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Returners, newcomers fighting for minutes on deep, talented team

CocoHusky

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In addition to all of your good points, I just want to add that she had more nagging injuries than most, and a significant number of her minutes were when she was not quite a 100%. Some of that is expected of course, but I think the odds of better health this year are pretty good.
Nagging injuries for Nika? When?
 

oldude

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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.
Apparently, you missed my sarcastic tone. I apologize for not including an emoji ;) with my post.

I do agree that Geno can speak in hyperbole from time to time. But if you have not done so, I encourage you to listen to Geno’s remarks about Nika yesterday and decide for yourself if his remarks are hyperbole or a heartfelt assessment of a player who is giving her all.
 

Gus Mahler

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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.”
I think Honey Badger would be a good nickname. for her.
 

CocoHusky

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Apparently, you missed my sarcastic tone. I apologize for not including an emoji ;) with my post.

I do agree that Geno can speak in hyperbole from time to time. But if you have not done so, I encourage you to listen to Geno’s remarks about Nika yesterday and decide for yourself if his remarks are hyperbole or a heartfelt assessment of a player who is giving her all.
Law And Order Svu GIF by NBC

Geno made positive remarks about several players yesterday although I can understand why his remarks about Nika would stand out for you and the other Nika advocates. Geno clearly values having Nika on this team.
Has there ever been a player that Geno didn't value having on the team? AEH doesn't count.
Has there ever been a UCONN player that wasn't giving there all? Charde Huston?

“She’s made the strides that we need her to make," Auriemma said. "She knows how to play basketball. She’s a big body. She’s a big kid, and we certainly need that. So, hopefully, there’s something there. But I feel better about it than I did a month ago.”

- Geno Auriemma on Evelyn Adebayo's progress.
 

oldude

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Law And Order Svu GIF by NBC

Geno made positive remarks about several players yesterday although I can understand why his remarks about Nika would stand out for you and the other Nika advocates. Geno clearly values having Nika on this team.
Has there ever been a player that Geno didn't value having on the team? AEH doesn't count.
Has there ever been a UCONN player that wasn't giving there all? Charde Huston?

“She’s made the strides that we need her to make," Auriemma said. "She knows how to play basketball. She’s a big body. She’s a big kid, and we certainly need that. So, hopefully, there’s something there. But I feel better about it than I did a month ago.”

- Geno Auriemma on Evelyn Adebayo's progress.
So we agree that Geno’s remarks about Nika were not hyperbole. It’s good!
 
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“See, look at Nika,” Auriemma says of sophomore Nika Muhl, the guard from Croatia. “She works to exhaustion, like, ‘I didn’t come all the way over here to be just average.’ ”

That sounds like one of the harder working people on the team. Geno hasn’t talked about other players’ work ethic like that on this team, except for Paige he did say she probably works harder than anyone else (or something similar I believe).
 

CocoHusky

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So we agree that Geno’s remarks about Nika were not hyperbole. It’s good!
:eek: Nah we don't agree.
The part where Geno said Nika been in American for 18 Months and still thinks she never fouled anyone might have been hyperbole of the highest order.
 
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CocoHusky

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“See, look at Nika,” Auriemma says of sophomore Nika Muhl, the guard from Croatia. “She works to exhaustion, like, ‘I didn’t come all the way over here to be just average.’ ”

That sounds like one of the harder working people on the team. Geno hasn’t talked about other players’ work ethic like that on this team, except for Paige he did say she probably works harder than anyone else (or something similar I believe).
Nice try but that is simply not true. ....

Christyn takes great pride in her defense now and her rebounding, her ability to make a play for someone else, to see things.
"Just a whole litany of things that I've been hoping that Christyn would eventually acquire. She certainly found the perfect time to do that."



"People don't realize how hard she (Paige) works. She might work harder than anybody on the team. Lot of people out there think that she's just this cocky kid and talented.

 
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Nice try but that is simply not true. ....

Christyn takes great pride in her defense now and her rebounding, her ability to make a play for someone else, to see things.
"Just a whole litany of things that I've been hoping that Christyn would eventually acquire. She certainly found the perfect time to do that."



"People don't realize how hard she (Paige) works. She might work harder than anybody on the team. Lot of people out there think that she's just this cocky kid and talented.
How is your first quote talking about her work ethic at all? It just says that CW acquired things Geno was hoping she would. And your second quote I cited in my original statement.
I am not trying to be rude by why do you feel so strongly about discrediting how hard Nika works? That seems to be her best trait. In any group thing (jobs, sports) work ethic is going to be different from person to person.
 

CocoHusky

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How is your first quote talking about her work ethic at all? It just says that CW acquired things Geno was hoping she would. And your second quote I cited in my original statement.
I am not trying to be rude by why do you feel so strongly about discrediting how hard Nika works? That seems to be her best trait. In any group thing (jobs, sports) work ethic is going to be different from person to person.
So you don't think Christyn Williams had to work hard to improve her defense to be able to shut down Caitlin Clark in the 2nd half of a tournament game. What did you think happened- a fairy just sprinkled some dust on Christyn and she woke up playing like that on game day? ALL the players are working hard! It is insane that ya'll think Nika has a monopoly on hard work on a UCONN WBB team.
 
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So you don't think Christyn Williams had to work hard to improve her defense to be able to shut down Caitlin Clark in the 2nd half of a tournament game. What did you think happened- a fairy just sprinkled some dust on Christyn and she woke up playing like that on game day? ALL the players are working hard! It is insane that ya'll think Nika has a monopoly on hard work on a UCONN WBB team.
I never said that at all! You’re twisting what I’m saying to try to prove a point that I’m not even making. Yes I do agree totally they all work hard, regardless Geno hasn’t talked about others on this team’s work ethic the way he has Nika’s (besides Paige) and you haven’t posted anything that proves different.
 

CocoHusky

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I never said that at all! You’re twisting what I’m saying to try to prove a point that I’m not even making. Yes I do agree totally they all work hard, regardless Geno hasn’t talked about others on this team’s work ethic the way he has Nika’s (besides Paige) and you haven’t posted anything that proves different.

“Rarely one to rave about freshmen, Auriemma said last month that Aaliyah, along with fellow freshman Nika Muhl, “play Connecticut-basketball hard.” It was perhaps the best compliment he could give a player, and the best one Aaliyah could hear about herself.”

 
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“Rarely one to rave about freshmen, Auriemma said last month that Aaliyah, along with fellow freshman Nika Muhl, “play Connecticut-basketball hard.” It was perhaps the best compliment he could give a player, and the best one Aaliyah could hear about herself.”

You are unbelievable. Any time anyone on the Boneyard has any praise for Nika Muhl, it is like clockwork that you will come back with a "Nika Cheerleader" comment discounting that she brings anything positive to the table. Once even, it would be refreshing ( and shocking!) if you actually praised anything that she has done or positive qualities she possess. In Geno's pre-first night presser he (paraphrasing) said that 'Nika brings a physical toughness that no one else on the team does, she is relentless and he loves that about her'. He has expressed similar sentiments when he recruited her, preseason last year and right through his comments about not having her 100% for the Arizona game. So your arguments as to why she is undeserving of some praise should rightly be directed at him not those of us that agree with his assessment.

He, nor I would venture to guess, any of those who have made comments appreciating what she brings to the team, believe she is the most talented player on the team but as with Kelly Faris, he loves how hard she works, her hard nosed toughness, relentless play and team first attitude. I believe just as with Kelly he will always find minutes for her.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if you believed that Nika being at UCONN was part of the college admissions scandal and that Darko slipped somebody a few bucks to get her a scholarship! (sarcasm intended).
 

CocoHusky

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You are unbelievable. Any time anyone on the Boneyard has any praise for Nika Muhl, it is like clockwork that you will come back with a "Nika Cheerleader" comment discounting that she brings anything positive to the table. Once even, it would be refreshing ( and shocking!) if you actually praised anything that she has done or positive qualities she possess. In Geno's pre-first night presser he (paraphrasing) said that 'Nika brings a physical toughness that no one else on the team does, she is relentless and he loves that about her'. He has expressed similar sentiments when he recruited her, preseason last year and right through his comments about not having her 100% for the Arizona game. So your arguments as to why she is undeserving of some praise should rightly be directed at him not those of us that agree with his assessment.

He, nor I would venture to guess, any of those who have made comments appreciating what she brings to the team, believe she is the most talented player on the team but as with Kelly Faris, he loves how hard she works, her hard nosed toughness, relentless play and team first attitude. I believe just as with Kelly he will always find minutes for her.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if you believed that Nika being at UCONN was part of the college admissions scandal and that Darko slipped somebody a few bucks to get her a scholarship! (sarcasm intended).
What is so hard to believe? I never said Nika was underserving of praise quite the contrary. What I stated was that All the players are working hard. I don't think Nika would be part of an admissions scandal-no sarcasm intended or implied. Nika is no Kelly Faris so please dismiss that though as well.
 

donalddoowop

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What is so hard to believe? I never said Nika was underserving of praise quite the contrary. What I stated was that All the players are working hard. I don't think Nika would be part of an admissions scandal-no sarcasm intended or implied. Nika is no Kelly Faris so please dismiss that though as well.
Was Faris as a freshman better than Muhl was as a freshman? I remember when I asked why UConn needed Muhl when they had Coombs and you said only positive things about Muhl. They were both good on defense but not accurate outside shooters. Muhl surprised me with her outside shooting last season. It was better than I thought it would be.
 
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In discussing Nika Muhl's work ethic or faults please remember Svet Abrasimova.
Svet was 16 or 17 when she came to the USA from Russia to join the UCONN WBB program.
If I remember correctly Svet was a stubborn player that fought Geno tooth and nail at every turn! Nika last year was as stubborn as Svet!
Nika has met almost all the challenges that Svet faced in a world that is now entirely different than when Svet was a freshman!
Nika has acclimated herself amazingly well with all the challenges and is a good student and carries herself very well!
If a member of UCONN's men's team said the same thing about the Arizona game he would be called a hard-nosed competitor and nothing more would be made of it! But Nika's "old world/European" values is looked on as a sore loser or immature.
Before she leaves UCONN she will have shined brightly both as a student and a WBB player!
 
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In discussing Nika Muhl's work ethic or faults please remember Svet Abrasimova.
Svet was 16 or 17 when she came to the USA from Russia to join the UCONN WBB program.
If I remember correctly Svet was a stubborn player that fought Geno tooth and nail at every turn! Nika last year was as stubborn as Svet!
Nika has met almost all the challenges that Svet faced in a world that is now entirely different than when Svet was a freshman!
Nika has acclimated herself amazingly well with all the challenges and is a good student and carries herself very well!
If a member of UCONN's men's team said the same thing about the Arizona game he would be called a hard-nosed competitor and nothing more would be made of it! But Nika's "old world/European" values is looked on as a sore loser or immature.
Before she leaves UCONN she will have shined brightly both as a student and a WBB player!
lol wow, you really turned someone being a sore loser into a gender and what country they are from? Feel sorry for you for believing that is why people called her out on it. If a man, let me use your logic "if an american man" said what she said there's nobody that would call him a competitor. I didn't hear Mahomes cry after the sb loss because he had 4 of his 5 offensive linemen out. He took it on the chin and gave credit TB for winning that Super Bowl. This is the type of stuff Coco brings up tho, that Nika is overprotected for things that any other female would do they would just be routine, but because she is from "another country" as you say we have to overvalue it. Everyone gets treated fairly on this roster no matter where you come from.
 
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lol wow, you really turned someone being a sore loser into a gender and what country they are from? Feel sorry for you for believing that is why people called her out on it. If a man, let me use your logic "if an american man" said what she said there's nobody that would call him a competitor. I didn't hear Mahomes cry after the sb loss because he had 4 of his 5 offensive linemen out. He took it on the chin and gave credit TB for winning that Super Bowl. This is the type of stuff Coco brings up tho, that Nika is overprotected for things that any other female would do they would just be routine, but because she is from "another country" as you say we have to overvalue it. Everyone gets treated fairly on this roster no matter where you come from.
jchuskie, WHOA big Fella! I was just saying to cut her some slack she's doing the best she can!
I know no one is treated different in Geno's program.
You're making a mountain out of a mole hill!
She was upset with the loss to Arizona because UCONN played their worst game of the season at the worst time!
Chill please!
 
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I am in the middle of the Nika discussion. Last year, she joined a team that needed another true point guard and high intensity defender. This year, we have depth in every position. Nike improved her 3 point shooting more than anyone I remember on UCONN, but cannot create her own shots. As an offensive player, she will likely be in the middle of the pack this year. She physically hammers the person she is guarding, but picks up unnecessary fouls and doesn't have the foot speed to guard quicker players. Geno loves her energy but suspect that a healed Evina, a physical Edwards, a hot shooting Azzi, etc. will generate more that what is needed to motivate this team. Top 8 player, no brainer. Someone who starts in beginning of the year, probably. Likely to lose minutes as the year goes on and Azzi and others prove themselves? This forecast gets my vote.
 
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Just to get the whole picture, listen to Nika's whole interview about watching the Arizona game. I don't see her as a sore loser as some have characterized her, I see a passionate player who was extremely disappointed that her team didn't finish out the season the way she and her teammates had anticipated and worked towards. I am confident that she was not alone among her teammates in the way she felt (see CW's postgame interview, when she was asked how she felt, she looked at the guy in disbelief and said 'how do you think I felt'). Geno, teammates and Nika herself have said she has no filter, she says what she thinks. If you note, she was fed the line 'refuse', she picked up on it and then finished her thought, which ended that she will eventually watch it. You might also note that the last thing she said was 'they were just better than us'. Doesn't sound like a sore loser but rather a very disappointed passionate teammate.
 

Bald Huskie

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I am in the middle of the Nika discussion. Last year, she joined a team that needed another true point guard and high intensity defender. This year, we have depth in every position. Nike improved her 3 point shooting more than anyone I remember on UCONN, but cannot create her own shots. As an offensive player, she will likely be in the middle of the pack this year. She physically hammers the person she is guarding, but picks up unnecessary fouls and doesn't have the foot speed to guard quicker players. Geno loves her energy but suspect that a healed Evina, a physical Edwards, a hot shooting Azzi, etc. will generate more that what is needed to motivate this team. Top 8 player, no brainer. Someone who starts in beginning of the year, probably. Likely to lose minutes as the year goes on and Azzi and others prove themselves? This forecast gets my vote.
You are on the right track HJ. Its funny how this huge discussion is about a player that is being pushed aside by many BYers by their anticipation of the incoming FRESHMEN. Most freshmen do not start at UConn, with the exception being a very select few. ( Paige, Sue ). Nika started for the first time because of an injury, but her talent kept her there for the remainder of the season.
Who can deny she plays great defense, who can deny the energy she brings, who can deny her attitude was contagious with the rest of the team? The only knock on Nika was her offensive production, not because she can't shoot, but because she did not shoot enough. We really don't know how good a shooter she really is based on the small number she has taken. If she could average 10-12 points a game she would start and I doubt many people would be opposed to this. We don't know what's going on with her or anyone else in practice, so lets be patient and hopefully somebody, Geno , Paige, or any media person can give us an insight of what is happening there. I believe she will start in the first game, but she has to be more willing to shoot if she wants to remain there.
 
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I am in the middle of the Nika discussion. Last year, she joined a team that needed another true point guard and high intensity defender. This year, we have depth in every position. Nike improved her 3 point shooting more than anyone I remember on UCONN, but cannot create her own shots. As an offensive player, she will likely be in the middle of the pack this year. She physically hammers the person she is guarding, but picks up unnecessary fouls and doesn't have the foot speed to guard quicker players. Geno loves her energy but suspect that a healed Evina, a physical Edwards, a hot shooting Azzi, etc. will generate more that what is needed to motivate this team. Top 8 player, no brainer. Someone who starts in beginning of the year, probably. Likely to lose minutes as the year goes on and Azzi and others prove themselves? This forecast gets my vote.
In general agreement with you. I would note that Nika also made vast improvement in her defense and first half of the season fouling issues as well (second half of the season, in the fifteen games she started, she had 24 fouls). I would expect she will come back this season with at least enough improvements in her offensive game to warrant keeping her defender on her. She will need to continue to work hard and show continued improvement on both ends of the court to earn her minutes in a much improved rooster, especially deep at the guard positions.
 
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What is so hard to believe? I never said Nika was underserving of praise quite the contrary. What I stated was that All the players are working hard. I don't think Nika would be part of an admissions scandal-no sarcasm intended or implied. Nika is no Kelly Faris so please dismiss that though as well.
Thanks, but I'll stick to my comparison of Nika to Kelly. Totally different personalities off the court, Kelly reserved, Nika an open book. As freshman, on the court both were fully engaged, intense, team first players and Geno loved that about each of them. We have three more years to watch Nika so we'll have to wait and see.
 
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A lot of the heated discussions here about Nika is over people's personal opinions, which to me is neither right or wrong!
It's that fan's impression of that player! Everyone has a right to their opinion!
To attack someone over their opinion being different from yours is wrong, everyone here should be allowed to express how They feel without a threat or attack from anyone else!
Usually the Boneyard members are very accepting in their discussions.
That's why so many fans of our opponents come to the BY because our moderators keep an "open mind" philosophy!
 

CocoHusky

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Was Faris as a freshman better than Muhl was as a freshman? I remember when I asked why UConn needed Muhl when they had Coombs and you said only positive things about Muhl. They were both good on defense but not accurate outside shooters. Muhl surprised me with her outside shooting last season. It was better than I thought it would be.
Freshman Faris was absolutely better than Nika. Not really a fair comparison though since Freshman Faris had two UCONN all time greats (Tina & Maya) on the roster. My assessment of Nika and comparison to Coombs still stands and was based on a video of Muhl playing overseas. Coombs had two full years to help UCONN and she ended up becoming a reluctant (afraid?) to shoot the ball. What should also be very apparent is that Nika was no longer that player from the videos upon her arrival at UCONN. At the risk of getting into a body type discussion Nika in those videos was a stealthy player build similar to Paige. Upon her arrival to UCONN she was build differently being noticeably thicker in both the upper and lower body. Even assuming best case-that all the additions was in muscle mass my point is that makes a difference for someone who is expected to be UCONN's primary on ball defender. The videos are posted below for you to appreciate the significant differences. There was some concern in the recruiting process regarding Nika shooting accuracy. I think those concerns were and are still valid. Nika's supporters will point out that she was tied for second best on the team in 3ptFG% . Others (me) will point out that she had the second lowest FG% at 38% on the team. What Geno has said of Nika shooting is that "she makes enough shots to keep the defense honest." That was last year. Time to turn the page.
 
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