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Observations / what we learned

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1st of all, what a game. That was as good a game as you're gonna get this year. Geno needs to use his bench more. He needed all hands on deck for this game & didn't go to Banks at ALL. She could have at least helped with ball handling and guarding Simms. KML is still finding her way & IMO is playing 2nd fiddle to Hayes & Doty. If she gets unleashed, she will have a much better showing than she did last night. there were & are 0 plays for her to get open. She doesn't know how to play like that. She went to a school where they did nothing but run her off of screens & that's where she shines the most. Faris is a joy to watch on both ends of the floor. She's not as aggressive offensively & probably has the same thought process as KML but she plays her position & plays it WELL. Stef is still slow & not athletic. She is the key to them winning another chip but I don't know if she's that type of player or ever will be. Tiffany Hayes was hot & cold as usual & has no killer instinct whatsoever, Doty is a shell of her former self. She has 0 confidence in that knee & you can tell. Had she been two surgeries short, she would have been a major benefactor in getting a W tonight. Two words: HEATHER. BUCK. What a game & her body looks phenomenal...absolutely phenomenal.

Anyways, it doesn't matter who won this game, it matters who wins the last game in MARCH. Still in all, theres nobody that i've seen in the country that can or will beat UCONN for the rest of the year. ND included. Expect them to come out & smack C of C on the 21st. Also, you might see a different KML after she got chewed out by Geno tonight. She was getting chewed on the bench & then Geno called a TO with seconds to go just to chew her out in front of everybody. I'm interested to see how she responds. either she'll come back & lead the nation in scoring, or she'll shrink. I doubt the latter.

UCONN & BU needs to renew this series ASAP. at LEAST another year because BU won't be any good once Griner goes pro.
 
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did you see the boxscore... Im not say she didnt do some good things but this wasnt an AA game for her
Thanks for this comment. I like her intensity and toughness but everyone annoints her all-american and she has serious shortcomings to the offensive side of the ball. An occasional bit of success doesn't compensate for a lot of poor offensive games where she is "played off" because she has very very limited offensive skills. There were remarks about Buck not playing more in the second half because of her offensive limitations. I think that applies to Faris, to a great extent.
 
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Other than the 23 from Sims? That's not a bad sidekick.
I can guarantee that without Britney Griner Sims doesn't get half the points she got tonight. I give her some credit because she does have talent but don't even think that her numbers would have been there without that unbelievable threat in the middle. I was very very disappointed in UConn's defense in regard to her, particularly a three point shot she had early in the second half when there wasn't a Huskie in the same time zone as Sims when she launched that wide open shot.
 

DaddyChoc

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I can guarantee that without Britney Griner Sims doesn't get half the points she got tonight. I give her some credit because she does have talent but don't even think that her numbers would have been there without that unbelievable threat in the middle. I was very very disappointed in UConn's defense in regard to her, particularly a three point shot she had early in the second half when there wasn't a Huskie in the same time zone as Sims when she launched that wide open shot.
Buzz I must say "but they do have Griner".... if they didn't is weak. If UConn didn't have Lobo, Cash, Shea, Taurasi, or Maya....
 

RadyLady

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Without Griner Baylor is just ordinary. Sure Baylor has other players that can play...but, Griner puts them in the class they are in. Without Griner this team would not be a top 10 team.

I disagree. They have other great players and one standout: Sims. She is something else. I like her game and I like her game face.
 
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It was a great game. I join the many wondering why Heather didn't get more PT in the second half. As I remember it in the 1st half we were down about 7 when she and KML came in and we took the lead. In the second we lost the lead but when she came in and the momentum changed until she left. She effectively denied several passes into Griner, something I did not see Steph do more than two times. Steph had twice as many minutes as Heather but Heather equaled or beat her in every category except points. KML went flat shooting in the second half but still contributed in ball movement and defense. Caroline looked flat. I was hoping for Banks to be put out there to harass Sims in the second half.
 
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When Griner goes to stop the player driving to the basket, the player she was guarding needs to be going towards the basket for the quick dish and lay in. No one that I can recall went to the basket to provide any type of option for the driving player.
Excellent point. I'm not sure those driving to the basket were prepared to pass (since Griner almost always blocks from behind, the driving player generally didn't realize they were about to be blocked), but there will have to be more driving then passing next time.
 

Wbbfan1

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UConn doesn't have the players to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.

Stef is not the #2 post player in the country. She's too soft, doesn't demand the ball enough and can't rebound worth a darn. However, I would take her in a second over Kelsey Bone.

Kelly may have improved her shooting during practice, but it doesn't happen in games. Kelly's intangibles are valuable, but last not needed another scorer on the floor at times. There isn't one available on the bench.

Still can't rely on Tiff to have a monster scoring game against elite teams. She did contribute in the other phases of the game. She's not an All American if she can't come up big against Elite Teams.

Bria is a future All American and was the star of last nights game for UConn. Doesn't play with the same fire and defensive intensity that Sims does and for that reason IMHO Sims is the better guard.

KML is also a future All American and will only get better in the other phases of the game as the season progresses. Has to learn what Maya did, she needs to be constantly moving to get open for her shots. Also like Maya she needs to develop her drives to the basket so she can get to the free throw line more often.

I wish this team had a fiery leader like Sims is for Baylor. If they had one, they might not have missed on the opportunity that Baylor gave them last night.
 

alexrgct

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UConn doesn't have the players to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.

Stef is not the #2 post player in the country. She's too soft, doesn't demand the ball enough and can't rebound worth a darn. However, I would take her in a second over Kelsey Bone.

Kelly may have improved her shooting during practice, but it doesn't happen in games. Kelly's intangibles are valuable, but last not needed another scorer on the floor at times. There isn't one available on the bench.

Still can't rely on Tiff to have a monster scoring game against elite teams. She did contribute in the other phases of the game. She's not an All American if she can't come up big against Elite Teams.

Bria is a future All American and was the star of last nights game for UConn. Doesn't play with the same fire and defensive intensity that Sims does and for that reason IMHO Sims is the better guard.

KML is also a future All American and will only get better in the other phases of the game as the season progresses. Has to learn what Maya did, she needs to be constantly moving to get open for her shots. Also like Maya she needs to develop her drives to the basket so she can get to the free throw line more often.

I wish this team had a fiery leader like Sims is for Baylor. If they had one, they might not have missed on the opportunity that Baylor gave them last night.
That's a pretty scathing review of a team that lost by five on the road to the #1 team in the country. One that has one of the more physically unique players in the game's history.
 
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I would guess that Geno played Dolson more than Buck for two reasons.

1. UConn was starting to struggle shooting the ball, and when that happens Geno consistently tries to put his best offensive players on the floor. Dolson gave the team a much better chance to get baskets inside the 3-point line either through backdoor players or Dolson rolling to the basket like she did to begin the game. This is consistently how Geno operates, he doesn't believe in going into a defensive bunker mentality when his team stops hitting jump shots.

2. There was no national championship on the line in this game. Beating Baylor wouldn't have been the first #1 ranking in school history. There actually wasn't much downside if UConn happened to lose this game. So he played his best center who is only a sophomore who needs to gain experience dealing with Griner because the next time or two UConn meets Baylor a national championship will be on the line. Dolson hasn't had the benefit of having to defend Tina Charles in practice like Heather has.
 

cohenzone

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As much as Baylor looked in charge at the end, there were 3 very critical events in the last few minutes that could still have led to a Husky V had they all turned out otherwise. Faris fails to take a dribble on a clear lay up and properly gets called for walking. It would have cut the lead to 2. Bria misses the front end of a 1 and 1. UConn fails to rebound the missed front end of a Baylor 1 and 1 and Baylor I believe wound up scoring. Two pretty even teams. But, they have Griner and we don't. That being said, had UConn been able to keep Sims in check a little better, who knows what happens, but she is terrific as well.
 

speedoo

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That's a pretty scathing review of a team that lost by five on the road to the #1 team in the country. One that has one of the more physically unique players in the game's history.
Scathing and also wrong on just about every count, IMO.
 
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I think he's wrong. That's two big games now where she comes out on fire and than all of her shots get short.

I don't think we should overlook Jordan Madden, who was defending Kaleena in the second half. According to the announcers, Madden had also shut down Stricklen in the 2nd half of the Tenn. game. So, maybe Baylor has a Kelly Faris of their own.
 

Kibitzer

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UConn doesn't have the players to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.

Stef is not the #2 post player in the country. She's too soft, doesn't demand the ball enough and can't rebound worth a darn. However, I would take her in a second over Kelsey Bone.

Kelly may have improved her shooting during practice, but it doesn't happen in games. Kelly's intangibles are valuable, but last not needed another scorer on the floor at times. There isn't one available on the bench.

Still can't rely on Tiff to have a monster scoring game against elite teams. She did contribute in the other phases of the game. She's not an All American if she can't come up big against Elite Teams.

Bria is a future All American and was the star of last nights game for UConn. Doesn't play with the same fire and defensive intensity that Sims does and for that reason IMHO Sims is the better guard.

KML is also a future All American and will only get better in the other phases of the game as the season progresses. Has to learn what Maya did, she needs to be constantly moving to get open for her shots. Also like Maya she needs to develop her drives to the basket so she can get to the free throw line more often.

I wish this team had a fiery leader like Sims is for Baylor. If they had one, they might not have missed on the opportunity that Baylor gave them last night.
1. I guess Geno should recruit players who can draw fouls. I, for one, don't know how that is done. Griner has the remarkable ability to block shots without fouling and the players who play for UConn are very good. I personally think that "getting to the foul line" strategy is not the one that will win NC #8.
2. Geno says Griner is #1 and Stef is #2. I agree with him.
3. We know by now that Kelly is a superb defender/rebounder but not a deadly shooter. As Jim Brown said when his blocking and pass-catching skills were criticized, "All Caruso can do is sing."
4. Tiff is a terrific player who played very well on the road vs. the #1 team in the country. She's a senior now and has played in all of three losing games in her career. She's a keeper.
5. Sims may be better than Hartley (and, if so, it's close) but she is not one iota more intense.
6. KML is arguably UConn's best player right now. She will only get better.
7. We had a fiery leader like Sims. Her Name was Taurasi, but she was a once-in-a-generation player. There is no lack of intensity among the current roster, they just went up against Griner and lost. By five. On the road.

For those who knock Baylor ("Without Griner, they're nothing"), I suggest that without the Statue of Liberty, the New York harbor is not much of a tourist attraction.

I am as disappointed as anyone that UConn lost but in no way displeased with their effort or their coaching. The better team won and it just wasn't us. It happens. That's five L's in five seasons. Let's deal with it.
 

Wbbfan1

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If I'm so wrong, please explain. I'm willing to read and take into consideration what you have to say.

BTW just because I was critical of some players, that doesn't mean I wasn't impressed with how the TEAM played. Last night the team allowed two Baylor players to beat them. Sure Sims and Griner are outstanding players and IMHO the best players on the court last night, but the game was there for the taking. All the team needed was another consistent scoring option and for someone to take charge and say we're not losing this game. IMHO that what Sims did for Baylor and it was successful. Also you're not going to beat the elite teams by going to the free throw line twice in the game when the opposing team goes 9 or more times.

I also didn't come away from this game thinking that UConn will definitely beat ND in South Bend. While ND doesn't have a Griner they have more scoring options that will cause this team problems. They do have Skylar who plays a similar role for ND that Sims does for Baylor. Stef will have to stay out of foul trouble and contribute more then what she did against Baylor. It should be an interesting game, and home court like last night might be the difference.

Scathing and also wrong on just about every count, IMO.
 
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Stef is not the #2 post player in the country.

I like Stef and am glad to have her, but she has yet to show me she's "great". Good, if not very good, but not great.

If I had an AA ballot, I'd have Bria 2nd team and KML as 3rd. But not Stef.

Yet.
 
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What I got from this game is that UConn can beat Baylor and any other team in WCB. The possibilities for a NC this year have increased imo. Regardless it will be a fun season.
 

cferraro04

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As much as Baylor looked in charge at the end, there were 3 very critical events in the last few minutes that could still have led to a Husky V had they all turned out otherwise. Faris fails to take a dribble on a clear lay up and properly gets called for walking. It would have cut the lead to 2. Bria misses the front end of a 1 and 1. UConn fails to rebound the missed front end of a Baylor 1 and 1 and Baylor I believe wound up scoring. Two pretty even teams. But, they have Griner and we don't. That being said, had UConn been able to keep Sims in check a little better, who knows what happens, but she is terrific as well.

Right on all three counts above. I will add to that that Geno obviously made a half-time adjustment by pulling Stefanie out to the foul line and instructed her to take the foul line jumper...she did and she missed her first 2 or 3. This was designed to draw Brittany out to the foul line and open the back door up a little more. Had Stefanie knocked down those shots mission would have been accomplished. She finally made one but it was too late in the half for the strategy to take hold. Great idea by Geno but the execution wasn't there.

Other notable observations...Sims was left open for two back to back threes in the second half... We really needed to get to the line more...that was the major stat... There were others but we had less control over them than getting to the foul line. We could have used a deeper bench...we need some of the supporting cast to prove themselves to Geno in practice...we could have used some more bodies to throw at Baylor and by doing so we could have instituted the full court press better and for longer periods of time. We did no trapping at all...remember Sims is only 5'7". Banks needs to figure out how she is going to help this team...this year. Stefanie needs to figure out how to use her body to keep Griner away from the basket...she did a great job on that one play late in the 2nd half when she forced Griner to go baseline and she cut her off and used her height to make Griner take the difficult shot.
 

speedoo

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If I'm so wrong, please explain. I'm willing to read and take into consideration what you have to say.

BTW just because I was critical of some players, that doesn't mean I wasn't impressed with how the TEAM played. Last night the team allowed two Baylor players to beat them. Sure Sims and Griner are outstanding players and IMHO the best players on the court last night, but the game was there for the taking. All the team needed was another consistent scoring option and for someone to take charge and say we're not losing this game. IMHO that what Sims did for Baylor and it was successful. Also you're not going to beat the elite teams by going to the free throw line twice in the game when the opposing team goes 9 or more times.

I also didn't come away from this game thinking that UConn will definitely beat ND in South Bend. While ND doesn't have a Griner they have more scoring options that will cause this team problems. They do have Skylar who plays a similar role for ND that Sims does for Baylor. Stef will have to stay out of foul trouble and contribute more then what she did against Baylor. It should be an interesting game, and home court like last night might be the difference.

Try reading Kibitzer's post above. My explanation would be very similar, if not identical.
 
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As so often in games against top competition, UConn's result and Tiffany's ability to make shots are directly proportional.
 

speedoo

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I like Stef and am glad to have her, but she has yet to show me she's "great". Good, if not very good, but not great.

If I had an AA ballot, I'd have Bria 2nd team and KML as 3rd. But not Stef.

Yet.
But which centers would you have on the second and third teams? And what, if any success have they had vs. Griner in Waco this year? (The last part is important because Griner is clearly very much improved this year.)
 

Kibitzer

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Buzz I must say "but they do have Griner".... if they didn't is weak. If UConn didn't have Lobo, Cash, Shea, Taurasi, or Maya....[/quote

As the old saying goes, "If a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass everytime he jumps."
 

cohenzone

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"Right on all three counts above. I will add to that that Geno obviously made a half-time adjustment by pulling Stefanie out to the foul line and instructed her to take the foul line jumper...she did and she missed her first 2 or 3. This was designed to draw Brittany out to the foul line and open the back door up a little more. Had Stefanie knocked down those shots mission would have been accomplished. She finally made one but it was too late in the half for the strategy to take hold. Great idea by Geno but the execution wasn't there"

Other notable observations...Sims was left open for two back to back threes in the second half... We really needed to get to the line more...that was the major stat... There were others but we had less control over them than getting to the foul line. We could have used a deeper bench...we need some of the supporting cast to prove themselves to Geno in practice...we could have used some more bodies to throw at Baylor and by doing so we could have instituted the full court press better and for longer periods of time. We did no trapping at all...remember Sims is only 5'7". Banks needs to figure out how she is going to help this team...this year. Stefanie needs to figure out how to use her body to keep Griner away from the basket...she did a great job on that one play late in the 2nd half when she forced Griner to go baseline and she cut her off and used her height to make Griner take the difficult shot."

We agree much more on sports than in other arenas (which I no longer frequent):) And I agree with you on the clear strategy to have SD try some jumpers that she unfortunately didn't make. Banks is another matter. She wasn't used all that much in the last game either. While Geno's success is undeniable, he does seem to never want to deviate much from a 7-8 player rotation. On the men's side, Calhoun was always the same as well, until last year and this when he has gone sometimes 10 deep and it is working. It's hard for me to identify BB as a player right now, but GA goes by practices to determine playing time. Yesterday, with CD obviously struggling all around, I wonder if Banks has shown so little in practice that using her a bit was totally out of the question. I'm not sure the team was as gassed as it was against ND in the NCAAs last year when Geno didn't use Heather at all, but he does get stubborn at times.
 

DaddyChoc

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"Right on all three counts above. I will add to that that Geno obviously made a half-time adjustment by pulling Stefanie out to the foul line and instructed her to take the foul line jumper...she did and she missed her first 2 or 3. This was designed to draw Brittany out to the foul line and open the back door up a little more. Had Stefanie knocked down those shots mission would have been accomplished. She finally made one but it was too late in the half for the strategy to take hold. Great idea by Geno but the execution wasn't there"

I agree
 
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But which centers would you have on the second and third teams? And what, if any success have they had vs. Griner in Waco this year? (The last part is important because Griner is clearly very much improved this year.)

I dunno. Maybe I wouldnt have any true centers on the 2nd and 3rd team.

And it's not just yesterday's game. In the games that I can recall, Stef has been good, not great. Let's be clear, "good" is not an insult by any stretch.
 
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