Starting Lineup Redux

-
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
1,169
Likes
2,329
As for averaging 20 a game, it doesn’t happen because when games got out of hand, the starters sit. When Lou went 10 for 10 and scored 40, only the third or fourth 40 game in UConn history, she sat early. I remember watching Plum in her senior year playing deep in games as she set scoring record and thinking she couldn’t do that at UConn. I see several players more than capable of scoring 20-25 on any given night, just not every night, but I can really see a team—this team—with five players scoring 15-16 each almost every night. That’s an unbeatable team. CW needs Anna and perhaps Paige feeding her to score consistently in 20’s. When CW came alive last year, it was frequently a feed from Anna.

Paige and Anna appear to have a similar approach, first get the ball to the open player, if no one open only then take their shot. Indeed, I think the other three players on the floor are less important (because there is so much talent on this team, they become interchangeable). With Anna and Page, great facilitators as well as being great shooters, on the court at the same time, our opponents will go crazy trying to figure out who of the five to guard.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
813
Likes
1,834
I never said Anna plays the 4. I think that is a terrible move because it take the ball out of her hands on the break or in transition where she is at her best and will give her constant foul trouble. I don't see her as athletic enough to play down low. For argument's sake, make Aubrey's minutes the same as Meg's last year and she averages 10.8 boards a game making her the leading rebounder on the team. Meg finished with an 8.4 average. Aubrey is also unquestionably the best on ball defender on the team. She was second on the team in total steals, only 8 behind Crystal while playing less than half her minutes, second on the team in blocks and here is the most important stat- second on the team in free throw attempts with 93( behind Meg by only two) in her limited time. As you know most of them were due to put backs or steals on rebounds. If AE is that good as a freshman that she gets the starting nod over the 6th man on the #4 team in the country last year I can only say that is a very nice problem for Geno to have. In general, I think Aubrey is being undervalued and I think it is probably due to her offensive game last year. We talked about the Seton Hall game as a counter point but what the about the AAC semis? 16 points and 16 rebounds, a symmetrical double double. She is probably in the gym every day now with her brothers and/or father working on her offense and strength and I firmly believe we will see the "New Griff" in October. The fact that we are having this discussion is noteworthy in and of itself. A choice at the 4 position? What a novel dilemma.
So if Makurat starts, what position do Bueckers, Westbrook, and Williams start at?
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
813
Likes
1,834
Well 5rpg in like 15-17 minutes is not bad and that could become 8 or more with starter minutes. Don't forget about her offensive rbs for put backs. And I don't think you can compare her rbs to Walker's. They had different roles on the court so neither one of them would have the same type of stats.
That is my point! Griffin is a tremendous athlete and rebounder at the 3, at the 4 she is undersized and will get pushed around by bigger players.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
1,822
Likes
2,681
As for averaging 20 a game, it doesn’t happen because when games got out of hand, the starters sit. When Lou went 10 for 10 and scored 40, only the third or fourth 40 game in UConn history, she sat early. I remember watching Plum in her senior year playing deep in games as she set scoring record and thinking she couldn’t do that at UConn. I see several players more than capable of scoring 20-25 on any given night, just not every night, but I can really see a team—this team—with five players scoring 15-16 each almost every night. That’s an unbeatable team. CW needs Anna and perhaps Paige feeding her to score consistently in 20’s. When CW came alive last year, it was frequently a feed from Anna.

Paige and Anna appear to have a similar approach, first get the ball to the open player, if no one open only then take their shot. Indeed, I think the other three players on the floor are less important (because there is so much talent on this team, they become interchangeable). With Anna and Page, great facilitators as well as being great shooters, on the court at the same time, our opponents will go crazy trying to figure out who of the five to guard.
Anna added quite a bit to offense by her movement. Opened the floor for Walker and others. Would not say the reverse was true - often frustrating to see Anna open and not get the ball. Paige and Anna both expert at getting the ball to open player so will be very interesting to watch this year's and future teams. Predict some exceptional fast breaks and high assist totals.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
360
Likes
860
So if Makurat starts, what position do Bueckers, Westbrook, and Williams start at?
[/QUOTE
Who says Paige starts right away? Even the GOAT didn't. My initial starting team is Evina, CW, Anna, Aubrey and Liv. I think because Meg was at the 4 last year we saw Aubrey mostly at the 3 because Meg had to stay in the game to shoot and score. I understand your point but most of Aubrey's put backs or attempts where she was fouled and had 93 FTs came at the 4 position or to be more location specific, underneath the basket. I think Paige is the first sub in at the guard position and Edwards is first in underneath. If we are pressing, I see Mir, who is the same height as CW, as a three position substitute. She is very long and is a natural defender. Nika can play the 1 or the 2 and Piath will spell Ono. I just don't see how you keep the best on ball defensive player on the team (AG) out of the starting lineup. If you start Edwards over Aubrey with Evina, Paige, Liv and CW, you don't start Anna who started last year on the #4 team in the country and who is the most creative player on offense you have returning with a great 3. Anna and Aubrey both got tremendous experience last year and it will show in how they play this year as starters.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
3,736
Likes
3,051
You might start Paige because she is a better basketball player. There is no rule that you must start your best defensive player.

And Paige should be outstanding pressing too.

And what makes her more lethal is that not all steals are breakaways. You steal and hit her with the 1st outlet pass - you have an amazing fastbreak.

And no way Aubrey is the most creative player. That will be either Page or Evina and probably both.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
360
Likes
860
You might start Paige because she is a better basketball player. There is no rule that you must start your best defensive player.

And Paige should be outstanding pressing too.

And what makes her more lethal is that not all steals are breakaways. You steal and hit her with the 1st outlet pass - you have an amazing fastbreak.

And no way Aubrey is the most creative player. That will be either Page or Evina and probably both.
You misread it. I said that Anna, not Aubrey, is the most creative player on offense meaning that she creates offense for her teammates, not herself. When Geno put her back in the starting lineup he said that he had realized the team movement was different without her passing. If you have Paige, CW, Evina and Ono, who is your 5th player? We are back to the debate about the 4 position. If it's Edwards, you don't start Anna which I think is not going to happen. If it's Anna instead of Edwards, she is out of position at the 4 and you lose her impact on offense in transition and "creating"and she will be in foul trouble and can't rebound like Aubrey. Aubrey, like her father, is what was once referred to as a "floor player" meaning she defends well, rebounds, steals, gets garbage baskets, and gets to the line. I think with Evina, Anna, CW and ONO on the court and Paige coming in as 6th man to start, there are plenty of scorers. If you use Aubrey's numbers from last year and extrapolate them by giving her starter's minutes from last year, she averages 10.8 boards a game, leading the team and conference, 3 steals a game ( that translates into 15 possessions right there), putting her second in the conference in steals and first on the team, and 88 FTAs in conference, leading the league and team by a wide margin, not to mention 12 plus points a game in all games. You are going to not start a likely double-double at 12 ppg and 10 rpg who is without question the best defensive player on your team? Don't think so.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
1,231
Likes
2,672
I just don't think Paige starts. I think Evina, Chrystin, Anna, Aubrey, and Liv start.

Then we get a Caroline Doty and Bria Hartley situation where about 5 or so minutes in Paige comes in for Evina. That turns into round robin with Paige, Evina, Chrystin, and Anna exchanging in order to keep the press going in the first half. On the other side, I think Aaliyah comes in after the first foul and then her, Aubrey, and Liv do round robin in the first half to keep the pressure on.

Towards the end of the first half we might see Nika and Mir to guard against a late foul and then in the second half he opens it up to 10 players in most games since things would have been decided by half time. ..
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
3,736
Likes
3,051
You misread it. I said that Anna, not Aubrey, is the most creative player on offense meaning that she creates offense for her teammates, not herself. When Geno put her back in the starting lineup he said that he had realized the team movement was different without her passing. If you have Paige, CW, Evina and Ono, who is your 5th player? We are back to the debate about the 4 position. If it's Edwards, you don't start Anna which I think is not going to happen. If it's Anna instead of Edwards, she is out of position at the 4 and you lose her impact on offense in transition and "creating"and she will be in foul trouble and can't rebound like Aubrey. Aubrey, like her father, is what was once referred to as a "floor player" meaning she defends well, rebounds, steals, gets garbage baskets, and gets to the line. I think with Evina, Anna, CW and ONO on the court and Paige coming in as 6th man to start, there are plenty of scorers. If you use Aubrey's numbers from last year and extrapolate them by giving her starter's minutes from last year, she averages 10.8 boards a game, leading the team and conference, 3 steals a game ( that translates into 15 possessions right there), putting her second in the conference in steals and first on the team, and 88 FTAs in conference, leading the league and team by a wide margin, not to mention 12 plus points a game in all games. You are going to not start a likely double-double at 12 ppg and 10 rpg who is without question the best defensive player on your team? Don't think so.
Sorry about the misread.

And I'm all for liking Aubrey. And if she is as good as you say - even more for it.

But just as we looked at Walker in big games vs. the elites- I'm open to have concerns with Aubrey in big games too. The stats you provide are very good for frosh - and in addition to-- you have to be able to beat the lesser teams. How I've frequently called this as the cliché – “her performances raised the team’s floor." In this case Aubrey has been outstanding for a frosh. Two games UCONN could not have won without her.

With that said - in the three big games vs. the elites - she played an average of 17 minutes and averaged 2.33 ppg, while shooting 2-10 from the floor in addition to having just 1 assist vs 7 turnovers. Yes she got 12 rebounds—but she wasn’t converting herself or making that initial pass for an assist. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd pass led to something. But just looking at the stats as you point out—we could see a huge flaw if we look at the big games.

So while you are confident that she is going to step up, suppose she doesn't? Then what? Now we have more unknowns in Edwards and Mir. I know you are confident in those frosh too, but you can understand the trepidation from others who may not be as confident as you are in that unlike Paige - Edwards and Mir have a bit more questions as frosh, right? You could be right, but you understand the flip-side - the trepidation, right?

Until I see her produce offensively vs the elite teams and see her work well with Liv in doing so, I have concerns. But I understand starting her too. But I know what I saw vs the elite teams; she couldn’t score. Nor do I believe she matched well offensively with Liv vs the elite teams. You have to be able to score against the elite teams. It’s not all about defense and rebounding.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
1,822
Likes
2,681
With the current pandemic restrictions and lack of summer team trips, etc., I can see Edwards starting, at least by year end. Would be an nontypical move by Geno but Edwards has played against elite talent since she was 16, the first year she made the Canadian National Team. Not enough data to make more than an educated guess when evaluating an upcoming frosh, but she appears to have a more balanced set of offensive, defensive and rebounding skills than one of my favorite players, Aubrey. Aubrey needs to expand her offense and rebounding, in particular against top teams and inside players before starting at the 4 position. With more offense, Aubrey could be great 3 but will be pressed for playing time at this position from both existing talent and other high energy frosh.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
360
Likes
860
Sorry about the misread.

And I'm all for liking Aubrey. And if she is as good as you say - even more for it.

But just as we looked at Walker in big games vs. the elites- I'm open to have concerns with Aubrey in big games too. The stats you provide are very good for frosh - and in addition to-- you have to be able to beat the lesser teams. How I've frequently called this as the cliché – “her performances raised the team’s floor." In this case Aubrey has been outstanding for a frosh. Two games UCONN could not have won without her.

With that said - in the three big games vs. the elites - she played an average of 17 minutes and averaged 2.33 ppg, while shooting 2-10 from the floor in addition to having just 1 assist vs 7 turnovers. Yes she got 12 rebounds—but she wasn’t converting herself or making that initial pass for an assist. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd pass led to something. But just looking at the stats as you point out—we could see a huge flaw if we look at the big games.

So while you are confident that she is going to step up, suppose she doesn't? Then what? Now we have more unknowns in Edwards and Mir. I know you are confident in those frosh too, but you can understand the trepidation from others who may not be as confident as you are in that unlike Paige - Edwards and Mir have a bit more questions as frosh, right? You could be right, but you understand the flip-side - the trepidation, right?

Until I see her produce offensively vs the elite teams and see her work well with Liv in doing so, I have concerns. But I understand starting her too. But I know what I saw vs the elite teams; she couldn’t score. Nor do I believe she matched well offensively with Liv vs the elite teams. You have to be able to score against the elite teams. It’s not all about defense and rebounding.
Very valid point and I don't disagree and I have concerns too but I have more confidence in Aubrey because of the phenomenal support system she will have this summer and her unique natural gifts. If our first team AA in Meg didn't produce in those games offensively then what about Aubrey this year in the same position? For one, the Big 3 last year won't be the same teams this year. Oregon lost Sabrina, Hebard and Sebally and I don't care how good their recruiting class is touted to be, those three players don't have instant replacements and in Sabrina's case, probably never will. SC lost Harris who killed us with 19 points and 11 assists and Harrigan who went for 10 points and 7 boards. Baylor lost Cox who I thought took over the game against us and was such a talented all around player. The point is that these teams will not be the same either. Maybe better, probably not as good for some, but definitely not the same. We also won't be starting a senior, a junior, two sophs and a frosh. It will be three juniors, one who is a year older than her class, and two sophomores in my starting 5, 4 of whom, counting Evina at Tennessee, are prior starters. Secondly, I don't know how many points we need from Aubrey in those games. With our other starting scorers, and Paige playing a lot also as the 6th man, if we get 10 and 7 from Aubrey like SC got from Harrigan, I think we are well positioned to be successful. It will clearly be a guard-centric team on offense but Liv will also be a large offensive factor underneath. Yes, there are unknowns, and freshmen are freshmen and all, except for Maya in Geno's own words, have had or will have that difficult adjustment period. Maybe Paige won't and that would be great and if we are both accurate about our respective players, Aubrey and Page, and Edwards is a solid contributor, those concerns disappear. For right now though, concerns yes, doubts no. I have no trepidation whatsoever knowing who is at the helm. He has a pretty good track record.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
360
Likes
860
And now that we know that Jamelle is here, I have even less concern. Who better to school and inspire Aubrey than a 6'0" undersized forward on the school's mythical 1995 team?
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
3,736
Likes
3,051
Very valid point and I don't disagree and I have concerns too but I have more confidence in Aubrey because of the phenomenal support system she will have this summer and her unique natural gifts. If our first team AA in Meg didn't produce in those games offensively then what about Aubrey this year in the same position? For one, the Big 3 last year won't be the same teams this year. Oregon lost Sabrina, Hebard and Sebally and I don't care how good their recruiting class is touted to be, those three players don't have instant replacements and in Sabrina's case, probably never will. SC lost Harris who killed us with 19 points and 11 assists and Harrigan who went for 10 points and 7 boards. Baylor lost Cox who I thought took over the game against us and was such a talented all around player. The point is that these teams will not be the same either. Maybe better, probably not as good for some, but definitely not the same. We also won't be starting a senior, a junior, two sophs and a frosh. It will be three juniors, one who is a year older than her class, and two sophomores in my starting 5, 4 of whom, counting Evina at Tennessee, are prior starters. Secondly, I don't know how many points we need from Aubrey in those games. With our other starting scorers, and Paige playing a lot also as the 6th man, if we get 10 and 7 from Aubrey like SC got from Harrigan, I think we are well positioned to be successful. It will clearly be a guard-centric team on offense but Liv will also be a large offensive factor underneath. Yes, there are unknowns, and freshmen are freshmen and all, except for Maya in Geno's own words, have had or will have that difficult adjustment period. Maybe Paige won't and that would be great and if we are both accurate about our respective players, Aubrey and Page, and Edwards is a solid contributor, those concerns disappear. For right now though, concerns yes, doubts no. I have no trepidation whatsoever knowing who is at the helm. He has a pretty good track record.
Hope you're right. :)
 

Top