Returners, newcomers fighting for minutes on deep, talented team

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View attachment 70288
I like the plan that this program has been built on much better than this. I hate the thought of future recruits coming to UCONN because they think there is playing time available vs. knowing that they are going to have to bust their behinds to earn playing time. I hate the thought (and I'm sure Geno does as well) that he would put a player on the floor and that player thinks it is OK to fail or even lose a game. What are we talking about here! I can't! I just can't! This post was like stabbing me in the heart with a spoon. You might as well have asked me to wish TN well.
Well, three factual statements, if you will.

1)- The premium talent pool continues to grow and be dispersed to more and more teams in NCAA Woman’s D-1 basketball.
2)-UCONN has the most talented roster, top to bottom, in years.
)-You/we are left unsatisfied by the final result in the past four years.

My (hypothetical) question to you is:

A)- Prmeaningful game time to players that have ‘earned’ court time in practice, exposing them to stressful real game situations, have them learn and MAYBE go 30-4 and win the last game of the season?
OR
B)- stick with a short list of athletes playing most of the minutes, Increasing the possibilities of injury, run them out, ignore exposing newer players ( that bust it in practice) to real time critical game time situations, go 33-1 and lose the last game of the season?

Please don’t hedge.
I’m trying to make an honest point.
One or the other only.
TY.
 
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I don't know what Muhl you were watching but Nika Muhl was a very valuable player for UConn last season and unless she is injured she will play meaningful minutes in big tournament games this season. She plays good defense, is a decent outside shooter, knows the system and brings lots of energy when she is in. She is certainly better than what you make her out to be.
this is a about evina /// much speculation, but her health is really the factor that is unknown. .... only she knows

if she is near 100% -- which would be fantastic but my guess is a dream -- then she's a lock (and likely MVP #2), but nobody here should be locking her in to anything unless you're thinking geno's gonna honor her with the caroline doty treatment -- unlikely because there's far more guard talent available this year than there was in doty's day. that being said, IF evina actually is anywhere near full throttle, pencil her it. ... the thing is, i don't think anyone here really knows her physical status.
All thoughtful points but my analysis is different. She started last year all year, she played visibly with pain at times, she stabilized the team, she is a great floor passer, unselfish to the point of making you scream at times, a leader, respected by everyone, and liked even more and decided to come back and win. If I was on that team that would mean a lot to me. I would listen to that player. She gave up money for my team to win. As a coach, I want that kid on the floor even if she is only the same as last year. There are several Byers who have had daughters with knee injuries. It's a 2 year turnaround usually. So I figure worst case she is 5% better physically. I'm hoping for 15%. I believe she is a lot better as a player than we saw last year, without depth. She starts.
 
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I hate to say this but have too. Geno likes 8 or 9. Why? That’s who he goes to war with. You earn those spots. The rest except their role or move on. This leaves room for the next class of incoming. They then have their chance. It’s not about fairness. It’s about deserving and winning. It’s just a fact. I’m not saying which ones cause it’s not my place.
 

EricLA

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I hate to say this but have too. Geno likes 8 or 9. Why? That’s who he goes to war with. You earn those spots. The rest except their role or move on. This leaves room for the next class of incoming. They then have their chance. It’s not about fairness. It’s about deserving and winning. It’s just a fact. I’m not saying which ones cause it’s not my place.
Generally sure he does. But he's gone as shallow as 6 in seasons where there were no other players who could step up in big games. The flip side is this:

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10 players averaged double digits in minutes played. What a luxury to have that many players who can contribute. I'm not sure how many actually played in the "big games". I suspect if the game is nip and tuck the entire time, we may see only 7 or 8. But I see exactly 1 game on our schedule (maybe 2 if we play SC twice) where that would conceivably be the case.

We have a roster of 14. I can see 9 players who might average double digits in minutes. It remains to be seen if Aubrey (hopeful) and Mir (questionable) have upped their games enough to earn meaningful minutes, and if Saylor, Piath and Amari can get more than blowout minutes in Q4...
 
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Dorka will get more minutes than Liv if she can assure Geno she will stay two years. Geno loves Nika’s ferocity. Caroline could becomes a top scorer. Azzi and Paige are locks. CW will get on wall. Evina will start, be first out (though Liv might beat her to bench). Edwards will get very significant minutes on her way to being named Big East 6th Woman. Aubrey is a defensive wizard and usually that would mean major minutes but it isn’t that she can’t score, it is that the offense sucks when she’s on floor. So
Starters for Final Four: Paige, Azzi, CW, Dorka and—Caroline (sorry Evina), with Edwards getting lots of minutes, a team that can score from any place on the floor. Well, maybe not but how much fun?
 

SVCBeercats

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Kelly Faris was one of UCONN's very best defensive players. But when her lack offense became a detriment to the team, he strongly encouraged her to become more offensive minded by developing her jump shooting, three pointers and dial back her selflessness. Opponents could play 5 on 4 and ignore Kelly. Even with the offensive talent of her teammates, playing the top 10 teams 5 on 4 was quite difficult. Plus I do not put Aubrey's defense in Kelly's class.
ain't that true for everyone? he will sit anyone

it seems to me there is a faction in the BY that undervalues contributions of defense and energy and highly overvalues the specialty of putting the ball through the ring
That is probable very true but regarding Aubrey specifically her defensive contributions are undeniable =best perimeter defender on the team. The down side of Aubrey is not so much her inability to put the ball in the basket but her overall impact on the offensive flow when she is in the game. The ball sticks when Aubrey is in the game and her movement is hesitant as if she is not sure what to do next or where to go on the floor. As a freshman Geno attempted to simply things for Aubrey and early in her Sophomore year Aubrey appeared to gain and understanding of the UCONN offense but that hesitancy returned about mid way through the season-perhaps do to her injury.
 
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SVCBeercats

Roberto "The Great One" Clemente
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She was the best 3-point shooter not named Paige last year. How much more reliable does she need to be?
Actually she was tied for 2nd place amid a set of three mediocre 3PT shooters. See table below. I am a fan of avid Nika and hope she will play many minutes. BUT she needs the score with a higher percentage for both 3PT AND 2PT shots. I hope she has been practicing her shot. There are at least two freshman sharpshooters taking aim at her and other guards not named Paige.

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Actually she was tied for 2nd place amid a set of three mediocre 3PT shooters. See table below. I am a fan of avid Nika and hope she will play many minutes. BUT she needs the score with a higher percentage for both 3PT AND 2PT shots. I hope she has been practicing her shot. There are at least two freshman sharpshooters taking aim at her and other guards not named Paige.

View attachment 70306
Take your percentages out one more decimal place. Nika by a hair.
 

UConnCat

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Actually she was tied for 2nd place amid a set of three mediocre 3PT shooters. See table below. I am a fan of avid Nika and hope she will play many minutes. BUT she needs the score with a higher percentage for both 3PT AND 2PT shots. I hope she has been practicing her shot. There are at least two freshman sharpshooters taking aim at her and other guards not named Paige.

View attachment 70306
Christyn turned her season around about halfway through the 2020-2021 schedule. Over the team's final 14 games, including the post-season, Christyn made 42% of her 3-pointers. Hopefully Christyn's improved play (and shooting) will continue throughout her senior season.
 
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Dorka will get more minutes than Liv if she can assure Geno she will stay two years. Geno loves Nika’s ferocity. Caroline could becomes a top scorer. Azzi and Paige are locks. CW will get on wall. Evina will start, be first out (though Liv might beat her to bench). Edwards will get very significant minutes on her way to being named Big East 6th Woman. Aubrey is a defensive wizard and usually that would mean major minutes but it isn’t that she can’t score, it is that the offense sucks when she’s on floor. So
Starters for Final Four: Paige, Azzi, CW, Dorka and—Caroline (sorry Evina), with Edwards getting lots of minutes, a team that can score from any place on the floor. Well, maybe not but how much fun?
Good post.
I agree with some points, but not all. I don't think one or two years for Dorka makes any difference for Geno. This is this year's team and he is going to poke, prod and push buttons and get the best out of this team and not think about next year. You say "Azzi and Paige are locks." I agree. I think Azzi will start from game one. If she is 70% of what she is advertised as, she will be better than 95% of Div I players. She has that much potential. I think Geno has been deflecting light and attention from her to get her ready.

Evina? She will get her minutes and be a leader of this team. She will be on the floor during crunch time. Sometimes I think her most valuable role could be as 6th woman. Early fouls, poor play, something not working, E can come into the game and fix anything for positions 1-4. (In the old days of baseball, teams played their division rivals 18 times per year. Earl Weaver once said the toughest game to manage was against the Red Sox when Yastrzemski was on the bench. He could pinch hit at any time and hit a 3 run homer.) Evina can come into a game and create headaches. I think she has the majority and disposition to do whatever it takes.

Dorka & ONO? Dorka is battle tested. Three years in the Big 10 was way tougher & more physical than the American or BE. I would love ONO to have an All American type season, but is it in the cards? Dorka will get more minutes if she produces better.
Stats don't lie:

2020-21 season stats for ONO:
Tenn 7 pts 11 reb
ARK 2 pts 2 reb
SC 6 pts 7 reb
IOWA 4 pts 11 reb
Baylor 3 pts 8 reb
AZ 1 pt 6 reb
 

RockyMTblue2

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YouTube demanded that I watch this highlight video of Caroline Ducharme this morning. It's not new, but it gives a pretty impressive look at her game in high school. I never saw it before and maybe some of you are in the same boat. She wastes no time and is a threat all over the court.

 

diggerfoot

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Well, three factual statements, if you will.

1)- The premium talent pool continues to grow and be dispersed to more and more teams in NCAA Woman’s D-1 basketball.

I know this has become a mantra but I question its veracity. Participation in high school girl’s basketball peaked in 2003-2004 at around 457,000 and has been in decline since. Since participation has declined I question that the talent pool has expanded.

What has expanded instead is social media and the visibility of the better talent, thus creating the impression that the talent pool has expanded.
 
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My thought was that against these elite programs, Geno will probably become near sighted and not see beyond the first two players on the bench, maybe 3. Unless UConn is blowing out the opponent in one of these games, players 9-14 on the depth chart shouldn't expect a lot of minutes. IF UConn loses a game during the regular season, it will be to one of the elite teams I mentioned. Tenn and ND will be improved over last year. They ALWAYS play UConn tough. I think Louisville, Oregon and South Carolina will our 3 biggest games.

ND always plays UConn tough. Wasn’t there a 30 point blow out recently?
 

oldude

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A lot of different ways to determine what constitutes effective 3-pt shooting for a player. For some it’s all about shooting percentage. For others the question is does a player make shots in the biggest games or when a game is on the line? All such measures have merit when evaluating the effectiveness of a 3-pt shooter.

I will focus just on shooting percentage. While it’s great to have a player who can shoot 40%+ from the arc, for an effective shooting percentage of 60%+, there are very few players who ever reach that lofty plateau. IMO the cutoff for a “good 3-pt shooter” is right around 34%, for an effective shooting percentage of 51%.

On that basis, Paige, Christyn, Nika & Evina were all good 3-pt shooters last season. Hopefully, Azzi, Dorka, Caroline and perhaps other Huskies will give UConn an embarrassment of riches this season when it comes to 3-pt shooting.
 
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oldude

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Good post.
I agree with some points, but not all. I don't think one or two years for Dorka makes any difference for Geno. This is this year's team and he is going to poke, prod and push buttons and get the best out of this team and not think about next year. You say "Azzi and Paige are locks." I agree. I think Azzi will start from game one. If she is 70% of what she is advertised as, she will be better than 95% of Div I players. She has that much potential. I think Geno has been deflecting light and attention from her to get her ready.

Evina? She will get her minutes and be a leader of this team. She will be on the floor during crunch time. Sometimes I think her most valuable role could be as 6th woman. Early fouls, poor play, something not working, E can come into the game and fix anything for positions 1-4. (In the old days of baseball, teams played their division rivals 18 times per year. Earl Weaver once said the toughest game to manage was against the Red Sox when Yastrzemski was on the bench. He could pinch hit at any time and hit a 3 run homer.) Evina can come into a game and create headaches. I think she has the majority and disposition to do whatever it takes.

Dorka & ONO? Dorka is battle tested. Three years in the Big 10 was way tougher & more physical than the American or BE. I would love ONO to have an All American type season, but is it in the cards? Dorka will get more minutes if she produces better.
Stats don't lie:

2020-21 season stats for ONO:
Tenn 7 pts 11 reb
ARK 2 pts 2 reb
SC 6 pts 7 reb
IOWA 4 pts 11 reb
Baylor 3 pts 8 reb
AZ 1 pt 6 reb
A comment on Liv’s stats. Liv’s scoring is her least important stat-line imo. She is usually the 4th or 5th scoring option on the floor for UConn. What is important is that Liv plays defense, rebounds, sets screens and passes the ball from the high post.

The Ark & AZ games were noteworthy exceptions because UConn had a distinct height advantage, so they tried to force the ball into Liv in the low blocks, which wasn’t effective.

Liv’s scores most effectively in transition, from 15’ or so if she’s left open, or off a teammate’s penetration and dish. She is not, nor ever will she be another Pheesa who’s array of low post moves were remarkable.
 
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I do agree that Aubrey needs to get a midrange shot at least and be able participate in the offense. And what I am saying is that Aubrey and Mir need to do more than clean up the glass and get the ball and go to the rim. They need to learn how to be complete players and participate in working the ball around and getting to a great shot for someone else too....in my opinion.
Reading a lot of 'talk' about who's to play & who needs improvement! I say, that 'simply' put, their game performing actions, will dictate who plays & who sits. Only the 'best' to this 'Great Team' assembled by Geno!
 
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This same discussion is going on with a few other fan groups, notably SC where the riches are as deep.
 

MSGRET

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Oh please, Nika speaks English as well as anyone on the team born in the US. The demands are the same for UCONN players even if they were coming from Mars. The differences in the game are really minor.
The differences are not minor as you stated. FIBA and European basketball is much more physical both on offense and defense. The reffing is also different by allowing more flow of the game by not calling the little touch fouls that the NCAA calls. The lane and 3 point line are different as well as the shot clock situations.
 

CocoHusky

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The differences are not minor as you stated. FIBA and European basketball is much more physical both on offense and defense. The reffing is also different by allowing more flow of the game by not calling the little touch fouls that the NCAA calls. The lane and 3 point line are different as well as the shot clock situations.
:eek:You are probably right, if the differences were minor them surely Nika would have adjusted to this American game and become a UCONN starter by now? Nika is working very hard but can we stop trying to make it seem like she working harder and had more to overcome than any of the otherUCONN players.
 

oldude

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:eek:You are probably right, if the differences were minor them surely Nika would have adjusted to this American game and become a UCONN starter by now?
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Nika in fact adjusted to this American game and become a UCONN starter, starting 15 games this past season?

For what it’s worth, in his comments before 1st Night, Geno stated that Nika is unlike any other player on this team. He then described her as “relentless.”
 

CocoHusky

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Please correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Nika in fact adjusted to this American game and become a UCONN starter, starting 15 games this past season? For what it’s worth, in his comments before 1st Night, Geno stated that Nika is unlike any other player on this team. He then described her as “relentless.”
No need for correction except in your predictable eagerness to defend Nika you carelessly missed both my sarcastic emoji and my overly condescending tone. Other than that...
aubrey plaza good job GIF by Team Coco

Nika is not working harder than the other players on the team. Geno has been know to speak hyperbole.
 
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