Outside The Box Thought About UCONN bench (merged thread)

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#1
I watched the postgame show 2nite and it struck me that maybe Geno has the luxury of strengthening his bench the rest of the season since his competition is so weak.

Why be bent on starting the starting five when your bench needs playing time to gain confidence? Start the bench players that need playing time against these AAC teams. Give them most of the playing time to get better. You're beating those teams by 40 or 50 points anyway. I see nothing negative about playing the bench players most of the time. Might even make the games more interesting.

You also save the "starters" from injury for the postseason.
 

SVCBeercats

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#5
I think he did that either last year or the prior year. It may have been for the full second quarter, rather than the first, but he gave the bench meaningful extended minutes in the first half. It was ugly, unfortunately.
It was ugly and unfortunate because all of the bench players or 4 of them and one starter were inserted into the game. An alternative method is to insert 1 or 2 bench players with 3 or 4 starters. Chaos would not reign and a learning experience would happen.
 

jennyo70

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#6
I find this is what Walz does, though he has the luxury of doing it early season, so come conference time, he has developed them some. Of course, that is why we have some ugly wins early season. I believe it also leads others to say we don't deserver our ranking, or we are most vulnerable of the top teams. Of course, if it gets too close he pulls them, but the bench (specifically freshman) can get a long leash in the early season.
 
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#7
so your point is that Collier is a better player then ONO? Perhaps a bit premature to make that kind of judgement......Collier played a lot of minutes early with mixed results....she had a few impressive games and looked absolutely lost in others leading her back to the bench for long stretches....Collier is very strong and can more easily establish position under the basket and she is pretty polished offensively.......she also plays for a coach that will let you make lots of mistakes without getting pulled..... Collier has averaged almost 16 minutes per game while ONO is at a bit more then 10 per game at this point in the season....I think it's way to early to pass judgement on which player will be better in the long run.....ONO is quicker and is a better athlete while Collier is stronger and has a more finished offensive game at present.......I would not sell ONO short.....there's a lot more to her game then what we have witnessed so far......it's up to Geno and company to help her get to that next level....
 
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#8
I find this is what Walz does, though he has the luxury of doing it early season, so come conference time, he has developed them some. Of course, that is why we have some ugly wins early season. I believe it also leads others to say we don't deserver our ranking, or we are most vulnerable of the top teams. Of course, if it gets too close he pulls them, but the bench (specifically freshman) can get a long leash in the early season.
Vic, does the same. He uses the bench in every game even those games were the other team is ranked. Getting playing time serves at least two purposes, 1. Gain playing time experience for those players that may be required at later times and 2. Lessen the transfer problem, no BB player wants to spend most of their career watching others play the game they love. I realize team chemistry is a lot more stable when the same players are together in the game but preparing for the tournament demands all your players are ready. Geno has been so successful playing his starters most of the time it is hard to disagree with his proven strategy but I think WBB players have improved so much and the level of competition risen so high an entire team effort will be required.
 
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#9
so your point is that Collier is a better player then ONO? Perhaps a bit premature to make that kind of judgement.Collier played a lot of minutes early with mixed results....she had a few impressive games and looked absolutely lost in others leading her back to the bench for long stretches....Collier is very strong and can more easily establish position under the basket and she is pretty polished offensively..she also plays for a coach that will let you make lots of mistakes without getting pulled..... Collier has averaged almost 16 minutes per game while ONO is at a bit more then 10 per game at this point in the season....I think it's way to early to pass judgement on which player will be better in the long run.....ONO is quicker and is a better athlete while Collier is stronger and has a more finished offensive game at present..I would not sell ONO short.....there's a lot more to her game then what we have witnessed so far.it's up to Geno and company to help her get to that next level....
Is
so your point is that Collier is a better player then ONO? Perhaps a bit premature to make that kind of judgement.Collier played a lot of minutes early with mixed results....she had a few impressive games and looked absolutely lost in others leading her back to the bench for long stretches....Collier is very strong and can more easily establish position under the basket and she is pretty polished offensively..she also plays for a coach that will let you make lots of mistakes without getting pulled..... Collier has averaged almost 16 minutes per game while ONO is at a bit more then 10 per game at this point in the season....I think it's way to early to pass judgement on which player will be better in the long run.....ONO is quicker and is a better athlete while Collier is stronger and has a more finished offensive game at present..I would not sell ONO short.....there's a lot more to her game then what we have witnessed so far.it's up to Geno and company to help her get to that next level....
Is that her point? I see it differently, one player has more actual game experience and as such is more comfortable in her role than the other. Just like any skill, uses it become more skilled, otherwise you usually digress.
 

HuskyNan

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#10
I find this is what Walz does, though he has the luxury of doing it early season, so come conference time, he has developed them some. Of course, that is why we have some ugly wins early season. I believe it also leads others to say we don't deserver our ranking, or we are most vulnerable of the top teams. Of course, if it gets too close he pulls them, but the bench (specifically freshman) can get a long leash in the early season.
Geno starts a freshman (Christyn Williams) who averages 34.0 minutes and freshman Olivia Nelson-Ododa plays an average 10.4 minutes. They’re coming along nicely. I’m not sure why Liv doesn’t get more minutes but I assume Geno is trying to teach her something. Im not a “Geno is God” person but the guy is one of the best in the business at developing talent so I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Sometimes playing a kid who’s not ready can do more harm than good, as far as confidence goes.

Regarding the two sophomores, Megan Walker (31.0 min) starts and Mikayla Coombs (11.6 min) also see time on the court. So the young players are getting into games. Mikayla may not get into tight games because she a liability on offense. She’s actually been on the court several minutes before I’ve noticed her in a game because she hasn’t impacted it in any way, something Geno does not want. Mikayla gets the same coaching as everyone else so I assume she’s deferring to the upperclassmen. If so, she needs to get over that.

Junior Kyla (13.8 min) will get a lot of minutes in AAC play. She and Molly (8.4 min) were recruited as role players. Kyla is the stronger player, skills-wise, and she’ll get into games early where some of the others won’t. I can’t imagine anyone really complaining about Kyla’s minutes since they seem just right to me. She’s no slug but she’s no Kelly Faris, either.

The one that puzzles me is Batouly (5.8 min). She just seems like a Div I player to me and nothing she’s done has been bad, she just seems raw. I don’t know if it’s a physical issue but she makes me think of the wonderful Brittany Hunter whose physical limitations kept her minutes down.
 
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#11
Head bangHead bangHead bangHead bangHead bang

Geno want's his bench to contribute but he needs them to contribute at a level that in his own words 'will not hurt the team'.

Geno spends a great deal of time explaining on the latest 'Geno Show' what a conundrum he is feeling about this group and that 'real' confidence can only occur if the players believe it themselves and can demonstrate it consistently.

Yes, you can play the bench more in AAC games and they may fluctuate and have a decent game here and there but how would that translate in a game where the stakes are at their highest. It has to be earned in practice and consistency.

Saying that however, I do think Geno was a little more creative in trying to integrate the bench against Cinci. I particularly liked that Lou and CW (and often Crystal) were generally on the court when the subs were sprinkled in since they stretch the floor better and attention from the subs and are not as overwhelmed (that is the theory at least).
 
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#12
Geno talked about his approach to the bench on last night's Geno Show. Go watch it if you want to understand why he does what he does with respect to the bench. Also made comments in the post-game about it. Definitely no mystery here.
 

CocoHusky

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#13
I'm all in favor of the bench players getting an opportunity to develop and gain confidence but this particular proposal: "Start the bench players that need playing time against these AAC teams." is not a very good one. How far the team goes is going to be determined by the starters. Each of the starters have aspects of their games that also need to be refined. Don't know if anyone has noticed but Napheesa has been in a bit of a rut lately-see @RockyMTblue2 thread. Unless it is Senior night & regardless of how you look at it taking a starter out at this point is a demotion, the confidence of the starters is far more important than the development of the bench.
 
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#14
Geno starts a freshman (Christyn Williams) who averages 34.0 minutes and freshman Olivia Nelson-Ododa plays an average 10.4 minutes. They’re coming along nicely. I’m not sure why Liv doesn’t get more minutes but I assume Geno is trying to teach her something. Im not a “Geno is God” person but the guy is one of the best in the business at developing talent so I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Sometimes playing a kid who’s not ready can do more harm than good, as far as confidence goes.

Regarding the two sophomores, Megan Walker (31.0 min) starts and Mikayla Coombs (11.6 min) also see time on the court. So the young players are getting into games. Mikayla may not get into tight games because she a liability on offense. She’s actually been on the court several minutes before I’ve noticed her in a game because she hasn’t impacted it in any way, something Geno does not want. Mikayla gets the same coaching as everyone else so I assume she’s deferring to the upperclassmen. If so, she needs to get over that.

Junior Kyla (13.8 min) will get a lot of minutes in AAC play. She and Molly (8.4 min) were recruited as role players. Kyla is the stronger player, skills-wise, and she’ll get into games early where some of the others won’t. I can’t imagine anyone really complaining about Kyla’s minutes since they seem just right to me. She’s no slug but she’s no Kelly Faris, either.

The one that puzzles me is Batouly (5.8 min). She just seems like a Div I player to me and nothing she’s done has been bad, she just seems raw. I don’t know if it’s a physical issue but she makes me think of the wonderful Brittany Hunter whose physical limitations kept her minutes down.
I'm with you on Batouly Camara. Played on a solid Kentucky team, got playing time and made contributions. To be exact (from UConn bio):
As a Freshman at Kentucky (2015-16): Appeared in 33 games with 14 starts … averaged 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game… posted 12 points vs. Florida (3/4) … notched 14 points and nine rebounds at South Carolina (2/4) … had 10 rebounds vs. South Carolina (1/14) … scored 10 points at Arizona State (11/15) … made collegiate debut vs. Rice (11/13).

I remember the South Carolina game...she was tough going against S.C.'s twin towers at the time.

Did the injuries she suffered set her back? Or does this fit just not work? Perplexing.
 
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#15
Is

Is that her point? I see it differently, one player has more actual game experience and as such is more comfortable in her role than the other. Just like any skill, uses it become more skilled, otherwise you usually digress.
That's why I asked the question......not sure what op was getting at by showing the comparison between the two players...there's also the irony that we lost one and that's most likely the reason we got the other..
 

SVCBeercats

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#16
so your point is that Collier is a better player then ONO? Perhaps a bit premature to make that kind of judgement.Collier played a lot of minutes early with mixed results....she had a few impressive games and looked absolutely lost in others leading her back to the bench for long stretches....Collier is very strong and can more easily establish position under the basket and she is pretty polished offensively..she also plays for a coach that will let you make lots of mistakes without getting pulled..... Collier has averaged almost 16 minutes per game while ONO is at a bit more then 10 per game at this point in the season....I think it's way to early to pass judgement on which player will be better in the long run.....ONO is quicker and is a better athlete while Collier is stronger and has a more finished offensive game at present..I would not sell ONO short.....there's a lot more to her game then what we have witnessed so far.it's up to Geno and company to help her get to that next level....
I just posted something interesting. I made no comment. ALTHOUGH had I made a comment it would have been an indictment against the coaching which can't develop Olivia at least as fast as the Texas coaches are developing C. Collier. But I didn't. :)
 

vtcwbuff

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#17
Staring the bench players would be a slap in the face to the starters. Unlike the bench, they earned their positions as starters by performing.

It puzzles me that Bent, Irwin and Coombs still don't get it. Especially Bent and Irwin. They get the ball and their first instinct seems to be who can I pass it too. By the time they get into the game it has been decided. What have they got to lose by not contributing to the offense? Do they think that the coaches are going to bench them for shooting?
 
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#18
I just post something interesting. I made no comment. ALTHOUGH had I made a comment it would have been an indictment against the coaching which can't develop Olivia at least as fast as the Texas coaches are developing C. Collier. But I didn't.
well I'd say every player develops at their own pace......personally I think ONO needs to see more court time to quicken her development because she is needed this season.......regarding stats, it's sometimes misleading to compare two part time players who's coaches have different philosophies about handling freshmen...
 

CocoHusky

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#19
I'm with you on Batouly Camara. Played on a solid Kentucky team, got playing time and made contributions. To be exact (from UConn bio):
As a Freshman at Kentucky (2015-16): Appeared in 33 games with 14 starts … averaged 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game… posted 12 points vs. Florida (3/4) … notched 14 points and nine rebounds at South Carolina (2/4) … had 10 rebounds vs. South Carolina (1/14) … scored 10 points at Arizona State (11/15) … made collegiate debut vs. Rice (11/13).

I remember the South Carolina game...she was tough going against S.C.'s twin towers at the time.

Did the injuries she suffered set her back? Or does this fit just not work? Perplexing.
Absolutely. As I posted at the beginning of the season (complete with pictures) Kentucky Camara maybe gone forever because she lacks the ability to explode off the floor as she once did.
635941974401733882-UK-Oklahoma14-Sam.jpg
 
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#20
I'm with you on Batouly Camara. Played on a solid Kentucky team, got playing time and made contributions. To be exact (from UConn bio):
As a Freshman at Kentucky (2015-16): Appeared in 33 games with 14 starts … averaged 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game… posted 12 points vs. Florida (3/4) … notched 14 points and nine rebounds at South Carolina (2/4) … had 10 rebounds vs. South Carolina (1/14) … scored 10 points at Arizona State (11/15) … made collegiate debut vs. Rice (11/13).

I remember the South Carolina game...she was tough going against S.C.'s twin towers at the time.

Did the injuries she suffered set her back? Or does this fit just not work? Perplexing.
Injuries have set her back. Knee injury last year and sprained MCL this year. It's hard to gain any traction when you spend a lot of time on and off the DL.
 

CocoHusky

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#21
I just posted something interesting. I made no comment. ALTHOUGH had I made a comment it would have been an indictment against the coaching which can't develop Olivia at least as fast as the Texas coaches are developing C. Collier. But I didn't. :)
:) Had you made that comment, I would have commented that you may want to wait for the end of the season before such an indictment. How are Karen's other post players coming along? :D
 

HuskyNan

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#22
Injuries have set her back. Knee injury last year and sprained MCL this year. It's hard to gain any traction when you spend a lot of time on and off the DL.
I wonder if she’s playing in pain as that might limit her minutes. I have no cartilage in my right knee. Walking or even some slow jogging is ok but running is outright painful, and I’m not being bounced around by strong, 6-4 women.
 

vowelguy

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#23
I watched the postgame show 2nite and it struck me that maybe Geno has the luxury of strengthening his bench the rest of the season since his competition is so weak.

Why be bent on starting the starting five when your bench needs playing time to gain confidence? Start the bench players that need playing time against these AAC teams. Give them most of the playing time to get better. You're beating those teams by 40 or 50 points anyway. I see nothing negative about playing the bench players most of the time. Might even make the games more interesting.

You also save the "starters" from injury for the postseason.
This is what I don't get.

You can have this belief all you want, but just know that it is fundamentally the opposite of Geno's coaching philosophy. Not a small difference of opinion about which plays to run or how to space players. But Fundamental. Opposite. Of. Coaching. Philosophy.

Game time is not for "getting better." Practice is.
Game playing is a reward for effort and performance in practice.

When I first started following UConn 20+ years ago I thought it would be doomed by the weak conference opponents and that Geno played a short bench. But Geno has a very specific and very clear vision, and along the way I conceded he actually knew what he was doing. And it worked, at least for him.

He's not error free. But to expect him to switch course on his Fundamental. Coaching, Philosophy. seems highly naive.

I don't understand why this is an even a debate still.
 

CocoHusky

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#24
I wonder if she’s playing in pain or something as that might limit her minutes. I have no cartilage in my right knee. Walking or even some slow jogging is ok but running is outright painful, and I’m not being bounced around by strong, 6-4 women.
In a pre-season interview Batouly was quoted as saying it takes her about an hour to get her body ready to play.
 
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#25
Injuries have set her back. Knee injury last year and sprained MCL this year. It's hard to gain any traction when you spend a lot of time on and off the DL.
Camara's knee injury from last year which really set her back is still a mystery to me...did we ever get an actual diagnosis and did she have surgery to fix it? I don't remember either of those things happening and it seems unusual to lose that much athleticism without having surgery of some kind......
 

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