- Apr 7, 2016
Excellent assessment. I was not aware; is Evina injured or ill? You mention, " she needs to get healthy." I didn't hear the announcers say anything about her. But she looked way " off." ..even though coach had her in the game at the end ( overtime, etc). As for the rest; I really wonder how many games we would win if we did not have Paige? It does get a bit scary when you know she is the only person who can score.We had guts, fight, emotion, alot of energy and Paige. The biggest difference last nite was when it got tight, when it looked like we were heading for trouble somebody stepped up and made a play. The biggest difference, we had the better guard play. Our guards made plays and SC didnt. Then as the clock ran down and time was short Super Women took over and thats all she wrote. She is simply amazin. You know its Paige Time when the game is on the line. She does the improbable when the game is on the line.
Some of the posts Ive read bring up the juniors. Well I have a few thoughts on that. Evina needs to get healthy and at this point needs to rest and if that means sit out a couple of games so be it. Can you imagine if Evina and Anna were healthy what might've happened to SC???? Just a thought. We should be able to win the next couple of games without Evina playing. Its more important now to get her healthy for the tournament. As far as our juniors not playing up to our expectations. My feeling is they are what they are and we need to accept that...for now. Im sure they will work hard to improve but until they do be patient and accept them for who they are. I will say this. Liv is not afraid to shoot from the outside and when her shots start fallin....well hey we are going to be alot better. Speaking of better we are getting alot better each and every game and we have so much more to improve on that wont take long, like setting screens. Thats fixable and will be quickly fixed by the coaches. Again imagine what might have been without all those illegal/moving screens.
Alot of freshman have gotten playtime and for good reason. They are making the ball move and their moving themselves just not standing around and watching. They do that because they dont know any better because Geno taught them what to do and theyre doin it without a second thought. Its called execution. They have earned their place on this team. They are makng this team go. While Evina is rested we will see alot more from the other players that are not in the top 7 yet. There is a reason Saylor has been getting time and I think she will be getting more playtime over the next few games. When she catches on at 6'2 with a quick release, well Im hoping she does and can see some minutes in big time games comin up.
There were alot of "IFs" in last nites game as mentioned in other threads. The biggest was Bostons 4th foul being giving to another player. They Boston not being called for charges. Keeping her in the game kept SC in the game. It reminded me of Dungee not being called for pushing off in the Ark game. Not calling that foul kept Boston in the game a little longer then when Boston was sent to the bench with 4 fouls the parade of illegal screens etc allowed SC back in the game. It those are not called UConn couldve won in a blowout. Those illegal screens will be addressed at practice.
So moving forward we are what we are. Your not gonna change your players so you can only accept them for who they are and hope they improve. If they dont improve then... If you cant change your players, then you have to change your players. We proved last nite that we are the best team in the country. We are now 4-1 again top 25 teams and in our only loss we shot over 50% and were in foul trouble. We've come along way over the past few weeks and we're still gettin better every game. Moving forward the coaches will address getting Paige some help and Im looking for some other players to step up and give Paige some help from the outside. For all the great shooters we've seen this season and for all the great scorers weve seen there is not one player who can fill up the stat sheet like Paige can. I guess you can say this is a new Paige in UConns illustrious history.
I thought Olivia played quite well with the exception her outside shooting. Carolina " gave her" that outside shot ( and gave it to Edwards, as well ). They know she ( they ) won't make them and then she (they) won't take them. We have seen that Liv can make those shots, but she sure couldn't against SC. And letting her run free on the outside, allows SC to jam up the middle, and make penetration impossible. Aubrey has the same reputation. She can't shoot at all. Aubrey needs to either pass, set screens or drive to the basket. She is a force on defense and on the glass.
With Williams throwing up air balls, she also has faded as an outside threat as well. And she made too
many " freshman " mistakes to play so many minutes ( poor decisions, ball handling, passes, moving violations).
I think our best hope ( in addition to Paige ) is Muhl. She can hit the three.. Just needs to show more consistency doing it. Hard to read Anna, because she hasn't been " right" all year. She hit threes last year at a dangerous
clip ( to the opponent ), but was hot and cold in her few appearances this season. And she will have trouble earning minutes if/when she is healthy.
I don't believe Saylor has any shot at being in a game at a meaningful moment this season. So we'll look for her next year. Autumn can hit threes. How about Pliath?