Some thoughts

Tonyc

Optimus Prime
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,100
Likes
4,562
#1
Tonite exposed why we need our non starters to hurry up and get developed. Its a little late in the season but there is still time. We came out like a house on fire. I thought we let up especially in the 4th qtr. Then seemed to run out of gas. Kia playing defense didnt really allow her to shoot the ball. CD looked a little slow from the lay off trying to heal her injuries. Gabby Phessa and Lou were very good.

We came out on fire and up 20 at the half. We looked tired, we slowed down. We didnt look as energized or crisp as did did in the first half. UConn needs some help from Z and MW. IMO they should be at another level this late in the season. A level of take charge and a level of Making It Happen. They have their moments and when they do theyre really good. Tonite that wasnt there.

UConn did not shoot the ball as good as they can tonite. IMO CD hurt and all that time off, and Kia was focused on Durr. Hey we didnt play on all cylinders and the game was never in question. So we look forward to the rest of the season. CD needs to get healthy. I expect her to see less playing time then usual. We need her for the post season. I also expect to see Z and MW get alot of play time and alot of attention from the coaching staff to get them ready for the post season. If theyre not ready I dont expect to see them get alot of time in big games. I expected a we would win by alot more. We played the second half to stay out of foul trouble because we didnt have a bench we were confident in, in this game.

It will be interesting to see what what happens over the next 4 games, and the AAC tourney. We need non starters to step up and be counted on.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
542
Likes
196
#2
Right now neither Azura or Megan will help come tournament time. Just seeing what they nave not brought to the game when they get in.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
778
Likes
1,708
#3
I'm more glass-half-full about tonight's game. It's simply not possible to sustain the level of play and exertion that our women displayed during the first quarter. We knocked them out of the game early, and there's really nothing wrong with coasting to victory under those circumstances, with our bench being what it is right now. Could it have been cleaner? Sure. But they had a job to do tonight and they got down and did it. I'm proud of this team.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
7,567
Likes
9,246
#5
I concur with you thoughts Tony.......I've been harping all season about the importance of the bench and it's becoming even more apparent that there is much more work to be done.......it's a chicken or the egg situation...are the bench players at fault because they're not doing the things Geno asks of them or is Geno at fault for not getting his bench to perform up to his standards? Either way it better get straightened out or I could see a scenario where UConn simply runs out of gas in the quarter or semifinals again this year......
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
213
Likes
142
#6
Gene never uses more than 6 or 7 players anyway so bench not a factor imo. Stevens is fine and while an adventure on defense she is a matchup nightmare for any team we play with her length and athleticism. Megan will be fine with more experience and we still have a month of games plus the first 3 or 4 rounds of the tourney for her to get it.
 

HuskyFan1125

"Dont be the same, be better"
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
4,732
Likes
3,080
#7
Anyone one else see the irony with the bench?? In the preseason there was all this talk about players getting enough minutes. Here we are at the end of the season talking about the starters playing too many minutes and the bench getting very little.

It’s why I mostly just watch the games and let it play out as GA and staff see fit.

And yes, I concur @Tonyc
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
4,903
Likes
3,854
Age
79
#8
This may be the year that we win but it's imperfect.

The bench was quite ineffective

Walker missed a defensive assignment under the basket almost as soon as she came in; Z missed makable shots around the hoop...and she continues to have
a problem taking additional time passing the ball as compared to others; her instincts are not automatic in this regard.

Chrystal's lack of practice showed up in her long distance shooting, in other respects she was exemplary.

We may just have to be satisfied with wins this year; the ability to play at our accustomed level for 40 minutes may be beyond our reach.

I'll take it (if we win).
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
8,718
Likes
11,265
#10
I can't remember a time when we have ever gotten this little out of a #1 recruit.

Yes, Stewie struggled in the middle of her freshman year, but not this badly and not for this long. Hopefully this doesn't impact future recruiting (and clearly it does not appear to have impacted 2018).
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
778
Likes
1,708
#12
I can't remember a time when we have ever gotten this little out of a #1 recruit.

Yes, Stewie struggled in the middle of her freshman year, but not this badly and not for this long. Hopefully this doesn't impact future recruiting (and clearly it does not appear to have impacted 2018).
The off-season is going to be critical for Megan. If she can make the requisite Sophomore leap, things should be fine.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
1,012
Likes
1,225
#13
The team got some glaring weaknesses that are scary considering it's mid February: lack of reliable bench, gabby can't shoot the mid range effectively and the team misses way too many lay ups and is bothered by physical players. That said, the starting 5 is by far the best in the country and they play beautifully on both offense and defense. The 2 teams I don't want to meet in the tourney are Baylor and Miss. st. As I think UConn will have a major issue with their big strong centers.
 

UConnCat

Wise Woman
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
7,917
Likes
11,560
#16
I can't remember a time when we have ever gotten this little out of a #1 recruit.

Yes, Stewie struggled in the middle of her freshman year, but not this badly and not for this long. Hopefully this doesn't impact future recruiting (and clearly it does not appear to have impacted 2018).
Although a #1 recruit Megan is not at Stewart's or Maya's or Taurasi's level. Plus, Megan is playing behind players who are better and more experienced than she is which was not the case for the other #1 recruits. She isn't really needed as much as Stewart and Maya were. Interestingly, Megan's best game was the UCLA game in which Lou didn't play because of an injury. Since then, Meg has struggled to carve out an identity on the team.

Stewart was a starter as a freshman and was eventually removed from the starting lineup once she began to struggle. Stewart struggled for the last 6 weeks of the season, the culmination of which was the last game of the season, an OT loss to ND in which she played 40 minutes and made 1 shot. She turned it around for good once the BE tournament began. That team really needed Stewart to excel in order to win the championship and she delivered. This year's team needs Megan to play well off the bench and she has struggled to fill that limited role.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
593
Likes
1,000
#17
While I understand the concerns here about the team and where it is going, I think they are somewhat off.
Yes it would be wonderful if the bench were more effective more regularly. And yes, the team and some players are at times are exhausted and drained physically and / or emotionally. And yes there have been some injuries and wear and tear.
I think AZ will definitely play a significant role offensively because of her skill set. I doubt though it won't be without a few bumps in her and the teams road. Based upon what I've seen so far I don't see MW playing a significant role the remainder of this season. I think that's pretty analogous to last year with CD. That makes me think MW will come back next year a very different more complete player just as CD has.
This team wiped out one of the best teams in the country in the first quarter and they were still ahead by twenty at the half. The game tightened a bit but they were never at serious risk of losing.
I think if you look at this team compared to last year there are some big pluses and very few minuses.
Having a real quality point guard who knows how to run and control
the floor is enormous. Yes she will need to be carefully handled the rest of the year. Gabby after the first part of the season has pretty much returned to her amazing super athletic self. Kia effort and defensive skills make it so much more difficult for any quality guard to excel against U Conn. Kia likely will not be a major offensive threat against top teams in big games, for two reasons. She works until near exhaustion defensively and she can not and does not create plays for herself offensively. Having AZ offensive abilities and her size gives them a unique quality reserve, obviously still with her current limitations. Pheesa is not quite performing where she was last year (almost impossible to do that) but is still having a good year making significant contributions. Two more very important remaining points. Tonight it surely seemed clear to many others and to me that KLS is a much better more complete player than last year, when she was already an AA. I think she should definitely be NPOY and if she doesn't win it likely will finish 2nd or worst third. Her play in the first half was beyond impressive.
And lastly, I think losing last year left a pretty horrible feeling with the top five and that does and will motivate them for it not to happen again.
Tonight they were never at risk or
losing and in the few games in question this year they did what they had to to pull out wins.
It may well not always be pretty or close to perfect, but I think the glass is way more than half full.
Bronx23
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
1,454
Likes
1,644
#18
I can't remember a time when we have ever gotten this little out of a #1 recruit.

Yes, Stewie struggled in the middle of her freshman year, but not this badly and not for this long. Hopefully this doesn't impact future recruiting (and clearly it does not appear to have impacted 2018).
I hope she will be fine but I watched all the all star games and I remember saying to myself these all star games stink cause I don't think megan is showing a lot. I don't get the hype. A lot of us watch the offensive end much more closely but she is a liability defensively right now.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
2,670
Likes
4,992
#19
UConn spent so much energy burying Louisville in the first quarter, they got tired and wore down in the second half because the bench was not able to help. Kia did a great job of guarding Durr in the first half, holding her to 6 points. Some commenters were concerned that Kia had not scored in the first half. As others responded, it was because she was busy keeping Durr in handcuffs, and holding her relatively scoreless.

I liked the play Louisville has where their player runs around a screen, through an opening that two of their players come together and close. The game announcers referred to it as the elevator doors closing. It worked. The UConn player chasing the play had to go around it, but the shot was away by then.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
593
Likes
1,000
#21
Right now neither Azura or Megan will help come tournament time. Just seeing what they nave not brought to the game when they get in.
How can you compare what AZ and MW brought. One played a lot more than the other and even though she clearly struggled for three quarters made some big baskets when needed towards the end to stop Louisville from getting closer.
Can't we all try not to jump in the ocean when all doesn't go perfectly.
Seems to me for the first quarter and half we whooped one of the next best teams in the country.
Yes the second part of the game wasn't great by any means but it provides many teaching moments!
Balance and reality is needed more here both in understating this win and what happened and / or exaggerating some of our top players abilities.
Bronx23
 

iamcbs

Buckeye Guest
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
Messages
708
Likes
1,018
#22
It's really late in the season for you to be hoping for any major improvements. At this point every team is who we thought they wuz!! What you've gotten from Azura and Megan Walker is what you're going to get. Azura just isn't a post player, no matter how much the coaching staff or the fanbase wish it to be so. She's a 6'6" wing, just think of her as KLS but 3 inches taller and not as great a shooter. She's been dominated in the post by every decent post player she's played against this, Kara Lawson made that observation last night on several occasions against Hines-Allen and Shook. As for Megan, she's trying to do too much and she's thinking instead of playing. You can she her talent but she's trying to remember what she's supposed to do instead of letting her game flow, hope fully that will change at some point, like it did for Stewie in the tournament her freshman year.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,540
Likes
1,589
#23
Azura had 8pts 4rb in 17 minutes. Napheesa had 14pts 6rb in 36 minutes. Z will be fine. On offense as others have noted Gabby needs to look for her foul line jumper. The played off her basically most of the game. Gabby did not even look to shoot the ball. When she plays against the taller post in the tournament. They are going to give her that shot because driving to the basket is her strength. Make her hit 4 or 5 at least instead of letting her drive to the basket for a layup. Also Azura and Napheesa need to look for the 10-15 foot jumper more instead of always trying to take it to the rim. You can do it against AAC teams but not Top 5. Hitting those jumpers opens up the lane for penetration.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
262
Likes
302
#25
I hope she will be fine but I watched all the all star games and I remember saying to myself these all star games stink cause I don't think megan is showing a lot. I don't get the hype. A lot of us watch the offensive end much more closely but she is a liability defensively right now.
Sorry, but after rewatching the couple of minutes MW was in the game, I just can't agree with your statement that she is a defensive liability at this point.
 


Top