Outside The Box Thought About UCONN bench (merged thread)

oldude

bamboo lover
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
7,013
Likes
20,223
#26
I made this comment in another thread. UConn is hardly alone when it comes to lack of depth after the starting 5, particularly against top teams. After the starting 5 at ND, it’s basically a crapshoot. Baylor played 7 against UConn getting meaningful contributions from only 6. In the game vs KY, MS St got contributions from only 6 players. AEH never saw the court. As I indicated, in 2015-16 UConn went 7 deep with 2 future AA’s coming off the bench. That was a rarity for WBB.
 

CocoHusky

1,000,001 BY points
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
10,480
Likes
18,275
#27
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.
The initial injury was described as a sprain and bone bruise in her right knee.
At the beginning of this season she was wearing a brace on the left knee.
Surgery or no surgery her explosion is gone.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,841
Likes
10,779
#28
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.
for me there are two reasons to play the bench..one is to develop the younger players in game time situations and two to simply give the starters a few minutes of rest.....as the season progresses and UConn gets to the big tournament the starters simply can't play every minute every game and expect to be at their best....if three of the bench players can simply hold their own on the court for a total of six to ten minutes per game it can make a world of difference in the final quarter when the starters are needed to perform at their highest level
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,841
Likes
10,779
#29
The initial injury was described as a sprain and bone bruise in her right knee.
At the beginning of this season she was wearing a brace on the left knee.
Surgery or no surgery her explosion is gone.
that's so frustrating....with modern orthopedic medicine I simply find it hard to believe that a player can be that afflicted without being able to fix the problem..
 

CocoHusky

1,000,001 BY points
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
10,480
Likes
18,275
#30
for me there are two reasons to play the bench..one is to develop the younger players in game time situations and two to simply give the starters a few minutes of rest.....as the season progresses and UConn gets to the big tournament the starters simply can't play every minute every game and expect to be at their best....if three of the bench players can simply hold their own on the court for a total of six to ten minutes per game it can make a world of difference in the final quarter when the starters are needed to perform at their highest level
We all want the bench players to get better. As @vowelguy and others are saying though we have a fundamental difference on the approach to getting better: At UCONN game time and game minutes is not (has never been) a tool for experimental player development. Practice serves that purpose.
 

HuskyNan

Administrator
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
13,750
Likes
23,903
#31
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.
The HIPAA law prohibits UConn from discussing a player’s medical condition and treatment without her express permission. As much as fans want all details on injuries, it’s really none of our business
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
289
Likes
114
#32
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.
Camara was brought in because she is a rebounder, exactly what this team needs. Yet, he refuses to give her meaningful minutes. His problem with bench players is he wants to be guaranteed they will not make mistakes when they are in the game. They need to play and make mistakes and hopefully learn from their mistakes. The important thing with bench players is their confidence. You can't play any sport and worry about not making a mistake.

As good as Williams is, if Gabby and/or Kia were still on this team she would be sitting with all the other bench players.
 

SVCBeercats

KARMA! Its called KARMA!
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
1,980
Likes
3,548
#33
Geno starts an exceptional freshman (Christyn Williams) (because he has no other choice) who averages 34.0 minutes and freshman Olivia Nelson-Ododa plays an average 10.4 minutes (why so few for a player who will be needed for the NCAA tourney?). They’re coming along nicely. (Williams is. Ododa is not.) I’m not sure why Liv doesn’t get more minutes (I'm with you here.) but I assume Geno is trying to teach her something. I'm not a “Geno is God” person but the guy is one of the best in the business at developing high level talent (He said the worst coaching job was in high school trying to teach the unskilled and untalented. Perhaps his attitude toward the lesser skilled players on his rooster is still the same. Thus he is not so good at developing the lesser lights.)
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. (Playing the bench players with say three starters provides fruitful learning experience. In the IT industry new recruits are typically thrown into a deep end project but with mentors, not unlike game experience with starters. I can't imagine a project team of newbies. It would be chaos which is what happens when the all the bench players enter the game together or with only one starter.)

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. (Coombs 139 min., Irwin 138, and Ododa 146 in the mean time all of the starters average 31 to 34 min. We saw their legs go in the Baylor 4th qtr 17-10) 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. (But needs to tolerate so the kid can develop. Does he think she will cause UCONN to lose an AAC game?) 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. (How? By playing more.)

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). (Yeah! A puzzler.) 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.
 

CocoHusky

1,000,001 BY points
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
10,480
Likes
18,275
#34
Camara was brought in because she is a rebounder, exactly what this team needs. Yet, he refuses to give her meaningful minutes. His problem with bench players is he wants to be guaranteed they will not make mistakes when they are in the game. They need to play and make mistakes and hopefully learn from their mistakes. The important thing with bench players is their confidence. You can't play any sport and worry about not making a mistake.

As good as Williams is, if Gabby and/or Kia were still on this team she would be sitting with all the other bench players.
Yea that Geno is so stubborn. He has a player right there on the bench that is "exactly" what this team needs and he refuses to give her meaningful minutes. :eek:Head bang
 

HuskyNan

Administrator
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
13,750
Likes
23,903
#35
Geno starts an exceptional freshman (Christyn Williams) (because he has no other choice) who averages 34.0 minutes and freshman Olivia Nelson-Ododa plays an average 10.4 minutes (why so few for a player who will be needed for the NCAA tourney?). They’re coming along nicely. (Williams is. Ododa is not.) I’m not sure why Liv doesn’t get more minutes (I'm with you here.) but I assume Geno is trying to teach her something. I'm not a “Geno is God” person but the guy is one of the best in the business at developing high level talent (He said the worst coaching job was in high school trying to teach the unskilled and untalented. Perhaps his attitude toward the lesser skilled players on his rooster is still the same. Thus he is not so good at developing the lesser lights.)
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. (Playing the bench players with say three starters provides fruitful learning experience. In the IT industry new recruits are typically thrown into a deep end project but with mentors, not unlike game experience with starters. I can't imagine a project team of newbies. It would be chaos which is what happens when the all the bench players enter the game together or with only one starter.)

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. (Coombs 139 min., Irwin 138, and Ododa 146 in the mean time all of the starters average 31 to 34 min. We saw their legs go in the Baylor 4th qtr 17-10) 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. (But needs to tolerate so the kid can develop. Does he think she will cause UCONN to lose an AAC game?) 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. (How? By playing more.)

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). (Yeah! A puzzler.) 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.
Jeez find another team to root for that has a less crappy coach, then.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,841
Likes
10,779
#36
The HIPAA law prohibits UConn from discussing a player’s medical condition and treatment without her express permission. As much as fans want all details on injuries, it’s really none of our business
I don't really need to know what her injury is, I just find it difficult to believe that she can't play at her prior athletic level with all of the wonderful care the players get these days as evidenced by the unbridled athleticism of KLS, NC, Coombs, ONO etc, etc
 

SVCBeercats

KARMA! Its called KARMA!
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
1,980
Likes
3,548
#38
I'd say every player develops at their own pace but faster with more game time experience.personally I think ONO needs to see more court time to quicken her development Amen, amen, AMEN!!! because she is needed this season NCAA tourney time specifically! I'll give you another AMEN!..regarding stats, it's sometimes misleading :) to compare two part time players who's coaches have different philosophies about handling freshmen... The stats highlight which philosophy is best for a given player. Maybe it was better for Collier to go to Texas?

Why can't Ododa get at least as many minutes per game as Texas provides Collier? Ododa could only benefit.
1547134788298.png
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,841
Likes
10,779
#40
I'd say every player develops at their own pace but faster with more game time experience.personally I think ONO needs to see more court time to quicken her development Amen, amen, AMEN!!! because she is needed this season NCAA tourney time specifically! I'll give you another AMEN!..regarding stats, it's sometimes misleading :) to compare two part time players who's coaches have different philosophies about handling freshmen... The stats highlight which philosophy is best for a given player. Maybe it was better for Collier to go to Texas?

Why can't Ododa get at least as many minutes per game as Texas provides Collier? Ododa could only benefit.
View attachment 38125
I would expect to see ONO's minutes increase during the AAC regular season.....hopefully she will play well enough for Geno to give her additional minutes in more important situations later in the year..
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
10,143
Likes
10,480
#42
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.
Fundamentally ---you are right. I'll get this out of the way: He has 11 NC's!
Other coaches and Geno has done this in the past, play cupcakes early on. Those other coaches inject new Frosh into the cupcake games. (see above comments from fans of other teams)

In PRACTICE you LEARN the plays, defense, where the coach wants you to move and how. Geno should not have to teach fundamentals only expand them to this level.
IN GAMES as a frosh, you learn HOW to play at the Div one level--it shows on the bench.

Geno was right when he said: The Frosh shouldn't hurt them when thrust into games. BUT
with a 42 point lead at half time; they'd have to do an awful lot of hurting to come close to l osing that game. It will be ugly-as fans accept it.--You can't have it both ways. Mix them with the starting 5, as he has, let them screw up. Call time out--address the issue then and there (that's called OJT teaching) play them more Play teach learn, play teach learn. He has done more of that this year. Coombs has learned enough to hold a spot in the Baylor game without hurting the team CW is learning but she IS ONE of the starting 5. Bent and Irwin have learned all they will learn as Jrs they are supposed to be teaching the Sophs/Frosh. ONO is the one Uconn needs most this year and beyond. She has 5 fouls to use--let her use them in blowouts.

Don't use CW as a prime example of Geno's training, CW is outstanding, exceptional, a once in a decade type of player--UNIQUE, In any system, she would look GREAT.

Recruits accept offers thinking those offers (regardless of what is said) means they will play early and often. Human's, believe when told: you must earn PT, that they are exceptional and will play. No kid wants to sit. TRANSFERS--after sitting 2 years, what Div one coach would want one who had 2 years of availability remaining but no Div one real experience?
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
187
Likes
324
#43
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.
I think it’s still a debate because what Geno says and what we see are two different things at times. He constantly harps about his bench needing to get better and help the team, but he waits until they’re up big against lesser competition to put any of the players in. I totally understand the “practice is where you prove yourself worthy of playing time” philosophy, but I would compare it to learning to place an IV as a nurse. Nurses have to be able to practice on real people because cadavers, models, etc. just won’t cut it and won’t give them the real experience they need. If the first time the nurse makes a mistake you stop letting them try, the nurse will be nervous and probably perform poorly the next time they get a chance to try. My point is: you can’t gain game experience in practice. Geno has said as much in years past. Players need quality game time experience (5-10+ minutes before the score is settled) and have to be allowed to play through some mistakes if they ever want to really get a handle on the game. I’m not saying turn a blind eye to mistakes, but rather use timeouts or game breaks or game film to call them out and constructively criticize those mistakes so they can learn.
 

Bigboote

Lectroid feom Planet 10
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
1,835
Likes
2,769
#44
that's so frustrating....with modern orthopedic medicine I simply find it hard to believe that a player can be that afflicted without being able to fix the problem..
A year ago I would have said the same thing. I've had four very successful arthroscopic procedures in my knees and shoulders. But now I have intractable joint pain in both hands. I just had a boatload of testing done, and there's no cause except abuse from playing sports when I was younger.

I remember seeing the postgame Q&A several years ago. Caroline Doty played even less than usual, and a reporter asked if she had knee pain. Geno said something to the effect, of course she has knee pain; she will every day for the rest of her life.
 

CL82

Trust the process
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
29,187
Likes
45,813
#45
FWIW, I think Combs is about to blossom. She's so close right now. The minutes she'll get in AAC play are really going help. I'm not saying she become Meg or Christyn but I do feel like she's on the cusp of being able to provide meaningful productive minutes off the bench.

ONO is a talented kid, but she needs time in the gym. She's just not physically big enough to bang with major college front court players. I think that she will be used situationally. Look for a big soph jump from her.
 

vowelguy

Boneyard contrarian since 1998
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
14,534
Likes
12,390
#46
I think it’s still a debate because what Geno says and what we see are two different things at times. ... but I would compare it to learning to place an IV as a nurse.
Again, you can say it until you are blue in the face.
This is not Geno's philosophy. Never has been. Never will be.


The Boneyard: Find another team to root for that has a less crappy coach.TM
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,841
Likes
10,779
#47
A year ago I would have said the same thing. I've had four very successful arthroscopic procedures in my knees and shoulders. But now I have intractable joint pain in both hands. I just had a boatload of testing done, and there's no cause except abuse from playing sports when I was younger.

I remember seeing the postgame Q&A several years ago. Caroline Doty played even less than usual, and a reporter asked if she had knee pain. Geno said something to the effect, of course she has knee pain; she will every day for the rest of her life.
I can understand why older athletes who have had multiple injuries through the years could eventually be forced to live with some form of pain as I do myself....in this case we are talking about an athlete in the prime of her career and as best we know she hasn't even had an operation to fix the problem which would lead me to believe that it wasn't that serious......I feel badly for her and for the team who could really use her help......
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
10,143
Likes
10,480
#48
I would expect to see ONO's minutes increase during the AAC regular season.....hopefully she will play well enough for Geno to give her additional minutes in more important situations later in the year..
Olivia, Liv, ONO--is the special case for Uconn this year. WHY? She is the one on that bench Uconn needs most. Coombs is good. She needs to develop her shooting. Mixing her with a lot of shooting practice, some Pt--she'll develop well. Bent, Irwin are Jr's they have learned all they shall learn. Touly needs more integration with the 5 in games. Ono
is needed : Regardless of how ugly she may play; My belief is that with her: You practice, practice. Then in games you Play, teach, learn, --learn by doing--OJT--call it what you want. With blow outs play her long regardless of fouls. It will be ugly ugly,--accept it But accelerate her Div one exposure and teaching.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
10,143
Likes
10,480
#49
Again, you can say it until you are blue in the face.
This is not Geno's philosophy. Never has been. Never will be.


The Boneyard: Find another team to root for that has a less crappy coach.TM
Is this like he'll never accept transfers? The gold plated: Geno will never play UT until they apologize to Maya, have they? In recent years with Geno I'd never say never?
Geno has changed a bit. He doesn't blow with the wind, but he does change.
 

DefenseBB

Snark is always appreciated!
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
2,820
Likes
3,939
#50
Jeez find another team to root for that has a less crappy coach, then.
Nan-I think the world of what you do and how you do it but in this case, I think you're a tad defensive as what SVC said was observational and he/she agree with you points or countered your points. We are having nice impassioned dialogue that was not demeaning to anyone, let alone Geno.

I think the thread is logical and for the most mirrors Geno's efforts from last night as well. Irwin got into the game significantly sooner than most other subs in all the other games (except when we had foul trouble) and she performed ok.

ONO is clearly our most skilled bench player as the #5 recruit, a USA Basketball pool player and a 6'5" post player who is desperately needed for an inside presence. Playing her is paramount for me as she is our present and our future. I am hopeful that the last few games are an aberration on why Geno isn't playing her as 11 min per game is not fruitful. You can gain confidence by having the coach keep putting you in even when you make a mistake. I do agree you have to also earn it but the doghouse seems to be a exercised a bit excessively by Geno.

Thanks for listening. Humbly submitted-DefenseBB
 

Top