Thoughts and areas for improvement



nelsonmuntz

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Good game last night. I said in the game chat last night that I thought the team played well in the first half and was a victim of some crazy shots by Marquette and missing a lot of bunnies at the rim. Other than a 90 second stretch early in the second half where they clearly were discouraged, I thought the team played smart and with intensity the whole game, and it was just a question of whether the shots were going to fall or not.

Credit to Hurley for not overreacting to some of Marquette's runs. Marquette takes a lot of bad shots, and just because they make some of them doesn't mean that Hurley should panic and blow all his timeouts in the first half.

The team is finally getting Hurley's defense. The problem earlier this season and last season with Carlton and Whaley on the hard hedge wasn't just that they ended up on a guard 10 feet above the 3 point line, but that the second rotation to cover the paint was never showing up. That second rotation was there last night, so the dump in to the screener on the P-n-R was not available to Marquette. There were some really good defensive possessions last night, especially with Carlton and Whaley on the court together.

The 4 guards played 93 minutes, which feels more right than the 100+ that they have been playing at times. Take the 3 best opponents on our schedule so far: USC, Marquette, and Creighton. The 4 guards played 93 minutes against Marquette, 88 minutes against USC, and 135 minutes against Creighton. We are a better team when we play bigger lineups.

Related to playing bigger lineups, UConn killed Marquette on the boards, 42-28. UConn is going to win 80%+ of the time when it is +10 on the boards.

Sanogo struggled on defense and on the boards. He has to keep his feet and hold his position when the other team is backing him down. He is falling for every pump fake. 5 rebounds doesn't seem like a bad night, but he kept getting boxed out down low. He can not make it that easy for the opposing big man to get him out of the play on the rebound. He will come around, but he has a lot to learn.

The team made its run without Bouk or Carlton on the court, and Martin having a bad game. UConn beat a good team without some of its key pieces. That is great work by everyone else.
 
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I actually thought we lost the game. But the team played hard, aggressive BB. As noted their defense and rebounding were exemplary. DH trade mark team. Polley gave the team the points and energy needed to pull this off. Couldn't happen at a better time for UConn.
 
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One small small small area of improvement.

Even high school kids know enough to box out the foul shooter. That one play where the Marquette player got his own foul shot for a put back made me cringe in an otherwise uncringy night.
 
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I thought the team played well in the first half and was a victim of some crazy shots by Marquette
Ollie's Husky teams had a ton of these games. Big early leads based on prayers falling. Usually the shooting came back down to Earth and the leads with it.
 
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Ollie's Husky teams had a ton of these games. Big early leads based on prayers falling. Usually to shooting came back down to Earth and the leads with it.
And then we still ended up losing by 20. Thank god we don’t have ollies lack of enthusiasm on the sidelines anymore!
 

Marat

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One small small small area of improvement.

Even high school kids know enough to box out the foul shooter. That one play where the Marquette player got his own foul shot for a put back made me cringe in an otherwise uncringy night.

I believe that was Bouk who didn't stick out his injured arm for the box out on Theo John. That shouldn't have happened, but I'll give Bouk a pass on that one.
 

nelsonmuntz

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One small small small area of improvement.

Even high school kids know enough to box out the foul shooter. That one play where the Marquette player got his own foul shot for a put back made me cringe in an otherwise uncringy night.

I am 90% sure that was a lane violation. He chased his own free throw as soon as he shot it, and was under the basket when the ball came off the rim. The shooter has to wait until the ball hits the rim.
 
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I am 90% sure that was a lane violation. He chased his own free throw as soon as he shot it, and was under the basket when the ball came off the rim. The shooter has to wait until the ball hits the rim.
I forget who but someone in the chat said they went back and watched and it wasn't a lane violation
 

HuskylnSC

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I believe that was Bouk who didn't stick out his injured arm for the box out on Theo John. That shouldn't have happened, but I'll give Bouk a pass on that one.
No Pass here. On John's next free throw Bouk wrapped him up with both arms. It was a either a lazy play that cost his team 2 points and a foul or a lane violation as @nelsonmuntz points out.

Edit: Just saw @navery12 post that it might not have been a lane violation. At the time I thought it was. I'm going to verify when I get time,
 

SubbaBub

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#1 is being consistent on the defensive end and keep that energy on the defensive end.
#2 is realize that other the Bouk, you can't just throw someone the ball just anywhere on the floor and expect them to make a play. Everyone has their spots where they are most effective. Learn them, work to get them, the ball, and some space to work in these areas. Pass out of everything else.
#3 Someone needs to step up to support Bouk as the second option and that will be different for every game and matchup. Recognize who has the hot hand as soon as you can.
#4, the core of this team is Bouk, Whaley, Cole, Polley, Martin, Gaff, Adams. They other guys should not be relied on for longs stretches. Akok, Carlton, Sanogo will have a role and get opportunities, but they are mostly frontcourt depth at the moment. Expectations should be managed.
#5 We are better when we are scoring inside, which is a tricky problem as our best lineup talent wise is small.
 
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I believe that was Bouk who didn't stick out his injured arm for the box out on Theo John. That shouldn't have happened, but I'll give Bouk a pass on that one.
You should NOT just stick out an arm. You step in front of the foul shooter and stick your butt into him. Yes, you also extend your arms. No excuse for that play.
 

HuskyHawk

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Good game last night. I said in the game chat last night that I thought the team played well in the first half and was a victim of some crazy shots by Marquette and missing a lot of bunnies at the rim. Other than a 90 second stretch early in the second half where they clearly were discouraged, I thought the team played smart and with intensity the whole game, and it was just a question of whether the shots were going to fall or not.

Credit to Hurley for not overreacting to some of Marquette's runs. Marquette takes a lot of bad shots, and just because they make some of them doesn't mean that Hurley should panic and blow all his timeouts in the first half.

The team is finally getting Hurley's defense. The problem earlier this season and last season with Carlton and Whaley on the hard hedge wasn't just that they ended up on a guard 10 feet above the 3 point line, but that the second rotation to cover the paint was never showing up. That second rotation was there last night, so the dump in to the screener on the P-n-R was not available to Marquette. There were some really good defensive possessions last night, especially with Carlton and Whaley on the court together.

The 4 guards played 93 minutes, which feels more right than the 100+ that they have been playing at times. Take the 3 best opponents on our schedule so far: USC, Marquette, and Creighton. The 4 guards played 93 minutes against Marquette, 88 minutes against USC, and 135 minutes against Creighton. We are a better team when we play bigger lineups.

Related to playing bigger lineups, UConn killed Marquette on the boards, 42-28. UConn is going to win 80%+ of the time when it is +10 on the boards.

Sanogo struggled on defense and on the boards. He has to keep his feet and hold his position when the other team is backing him down. He is falling for every pump fake. 5 rebounds doesn't seem like a bad night, but he kept getting boxed out down low. He can not make it that easy for the opposing big man to get him out of the play on the rebound. He will come around, but he has a lot to learn.

The team made its run without Bouk or Carlton on the court, and Martin having a bad game. UConn beat a good team without some of its key pieces. That is great work by everyone else.

I know you agree with this, but that second rotation covering the paint (for say Josh) needs to be Whaley or Akok, or somebody who can actually be effective. It can't be an undersized guard. 1 big 4 smalls is a horrific lineup.

On offense, we have to look to score inside first, outside second. And score inside by the pass to bigs, not by running a clear out for a 6 foot guard. Everything changes and opens up once those passes go inside. It would help if we didn't miss so many layups, and dunked more often (almost a guaranteed foul at the minimum). I really don't understand why, with the block/charge circle, our bigs don't just try to dunk everything once the defender cannot take a charge.

Agree on Sanogo. They attacked him immediately with John or Garcia as soon as he was in. And scored on him easily. If he can't hold position without pushing then I at least want to see him clobber some people. Make those shots painful. John's free throw form made Shaq's look like a thing of beauty. There is no reason to allow him to just score down there.
 

87Xfer

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Anyone know if the replay is available on youtube yet? I haven't found it.
 
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Agree with a lot of this. We were getting better shots than them for 35+ minutes of that game. We were on the road and they were at home, so naturally they made a few more of those tough shots in the first half, and unfortunately we (especially Martin) missed a few bunnies. I also said at halftime in the chat that I thought we'd win, that we'd make a run, and that Marquette would fold because they aren't very cohesive (the fanbase has quit on Wojo and that almost always is in the back of the players minds). Plus they're not a deep team.

I believe it was Whaley, Carlton, Polley, Adams, Cole and then Bouknight in for Adams and Sanogo in for Carlton during the long run, plus a little Gaffney sprinkled in once we had tied it up. Marquette was a good team for two bigs, because they played Garcia at the 4 a lot and he has a more traditional game and foot speed (despite taking and making a couple 3s). Garcia made a bunch of tough shots and battled hard, but that's different than getting or making easy shots for himself or teammates and playing defense. For that reason, he didn't worry me. Difference between playing well and controlling the game. Whaley controlled the game for the last 15 minutes.

I said it after previous games that the Bouk/Whaley pick and roll had to be a huge part of the offense, and Whaley looked good on the roll a couple more times last night. His hands have gotten good enough and he can pass well enough when the D rotates over, that we need to play through him on that short roll more. At least enough to keep the D honest on Bouk and maybe even more than that. And then him Poppering on occasion as a counter will be wide open.
 

CL82

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I believe that was Bouk who didn't stick out his injured arm for the box out on Theo John. That shouldn't have happened, but I'll give Bouk a pass on that one.
I didn't realize this. Still should have stepped into the lane though. Agree with you regarding giving him a pass on it.
 

nelsonmuntz

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I know you agree with this, but that second rotation covering the paint (for say Josh) needs to be Whaley or Akok, or somebody who can actually be effective. It can't be an undersized guard. 1 big 4 smalls is a horrific lineup.

On offense, we have to look to score inside first, outside second. And score inside by the pass to bigs, not by running a clear out for a 6 foot guard. Everything changes and opens up once those passes go inside. It would help if we didn't miss so many layups, and dunked more often (almost a guaranteed foul at the minimum). I really don't understand why, with the block/charge circle, our bigs don't just try to dunk everything once the defender cannot take a charge.

Agree on Sanogo. They attacked him immediately with John or Garcia as soon as he was in. And scored on him easily. If he can't hold position without pushing then I at least want to see him clobber some people. Make those shots painful. John's free throw form made Shaq's look like a thing of beauty. There is no reason to allow him to just score down there.

I think you are right on the second rotation. It is both size and also experience of being the second help defender that makes us so much more effective when it is Whaley or Carlton as that second rotation. Our guards are not nearly as good at it.

A 3 pointer shot off the catch on an inside-out play is a much higher percentage shot than a pass-around-the perimeter 3.

Sanogo has to stay low and stop leaving his freaking feet. John could back him down because Sanogo was always in the air. He doesn't need to sell out to defend a 15 foot turn around from the opposing forward, because most of the time it is just a shot fake anyway.
 
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No Pass here. On John's next free throw Bouk wrapped him up with both arms. It was a either a lazy play that cost his team 2 points and a foul or a lane violation as @nelsonmuntz points out.

Edit: Just saw @navery12 post that it might not have been a lane violation. At the time I thought it was. I'm going to verify when I get time,
Free throw is at 1:13:45 here, no violation by John

 
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I wish more guys could create their own shoot, and drive to the hoop and score (tough outside of Bouk).

Defense was good, except for post D, but I did like the adjustment at the end when we doubled.

We have to find a way to score easier buckets on O.
 
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I think his right foot moved before ball hit the rim.
Played it at 0.25x speed so I could freeze it at the second the ball touched the rim, no violation

Screenshot_2021-01-06_144723.jpg
 
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I don't think we need to do much more than we are already doing. We started with a team that played solid D and couldn't score much. We transitioned into a good defensive team with one really good offensive player. The past two games we've continued to play good defense and we've shot the lights out from 3. Hard not to notice the upward trend. Coaches, players, everyone just needs to continue doing whatever they are doing.
 

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