OK, you're Coach Muffet McGraw. What's your game plan? | The Boneyard

OK, you're Coach Muffet McGraw. What's your game plan?

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Kibitzer

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The simple answer (for UConn, of course) is to replicate what worked for Stanford. Manhandle Stewie, put my best defender on KML, then hope that Loyd and Allen can swoop by flatfooted UConn defenders and go unimpeded to the basket. It will be a bonus if the UConn defenders stand motionless as Mabrey spots up for uncontested treys.

But now, upon further review, I notice this new girl, Nurse, and whoever guards her doesn't dare to leave her to double up on Stewie. Same goes for whomever guards that pesky little point guard. Or KML or that other one, Tuck.

Back to the drawing board.
 

Sluconn Husky

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Notre Dame's size could be an issue. Be a great test.
 
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There are a few things Muffet can exploit. We give up more open 3s than I'd like. Fast guards don't seem to have trouble blowing by our guards. We miss FTs and are lazy rebounders. All correctable, but I will not be shocked if we leave Indiana without a win.
 
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ND is a tough place to play. We would have won another title if we had played them farther away from South Bend than Indy, can't remember the year. That was a decided home court advan. for them as South Bend will be.
 

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movies-the-wizard-of-oz.jpg
 

Kibitzer

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Use my guards to drive to the basket and don't stop. I'm more interested in what Geno and the coaching staff going to do to shut down Jewell Loyd.

Kia Nurse gets her first major challenge: to prove she is another Kelly Faris to the satisfaction of the Boneyard cognoscenti.
 
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My guess is that the ND coach will continue with the Flopping Irish tactic. She is probably showing the team film of the Italian national soccer team.
 
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Going to this game with some friends and they are ND fans.

With Loyd, she has not seen a great defensive team all year. Will be her first test this year. I honestly think that UCONN will be able to enforce their will against ND and I don't think that it will be a close game.

UCONN played a tough team on the road across the country and lost in overtime. It will not happen again. They figured out what they need to work on and it will be changed in time for this Saturday.
 

vtcwbuff

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1. Exploit UConn's defensive weakness.
2. Get physical with Stewart.
 

Kibitzer

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As much as I like Faris, Nurse has a much higher ceiling. Iff she ends up being another Faris, that would be a disappointment.

Kalana Greene? Ashley Battle?
 

CL82

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As much as I like Faris, Nurse has a much higher ceiling. Iff she ends up being another Faris, that would be a disappointment.
As much as I loved Kelly, I'm inclined to agree. Nurse has been impressive and improving every game. We knew that she was going to be good, but she end up being a very special player.

Kalana Greene? Ashley Battle?
A great question for which I don't have an answer. Who was the last freshman to come in at guard and be such a critical piece so early in her career?
 

JoePgh

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As much as I loved Kelly, I'm inclined to agree. Nurse has been impressive and improving every game. We knew that she was going to be good, but she end up being a very special player.


A great question for which I don't have an answer. Who was the last freshman to come in at guard and be such a critical piece so early in her career?
I agree with the poster who suggested the "original" Caroline Doty as a good parallel. With only one ACL surgery in her history as a freshman, she came in and started the very first game, beating out her roommate and friend Tiffany Hayes (which must have been quite a contest). You may remember her 6-for-6 performance from the 3-point line in the game against Oklahoma -- her first time on ESPN. And she was as aggressive as Kia Nurse on defense.

After watching her on the Canadian team, I had suggested Kelly Faris as a parallel for Kia, but now I agree that Kia has a lot more offensive potential than Kelly, and seems to make decisions equally well. I am especially impressed with how often her long layups seem to go in (she shares that skill with Gabby Williams).

I don't think Jewel Loyd will get to the basket as easily as the Stanford guards. I will be surprised if UConn is beaten that way. If UConn loses or is seriously tested, it will be because Turner and Reimer outduel Stewie and Morgan in the paint. If UConn wins, it will require a big contribution (lots of minutes) from Kiah Stokes, probably to neutralize Turner. It appears to me that Morgan Tuck has a problem rebounding against larger forwards, and she certainly can't block shots the way Kiah does.
 

alexrgct

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ND will have a good game plan, but UConn is a real test for them. They've played only one team with a pulse, and the Irish only mustered an right-point victory. I think Muffet will rely on open perimeter shots (which UConn has allowed to a criminal extent thus far) and deft passing. Brianna Turner will have the chance to establish herself as a premier player at this level, and I really hope Geno has game-planned for ways to prevent her emergence.
 

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I don't think ND will try anything too fancy. This year's ND is so young that they probably just need to focus on executing their standard offense and defense. Handily, UConn and ND run a lot of the same stuff.

Turner will get the assignment on Stewart, I assume with help from frequent doubles. ND will probably take their chances with any shooter other than KML and use their defender to double.

To me the x-factor is foul trouble. Turner and Reimer can be a little foul-prone. Westbeld has looked good, but she's 6'2 going on 6'1. If she and/or Wright have to play for long stretches, it will be bad news for the Irish.
 
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I do not see any similarities between Kelly Faris and KiaNurse. I think the first couple of years Kelly was strickly a top notch defender. Kia has not reached that level in her defense yet. As far as offense I agree with Geno that no other freshman has been at this level. She loves to shoot and is extremely agressive. I don'trecall Kelly shooting much. I would compare Kia more to Bria Hartley.
 

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I don't think ND will try anything too fancy. This year's ND is so young that they probably just need to focus on executing their standard offense and defense. Handily, UConn and ND run a lot of the same stuff.

Turner will get the assignment on Stewart, I assume with help from frequent doubles. ND will probably take their chances with any shooter other than KML and use their defender to double.

To me the x-factor is foul trouble. Turner and Reimer can be a little foul-prone. Westbeld has looked good, but she's 6'2 going on 6'1. If she and/or Wright have to play for long stretches, it will be bad news for the Irish.
I agree with you Orang...........I don't think ND will try to be too fancy. The 2 coaches know each other too well. Fancy ain't going to get it done. Both teams will want to stay out of foul trouble but I think ND is deeper in the front court. I think this is a fairly even game on paper. The biggest edge goes to ND in FT shooting. We lose too many points at the FT line. Jewel Loyd can be a game-changer if she gets loose so we have to have a body on her at all time. Reimer will be active and trying to redeem her self from last year. UConn wins or loses depending on how well we defend Loyd, Turner , and Mabrey.......JMHO
 
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ND will try to benefit from Nurse`s defensive aggressiveness by getting her in foul trouble. That will be a real test of her basketball intelligence. They will test Uconn guards' willingness to shoot the three, and, as other have said, will try to blow by UConn guards on offense.
 

EricLA

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As much as I like Faris, Nurse has a much higher ceiling. Iff she ends up being another Faris, that would be a disappointment.
True but perhaps he meant on the defensive end. I don't recall a guard who was a better defender than Faris in UCONN's history. Maybe Ashley Battle?

Side note on Notre Dame - they DO have a lot of height - I think about 5 kids who are 6'2" or taller. Thing is, though, they only really play a few of them. Turner, Reimer and Westbeld. Most of their scoring comes from the guards/wings - Loyd, Maybrey, Allen and Johnson. I realize UCONN is not "big" without Dolson, but we have Stewie at 6'4", Tuck at 6'2", and Stokes off the bench at 6'3". Also, I think Williams plays bigger than her 5'11" frame...

I agree with the people who said Nurse might get into foul trouble. She love to take it strong to the basket and no team is better than ND at drawing charges. UCONN needs to be careful about driving into the lane.
 

JoePgh

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I think that Geno may have Stewie and Morgan play high on offense and let KML try to post up her defender, who is likely to be a guard who is her height but less bulky.

That would also allow Stewie and Morgan to cut to the basket, using their quickness against Notre Dave's bulk.

Most likely the basic Irish defensive set will be a triangle - and - two against KML and Stewie, which worked better than any other defensive solution in the NC game last year. That will put pressure on Morgan, Kia, and Moriah to make shots. They should make more shots than Bria and Moriah did in that game, but will it be enough to make up for Stef's great offensive contributions in that game?
 
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My game plan would be the traditional "flop, and cry "foul""!
Don't expect Muffet to stagnate and merely use the traditional method you so ably demonstrated.

This year she will implement scientific enhancements known as "Progressive Crowd Collapse". She will probably settle on the "articulate 10 pin model", whereby the entire team flops in a coordinated manner with each player, using the "Rube Gold dome" variant, ending with all players sprawled on the court. Don't underestimate McGraw's coaching ability! :)
 
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