stef is the second best center in the country; but, she is also the second best center on the Uconn team defensively against Griner.

Against Griner, Stef should be shooting short jumpers all night. That would force Griner out and open up cutters underneath, utilizing Stef's great passing abilities.

HB should be in the game at the same time, to guard Griner on defense. On offense, Heather could open cutting lanes by sealing Griner off or putting up a layup on a pass from Stef.

Even Griner can't do two things at the same time- guarding against Stef's jumpers from the foul line or guarding the basket.

I think Bayler played their A game and Uconn a B+ game. That was the best that Baylor has; but, Uconn can beat them with their A game, by doing the above and having KLM make 1/3 of her threes in the second half.

It's too bad they lost, but very few people on this board predicted that Uconn would be ranked #2 at this point with the likelihood of losing only one game this season.

Notre Dame played great, but they don't have anyone to match up against Stef. That's when she she resumes her position as Uconn's best center.
Bingo, great observations.
 
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I think talk about Heather's wrist changes this discussion at least a little. We just don't know whether she was really available for use in the second half and if so, at what strength. But I absolutely agree -- for the time she was in during the first half, she did a fine job of neutralizing Griner. It strikes me that if Geno wants to take advantage of this fact if UConn plays Baylor again, he has to come up with offensive schemes that take into account the fact that Heather is not going to be scoring much. They did reasonably well scoring when she was in, but I wonder if there's more they cabn plan on if they know Heather will be playing against Griner.

I'm intrigued by the idea of playing Stef and Heather at the same time.
 
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I think talk about Heather's wrist changes this discussion at least a little. We just don't know whether she was really available for use in the second half and if so, at what strength. But I absolutely agree -- for the time she was in during the first half, she did a fine job of neutralizing Griner. It strikes me that if Geno wants to take advantage of this fact if UConn plays Baylor again, he has to come up with offensive schemes that take into account the fact that Heather is not going to be scoring much. They did reasonably well scoring when she was in, but I wonder if there's more they cabn plan on if they know Heather will be playing against Griner.

I'm intrigued by the idea of playing Stef and Heather at the same time.
Last year, they did play together a few times, and it seemed to me that
Heather played more under control. Maybe last year, when she was on the floor without Stef, she felt like she had to do too much, and she started doing too much of that cursed thinking!
 

VAMike23

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I think talk about Heather's wrist changes this discussion at least a little. We just don't know whether she was really available for use in the second half and if so, at what strength. But I absolutely agree -- for the time she was in during the first half, she did a fine job of neutralizing Griner. It strikes me that if Geno wants to take advantage of this fact if UConn plays Baylor again, he has to come up with offensive schemes that take into account the fact that Heather is not going to be scoring much. They did reasonably well scoring when she was in, but I wonder if there's more they cabn plan on if they know Heather will be playing against Griner.

I'm intrigued by the idea of playing Stef and Heather at the same time.

Geno used them both at once in the 2-3 zone a few times earlier this season
 
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I think Bayler played their A game and Uconn a B+ game. That was the best that Baylor has; but, Uconn can beat them with their A game, by doing the above and having KLM make 1/3 of her threes in the second half.

Oh, as hard as I try I can't let that go unchallenged.

My Baylor grades for last night's game would be:
Griner, B+ (for her), she came through in crunch time, as expected, but had a little case of the fumble fingers offensively
Sims, A when Sims plays an A+ game she's freaking unbelievable, she's also capable of slipping to a C game on occasion, played an A game last night
Pope, C she played average at best, she has a hard time matching up against elite talent
Hayden, C another inconsistent player who can save your bacon one minute and lose it the next
Condrey, B+ played within her abilities and was a calming presence
Madden, A only shot once and missed but defended like a beast, Madden is a capable scorer who was not called upon to score in that game
Williams, C is in Mulkey's doghouse presently but will be expected to be a major contributor during Big XII play and in the post season, capable of scoring 20+ and 10 boards

Believe me, that was far from the best Baylor has.
 

ladybears4eva

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the first 10 minutes of the game and the last 10 of the game were baylor's best parts.... i guess that is when it counts...

b+ game in my eyes.... we kept allowing open 3s, which you cannot do to a good 3 shooting team.
I bet iowa state gives us hell this year again... they shoot the 3 as well as uconn's guards are...

it'll be tough to play in the big 12 this year, away at least.
 
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GrizBear,

Never resist opening up. That what this is all about- having fun. You are obviously liked here- 7 posts and 7 "likes." I'm a new poster myself. It is a very welcoming place. I have really appreciated the kind comments I have received from the vets on this board when I put some though into a post. It has encouraged me to contribute. (Perhaps after this long one, there might be second thoughts.)

Have either Griner or Sims played a better total game against good competition this year? I was amazed that both performed as well as they did. But, no one can play 100% over 40 minutes. That is what hurt Uconn last year.

Kelly made a comment this year that she was much happier not haviing to play as many minutes this year, because she could play all out, knowing that there was a replacement on the bench (KLM, not bad!)

On the other hand, KLM, and Tiffany have had much better games and Stef is capable of making foul line shots at much more than 50.% Also, our other frosh should be a lot better by the end of the season.

Do you think that there is as much potential upside on the Bears ? Of course, with Griner and Sims, how much upside do you need. Griner has improved light years from last year. Geno thinks that she has a lot more in her, the question is, how much better will she be between now and the NCAA's. How much more can the coaching staff help her in a few short months?

I'm glad that Geno is not her coach.
 
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Oh, as hard as I try I can't let that go unchallenged.

My Baylor grades for last night's game would be:
Griner, B+ (for her), she came through in crunch time, as expected, but had a little case of the fumble fingers offensively
Sims, A when Sims plays an A+ game she's freaking unbelievable, she's also capable of slipping to a C game on occasion, played an A game last night
Pope, C she played average at best, she has a hard time matching up against elite talent
Hayden, C another inconsistent player who can save your bacon one minute and lose it the next
Condrey, B+ played within her abilities and was a calming presence
Madden, A only shot once and missed but defended like a beast, Madden is a capable scorer who was not called upon to score in that game
Williams, C is in Mulkey's doghouse presently but will be expected to be a major contributor during Big XII play and in the post season, capable of scoring 20+ and 10 boards

Believe me, that was far from the best Baylor has.
I think this is an interesting perspective from someone who watches a lot of Baylor. But the point is not whether this is the best Baylor can play in an objective sense. I am sure it is not. The rreal question is whether it is the best Baylor can play against UConn, and the answer is that it may well be.

BYers may remember those years (maybe 5-9 years ago) when for stretches, UConn played damn near perfect basketball. I remember seeing a 15-minute period where they did absolutely everything right. But they did that against Villanova. Could that UConn team play that way against, say, Tennessee? Absolutely not, because a high-level team has the power to work its will -- to some extent -- against even a great team. So, barring an amazing night and a really off-night for UConn, Baylor is unlikely to play a lot better because the opponent will have something to say about it. This does not mean that Baylor cannot win again against UConn. They absolutely can. But the level of their play may not be any better next time. The same factors, obviously, apply to UConn as well.
 
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Hasn't the coaching staff said that they've changed their approach to Heather this year and they are focusing on having her do what she is good at? I believe that has made her much more effective in the minutes she played in all of her games this year.
Once again, you can only go so far with one dimensional players.
 
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I think this is an interesting perspective from someone who watches a lot of Baylor. But the point is not whether this is the best Baylor can play in an objective sense. I am sure it is not. The rreal question is whether it is the best Baylor can play against UConn, and the answer is that it may well be.

BYers may remember those years (maybe 5-9 years ago) when for stretches, UConn played damn near perfect basketball. I remember seeing a 15-minute period where they did absolutely everything right. But they did that against Villanova. Could that UConn team play that way against, say, Tennessee? Absolutely not, because a high-level team has the power to work its will -- to some extent -- against even a great team. So, barring an amazing night and a really off-night for UConn, Baylor is unlikely to play a lot better because the opponent will have something to say about it. This does not mean that Baylor cannot win again against UConn. They absolutely can. But the level of their play may not be any better next time. The same factors, obviously, apply to UConn as well.

That statement is better than 99 44/100% correct. The only thing between it and perfection is Villanova-Georgetown 1985.
 
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I'd say...
do NOT worry about defending Griner

Instead, focus on keeping Griner from wrecking YOUR offense.

That is kind of why Heather was effective: she only looked to body up and bang.

I think you guys are right, though: Heather is afraid to fail offensively, maybe mishandled by the staff when she was new to the team. I can't imagine what practice was like when Tina Charles was there.

Brutal
 
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GrizBear,
Have either Griner or Sims played a better total game against good competition this year? I was amazed that both performed as well as they did. But, no one can play 100% over 40 minutes. That is what hurt Uconn last year.
. . .
Do you think that there is as much potential upside on the Bears ? Of course, with Griner and Sims, how much upside do you need. Griner has improved light years from last year. Geno thinks that she has a lot more in her, the question is, how much better will she be between now and the NCAA's. How much more can the coaching staff help her in a few short months?

This year, I think Griner played better against Notre Dame and in the second half against Tennessee. Griner was a monster in the Notre Dame game, 14-18 for 32 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks. She scored 17 in the second half of the Tennessee game and took the game over herself. Sims did not shoot well against Tennessee (4-15, 1-6 on threes) or particularly well against Notre Dame (6-15, 1-3 on threes). Sims was great on the line in both those games, with 14-15 against Tennessee and 12-14 against Notre Dame. Obviously, to get that many free throws Sims had to be forcing the issue in those games and that's always big.

So, I'd say Sims has not played better this year against good competition than she did against UConn but Griner has. My bigger point was that Destiny Williams is a much better player than she has shown lately. When she plays up to her ability Baylor is a much more difficult team to beat. As a result, I give Baylor a B+ for that game: Sims A, Madden A, Griner B+ and Williams C. Not only do I think they can be better, they need to be better.
 

Zorro

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I think prolly the Tanya Harding Defense would be the only really effective defense against Griner, but I doubt we want to go to that extreme.
 
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