Nova game thoughts

Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
2,067
Likes
3,362
Too overreliant on Bouknight from the get go. Offense became stagnant and predictable.

Why go Bouknight early though?

You know the kid can just turn it on whenever so why not look to get someone else going? No one else brought it, so we had to defer to Bouknight, they were able to double since we had nothing else offensively.

We were predictable and Villanova isn’t coached by a moron so they were able to stop it.


Stagnant offense, no ball movement. Long shifts no energy, no fight on the glass.

The guys looked demoralized in the 2nd half. Some of that had to be part of getting no calls from the refs, seemingly every OOB was Nova’s hall. Other part was that they just beat us up, and we didn’t fight back.
 

UConn_Top_Dog

"Your school wins games... WE WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS!"
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,181
Likes
1,432
Too many trying to blame Hurley, Whaley, Cole whomever for this loss. Sure there's a few things you would've like for them all to do but kids needed to step up and no one did, NO ONE. Some think it's ok to lose to the supposed #10 team in the country as well. For me no it's not probably because they aren't that good and if they are, they sure didn't look all that good yesterday. The only thing that was definite was how bad our team looked in the 2nd half.

So while we love to applaud and throw confetti when our best player, who is really really good, plays well we need to offer truth when he doesn't. I mean it could have been because the elbow left him with a bad left for the 2nd half, ok. But if so, no matter you can't afford to try to make the plays that turned into disaster possessions and you need to have a better attitude. He was all smiles and a positive teammate the first half but 2nd half that all turned to a less than positive facial expression most often I actually didn't like the look. Not good for the team that leans on you and seems to play to the flow you bring. Yeah he still got his 20 and 11 but not at all a factor other than not making a shot until the last minute of the 2nd half. Add to that his defense was atrocious, absolutely lost his guy numerous times leading to lay ups, open looks and turmoil amongst the other defenders who got into foul trouble.

So for me all in all, most of the blame for this one goes to the guy you ride to the finish line. There were no passengers because he left them stranded too often. He gets his kudos and we kill everyone else, this one rests on Bouk, not all but he was a catalyst in the 2nd half debacle. He needs to right the ship if he's healthy, play both ends with some effort.

Kid has some maturing to do, both mind and body. An extra yer of college would not hurt him.
 

storrsroars

Exiled in Pittsburgh
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
14,198
Likes
18,300
Kid has some maturing to do, both mind and body. An extra yer of college would not hurt him.
Brings up an interesting question. I think that most kids in his draft range take the money, but not sure if maybe some wait a year. Let's say he's projected at #15. Cole Anthony's (#15 in 2020 draft) rookie contact is worth about $15.9 mill, with $6.7 guaranteed. If Bouk were to move up to #8-#10 next year, the total goes to $20+-$24+ mill with $9.2-$11 mill guaranteed. So it's at minimum a $2.5 mill decision and as much as $9 mill if he comes back a year and improves his draft stock. I don't know if DH necessarily wants that given the effect on playing time of his new recruits, and at this time don't know who else is expected to come out in 2022 that might affect Bouk's standing, but it's not like there isn't some financial incentive for waiting it out a year.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
1,042
Likes
1,605
Brings up an interesting question. I think that most kids in his draft range take the money, but not sure if maybe some wait a year. Let's say he's projected at #15. Cole Anthony's (#15 in 2020 draft) rookie contact is worth about $15.9 mill, with $6.7 guaranteed. If Bouk were to move up to #8-#10 next year, the total goes to $20+-$24+ mill with $9.2-$11 mill guaranteed. So it's at minimum a $2.5 mill decision and as much as $9 mill if he comes back a year and improves his draft stock. I don't know if DH necessarily wants that given the effect on playing time of his new recruits, and at this time don't know who else is expected to come out in 2022 that might affect Bouk's standing, but it's not like there isn't some financial incentive for waiting it out a year.

No guarantee he moves up if he comes back next year. Teams are drafting younger more than ever. Maybe he gets banged up a bit next year too and teams start to question if he's injury prone. Who knows. Also, just my guess, but I think he's gonna get picked much earlier than 15 this year.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
3,168
Likes
2,551
In the second half my wife said "Bouknight spends a lot of time with his head down looking at the floor or pulling on his hair. He needs to keep his head up and be confident looking." This goes along with the above posts. As the second half went on and he was trying to win the game we needed to make an adjustment or just reset to give him some help. It did not seem to happen. There were a few kamikaze like drives into the defense that a pullup J would really be nice to have for JB. Not having a second reliable scorer is a problem in the big games. RJ has done it as has Martin but they were both struggling yesterday. I would like to see what Jackson could do when we are 5 out if we sent him into the block for a pass at the rim just to throw the defense off balance.
 

gtcam

Diehard since '65
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
8,300
Likes
10,098
I agree with Mau that Bouk really didn't shine as we thought - if he was hurt, don't play him. However, if he continually becomes injured he will never take the rigors of an NBA schedule. Some may see his stock rising but if I am an NBA GM I am questioning his physical make-up BUT not his talent level. I felt his body and facial signs in the 2nd half sure didn't reflect those of a confident player and that does reflect on the team as a whole.
That being said I don't feel all this rests on his shoulders. DH has a LONG way to go to be an effective game coach in the big arena. Why he thought he could beat Nova by playing their game is beyond belief. He overplayed Bouk's minutes and under utilized others. DH never changed offensive style at all during the game, while Nova showed numerous looks. The inside/beneath the basket was open all second half - why wasn't Josh in there? He knows how to catch the ball and score underneath. Why wasn't Adams in there to lean on Gilespie at times? He has the physical body to do so. Gaffney does have some nice moments but his style slows down the team way too much when they least can afford it. Coach likes to get a technical at the most inopportune times, yet when the refs awarded Nova the ball on two occasions on wrong out of bounds calls - that was the time to get a little crazy in a tight game.
This was a very winnable game but the difference is that Nova is coached on how to win and that breeds confidence. There is no hero ball on that team. Wright recruits for the parts he needs, not for flash and dash. I think DH will learn that soon.
I really didn't expect UConn to win at Nova but I didn't expect a second half like that one unfolded. The team needs scorers and could have some but they need some kind of offensive plan to allow them the opportunity to do so and that has not been evident for a few years.
Hopefully, better days are ahead - Seton Hall and St Johns lost yesterday, that's great. Duke, UNC, Cuse and others won so the bubble is ever changing.
I strongly feel that IF UConn wins out the remainder of the regular season and Bouk stays healthy enough to be effective, the powers to be will give a huge consideration to let UConn dance and to showcase Bouk.
The wins have to be there first.
This team can do it.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
3,571
Likes
2,599
No guarantee he moves up if he comes back next year. Teams are drafting younger more than ever. Maybe he gets banged up a bit next year too and teams start to question if he's injury prone. Who knows. Also, just my guess, but I think he's gonna get picked much earlier than 15 this year.
I agree with you that Bouk is probably 6-10ish this year and will likely go because of that.

The contrarian point viewpoint isn't injury (that would be MORE likely to happen in NBA given his build and have more of a detrimental impact on his future earnings & career). Sure he'd make more money than most see in a lifetime as a top-10 pick even with an injury derailed career, but I think all UConn fans agree his upside is much higher and Bouk should be aiming for multiple NBA all-star type career.

So the counter-argument is that given his skill level (which many on this board tout) Bouknight is capable of totally dominating the college game when he adds more strength and savvy. I'd say Bouk is a top 3 pick if he were to come back and a possible #1. Can't worry about competition because if the competition is better, than he was never gonna earn the $ or have the NBA success.

This is purely a hypothetical debate though, his coach has said he should declare. And with sound guidance like that after the season Bouk will likely hire a trainer and prepare his body for the NBA. And Hurley is actually thinking that putting Bouk in the league after his sophomore year will generate a talent influx that is more valuable than 1 year of Bouknight. I think he's right for the program, Bouk and himself in the long-term.
 

Rico444

Strive for Five
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,153
Likes
12,794
Brings up an interesting question. I think that most kids in his draft range take the money, but not sure if maybe some wait a year. Let's say he's projected at #15. Cole Anthony's (#15 in 2020 draft) rookie contact is worth about $15.9 mill, with $6.7 guaranteed. If Bouk were to move up to #8-#10 next year, the total goes to $20+-$24+ mill with $9.2-$11 mill guaranteed. So it's at minimum a $2.5 mill decision and as much as $9 mill if he comes back a year and improves his draft stock. I don't know if DH necessarily wants that given the effect on playing time of his new recruits, and at this time don't know who else is expected to come out in 2022 that might affect Bouk's standing, but it's not like there isn't some financial incentive for waiting it out a year.

You're not factoring in two things:

1) leaving this year gets him to free agency a year sooner
2) not leaving this year subtracts one year of earning potential from his career

He's ready to go, and he's going to go. I'm sure he could benefit from staying, but the costs would outweigh those benefits (and there's no reason to believe he wouldn't continue to develop in his rookie season in the NBA anyway).
 

HuskyHawk

The triumphant return of the Blues Brothers.
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
21,486
Likes
25,534
No doubt on Brendan, I am beginning to wonder what else happened for these DNPs?

Adams played a lot because Bouk and Jackson were out. He was a DH favorite because he always played hard, especially on D. Sometime during his period starting he started getting lazy on defense.
 

HuskyHawk

The triumphant return of the Blues Brothers.
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
21,486
Likes
25,534
Brings up an interesting question. I think that most kids in his draft range take the money, but not sure if maybe some wait a year. Let's say he's projected at #15. Cole Anthony's (#15 in 2020 draft) rookie contact is worth about $15.9 mill, with $6.7 guaranteed. If Bouk were to move up to #8-#10 next year, the total goes to $20+-$24+ mill with $9.2-$11 mill guaranteed. So it's at minimum a $2.5 mill decision and as much as $9 mill if he comes back a year and improves his draft stock. I don't know if DH necessarily wants that given the effect on playing time of his new recruits, and at this time don't know who else is expected to come out in 2022 that might affect Bouk's standing, but it's not like there isn't some financial incentive for waiting it out a year.

And if he tears and ACL next year? You just can't risk it. He will improve more on an NBA roster than at UConn. So many say he needs another year. Sure, and he can get that on an NBA roster, where he will have even better coaching, facilities, trainers and a chance to play far more games. Plus he hits free agency earlier, and has an extra year of a professional career, assuming his retirement age is relatively fixed.

If you are likely to be drafted, in any round, you should probably go. But absolutely every first round pick should go.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
1,430
Likes
2,334
Which is why, IMHO, Hurley should have sprinkled in some BA to hammer away at Gillespie with some hard fouls.

In the 2nd half when it was obvious nobody could hit the side of a barn, I would've liked to see Hurley throw in all the trees together for a minute or two, just for a different look and to see if it might've generated some much needed offense. Sure the defense would've likely suffered, but it's not like Nova wasn't scoring at will during stretches
Great suggestion. Remember the Georgetown style of play in the 80's. Hit first and dare them to hit back and get the foul called on them.

Plus, "the end justifies the means" in the Nova world, right?

Put a larger, stronger, body on him and bang him back as he tries to back you down near the basket. Imagine what it might be like if Gillespie tried pounding his shoulder three or four times into the chest of a bigger, stronger, guard and Adams bumped back and knocked him on his elbow a couple times?

There was one instance in the first half where AJ fouled a guy and as the foulee was getting off the floor AJ gave a look like "" with a slight smile.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
29,837
Likes
38,372
You're not factoring in two things:

1) leaving this year gets him to free agency a year sooner
2) not leaving this year subtracts one year of earning potential from his career

He's ready to go, and he's going to go. I'm sure he could benefit from staying, but the costs would outweigh those benefits (and there's no reason to believe he wouldn't continue to develop in his rookie season in the NBA anyway).

Makes it even easier because of the injuries and close calls since. Why risk it for another year show him the money!
 

Rico444

Strive for Five
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,153
Likes
12,794
Makes it even easier because of the injuries and close calls since. Why risk it for another year show him the money!

Exactly. Hurley has already said on the record that Bouk is going to lead us as far as we can go this season and then go onto the NBA. A coach isn't saying that unless it's so blatantly obvious that the kid is ready.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
1,430
Likes
2,334
The way he dominated the first ten minutes or so of the game may have been the best ten minutes we've seen from any of the past stars of the team. It's indicative of what he can be if he's healthy and his injury history, dating back to high school, may be the only reservation a GM might have.

As for us fans, most of us would like to see what he can do in a full, healthy, season here but if DH has the same level of contacts JC had he'll get great advice from the scouts and know the right advice to give JB.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
457
Likes
480
You can't blame this second half on Bouk at all . Whaley missed numerous lay ups and his defense was bad ! The problem with boak was that Villanova changed their defense on him and locked him up. The rest of the team did absolutely nothing. Boak also tired out in the second half and we have no one else that can penetrate like him. Coaching and substitutions were terrible. Guys on the bench could of helped if put in today. Besides Boak we need guards ours are backups at best. The team just watches Bouk and don't help him. One thing for sure is Bouk needs to get stronger i don't think he is NBA ready for that reason.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
29,837
Likes
38,372
I hear you but only to a point. To say "...blame him at all" is ridiculous. He was bad, his decisions were bad dribbling into numerous possessions which should have been an obvious pass. Great players know when the double triple teamed start they can't do it all themselves so be the deke and find the open men. And his defense was absolutely atrocious, not even decent he was burnt time and time again. He was as much to bale as anyone in the 2nd half and there's just no denying that. Honestly I have no issues he missed his first 9 shots it happens but when not shooting well you need to be sure you're paying attention in the other areas, he didn't do that.

I am confident he wants to be sure he's ready to be more of the 1st half player we saw the other day than the 2nd. And you're right, even if he's really good both halves he can't win alone we need people to finish lay ups, rebound the ball and make some shots to open it up for him to be even better.

Huge game on the way!
 

RichZ

Fort the ead!
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
4,448
Likes
8,824
He was bad, his decisions were bad dribbling into numerous possessions which should have been an obvious pass. Great players know when the double triple teamed start they can't do it all themselves so be the deke and find the open men.
He was dribbling into situations that he is accustomed to juking and driving right through. His handle - especially with the off hand -- was off. I don't believe he has had that happen before against an opponent that was anxious to be as physical as possible with him.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
29,837
Likes
38,372
He was dribbling into situations that he is accustomed to juking and driving right through. His handle - especially with the off hand -- was off. I don't believe he has had that happen before against an opponent that was anxious to be as physical as possible with him.

No doubt Rich. It was noticeable he was having a little trouble with his left hand dribble in traffic a couple times, lost control or had to recover. Kudos to jay Wright for making it very difficult for him. He has to adjust because he will see more and others need to step up for sure.

Hope you're feeling well.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
159,679
Messages
3,804,839
Members
8,466
Latest member
Zarathustra

Top Bottom