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The Best UConn Team Since The Big 3?

oldude

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#26
So what does that tell you? Are you saying the last two years were better than any of Stewies? Head bang:rolleyes: Sometimes it’s good to trust your eyes instead of just reading numbers.
I really like that use of that particular double emoji. I plan to plagerize it on future posts. ;)
 
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#28
So are you saying that last year's team was better than 2015-16? I would remind you of the old saying, "There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics."

I would also point out a comment that Geno made during his post game presser after the ND game when he was asked to comment on ND as a team. He was quite insightful when he said, "Just because you have everyone coming back, it doesn't mean you have the same team." Geno spoke from experience and was clearly referencing his own team from last season when he had 4 starters coming back, including three 1st team AA's.
I don't think Geno was talking about last year's UConn team at all. Think that was a general point pointing at the Irish and the Irish only.

As for the first question, statistically last year's team rates right up there with the Stewart senior team. That one strange loss to Notre Dame shouldn't cause memory loss. Let's face it, the '16 team faced Oregon State and Syracuse in the Final Four, either of which last year's team would've clobbered too.
 

oldude

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#29
Wait. CW and MW will be better this year than Gabby and Kia were last year? Did I step into the Twilight Zone? I mean, come on.
Slu, you're really fighting this one. Gabby and Kia were rated #11 and #33 respectively in their classes. Megan & Christyn were both #1's and they have considerable upside. There is no doubt in my mind that they will both be better than the players they replaced in the lineup. The question is how long will it take. As for Christyn, she is already a better offensive player than Kia, and maybe the best offensive player on the team.
 

oldude

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#30
I don't think Geno was talking about last year's UConn team at all. Think that was a general point pointing at the Irish and the Irish only.

As for the first question, statistically last year's team rates right up there with the Stewart senior team. That one strange loss to Notre Dame shouldn't cause memory loss. Let's face it, the '16 team faced Oregon State and Syracuse in the Final Four, either of which last year's team would've clobbered too.
Again, you are not answering the question. Do you believe last year's team was better than 2015-16?

Also, we are going to have to disagree on Geno's reference. I believe he was absolutely talking about last year's team.
 

BroadwayVa

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#31
When you lose 3 top ten draft picks to the WNBA off a team without a lot of depth to start with, it’s difficult to imagine that the team you put on the court the following year could be better than either of the 36-1 teams that made it to OT in the last two national semifinal games. But watching this year’s version of the UConn Huskies closely over their first 8 games, and particularly in their convincing win in South Bend over the previous #1 team in the nation, it occurred to me that this may be the best UConn WBB team since the graduation of the Big 3. Here is my analysis of the top 6 players on this year’s team, and why I believe it could be better than either of the past two teams.

Pheesa is one of the best low post players in college basketball. Her array of shots, rebounding prowess and ability to defend in the paint made her a consensus 1st team AA as a sophomore. Unfortunately, Pheesa played out of position for much of last season trying to blend in with Z, who basically played the same position. This year, Pheesa is stronger, her rebounding is up, she’s dominating the paint and she has once again become UConn’s “go to player” when they need a basket. On multiple occasions vs ND, whenever the Irish appeared poised to make a run, the Huskies dumped the ball into the post and Pheesa restored order by hitting difficult shots she makes routinely.

Crystal need only stay healthy to be better than last season. She is poised to be one of the very best pg’s in the nation. She is fitter than ever, clearly in command on the court and we are starting to see the array of incredible shot making and passing exploits from her that will only get better as the season progresses. The high, fall-away bank shot Crystal hit over the outstretched hand of Turner at ND was an absolute thing of beauty.

Lou, like Crystal, need only stay healthy to be better than last season. So far, so good on her surgically repaired ankle, which is clearly in evidence when you watch Lou move and elevate on the court. She too is stronger, her rebounding is up, and she seems to be doing whatever it takes to insure UConn wins. In the past, if Lou wasn’t hitting 3’s, she could disappear in a game. ND is a testament to how far Lou has come. She missed all of her 3’s, and yet rebounded well, played solid defense, set up her teammates and eventually found ways to score at critical points in the 2nd half.

Megan is not Gabby, but they fill the same roll, an undersized forward, battling larger opponents. Megan will never be as versatile a defender as Gabby, but she is a better shooter and her exceptional strength allows her to body up opposing posts to more than hold her own. After the ND game, MM lamented the fact that her team had done a bad job feeding Turner in the post. Once she looks at the film, she will see the reason Turner was not as effective was the result of a really strong defensive effort by Megan throughout the game. Megan is good right now. By March, Megan will be very good.

Christyn had her coming out party in South Bend. She is not the defender that Kia was….yet. But offensively, Christyn is not only better than Kia, she may be the best offensive player on the team. Aside from her ability to score, there are so many things she does well that demonstrate exceptional skill and a high B-Ball IQ. Her ability to use either hand, the way she uses her body to put a defender on her hip, her poise when handling the ball and her sixth sense to turn on the jets and run the court when a bucket is at hand. How many times did Christyn beat the entire ND team downcourt for easy layups?

Liv is a work in progress and not at Z’s level yet, but UConn doesn’t need her to be. She is smart, athletic and runs the court exceptionally well for a big. She’s starting to understand her role: defend, rebound and finish at the rim. Liv’s emphatic rejection of Mabrey’s shot in the 2nd half at ND was a key play in the game. By March, she will be a very solid reserve.

Finally, Geno has made several changes this season that allow this team to excel. Specifically, UConn employs multiple defensive packages that minimize the loss of 2 NDPOY’s. On offense, UConn is playing at a faster tempo and everyone on the team appears to have “the green light to hunt their own shot.” To be certain, there are several teams capable of winning the championship this year. But if UConn finds a way to win in Waco and Louisville, they should once again be the #1 overall seed at the Big Dance, coming out of the friendly confines of the TUC in Albany, NY to make their 12th straight FF, and from there………
Wonderful, simply wonderful 2 changes I'd suggest. Meg Walker is not TODAY a Gabby defender; what do you expect her to be as a Senior. Meg, in terms of PT, is an almost Frosh and has shown the reason she was a number one pick. Better to great is her only path.\\
Built in characteristics makes a great player. Stuffy you are born with; it can't fully be taught. Moriah was born that way. DT had that in spades. Confidence talent Confidence Talent Confidence and Ms Christyn Williams I am sure in 3 years will be spoken of using the same words used for DT--Heavy load I know. All one has to do is observe and ask--IS THAT A FRESHMAN? She plays like a Junior and knows with every fibre within her--she belongs!
Danger and Lou are exceptional. Lou is a leader, did you see her talking to CW or ONO during the ND game; like, we can win this play hard. She's a teacher.
Because of my biases for teams long gone it is extremely difficult to make this team among the greatest; only time shall tell.
Intelligent analysis as I have come to expect from @oldude.
 

BroadwayVa

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#32
Slu, you're really fighting this one. Gabby and Kia were rated #11 and #33 respectively in their classes. Megan & Christyn were both #1's and they have considerable upside. There is no doubt in my mind that they will both be better than the players they replaced in the lineup. The question is how long will it take. As for Christyn, she is already a better offensive player than Kia, and maybe the best offensive player on the team.
@oldude: Going out on a very fat limb; Both will be exceptional by March--they are no slouches now. It is built into them, they can be nothing else.
 
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#33
So what does that tell you? Are you saying the last two years were better than any of Stewies? Head bang:rolleyes: Sometimes it’s good to trust your eyes instead of just reading numbers.
Never said the 2016-2017 team was at the level of the others though they were quite elite.
 
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#35
Slu, you're really fighting this one. Gabby and Kia were rated #11 and #33 respectively in their classes. Megan & Christyn were both #1's and they have considerable upside. There is no doubt in my mind that they will both be better than the players they replaced in the lineup. The question is how long will it take. As for Christyn, she is already a better offensive player than Kia, and maybe the best offensive player on the team.
Where they were ranked by evaluators coming into college is irrelevant. And to be completely accurate, Williams was #2 at ASGR and Nurse was top-10 elsewhere.

Nobody is disputing the upside of Walker or Williams. What should be disputed is the notion that as freshmen and sophomores they are equal to Nurse and Williams as seniors. Williams was the best player in the nation as a junior and pretty close the next season. Nurse had a fantastic final season.
 

oldude

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#36
Never said the 2016-2017 team was at the level of the others though they were quite elite.
You can't have it both ways. What you said was that the metrics for last year's team were better than any of the metrics during Stewie's years, clearly implying that metrics alone were sufficient to rank teams in support of your argument that this year's team is not as good as last year's team, based on the metrics.
 

oldude

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#37
Where they were ranked by evaluators coming into college is irrelevant. And to be completely accurate, Williams was #2 at ASGR and Nurse was top-10 elsewhere.

Nobody is disputing the upside of Walker or Williams. What should be disputed is the notion that as freshmen and sophomores they are equal to Nurse and Williams as seniors. Williams was the best player in the nation as a junior and pretty close the next season. Nurse had a fantastic final season.
OK, we are going to disagree on Walker & Williams too. But would you agree that Lou, Pheesa and Crystal are better than last year, particularly if they are all healthy this year?
 
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#38
Slu, you're really fighting this one. Gabby and Kia were rated #11 and #33 respectively in their classes. Megan & Christyn were both #1's and they have considerable upside. There is no doubt in my mind that they will both be better than the players they replaced in the lineup. The question is how long will it take. As for Christyn, she is already a better offensive player than Kia, and maybe the best offensive player on the team.
You are crazy. Christyn is getting more easier basket because the other team is focusing so much on Lou and Pheesa. If she was guarded more tightly, I am not sure you would have seen the same result.
 

HuskyNan

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#39
Wait. CW and MW will be better this year than Gabby and Kia were last year? Did I step into the Twilight Zone? I mean, come on.
Don't worry - the team will have a bad half, or a bad quarter, and then you'll see posts that this team won't make the Final Four, etc. Fans tend to judgethe team only on its last game. It's the old "what have you done for me lately?" syndrome.
 

oldude

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#40
You are crazy. Christyn is getting more easier basket because the other team is focusing so much on Lou and Pheesa. If she was guarded more tightly, I am not sure you would have seen the same result.
So the other teams didn't focus on Lou & Pheesa last year? That's why Kia didn't get good shots like Christyn?
 
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#41
Just looking at last year and this year, this team has one major advantage: they have players who can and will take players off the dribble and shoot deadly pull-ups, fades, or layups out of a half-court offense. The team last year just didn't gel in the half-court offense. If the threes weren't falling and the defense could pack the passing lanes, the offense bogged down. They made up for it in other areas, until that final OT.
This year it seems they feel freer to create for themselves as well as run a great passing game. I wonder if it is the different personnel or a different emphasis from the coaches.
 
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#42
I’m in agreement they were elite but to dismiss this years team saying they aren’t as good on either signs is completely disrespectful based on what we’ve seen.
What have we seen? They have one impressive win in Notre Dame and what? They beat a 4-3 DePaul team at home. Last year's team led a better DePaul team by 50 on the road. Nobody else they've played is ranked and they struggled against St. John's. The Red Storm just lost to Wake Forest.

It's a good team obviously but I can not believe people are now suggesting it's better than last year's or that underclassmen are at the level of Gabby Williams.
 
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#43
So the other teams didn't focus on Lou & Pheesa last year? That's why Kia didn't get good shots like Christyn?
I did not highlight the comparison to Kia, only the part about Christyn being the best offensive player on this team.
 
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#44
I agree with oldude.

I don't care about these fancy-smancy metrics. :rolleyes: They can be misleading.

In my judgment, the last two years the team just did not bring its "A" game in the Final Four. For whatever reason(s), and we can agree/disagree until the cows come home. But we didn't really lose because of last-second shots. We should never, ever have been in that situation to start with. And this all reflects on the quality of that TEAM, as much as we cared for them.

This year's TEAM, I think, will be better than last year's. CW brings a swagger that was lacking post Stewie/Mo/Tuck. And swagger is contagious. :rolleyes:

Right now, I think we are the favorites to win the tournament. And if we stay healthy, and if we bring our "A" game in late March/early April, I believe we will be the ones cutting down the nets.

We shall see.
 
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#45
What have we seen? They have one impressive win in Notre Dame and what? They beat a 4-3 DePaul team at home. Last year's team led a better DePaul team by 50 on the road. Nobody else they've played is ranked and they struggled against St. John's. The Red Storm just lost to Wake Forest.

It's a good team obviously but I can not believe people are now suggesting it's better than last year's or that underclassmen are at the level of Gabby Williams.
Coming from one of the posters that suggested a successful year would be the Elite 8 I’m not shocked you’re digging your heels in. :D That was their 3rd game ever together against St. John’s. Last years team was down the entire game against ND at home if you don’t recall. 2 years ago almost lost to Tulane.

Guess we can only wait for further evaluation for when we play Baylor. Let’s just hope we can stay within 20, right?? :rolleyes:
 

oldude

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#46
What do you base that first assertion on? And I wouldn't say Notre Dame was shut down. They missed a ton of uncontested shots, something documented by the ESPN studio panel postgame.

The outlandish part is the Gabby Williams part. She not only was a major disruptor, she defended every position including centers. She was arguably the best defensive player in the nation two years in a row.
ND was averaging 91 ppg coming into the game against UConn and scored 71 at home, 20 pts less than their average. Against last years UConn team, ND, with basically the same team without Turner, only a year younger and on the road both times, scored 71 & 79 pts in regulation in 2 games vs UConn. How's that for metrics?
 
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#47
Again, you are not answering the question. Do you believe last year's team was better than 2015-16?

Also, we are going to have to disagree on Geno's reference. I believe he was absolutely talking about last year's team.
The question isn't particularly relevant. My original point was that statistically last year's was one of the best team's ever. So was the 15-16 team. They were both great. Last year's faced the one team and one coach that has given them fits in recent memory and lost by a hair to them.

As for Geno's comment, why would he be talking about last year's team? Makes no sense. This implies last year's team had some kinda defect or issue. They didn't. They were a juggernaut that only came close to losing thrice, twice to Notre Dame and once to Texas.
 

oldude

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#48
I did not highlight the comparison to Kia, only the part about Christyn being the best offensive player on this team.
OK, I agree that is a subject for debate. But there are things that Christyn can do with a ball in her hands that nobody else on this team can do. Most importantly, she is better able to break down a defender and get her shot than anyone else on the team. Watching the game again yesterday, Christyn "schooled" ND's NPOY candidate, blowing by her off the dribble on at least 6 occasions. I'm sure that contributed quite a bit to Arike's frustration that has been discussed ad nauseum on several threads.
 
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#49
Coming from one of the posters that suggested a successful year would be the Elite 8 I’m not shocked you’re digging your heels in. :D That was their 3rd game ever together against St. John’s. Last years team was down the entire game against ND at home if you don’t recall. 2 years ago almost lost to Tulane.

Guess we can only wait for further evaluation for when we play Baylor. Let’s just hope we can stay within 20, right?? :rolleyes:
I never said a successful year would be an Elite 8 appearance. Not sure who you mixed me up with.

Not sure what the number of all-time games against St. John's has to do with them trailing that team with 7-1/2 minutes to go. Again, St. John's just lost to Wake freaking Forest. The Demon Deacons are 4-4 with a loss to East Carolina.

That Notre Dame team won the national title. St. John's, er, won't.
 
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