Saniya Chong was better (offensively) in high school | The Boneyard

Saniya Chong was better (offensively) in high school

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I was bored this morning so I watched some of the games/highlights of Chong in high school and I come away thinking she was a much better offensive player in high school. Her shot had a much higher arc, not as flat as it seems to be these days, and she was more aggressive, etc... I can also see why her offense has regressed. I think in sports, to improve you have to get a lot of repetition under game condition, and at UConn (or any other top programs), if you are not the key players, you will not be the #1, 2, or 3 option in the flow of the game, so your chance of getting repetition is kind of low. A player like Brianna Stewart, or KML can miss 6 shots in a row and will still take the next 6 w/o thinking or being afraid of the consequence. A secondary player like Saniya misses a couple shots and that is pretty much it for her opportunity for a while. In high school Saniya was the "man" so she got to take a lot of shots and can self correct along the way when they were not going in. Making shots in practice is not the same. Doty was a prolific 3pt shooter in practice (they said she made like 75% 3pt shots in practice), but I don't think she was that great of a 3pt shooter in game for possibly the same reason (not enough reps). This applies to player like Ekmark as well. I just can't believe that these players who are such prolific shooters in high school would suddenly forgot how to shoot the ball.
 

meyers7

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A lot of other factors. (also, maybe) They don't have the room to shoot, they get closed down much quicker, they have to shoot over much taller players, the game itself is just much quicker. Mentally, a lot more at stake in college. College itself, with it's pressures is very different than HS. Not being "the man", which you kind of covered.

The game is just different at each level. HS to College to WNBA to Olympics. No guarentee that being good at one level will translate to the next.
 
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Chong is playing against a significantly higher level of competition that she did in high school. On this level the average player is taller and quicker. They play team defense much faster and you have less time to get off an open shot.

It is not just that Chong is missing that hurts her confidence and playing time it is how she is playing in other aspects of the game and the fact that she is missing her shots. She appears frenetic. She is missing badly.

I do believe that the short string that Geno has her (and Stokes) on does get in her head. But practice (and work after practice) is where you show that you deserve to be given a longer string. Unless you are a star or essential (because of your defense, leadership or ability to set up others) a team at this level of competition cannot just let you play hoping you find your stroke. I actually think Geno has been fairly patient.
 

BigBird

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Being made increasingly aware of the crucial importance of defense can also take away a player's concentration required for offensive production. It's just a much bigger step up to get on and stay on the most visible stage in WCBB. I think she can still be good or very good before it's all done. She needs to stop playing "afraid" and borrow some mojo from her team mates.

Just my .02...
 

DobbsRover2

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Chong's FG% is up this year, she's scoring more points per game, and she's had some nice highlight moments this year recently like the steal and full-court layup against Duke I think. Couple of blocks against ECU also shows those long of arms can contribute on other end. Her averages in rebounds, steals, blocks and rebounds are all up at least a little this year, though again I hate to bring stats into a discussion on the BY where "in my eye" is all that really matters usually.

Not sure why it's so necessary to have another thread about how she's regressed when most of the stats speak otherwise. No she doesn't score like she did in high school, which is true for 99.9% of college players. Sure, it is almost certainly true you need to shoot a lot of 3s in a game to get comfortable with them, and finding the opportunity on a team like UConn is tough. If she starts jacking them on a team that likes to work the ball inside to Stewie and Morgan or swing it out to KML, she will not be out on the floor. Her job is try to settle things down and get the half court motion offense going while she's out there, and she does that pretty well usually without making many risky telegraphed passes or forcing passes into a crowd in the paint. As to the fact that the situation on the floor for her isn't the same as at Ossining now that she's playing with Stewie, and MoJeff, and KML and the rest, well yeah. I think that was known.
 
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Chong's HS team played an up tempo transition offense. She had the ball in her hands most of the time. IMO she was a complete offense player in that role. She was a very good 3 point shooter but was even better driving the lane and either making a basket or going to the line. She also had a 9+ assist average her senior year. I can remember a game where she made something like 20 straight ft's in the second half. Her adjustment at UConn involved 2 things, learning to play offense without the ball in her hands and learning to play defense. Like a lot of HS scorers, she didn't play much defense as her team couldn't afford her getting into foul trouble. I also remember a game where she ended the 1st quarter by making a half court shot and then made another at the end of the half, only to have it negated by a travelling call. She has a great shooters eye even though she seems reluctant to take chances on offense. I've read or seen on some video where Geno has stated she is even faster than Jefferson. I don't know which is faster but I'd hate to have to live on the difference. I don't like to make predictions but I'm glad she's on the squad.
 
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I was bored this morning so I watched some of the games/highlights of Chong in high school and I come away thinking she was a much better offensive player in high school. Her shot had a much higher arc, not as flat as it seems to be these days, and she was more aggressive, etc... I can also see why her offense has regressed. I think in sports, to improve you have to get a lot of repetition under game condition, and at UConn (or any other top programs), if you are not the key players, you will not be the #1, 2, or 3 option in the flow of the game, so your chance of getting repetition is kind of low. A player like Brianna Stewart, or KML can miss 6 shots in a row and will still take the next 6 w/o thinking or being afraid of the consequence. A secondary player like Saniya misses a couple shots and that is pretty much it for her opportunity for a while. In high school Saniya was the "man" so she got to take a lot of shots and can self correct along the way when they were not going in. Making shots in practice is not the same. Doty was a prolific 3pt shooter in practice (they said she made like 75% 3pt shots in practice), but I don't think she was that great of a 3pt shooter in game for possibly the same reason (not enough reps). This applies to player like Ekmark as well. I just can't believe that these players who are such prolific shooters in high school would suddenly forgot how to shoot the ball.

Did she have the same shooting form in HS? She seems to push the ball at the basket, it looks like the type of shot taken by preteens who don't have much strength. Just curious, I'm not one who gives points for style. If good form was everything then Stan Musial would have batted .200 and not be in the Hall of Fame.
 
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Not sure why it's so necessary to have another thread about how she's regressed when most of the stats speak otherwise.

I was only talking relative to her high school play, not relative to last year. This was not a bash on Saniya. I was just trying to understand why a prolific shooter lost her shooting touch, and to see if what other people comments about her shot being flat is true. As far as this year vs last year, she is getting more playing time.
 
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Did she have the same shooting form in HS? She seems to push the ball at the basket, it looks like the type of shot taken by preteens who don't have much strength. Just curious, I'm not one who gives points for style. If good form was everything then Stan Musial would have batted .200 and not be in the Hall of Fame.

In some of the highlights I watched on Youtube, the arc of her shots is a lot higher than what it is now, and she had a quicker release (possibly due to more confidence). To me she is passing on a lot of open shots in games today, possibly because there are more perceived consequences when she misses, again it's a confidence thing.
 

pinotbear

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Chong is playing against a significantly higher level of competition that she did in high school. On this level the average player is taller and quicker. They play team defense much faster and you have less time to get off an open shot.

It is not just that Chong is missing that hurts her confidence and playing time it is how she is playing in other aspects of the game and the fact that she is missing her shots. She appears frenetic. She is missing badly.

I do believe that the short string that Geno has her (and Stokes) on does get in her head. But practice (and work after practice) is where you show that you deserve to be given a longer string. Unless you are a star or essential (because of your defense, leadership or ability to set up others) a team at this level of competition cannot just let you play hoping you find your stroke. I actually think Geno has been fairly patient.

I would just add here - I don't think that "the short string" is all that short.

Remembering that UConn hasn't played a third of the schedule, so, Chong and Stokes are less than a third into their sophomore and senior campaigns, respectively. Remember, as the "SOS" thread reminds us, there are a lot of minutes in conference games yet to be played, many of which shouldn't require as rigid time management as Stanford, ND, Duke (the first two on the road, realll early in the season). And remember, a lot of the upcoming games will be "true" home games in Gampel and XL.

Now, with that in mind, thus far, Chong is averaging 20.9 minutes per game. Nurse is averaging 25.8. Stokes is averaging 19.7. Tuck is averaging 25.4. So, basically, the "short string" has amounted to 3 minutes per half.

For some historical perspective, Stewie averaged 23.7 her freshman year. Stef averaged 23.9 her sophomore year. Lorin Dixon averaged 21.8 her senior year. Kelly averaged 18.9 her freshman year. KG averaged 25.9 her senior year. And, these figures reflect full seasons, with all the games against the weak parts of the schedule, as well as the strong, and tournament play. But, it also reflects court time created by illness, injury and transfer, which, historically, I believe, impacts playing time less in the beginning of the season than the season overall.

I know "when you play" matters, as well as "how much", but, in terms of just "playing time", the string just hasn't been that short.
 

DobbsRover2

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I was only talking relative to her high school play, not relative to last year. This was not a bash on Saniya. I was just trying to understand why a prolific shooter lost her shooting touch, and to see if what other people comments about her shot being flat is true. As far as this year vs last year, she is getting more playing time.
Chong was at around 20 minutes a game last year through the 22 game mark when Geno started giving the core post season players more minutes, so she's not really getting much more time on the floor at this point to up her averages, maybe a minute. Without Stef and Bria this year one thing that is way up is the TOs, and that is an area that Saniya is good at not contributing to in general. I know we all want to see dazzling UConn passes inside for a bucket, but too many of them are getting picked off and run back for layups on the other end, so having a more "cautious" player out there also has its good side. I do wish she'd swing it down the side more for an initial pass to say Kiah who then feeds to maybe Morgan, but I'm sure she's following the strategies that the coaching staff have set up for her or she wouldn't be on the court for 20 minutes.

Again, her blocks and steals are up and those long arms keep the 3-point shooters from getting comfortable, so I don't see where the complaints about her defense are coming from. In a number of recent games in which she comes in the first half, the team has gone on a tear and the other team has gone cold. Probably just coincidence I guess, but she must be doing something right and is not just tripping over her feet during those 19-5 runs, even if few fans want to give her much credit.

Totally agree that it's hard to keep your shooting form strong when you don't shoot that often, and Chong is not a banger like Nurse whose wilder shots are erased because she can usually pick up a foul call, and I do wish she would pick up more easy buckets on breakouts like Nurse is so adept at. But she is on a team with Stewie, and Tuck, and KML, and MoJeff, and now Williams and likely Ekmark wanting their shots, and Saniya and UConn fans may just need to get comfortable with the fact that she has to focus more on other things than shooting. She has the memory of that devastating steal against Duke and the exclamation point block at the end of the ECU game to work with, and I hope she uses such plays to build confidence for the rest of the year.
 
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Chong seems to be making plays without hesitation - the Duke steal is a perfect example - she saw it and pounced. More good stuff is coming!
 
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Chong's FG% is up this year, she's scoring more points per game, and she's had some nice highlight moments this year recently like the steal and full-court layup against Duke I think. Couple of blocks against ECU also shows those long of arms can contribute on other end. Her averages in rebounds, steals, blocks and rebounds are all up at least a little this year, though again I hate to bring stats into a discussion on the BY where "in my eye" is all that really matters usually.

Not sure why it's so necessary to have another thread about how she's regressed when most of the stats speak otherwise. No she doesn't score like she did in high school, which is true for 99.9% of college players. Sure, it is almost certainly true you need to shoot a lot of 3s in a game to get comfortable with them, and finding the opportunity on a team like UConn is tough. If she starts jacking them on a team that likes to work the ball inside to Stewie and Morgan or swing it out to KML, she will not be out on the floor. Her job is try to settle things down and get the half court motion offense going while she's out there, and she does that pretty well usually without making many risky telegraphed passes or forcing passes into a crowd in the paint. As to the fact that the situation on the floor for her isn't the same as at Ossining now that she's playing with Stewie, and MoJeff, and KML and the rest, well yeah. I think that was known.

Chong had a great game against Stanford but since then her shooting % is an underwhelming .35%, her 3 pt shooting % is an abysmal .18% and she has averaged a mere 4.3 pts in over 20 minutes per game. So are her stats up from last year? Sure they are but they are certainly not good.
 
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In some of the highlights I watched on Youtube, the arc of her shots is a lot higher than what it is now, and she had a quicker release (possibly due to more confidence). To me she is passing on a lot of open shots in games today, possibly because there are more perceived consequences when she misses, again it's a confidence thing.
Here is a little on the confidence thing and Geno's thoughts on the change from high school. See last section on Boykin Visits...
http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn...arolina-women-follow-0102-20150101-story.html
 
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Many good points, sawxfan, your shooting % would decrease too if your coach a)took you out of the starting line up, b)coach made outlandish exaggerated statements concerning your defense and made you the scape goat for the teams loss as Luigi did after the Stamford game.
The steal against Duke was pretty but she hesitated pulling the trigger there.
Someone said it best she is playing afraid, she is not playing her game, not driving to the hoop, passing off way too much, hesitant putting up 3s.
Yes the defenders in college are all much better than in high school and yes Uconn's game does not suit her style but the last 3 games she has looked more aggressive, more self confident and playing good D.
Still looking for Saniya to have a total breakout game to silence all the critics especially that female canine Cuhmo or however you spell it.
 
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Luigi, really ? It was a cause and effect situation. Chong lost her starting spot because Nurse was playing better, defense included. The coach makes outlandish, exaggerated statements about the whole team, not just Chong. It comes down to this. If Chong plays better than Nurse, she will play more than Nurse. Otherwise, the playing situation will remain as it is now.
 

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I went to high School with Tommy Penders. Tommy was a prolific scorer, averaging over 30 points per game. At UConn, he averaged 2 points per game. Why? Wes Bialosuknia! Tommy was asked to play a different role in college than High School. So is Soniya.
 

MilfordHusky

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I went to high School with Tommy Penders. Tommy was a prolific scorer, averaging over 30 points per game. At UConn, he averaged 2 points per game. Why? Wes Bialosuknia! Tommy was asked to play a different role in college than High School. So is Soniya.
Tommy was coached by his father in high school. And rarely played on the defensive side of half court. He was a good talent at that level.
 

EricLA

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Geno made Saniya a scapegoat for absolutely nothing. To suggest that is looney tunes. It's the type of thing opponents would suggest, and then say it over and over and over in the hope that people eventually believe it, and sometimes they do. I don't recall Geno EVER throwing his players under the bus. That's far different from praising or criticizing them when it's deserved. In the Stanford loss, she scored a bunch, Nurse and Tuck fouled out, and UCONN's overall defense was like swiss cheese. As several have said, she was pulled from the starting lineup for defensive purposes.

But let's be honest - Saniya does very little on offense. It mostly consists of a strange hand waive thing when she has the ball about 8 feet behind the 3 point line, then she picks up her dribble out there and passes the ball to someone else. Nurse is always attacking, always directing, and always making something happen out there, forcing defenses to react to her. I'm one of Saniya's biggest fans, and am hoping so badly that she begins to sparkle and shine. I'm so disappointed for her and know her confidence must be shaken...

But... preaseason Geno said she was one of the best, if not the best, practice player on a consistent basis. For whatever reason, she sort of fell apart, and I don't have answers for what's ailing her. But I hope she knows Husky nation is rooting for her!!!
 

JS

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I was only talking relative to her high school play, not relative to last year. This was not a bash on Saniya.
You needn't be defensive about voicing a "negative" opinion.

One might ask why, in the post to which you're responding, it was necessary to ask why this thread is necessary.

It doesn't have to be necessary. It's an interesting, viable thread with lots of participation and good commentary. Thanks for starting it.
 
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I was bored this morning so I watched some of the games/highlights of Chong in high school and I come away thinking she was a much better offensive player in high school. Her shot had a much higher arc, not as flat as it seems to be these days, and she was more aggressive, etc... I can also see why her offense has regressed. I think in sports, to improve you have to get a lot of repetition under game condition, and at UConn (or any other top programs), if you are not the key players, you will not be the #1, 2, or 3 option in the flow of the game, so your chance of getting repetition is kind of low. A player like Brianna Stewart, or KML can miss 6 shots in a row and will still take the next 6 w/o thinking or being afraid of the consequence. A secondary player like Saniya misses a couple shots and that is pretty much it for her opportunity for a while. In high school Saniya was the "man" so she got to take a lot of shots and can self correct along the way when they were not going in. Making shots in practice is not the same. Doty was a prolific 3pt shooter in practice (they said she made like 75% 3pt shots in practice), but I don't think she was that great of a 3pt shooter in game for possibly the same reason (not enough reps). This applies to player like Ekmark as well. I just can't believe that these players who are such prolific shooters in high school would suddenly forgot how to shoot the ball.
You mentioned Doty and I think one of the reasons that Doty was appreciably less consistent in games was that her time of being a prolific shooter was before she got the second and third ACL tear. By that time, she didn't have the strong underpinning that had enabled her to be that good a shooter and that was every bit as much of her problem as no longer seeing the court time that she had previously. Had that not happened, I think her entire career at UConn would have been appreciably better. She was tough and hard nosed and a great teammate but those injuries curtailed her career badly.
 
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I was bored this morning so I watched some of the games/highlights of Chong in high school and I come away thinking she was a much better offensive player in high school. Her shot had a much higher arc, not as flat as it seems to be these days, and she was more aggressive, etc... I can also see why her offense has regressed. I think in sports, to improve you have to get a lot of repetition under game condition, and at UConn (or any other top programs), if you are not the key players, you will not be the #1, 2, or 3 option in the flow of the game, so your chance of getting repetition is kind of low. A player like Brianna Stewart, or KML can miss 6 shots in a row and will still take the next 6 w/o thinking or being afraid of the consequence. A secondary player like Saniya misses a couple shots and that is pretty much it for her opportunity for a while. In high school Saniya was the "man" so she got to take a lot of shots and can self correct along the way when they were not going in. Making shots in practice is not the same. Doty was a prolific 3pt shooter in practice (they said she made like 75% 3pt shots in practice), but I don't think she was that great of a 3pt shooter in game for possibly the same reason (not enough reps). This applies to player like Ekmark as well. I just can't believe that these players who are such prolific shooters in high school would suddenly forgot how to shoot the ball.

If given the opportunity at a top tier school - You think the best high school scorers from Connecticut, whom may be considered prolific for Connecticut, would shoot the ball extremely well because/if they received 30+ minutes?
 

UcMiami

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The only player on the Uconn team at this point that was not statistically better in HS might be Butler who had a dynamic freshman year in college. That is the nature of the progression in sports - the higher up the chain you go the more concentrated the talent becomes and therefore the more challenging the opponents become. From HS to D1 college ball weeds out 99% of the girls playing basketball - HS to top 25 D1 ball is more like 99.9%. And D1 to WNBA will weed out another 99.9%.
As for the game time issue - they practice 15 hours a week and the best player play maybe 60 minutes a week in games. And I am pretty sure most of the practice time is as intense and pressured as is the game time.
 

DobbsRover2

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The only player on the Uconn team at this point that was not statistically better in HS might be Butler who had a dynamic freshman year in college. That is the nature of the progression in sports - the higher up the chain you go the more concentrated the talent becomes and therefore the more challenging the opponents become. From HS to D1 college ball weeds out 99% of the girls playing basketball - HS to top 25 D1 ball is more like 99.9%. And D1 to WNBA will weed out another 99.9%.
As for the game time issue - they practice 15 hours a week and the best player play maybe 60 minutes a week in games. And I am pretty sure most of the practice time is as intense and pressured as is the game time.
For sure, and really disappointed in Breanna Stewart. She is averaging four less points and five less rebounds than in high school for CNS. Why do all these young players forget how to shoot and rebound as soon as they come to UConn? Same with KML, who averaged seven more points for Mater Dei. They need to find themselves a good coach.
 
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