Outside The Box Thought About UCONN bench (merged thread)

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#51
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.
Knee injuries are tough, mine occurred over 50 years ago and it has always bothered me whenever I attempt to jog. Now it is not so bad because it gets lost by all the other joint pains!
 
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#52
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.
Your last sentence about the starters confidence. As much as they have played this season, if they don't have confidence by now when will they get it. It is very, very important to develop their bench as has been shown the past two and one half seasons. When the team is up by over forty points and the coaches won't take a chance with the bench players who will be needed by NCAA tournament time by giving them extended minutes, then something is wrong; either with that line of thinking or the player's ability to learn.
 

Bigboote

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#53
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.
A couple of points: I never had injuries to my hands, but when my orthopaedist asked what on earth I'd done to them, it occurred to me (a month later) that I was a catcher (left hand) and threw the javelin(right hand).

Also, Gabby was slowed down and (IIRC, once sidelined) with the hip flexor issue last year. Chong three years ago with the ITB issue. I've had both of these, and while they may not be debilitating, they can certainly slow one down, and neither can be surgically repaired.

Plus, as has been said, we really don't know the entirety of Camara's issue. An MCL sprain can have a long recovery time, though, and easing in for 5-10 minutes a game a couple months after incurring it doesn't seem unreasonable for me, especially for someone with tender knees.
 
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#54
[QUOTE="
Mikayla Coombs (11.6 min) [sees] 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.
,,,
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.[/QUOTE]

Mikayla looks very athletic and active on defense; plenty of effort and only occasional positional lapses. On offense, she seems to play too fast, puts the ball on the floor too quickly. Her offensive options seem to hearken back to her high school period: drive hard, partly out of control, to the basket and toss up an off balance shot. I'd advise her to take her foot off the accelerator, pull up for a short jumper or look for an open teammate.

Eyes only, Batouly in the last two games seemed healthier and quicker, but, yes, still a bit "raw." Good quickness and real spring in her legs. If she can stay healthy, she could really help by staying out of foul trouble and using her sho 15' and in. And, of course, rebounding. Just has to stay healthy-- fingers crossed.
 
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#55
A couple of points: I never had injuries to my hands, but when my orthopaedist asked what on earth I'd done to them, it occurred to me (a month later) that I was a catcher (left hand) and threw the javelin(right hand).

Also, Gabby was slowed down and (IIRC, once sidelined) with the hip flexor issue last year. Chong three years ago with the ITB issue. I've had both of these, and while they may not be debilitating, they can certainly slow one down, and neither can be surgically repaired.

Plus, as has been said, we really don't know the entirety of Camara's issue. An MCL sprain can have a long recovery time, though, and easing in for 5-10 minutes a game a couple months after incurring it doesn't seem unreasonable for me, especially for someone with tender knees.
Camara's original injury what ever it's nature seems to be what slowed her down........the MCL came later to add insult to injury...
 

CocoHusky

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#56
Your last sentence about the starters confidence. As much as they have played this season, if they don't have confidence by now when will they get it. It is very, very important to develop their bench as has been shown the past two and one half seasons. When the team is up by over forty points and the coaches won't take a chance with the bench players who will be needed by NCAA tournament time by giving them extended minutes, then something is wrong; either with that line of thinking or the player's ability to learn.
There is a lot of selective amnesia going on here specific to your hyperbole about being up by 40 points before bench players are given an opportunity to play in meaningful games so let me just refresh a few memories:

3 Season ago UCONN opened the season at Florida State. In a game that was nip and tuck and came down to the last shot there was Freshmen Molly Bent coming into the game in the second quarter with UCONN actually trailing 19-18. Wait, there was Molly Bent coming in the game in the third period with UCONN only up by 2 points.

If you need a more recent example then think of UCONN's game @ND. Olivia was substituted into that game when UCONN had a 5 Point lead in the 2 quarter. She would play for 7 consecutive minutes until the end of the quarter when the UCONN lead had shrunk to 3. She logged an additional 7 minutes of the decisive 4th quarter.

Mikayla Coombs was the first UCONN sub in the game a Baylor. She entered the game with UCONN trailing by 3 points and was given the assignment to cool down Landrum who was on fire.

These players earned opportunities in practice. That "line of thinking" is the foundation of this program and there is nothing wrong with it.
 

CL82

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#57
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've wondered the same thing and come to the same conclusion. Touly is exactly what we need her physicality of the bench against Brown reminded me of Heather coming off the bench to battle Griner and do it effectively. I wonder if there is cap on how much she can play or practice. She works hard when she's in there and looks comfortable.
 
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#58
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.
It seems that you are saying that Geno is incapable of adjusting his coaching to match the skills and talents of his available players. It is the proverbial man trying to put the square peg in the round hole. He needs some subs. He cannot get to the final four with only five players. These guys are not Stewie and four others.
 
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#60
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
Oh I 100% agree and by no means am I a professional coach with over 1000 wins and 12 national championships to my name. That’s just my view and my guess as to why so many of us keep bringing it up. I don’t expect Geno to change because why fix what’s not broken right? Kinda like how people keep bringing up conference realignment—it’s just nice to fantasize!
 
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#61
I agree with the suggestion that those who are commenting here should listen to what Geno said on The Geno Auriemma Show after the Cincinnati game. He agreed that it was a difficult problem, and he said he hasn't solved it yet. But he also said that if he plays the bench for significant minutes, and they don't play the way he wants them to play and believes they are capable of playing, he will send the message that it's OK for them to play the way they are, and he certainly doesn't want to send that message.

That has always been a concern of his, and I don't think it can be dismissed.
 
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