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The Best UConn Team Since The Big 3?

oldude

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#51
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.
Slu, I get it. You don't agree. But I think you are missing some of the obvious blemishes present with last year's team. Team chemistry was a struggle all year. Pheesa and Z never quite meshed together on the court. While Gabby, Lou and Crystal had good years, they all had subpar years for them, because of various health issues.
 

DefenseBB

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#52
Let me simplify my OP. Lou, Pheesa & Crystal are all better than the last two years. Christyn & Megan will be as good, if not better, than Gabby & Kia by March. Liv will not be better than Z, but she'll be a solid player by March. Collectively, this team could be better than either of the previous two teams once the Big Dance starts.
While I agree with you that KLS, Pheesa and CD are better and exhibiting strong leadership, Cristyn and Megan will be better offensively than Gabby/Kia BUT not defensively. Conversely, ONO is better than Z defensively (doesn't anyone remember we had to go to zone everytime Z came into the game???) but is and may never be as good on the offensive end, which is ok given we have 5 scorers now.
I do absolutely agree that collectively this team will be better than the last two editions (which is saying a lot considering 72-2) and is more balanced with 5 scorers than the 2016 edition (please note, I did not say better).
 
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#53
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?
That's nice and all but doesn't take into account Notre Dame's large amount of uncontested misses.
 
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#54
Slu, I get it. You don't agree. But I think you are missing some of the obvious blemishes present with last year's team. Team chemistry was a struggle all year. Pheesa and Z never quite meshed together on the court. While Gabby, Lou and Crystal had good years, they all had subpar years for them, because of various health issues.
So their metrics were spectacular despite all those issues. Think how good they would've been healthy. If KLS is 100% against Notre Dame does UConn go undefeated?
 

oldude

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#55
That's nice and all but doesn't take into account Notre Dame's large amount of uncontested misses.
When a team misses a lot of shots, it never happens in a vacuum. UConn sped ND up and also contested many of the layup misses. That is why they missed so many shots. In addition, in the 4th qtr in particular, ND's shot selection was poor. They stopped running their offense. These issues too are the result of good defense.
 
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#56
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.
Knowing the history of Geno, why would you suggest he isn’t speaking from experience? On the court our weakness was inability to create our own shot, it’s now one of our strengths.
So their metrics were spectacular despite all those issues. Think how good they would've been healthy. If KLS is 100% against Notre Dame does UConn go undefeated?
they weren’t healthy, that’s what we’ve been saying. To me, that’s a big factor in this discussion. You’re arguing hypotheticals & metrics. It’s very confusing Head bang
 
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#57
I get a kick out these discussions, as passionate Uconn fans "discuss" which of all our great teams was better; Its like comparing a Rembrandt vs a Picasso.
This team is special on the offensive end because the spacing is better. Uconn has always been a "Pick your poison" team. Who do play off of to help on defense?. In the semifinal game where ND beat us, they played off Gabby ( not a great outside shooter) and Kia, who had a tough game shooting the three. This clogged the lane for everyone else.
This time, they played soft on CW and MW....and paid dearly.
With the better spacing, Collier and Dangerfield, Williams, etc...have more opportunities to drive to the basket
where its more open this year vs last.
Will be a fun year....
 

oldude

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#58
So their metrics were spectacular despite all those issues. Think how good they would've been healthy. If KLS is 100% against Notre Dame does UConn go undefeated?
You are making my point. Lou, Crystal and Gabby were not healthy last year. Crystal in particular hardly ever practiced with the team last year. In answer to your question, yes, I believe if everyone was healthy, UConn wins their 12th championship last season. But they weren't.

As for the metrics, give it a break. I believe the best statistical team in the country last season was Baylor. Nobody is making the argument that Baylor was the best basketball team in the country last season.
 
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#59
When a team misses a lot of shots, it never happens in a vacuum. UConn sped ND up and also contested many of the layup misses. That is why they missed so many shots. In addition, in the 4th qtr in particular, ND's shot selection was poor. They stopped running their offense. These issues too are the result of good defense.
I'm telling you Notre Dame missed a slew of uncontested shots. Something like 50% of them during overall for the game.

Knowing the history of Geno, why would you suggest he isn’t speaking from experience? On the court our weakness was inability to create our own shot, it’s now one of our strengths.

they weren’t healthy, that’s what we’ve been saying. To me, that’s a big factor in this discussion. You’re arguing hypotheticals & metrics. It’s very confusing Head bang
Speaking from experience and specifically speaking about last year's team are not the same thing. What evidence is there that last year's UConn team had anything to do with his comment about this year's Notre Dame squad. It doesn't make sense.

And I'm not arguing hypotheticals, actually. If you're suggesting this year's team is better because it's healthy a whole 8 games in then you are extrapolating a hypothetical because nobody has any clue how healthy the team will be by March or April. I'm comparing the teams as they were and are to this point.
 
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#61
You are making my point. Lou, Crystal and Gabby were not healthy last year. Crystal in particular hardly ever practiced with the team last year. In answer to your question, yes, I believe if everyone was healthy, UConn wins their 12th championship last season. But they weren't.

As for the metrics, give it a break. I believe the best statistical team in the country last season was Baylor. Nobody is making the argument that Baylor was the best basketball team in the country last season.
So last year's team was banged up yet still came within an eyelash of being undefeated and having better metrics than the Stewart teams. Sorry, you seem tired of me bringing up the types of stats that measure overall team quality, but those are just facts.

Baylor was not the "best statistical team." Best rebounding team, yes. Not the best in efficiencies.

Anyway, I'm probably about out of posts by now and I'd rather not beat this dead horse for eternity.
 
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#64
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.
Perhaps Lou got more baskets in the second half because ND had to give more attention to Christyn
 

CocoHusky

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#66
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.
My eyes tell me that Gabby Williams rendered a healthy AA Turner ineffective and allowed UCONN to dominate @ND. My eyes also tell me that Kia Nurse rendered AA Asia Durr invisible. My eyes tell me there is no defender on the current team the ilk of Gabby or Kia that can change a game defensively.
My eyes also tell me that last year UCONN had not only a good capable 6th man but also a respectable 7th in Azura and Megan. This years UCONN team only has the potential of ONO emerging as the 6th. I also used my eyes to check the assertions that KLS, Crystal, and Napheesa are playing better. "Statistically" (I understand that a dirty word for some but I did use my eyes) those assertions are close but clearly not definitive. Mad early into this season and I'm glad we are having this kind of discussion vs. the projected doom and gloom of this summer were some were predicting as many as 4 losses for this team.
 

oldude

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#67
My eyes tell me that Gabby Williams rendered a healthy AA Turner ineffective and allowed UCONN to dominate @ND. My eyes also tell me that Kia Nurse rendered AA Asia Durr invisible. My eyes tell me there is no defender on the current team the ilk of Gabby or Kia that can change a game defensively.
My eyes also tell me that last year UCONN had not only a good capable 6th man but also a respectable 7th in Azura and Megan. This years UCONN team only has the potential of ONO emerging as the 6th. I also used my eyes to check the assertions that KLS, Crystal, and Napheesa are playing better. "Statistically" (I understand that a dirty word for some but I did use my eyes) those assertions are close but clearly not definitive. Mad early into this season and I'm glad we are having this kind of discussion vs. the projected doom and gloom of this summer were some were predicting as many as 4 losses for this team.
Well stated as usual Cocoa. What do your eyes tell you about the ability of this team to put the ball on the floor, break down defenders and get their own shot, something we appeared to be on the receiving end of in each of the past two national semis?
 

bballnut90

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#68
I think the offensive potential of this team is higher than last year, namely because Collier looks a lot better without Stevens, KLS looks better and is better at creating her own shot, Williams is a better scorer than Nurse, Dangerfield is improved and Walker is a better shooter than Gabby Williams was. What is missing is a "do all the dirty work" type of player that you got with Kia Nurse who was always setting picks for her teammates, and Gabby's passing/overall ability is definitely missed...but individually, this team has a lot more playmakers than it did a year ago which should help in the event that a game gets tight late and it comes down to executing on a few final possessions.
 

Huskee11

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#69
UConn is 8 games into the season. There are likely 31 more to go. Much like the 2016-2017 season - remember beating Baylor that year - this team has definitely surprised to the upside out of the gate. But it is early.

I have been a UConn WCBB fan at least since 1995, but became a season ticket holder after the 2015-2016 season in large part due to Pheesa and Lou. Last season with those two, let`s enjoy the journey.

Picking which team is better is like deciding which child you like better. Those teams were probably better defensively, and this team is probably more versatile offensively. In point of fact, all three are or were very capable of winning it all.

Unfortunately, UConn didn`t peak at the end the last two seasons. In 2017, Kia was hobbled and the team as a whole seemed fatigued. In 2018, of course, injuries significantly limited the ability of three key players and as a result the defense was limited.

UConn is not deep, for sure. But they may be deep enough. Even going back many years, in big games Geno rarely gives significant minutes to more than 6 players. The bench this season seems more than adequate to hold their own in the one-sided victories, thus limiting the minutes the starters will have to play.

As the season grinds on, a major challenge for the coaches is to help the players avoid fatigue, especially the freshman wall for CW and ONO. ONO will have to learn not to foul, and Napheesa will have to work on avoiding ticky tack reach in fouls.

In March, it will be another trip to Albany and then on to Tampa. Gotta believe it will come down to UConn versus ND. That will be the biggest game in WCBB history. The question will be what did each team take from December 2 and do about it in the meantime.
 

CocoHusky

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#70
Well stated as usual Cocoa. What do your eyes tell you about the ability of this team to put the ball on the floor, break down defenders and get their own shot, something we appeared to be on the receiving end of in each of the past two national semis?
Good point. My eyes tell me that I disagree with @bbballfan23 when he stated that UCONN has two players that can do that on this year's team. My eyes tell me UCONN has 3 such players CW, CDIII, and KLS. Now that KLS has more stable ankles she has been breaking defenders ankles. In crunch time at ND KLS twice twisted up Turner and hit momentum changing or sustaining shots by creating off the bounce.
That's all goodness but I don't want people to get carried away that UCONN "suddenly" has break em down players and that is all we were missing or even the corollary to that which some are claiming makes this year's team better than last. CW and CDIII are more than break em down players and would flourish in any offensive system. Geno will skillfully and selectively use his break em down players. Geno has had break em down players before. Geno's history (perhaps preference) though is a broader comprehensive offensive that more reliant on proper spacing & ball movement as opposed to dribbling the basketball. Geno's Olympic team were filled with non-UCONN break em down players Catch, Seimone, Angel, & CP. Geno's preference has always come back to ball movement and spacing over dribbling.
 
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oldude

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#71
Good point. My eyes tell me that I disagree with @bbballfan23 when he stated that UCONN has two players that can do that on this year's team. My eyes tell me UCONN has 3 such players CW, CDIII, and KLS. Now that KLS has more stable ankles has been breaking defenders ankles. In crunch time at ND KLS twice twisted up Turner and hit momentum changing or sustaining shots.
That's all goodness but I don't want people to get carried away that UCONN "suddenly" has break em down players and that is all we were missing or even the corollary to that which some are claiming makes this year's team better than last. CW and CDIII are more than break em down players and would flourish in any offensive system. Geno will skillfully and selectively use his break em down players. Geno has had break em down players before. Geno's history (perhaps preference) though is a broader comprehensive offensive that more reliant on proper spacing & ball movement as opposed to dribbling the basketball. Geno's Olympic team were filled with non-UCONN break em down players Catch, Seimone, Angel,
CP but his preference has always come back to ball movement and spacing over dribbling.
Spacing and ball movement will always be keys to UConn’s offense, but clearly there is a subtle difference in this year’s team when it comes to having the green light to create off the dribble.

I don’t want to get bogged down in numbers, but I do think it’s significant that after scoring 80 & 79 in regulation during 2 games vs ND last season, UConn put up 89 at South Bend on a night when Lou & Crystal did not shoot the ball particularly well.
 
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#72
Great analysis. I watch every game as well, as I have for the past 6 seasons. People won’t like to hear it but this team is better.

Lou & Pheesa are better than they were (both by quite a bit in my opinion from last season).

We didn’t have anyone that could create their own shot (Crystal was hurt). Now we have 2 that can beat anyone off the dribble. Add that with our 2 NPOY Candidates that can score 20 in their sleep. This offense is light years ahead of our offense the last two seasons.
People forget a lot of our offense last couple years was created by steals for wide open layups. Against a team with good guards that could handle the ball (FF caliber teams) we couldn’t do that.
I won't get into comparative analysis, but one thing I did see and applauded during the ND game: UConn's half-court offense looked darned good against a ND defensive scheme that has given us problems in the past. ND weakness, perhaps. But the UConn half-court offense took full advantage of ND's zones. Geno had complained that we had been forcing things, rushing, not moving the ball (and the defense) side to side. In Sunday's game, they were passing quickly and patiently, creating open spaces to cut through or dribble and pass to for open shots. I've not seen that kind of savy, heads-up movement of players and the ball and sensible, opportunistic dribble-drives to the basket or foul lane for easy baskets. For this early in the year, they are playing very smart team basketball.
 
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#73
From an outsiders view: Collier, Lou, Dangerfield are better since they are a year older. Gabby, Kia, and Azura are much better than the combination of C. Williams, Walker and Ono. Can't predict the future but as of right now it is not even close. Williams had a monster game but it is only one game.
 
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#75
but individually, this team has a lot more playmakers than it did a year ago which should help in the event that a game gets tight late and it comes down to executing on a few final possessions.
Who are all these additional playmakers? They lost three and replaced them with one. Even if you include an improving Walker into the equation they still have fewer.

I get the feeling people are using "playmakers" as a stand-in for players who take their defenders off the dribble. But there are other ways to make plays.
 
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