• Reminder: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

    There’s a link in the top navigation bar for Amazon.com. Purchases made via this link help support The Boneyard. (Dismiss this notice by clicking the x at the top right of the box)

The Best UConn Team Since The Big 3?

CocoHusky

1,000,001 BY points
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
9,874
Likes
17,110
#76
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.
Yea Slu this mantra started a while ago saying UCONN doesn't have players that can go one and one and win the game like Arike or Itty Bitty did. Nothing could be further from the truth! This has been bothering me for a while now. Neither of those plays were isolation, one on one type plays because they both started with high ball screens.
 

jonson

Oregonian
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
177
Likes
277
#77
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?
This seems to me the most important difference between this year and last. The UCONN offense is the most efficient (and beautiful) in WBB, but it's also very finely tuned (like some German pumps I used to have in a salt water reef tank) and so can bog down when things aren't going quite right. Having players who can put the ball on the floor--and, just as important, don't hesitate in doing so--is a major plus. It's the "win the game for us" option that Geno used with Crystal against Baylor and then mostly disappeared. Had that option been present last year I believe that there would be another banner in Storrs.
 

bballnut90

LV Adherent. Topic Crafter
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
2,102
Likes
3,739
#78
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.
KLS looks more comfortable going off the bounce than she did a year ago. Collier too looks to be in attack mode more where she deferred last year. Plus Williams, and Walker looks smooth as a scorer.

Playmaker a lot of times is synonymous with taking your defender off the dribble to get a look for yourself or a teammate.

Last year Gabby was a great passer and attacked the basket but lacked midrange or perimeter shooting. Nurse scored almost exclusively on uncontested layups and wide open catch and shoot jumpers. She rarely penetrated or dribbled inside the arc. Stevens was inconsistent beyond 12 feet and did most of her damage in the paint. The roster now has 5 three point threats, and 5 players who can score off the dribble.
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
8,103
Likes
9,832
#79
KLS looks more comfortable going off the bounce than she did a year ago. Collier too looks to be in attack mode more where she deferred last year. Plus Williams, and Walker looks smooth as a scorer.

Playmaker a lot of times is synonymous with taking your defender off the dribble to get a look for yourself or a teammate.

Last year Gabby was a great passer and attacked the basket but lacked midrange or perimeter shooting. Nurse scored almost exclusively on uncontested layups and wide open catch and shoot jumpers. She rarely penetrated or dribbled inside the arc. Stevens was inconsistent beyond 12 feet and did most of her damage in the paint. The roster now has 5 three point threats, and 5 players who can score off the dribble.

I'd suggest Collier and Samuelson aren't all that different but are being forced to be more assertive since there isn't as much quality depth anymore. Also, until Walker consistently shows otherwise, I'd say UConn has three 3-point shooters. Collier's outside shot--and her free throw shot--are broken due to that ridiculous hitch.

I also disagree about Gabby who hit many midrange jumpers her last two years. She just wasn't a 3-point threat.
 

bballnut90

LV Adherent. Topic Crafter
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
2,102
Likes
3,739
#80
I'd suggest Collier and Samuelson aren't all that different but are being forced to be more assertive since there isn't as much quality depth anymore. Also, until Walker consistently shows otherwise, I'd say UConn has three 3-point shooters. Collier's outside shot--and her free throw shot--are broken due to that ridiculous hitch.

I also disagree about Gabby who hit many midrange jumpers her last two years. She just wasn't a 3-point threat.
You've probably seen more of UCONN this year than I have, but in the 3 games I've seen KLS looks more aggressive off the dribble. Geno didn't go to KLS down the stretch last year against ND for a reason...I think that has 100% changed if they are in a similar situation again this year.

Collier looks much more comfortable than she did most of last year IMO...we can agree to disagree there. Collier's 3 pt shot hasn't looked as good so far this year, so maybe 4 long range shooters--unless you're going to discredit Walker who is 8/20 so far from 7 games--but overall I think this team has great potential offensively than last year's squad. Defense is a different story, but offensively this team could be really good.
 

oldude

bamboo lover
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
6,236
Likes
17,417
#81
I'd suggest Collier and Samuelson aren't all that different but are being forced to be more assertive since there isn't as much quality depth anymore. Also, until Walker consistently shows otherwise, I'd say UConn has three 3-point shooters. Collier's outside shot--and her free throw shot--are broken due to that ridiculous hitch.

I also disagree about Gabby who hit many midrange jumpers her last two years. She just wasn't a 3-point threat.
Walker is currently at 40% from 3 (8/20). I will take that any day.
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
8,103
Likes
9,832
#82
Walker has no history of shooting 3's well so I wanna see more than 20 attempts before being convinced she's good at it. So far her form looks much better which is most important.

I'd point out one other thing. Recent teams, with the slight exception of two years ago, have given plenty of time to the back of the bench and even walkons. That to some extent has distorted their statistics. This year due to a really short bench and injuries the main five are cumulatively averaging 30+ minutes a game. In other words, their best players are all playing much longer than the best players of past teams. In fact, some of the Stewart teams got outscored for 10-15 minutes stretches in second halves after building enormous leads. Something to keep in mind when comparing this team with others.
 

oldude

bamboo lover
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
6,236
Likes
17,417
#83
Walker has no history of shooting 3's well so I wanna see more than 20 attempts before being convinced she's good at it. So far her form looks much better which is most important.

I'd point out one other thing. Recent teams, with the slight exception of two years ago, have given plenty of time to the back of the bench and even walkons. That to some extent has distorted their statistics. This year due to a really short bench and injuries the main five are cumulatively averaging 30+ minutes a game. In other words, their best players are all playing much longer than the best players of past teams. In fact, some of the Stewart teams got outscored for 10-15 minutes stretches in second halves after building enormous leads. Something to keep in mind when comparing this team with others.
Last year Megan shot 37% from 3 in limited action (13/35). She was a decent 3 pt shooter throughout HS. At what point will you accept that Megan is a good 3-pt shooter?
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
8,103
Likes
9,832
#84
Last year Megan shot 37% from 3 in limited action (13/35). She was a decent 3 pt shooter throughout HS. At what point will you accept that Megan is a good 3-pt shooter?
Walker shot 30% in her high school career. That's below average and certainly not good enough to be put alongside CW, KLS, or CD3.

The other answer is simple. I wanna see more of a sample size. If she goes 5 for her next 20 she's down to 33%. But, again, I think her form has looked much better so I'm hopeful.
 

oldude

bamboo lover
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
6,236
Likes
17,417
#85
Walker shot 30% in her high school career. That's below average and certainly not good enough to be put alongside CW, KLS, or CD3.

The other answer is simple. I wanna see more of a sample size. If she goes 5 for her next 20 she's down to 33%. But, again, I think her form has looked much better so I'm hopeful.
I watched Walker play several times in HS and she was very much a streak shooter from the arc. Her shooting mechanics and consistency have improved dramatically at UConn, which you might expect. I see Megan’s ability to hit 3’s on a similar trajectory as Mo, who was not a particularly great 3-pt shooter when she came to UConn. But she improved every year until she was one of the best. That’s where Megan is headed.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
8,052
Likes
9,882
#86
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.

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………
I don't think so.......they are weaker defensively and on the boards but if they win the NC I'll gladly admit my poor judgement
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
1,261
Likes
1,428
#88
My head is spinning with all the reasons which UConn team is better with statistics from each player supporting either case. To my simple mind, UConn lost to ND in the FF last year because they had Arike Ogunbowale at the buzzer. This year team has Christyn Williams and we won at ND by a fairly good score. So it seems to me that this year team is much different with the 2 freshmen. But although we won, the first 3 quarters of the ND game were close and could have gone either way. In addition, St John gave us a pretty good and close game. So it all depends on how this team improves over the next few months. Last year team was a wonderful team and I love them but injuries might have played a big role although nobody would use that as an excuse for losing.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
363
Likes
927
#89
You looked out the airplane's window and saw Gabby and Kia on the wings.
Seems to me UCONN could have used Kia on the floor when Crystal was getting tossed around.
None of it might have happened. BTW, 13 points/game and NDPOY, not too shabby. Some short memories on the board.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
470
Likes
663
#90
I agree that UConn does not have the two shut down defenders in Gabby and Kia, defense is very much a team effort, and as a team, so far, this team is leading the nation in defense.

I completely agree that this team will not have anywhere near as many assists as either of the past two, but one of the criticisms of both of those teams is that they didn't have anyone to take the ball and score in key situations when the shot clock was running down, like either Morgan William or Arike Ogunbawle in each of the last two national semifinal games. This year, Geno is building that ability by letting every single starter "hunt their shot." Just think back to last year's game vs ND. UConn had a chance to win it in regulation. Wouldn't it have been great to have Christyn on the floor with the ball in her hands?
So I have not posted much this year but have to jump in here. Just so I don't seem like I am over reacting to the ND game, I said we have the talent to beat anyone and called out that CW was going to have a breakout game (I will point to comment if doubted.) I said this because it seemed that she was holding back to fit in and feel her way with the rest of the high caliber players on the team. CW is what people refer to in baseball terms as "The Natural." I wrote a big reply (ok this is not short either) with all kinds of details but deleted because the next sentence I think captures the most critical component beyond any numbers.

The eye test tells me this is a better team for one simple reason.... CONFIDENCE! They had so much that I felt it during the game, I was normally on edge with every position in the games we lost and even some others we won over the past 2 years. In this years ND and St Johns games I felt like they felt they were going to win. The truth is, we were outplayed in the two FF OT games we lost. We were lucky to be in OT not the other way around. It felt like we were trying to not lose in those games, this year it just seems different. Time will tell but I agree this team can be better than the past two before the ND game. Important to note that "it can be," no one can definitively state after 8 games. That said, every game is different, but this team did just beat last years squad that is supposed to be even better plus it was on their home court.

Side note: Ono is the wild card and admittedly I did not have a fix on how she was going to play. I think she can help close the gap (along with MW) regarding some of the things that Gabby offered the team but obviously in a different way. To me CW is already better than Kia, and that is not a slight on Kia who was a great teammate/player but not a shot creator and much of her "scoring" came on uncontested wide open 3s and fast break layups. Yes I know defense matters but regardless of what some stated CW did not seem like a freshman on defense either. She did not look lost or confused and leads the team in steals. CW is not a lock-down defender but does not need to be, Kia had much more help from team defense than some wanted to admit.

Regardless of who agrees or not, Go Huskies!
 
...

Top