Pecking Order/Surprises | The Boneyard

Pecking Order/Surprises

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
1,141
Reaction Score
1,078
We've now had enough games to make some reasonable assessments of the top teams.

Here's my take, including what has surprised me:

Top Tier: Baylor, UConn in that order.
Not much of a surprise here. I thought they were the top two going in, with some separation between them and number three. I think that's been borne out. Baylor's a bit better than I expected. Griner seems to have stepped things up a notch and they don't seem to miss Melissa Jones much--I thought they would. UConn has had the fewest games of significance, but between the Stanford game and the way they have completely shut teams down in the first half the last three games (average first half score 48-15 in the last three games), I feel comfortable saying they belong in the top tier. KML is not Maya, but the gap is not huge. When you factor in the added depth this year (allowing for more pressing and trapping) and Bria's improvement, UConn in my mind is every bit as good as they were last year And they were as good as anyone over the course of the 2010-2011 season. I wouldn't even be shocked if UConn emerged as the best team, but right now Baylor has to get the nod.

Second Tier: Notre Dame, Stanford not clear what order.
No surprises here. Notre Dame was outstanding last year and they picked up where they left off. Not in the top tier, but not too far off. Although ND's play has been what I would expect Skylar's numbers are better than I expected. A/TO way up, shooting percentage way up. If that continues, ND has some upside. Stanford is weak outside of their top two, but their top two are as good as anyone's. Still, by year end I expect Notre Dame to emerge as the better of the two.

Third Tier: Tennesee, Duke, A&M, Rutgers, Miami, Maryland, roughly in that order
Tennessee is the one big surprise for me. I had them tabbed as the #3 team and they clearly aren't. Still I expect them to move from third tier to second tier as Massengale gets more comfortable. I think Simmons has been a huge problem for them, and I think the coaching staff is reconciling themselves to the fact that she's a role player. And I suspect Burdick will contribute at some point. A&M and Duke aren't quite as good as I thought (we'll know more about A&M in 24 hours). I knew A&M would miss Adams and Colson and they have--also Gilbert hasn't really stepped up her game as far as I can see. With Duke, Williams, as good as she is, is clearly facing a learning curve. Still I have to believe her shooting will come around at some point. They have some upside as the year progresses, and in two years, Duke will be the team most likely to beat UConn. Miami and Maryland round things out and that's no surprise, but Rutgers wasn't on my radar screen. Apparently they should have been!

Unless Dolson and Griner run into each other at full speed on the 18th and knock each other out for the season, it's very hard for me to see anyone but Baylor, UConn, ND or Stanford going all the way. The gap between Baylor and UConn and the third tier is just too big. Maybe, maybe Tennessee if Baugh stays healthy, Massengale improves significantly and Simmons learns to pass the ball.
 

HuskyNan

You Know Who
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,794
Reaction Score
49,046
I have no doubt the Huskies will be top tier in March, but I'd like to see how UConn does against Texas A&M and Baylor before I put them them there (for now).
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,864
Reaction Score
1,796
Based on this evaluation and how pathetically inept Stanford looked against UConn, it would seem that Stanford belongs in that third tier. What a disappointment. Baylor has proven that it belongs in the top tier. I agree with Nan's early assessment of UConn.

My feeling is that Simmons is much more than a role player, but it is taking her longer to grasp the nuances of winning and trusting competent teammates. The Tennessee staff seems to putting her through what all of us who endured boot camp had to go through; Being torn down and built back up. UConn had a player very much like Meighan Simmons come into the program back in 1996. It took her a while to also grasp the nuances of playing without the ball and doing more besdies scoring. Eventually, she got it, became an All American and now sits on the UConn bench to Coach Auriemma's immediate left. Meighan Simmons is probably more talented. And she is just a sophmore.
 

speedoo

Big Apple Big Dog
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
2,995
Reaction Score
674
Excellent analysis, OP, of the top teams. One point where I differ with you is that I am not surprised that the LV's are not in the top tier, not at all. Much of the expectations people had for them, including their own coach, were based on ridiculous expectations for Massengale, which have not been realized thus far. Those expectations may yet be realized, maybe even later this year, but I doubt it, simply because they were/are too high. Also, the lack of depth in the post will take its toll.

And it's not clear to me that Duke will be the second best team after UConn, post Griner. Other than Gray and Williams, I'm not seeing a lot of talent in Durham down the road.
 

Aluminny69

Old Timer
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,615
Reaction Score
8,348
Based on this evaluation and how pathetically inept Stanford looked against UConn, it would seem that Stanford belongs in that third tier.
Nnemkadi OGWUMIKE played only 23 minutes due to foul trouble. She still managed to score 22 points. On a neutral site, with Ogwumike available for the whole game, they are a very good team.
 

EricLA

Cronus
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
14,323
Reaction Score
35,122
pathetically inept Stanford looked? huh? Nneka missed about 10 minutes in the first half with foul trouble. UCONN had zero inside game vs. Stanford. our "3" post players of Dolson, Faris and Stokes provided a grand total of 9 points in total. If KML had an off shooting night, we lose easily by double digits. but she didn't and we won by 10. i'd say UCONN was more inept in the post by a long shot.

i think you can also chalk up some of the ugly offense to the fact that it was two quality teams playing good defense.

and Simmons is nothing like Shea Ralph. Shea could score from everywhere on the court and she was a total warrior. Simmons is a very slender 3 point shooting specialist. it remains to be seen if she can elevate her game to be more like Tiff Hayes. Shea also averaged 4 RPG and 3.7 APG for her career. Simmons averaged 1.0 less APG and 1.2 less RPG last year in spite of being the starting PG. and this year her scoring is way down (8.5 PPG) and her rebounds and assists are no better. Shea averaged 11.5 PPG her first year and over 16 PPG her sophomore year.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,864
Reaction Score
1,796
Stanford only has one quality opponent remaining between now and March Madness. If they redeem themselves in that game, I will take back my pathetically inept opinion. I do not believe I will have to.
 

sarals24

Lone Starlet
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
3,987
Reaction Score
4,101
I agree about Stanford. With UConn not scoring in the first few minutes very well, Stanford should have taken advantage. Yes, UConn played lockdown defense, but a "top-tier team" would have jumped out to an early lead. Teams like UConn, ND, TAMU and Baylor have increasingly tougher schedules throughout the season, allowing them to benchmark progress and toughen up for March. Stanford plays one more game of significance and then blows through their conference. At least last year they had UCLA and Gonzaga for somewhat tough games. I don't see them challenging either UConn or Baylor later in the season.

But even with increased parity, there just aren't that many good teams in WCBB, so Stanford will get to at least the Elite 8 and probably Final Four just based on athleticism.
 

alexrgct

RIP, Alex
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
10,096
Reaction Score
7,842
I agree (with Sara) that this is kind of a down year in terms of really good teams. As an illustration of that, when I look at UConn right now, I don't quite yet see a #2 team. In the most literal sense, they are ranked #2, and there isn't an especially compelling argument that anyone other than Baylor is better. But they don't quite pass my personal "eyeball test" in terms of what I expect of a #2 team. I do however believe they can get there. It's clearly a team that wants to be great and maybe just needs more time to forge a championship identity.

From my perspective, the top tier is Baylor and no one else until proven otherwise.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
1,470
Reaction Score
2,884
At this point (before the A&M game) I think the tiers are:
Tier 1: Baylor (the only one who won against a top 10 team on the road)
Tier 2: UConn and Notre Dame
Tier 3: Stanford and TN
Tier 4: Duke, Miami, RU, MD
If UConn beats A&M convincingly than we add UConn to the top tier.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
151
Reaction Score
56
I will have to wait a bit more on ranking the aforementioned teams. All the teams have really good parts and are trying to fit their freshman into their systems. This time last years ND was 6-3 and some were calling them overrated and not many people were placing TA&M as a top 5 team. Give me another 5 games.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,864
Reaction Score
1,796
I will have to wait a bit more on ranking the aforementioned teams. All the teams have really good parts and are trying to fit their freshman into their systems. This time last years ND was 6-3 and some were calling them overrated and not many people were placing TA&M as a top 5 team. Give me another 5 games.

Good job!
 

Aluminny69

Old Timer
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,615
Reaction Score
8,348
At this point (before the A&M game) I think the tiers are:
Tier 1: Baylor (the only one who won against a top 10 team on the road)
Tier 2: UConn and Notre Dame
Tier 3: Stanford and TN
Tier 4: Duke, Miami, RU, MD
If UConn beats A&M convincingly than we add UConn to the top tier.
But, UConn will still not have beaten a top 10 team on the road, so what will have changed?
 

sarals24

Lone Starlet
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
3,987
Reaction Score
4,101
But they won't have lost on the road either...:)
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
405
Reaction Score
53
At this point (before the A&M game) I think the tiers are:
Tier 1: Baylor (the only one who won against a top 10 team on the road)
Tier 2: UConn and Notre Dame
Tier 3: Stanford and TN
Tier 4: Duke, Miami, RU, MD
If UConn beats A&M convincingly than we add UConn to the top tier.
I agree, that at this moment, Baylor is by themselves. I think that A+M's loss to Purdue has knocked off the significance of tonight's game. I will wait until the Uconn-Baylor game to decide in which tier Uconn belongs.
 

Wbbfan1

And That’s The Way It Is
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,096
Reaction Score
8,637
Agree Baylor should be in a tier by themselves, but that's not saying I don't think they can't be beat during their conference play. Sims will be the key if they are going to go undefeated this year. She has a bad game then Baylor can lose by double digits. Because they have Griner is why I'm putting them ahead of any other team.

IMHO the next tier are ND, Stanford, Tenn & UConn. I'm including Tenn in this group as I think the Virginia loss was an aberration. If any of the above teams were playing each other on their home court, the home court team would be favored to win the game. If the UConn/Stanford game was played in Palo Alto, who knows who would have won the game.

I haven't seen Maryland and Kentucky play but they might be in my next tier along with Ohio State.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
1,141
Reaction Score
1,078
Since the discussion has been way too civil so far, let me put something on the table that will certainly elicit howls.

After some analysis, I now think Delaware belongs in the conversation for the third tier. Before you start throwing the brickbats, consider the following:

1. Yes, Delaware has played some cupcakes (who hasn't), but they've also had four wins against pretty decent opponents:
PSU at home by 9
Princeton on the road by 11
St. Bonaventure on the road by 12
'Nova on the road by 8.

2. Each of those four opponents has a pretty impressive win or two on their resume.
Penn State beat UNC by 19. They lost to Texas Tech (ranked #16) but only by four and that was on the road.
Princeton beat Villanova by 15.
The Bonnies beat St. John's and West Va on the road by 6 and 8 respectively
Villanova beat Michigan State (ranked #25 at the time) by 11.

3. All four of those opponents are NCAA tournament caliber teams and Delaware beat them by an average of 10 points even though three of the games were on the road.

4. Compare Delaware's resume to Maryland. Who has Maryland beat? Georgetown you say? Ha!!! Georgetown struggled to beat Rider (by 7 at home) and Longwood (by 11 at home)! I too thought Georgetown would be good, but obviously they're not. Delaware has four wins that are as impressive as Maryland whipping Georgetown.

Ok ... let the howling begin. But, be prepared to eat crow when the Fightin' Blue Hens enter the NCAA tournament at 29-1 or 28-2 and get themselves a three seed!
 

EricLA

Cronus
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
14,323
Reaction Score
35,122
are you guys forgetting Baylor was down 8 or so to on over rated tennessee team with about 15 minutes left in the game? i agree we are splitting hairs, but to say Baylor has been head and shoulders more impressive than UCONN is not correct IMHO.

but again it's splitting hairs. maybe Baylor is 1 and UCONN is 1a...
 

Aluminny69

Old Timer
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
7,615
Reaction Score
8,348
are you guys forgetting Baylor was down 8 or so to on over rated tennessee team with about 15 minutes left in the game? i agree we are splitting hairs, but to say Baylor has been head and shoulders more impressive than UCONN is not correct IMHO.

but again it's splitting hairs. maybe Baylor is 1 and UCONN is 1a...
At the end of the season, there will only be ONE Number ONE ( Stating the obvious.) But, I don't remember anyone last year predicting it would be Texas A&M.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
6,619
Reaction Score
7,267
We may lose to Baylor at Baylor.
But we have much gretaer upside and we will beat them later to win the NC.
 

alexrgct

RIP, Alex
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
10,096
Reaction Score
7,842
are you guys forgetting Baylor was down 8 or so to on over rated tennessee team with about 15 minutes left in the game? i agree we are splitting hairs, but to say Baylor has been head and shoulders more impressive than UCONN is not correct IMHO.

but again it's splitting hairs. maybe Baylor is 1 and UCONN is 1a...
They were indeed down in Knoxville, and the worst thing possible for the rest of the WCBB field happened. Brittney Griner showed she can step up under durress against a good team in a hostile environment and carry Baylor. I saw her totally flame out against the experience and skill of Tina Charles in 2010 (though to her credit, Tina was so worn out from that effort that she was pretty mediocre against Stanford), and kind of look for someone else to step up against A&M in 2011. This year, the killer instinct is there, and if it stays there, they're clear favorites to win it all. Maybe not 2002/2009/2010 UConn-style prohibitive favorites, but clear favorites.

The game tonight and the game in Waco, even if the girls lose, will be huge for seeing how much of an identity this UConn team has. The talent is there for sure.

As for Delaware, I'd say wait until the play Maryland. If they can win or hang in that game, they may be in the conversation as an outside threat to make noise in the tourney.
 

bbsamjj

Rutgers Rooter
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
690
Reaction Score
1,048
are you guys forgetting Baylor was down 8 or so to on over rated tennessee team with about 15 minutes left in the game? i agree we are splitting hairs, but to say Baylor has been head and shoulders more impressive than UCONN is not correct IMHO.

but again it's splitting hairs. maybe Baylor is 1 and UCONN is 1a...

And UConn only beat an overrated Stanford team with no guards and Nneka only playing 22min at home by 10. I'm not sure what your point is.

As of today, Baylor has a double digit win over ND at home, and a 9pt victory over Tennessee on the road. UConn has a double digit win over Stanford at home. It's hard to say Baylor doesn't have the better resume.
 

EricLA

Cronus
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
14,323
Reaction Score
35,122
And UConn only beat an overrated Stanford team with no guards and Nneka only playing 22min at home by 10. I'm not sure what your point is.

As of today, Baylor has a double digit win over ND at home, and a 9pt victory over Tennessee on the road. UConn has a double digit win over Stanford at home. It's hard to say Baylor doesn't have the better resume.
perhaps you need to read what i wrote again then if you don't understand my point. it was pretty clear. not sure i understand your confusion.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
26
Reaction Score
7
And UConn only beat an overrated Stanford team with no guards and Nneka only playing 22min at home by 10. I'm not sure what your point is.

As of today, Baylor has a double digit win over ND at home, and a 9pt victory over Tennessee on the road. UConn has a double digit win over Stanford at home. It's hard to say Baylor doesn't have the better resume.
he talked about splitting hairs and said something about maybe Baylor being 1 and UCONN being 1a. If you really think ND is that impressive, consider they were down 16 to Duke at the half. Yeah i know ND is ranked #3, but you really consider being down 16 to Duke then needing a miraculous come back to win as a sign of a great team?

I don't think any one denies that Baylor has 2 wins over top 10 teams. that should put them at the top. but just because UCONN hasn't beaten 2 top 10 teams doesn't mean they aren't very close or even equal. Maybe the conversation will be different if UCONN has a convincing win over A&M tonite?
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
217
Reaction Score
356
Keep in mind that Stanford and ND are typically slow starters and show considerable improvement over the season. I wouldn't count either out. I think ND will be a very tough win for us this year. Things will have to go well for us to beat them.

I am curious to see how we respond to intense defensive pressure?

Way to early to start predicting the outcome or who might be there in the end. Could be like last year where 5 or 6 teams have a shot at it and the one who is playing the best basketball and has the best draw for match-ups will win.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Online statistics

Members online
354
Guests online
962
Total visitors
1,316

Forum statistics

Threads
169,915
Messages
4,197,033
Members
9,087
Latest member
uchskyfan


Top Bottom