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UConn at ND analysis

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doggydaddy

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Overview – UConn dominated ND at times last year, winning the series 3-1. Of course the loss was pretty painful. You can make some conclusions based on those results, but I would throw most of that out in this years first match-up. Coming into this game, UConn has been a little inconsistent offensively since the Baylor loss while ND has been on cruise control the last 4 games winning by an average of 60+ points. It will be a game of who can impose their will on the other. Can UConn pressure ND into mistakes? Will ND continue to be able to turn over their opponent with their quick hands? Who will get hot from the outside? It will be an intense game. Can't wait.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. ND- Bruszewski.

UConn has lost more than ND from last years club, but "Bruiser" was the physical and emotional leader for ND.

Figuring out who should match up with who was not easy. Both teams play 4 guards and I took a logical guess at the match-ups. I'm sure that this will not align with what we will see throughout the game, but it's the best I could do.

PG – Doty 5’10” (6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Diggins 5’9” (16.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.8 apg)

Doty is still knocking off the rust. I've seen snippets of the old Doty, but not enough to make me believe she is as good as she will be by tournament time. Diggins is just a great player but not the nightmare for Doty that Sims was. Where Sims is like heavy metal, Diggins is like smooth jazz. Controlled improvisation. But her hands are like a cobra and Doty will have to be extra careful with the ball.

Advantage ND

SG – Hartley 5’9” (14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg) vs Novosel 5’11” (15.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg)
Hartley continues to show everyone that she is the most competitive players on the team. She relishes games like this and Saturday will be no exception. I expect she will play a terrific game and hit several clutch shows. On the other side, I could type almost the exact same thing. Novosel is just a great player. She hits clutch shots (see Duke this year) and is like a free safety in how she plays defense. I would call it Faris-esque.

Even

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg) vs Mallory 5’10" (5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Hayes is still playing at a high level and even when her shot is off, contributing in many ways. Her quickness will give Mallory, or whoever is defending, her fits. Mallory is all grit. Not the quickest player, she uses her smarts and great positioning to play defense. Hayes will have to look out for charging fouls. Mallory can get hot from beyond the arc, so Hayes will have to pay attention and not leave her open looks.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.5 apg) vs McBride 5’11” (12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Faris continues to show game after game that she is the most important player on the team. Coming off one of her best games (although she was unhappy after the game) Faris has her work cut out for her with McBride. One of the most improved players in the country, she is very athletic and a reallllll smart player. If this is the matchup, it will be a doozy. Still sticking with Faris in this matchup.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) vs Peters 6’2” (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Dolson is still struggling. She is working hard, but seems out of sorts. I'm hopeful that Dolson can draw on her two terrific performances last year against ND and break out. Peters is also struggling at times. She has fouled out in 2 games and has always been an inconsistent performer. But at home with a crazy crowd, I expect a terrific performance from Peters. Dolson has had the better games in 2 of the games last year while Peters was better in the other two including the championship game. At this point and time, Peters is playing better.

Advantage ND

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .5 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (3.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .9 apg)
vs
ND - Achonwa 6’3” (8.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), Wright 6’2" (6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), Miller 5'11 (3.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 27.6, 14.7, 4.7. ND18.1, 11.5, 4.6

As I said before, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage. Achowa is a solid post player and WILL have an impact in this game.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Muffet McGraw

Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone. But McGraw is a heck of a coach, and will do a great job in this game in both preparation and in-game adjustments. I just hope Muffet wears her leather skirt.

Advantage UConn (slim margin)

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure but this is not the only intangible advantage. The confidence gained from finally beating UConn cannot be minimized.

Advantage ND

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. Like the Baylor game, the kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out. Even more so being such a familiar opponent. UConn has to value the ball. ND leads the country in steals at 16.3 a game. ND also has three dangerous 3 point shooters and knows how to move the ball around to get that open look. UConn is just so quick and this could cause ND some big time trouble.

While ND is so dangerous on defense with their steals, they don't play the on-the-ball and in-your-face defense and can allow more points to the better offensive teams. Like the immovable object facing the irresistible force, ND draws a lot of fouls but UConn doesn't foul a lot. On top of that, ND fouls a lot but UConn doesn't draw that many fouls.

Final prediction – Tough to go against ND in this environment. They play so well together and at home they are even that much better. UConn certainly has the ability to win this game, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them pull it out. Should be a close game with the Irish squeaking one out.
 
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Another fine job done by DoggyDaddy. Thanks for your consistent analysis and effort.

ADVANTAGE: Boneyard
 

MilfordHusky

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ND should not have the advantage at center,mbut I agree that they do.

Any bench with KML will be the better bench. Kiah and Brianna can help make it even better. I'd like to see Brianna get an opportunity v. ND's guards.
 

Ruffian75

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MH....agree about center. SD is a mess. I think it is all between her ears. A productive 15 minutes from Buck will be key. She can neutralize Peters/Anchowa. Not sure SD can at this point of her funkdom. Hopefully a light comes on at some point. She is the key to our season.
Regarding KML, if she is in a Baylor type groove, we probably win. If she plays like she did against WVA, we lose.
Banks and Stokes will get little court time. Neither is ready for prime time.

Bottom line....Muffet's record isn't very good against UConn, but she rarely has the talent to compete with the Huskies. This year she has the talent and is probably the only coach in WCBB that can outcoach Geno with equal talent.

I see this game going in one of two directions. Geno is chewing his cheek and staring at the floor with 8 minutes to go, or a down to the wire battle like the one in South Bend last year. I have the Irish favored by 4.

BTW DD.....great analysis.
 

HuskyNan

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A productive 15 minutes from Buck will be key. She can neutralize Peters/Anchowa.
Heather is quite long and has the ability to block or disrupt shots without leaving her feet - think of the block vs Destiny Williams at Baylor. If she can bother Peters, it's possible that Peters will get frustrated and foul, which she is prone to do when annoyed Even if Buck doesn't score a point, if she can put Peters on the bench in foul trouble that would be huge for the Huskeis.
 

Vowelguy

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Why would Diggins guard Doty?
 

Ruffian75

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Heather is quite long and has the ability to block or disrupt shots without leaving her feet - think of the block vs Destiny Williams at Baylor. If she can bother Peters, it's possible that Peters will get frustrated and foul, which she is prone to do when annoyed Even if Buck doesn't score a point, if she can put Peters on the bench in foul trouble that would be huge for the Huskeis.

Totally agree. I have been a Buck basher for years, but I actually think it might be time to play a more traditional lineup with Heather at the five and Stef at the four for a few minutes a game. It could free up Stef on offense. For some reason, Geno doesn't want them on the court at the same time. Anyway, he is in the HOF and I'm not.

Anybody notice that when HB runs the court that she looks like the "Truckin' Man?"....her feet are in front of her body.
 

doggydaddy

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Why would Diggins guard Doty?
Maybe you missed this.

"Figuring out who should match up with who was not easy. Both teams play 4 guards and I took a logical guess at the match-ups. I'm sure that this will not align with what we will see throughout the game, but it's the best I could do."

I went with the most likely position for each player. PG - PG, SG - SG, etc. Feel free to post your match-ups.

 
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Overview – UConn dominated ND at times last year, winning the series 3-1. Of course the loss was pretty painful. You can make some conclusions based on those results, but I would throw most of that out in this years first match-up. Coming into this game, UConn has been a little inconsistent offensively since the Baylor loss while ND has been on cruise control the last 4 games winning by an average of 60+ points. It will be a game of who can impose their will on the other. Can UConn pressure ND into mistakes? Will ND continue to be able to turn over their opponent with their quick hands? Who will get hot from the outside? It will be an intense game. Can't wait.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. ND- Bruszewski.

UConn has lost more than ND from last years club, but "Bruiser" was the physical and emotional leader for ND.

Figuring out who should match up with who was not easy. Both teams play 4 guards and I took a logical guess at the match-ups. I'm sure that this will not align with what we will see throughout the game, but it's the best I could do.

PG – Doty 5’10” (6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Diggins 5’9” (16.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.8 apg)

Doty is still knocking off the rust. I've seen snippets of the old Doty, but not enough to make me believe she is as good as she will be by tournament time. Diggins is just a great player but not the nightmare for Doty that Sims was. Where Sims is like heavy metal, Diggins is like smooth jazz. Controlled improvisation. But her hands are like a cobra and Doty will have to be extra careful with the ball.

Advantage ND

SG – Hartley 5’9” (14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg) vs Novosel 5’11” (15.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg)
Hartley continues to show everyone that she is the most competitive players on the team. She relishes games like this and Saturday will be no exception. I expect she will play a terrific game and hit several clutch shows. On the other side, I could type almost the exact same thing. Novosel is just a great player. She hits clutch shots (see Duke this year) and is like a free safety in how she plays defense. I would call it Faris-esque.

Even

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg) vs Mallory 5’10" (5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Hayes is still playing at a high level and even when her shot is off, contributing in many ways. Her quickness will give Mallory, or whoever is defending, her fits. Mallory is all grit. Not the quickest player, she uses her smarts and great positioning to play defense. Hayes will have to look out for charging fouls. Mallory can get hot from beyond the arc, so Hayes will have to pay attention and not leave her open looks.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.5 apg) vs McBride 5’11” (12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Faris continues to show game after game that she is the most important player on the team. Coming off one of her best games (although she was unhappy after the game) Faris has her work cut out for her with McBride. One of the most improved players in the country, she is very athletic and a reallllll smart player. If this is the matchup, it will be a doozy. Still sticking with Faris in this matchup.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) vs Peters 6’2” (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Dolson is still struggling. She is working hard, but seems out of sorts. I'm hopeful that Dolson can draw on her two terrific performances last year against ND and break out. Peters is also struggling at times. She has fouled out in 2 games and has always been an inconsistent performer. But at home with a crazy crowd, I expect a terrific performance from Peters. Dolson has had the better games in 2 of the games last year while Peters was better in the other two including the championship game. At this point and time, Peters is playing better.

Advantage ND

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .5 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (3.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .9 apg)
vs
ND - Achonwa 6’3” (8.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), Wright 6’2" (6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), Miller 5'11 (3.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 27.6, 14.7, 4.7. ND18.1, 11.5, 4.6

As I said before, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage. Achowa is a solid post player and WILL have an impact in this game.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Muffet McGraw

Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone. But McGraw is a heck of a coach, and will do a great job in this game in both preparation and in-game adjustments. I just hope Muffet wears her leather skirt.

Advantage UConn (slim margin)

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure but this is not the only intangible advantage. The confidence gained from finally beating UConn cannot be minimized.

Advantage ND

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. Like the Baylor game, the kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out. Even more so being such a familiar opponent. UConn has to value the ball. ND leads the country in steals at 16.3 a game. ND also has three dangerous 3 point shooters and knows how to move the ball around to get that open look. UConn is just so quick and this could cause ND some big time trouble.

While ND is so dangerous on defense with their steals, they don't play the on-the-ball and in-your-face defense and can allow more points to the better offensive teams. Like the immovable object facing the irresistible force, ND draws a lot of fouls but UConn doesn't foul a lot. On top of that, ND fouls a lot but UConn doesn't draw that many fouls.

Final prediction – Tough to go against ND in this environment. They play so well together and at home they are even that much better. UConn certainly has the ability to win this game, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them pull it out. Should be a close game with the Irish squeaking one out.
Again a really good breakdown! I liked what you had to say about Kelly! I would have her as mvp on our team.I have the concerns stated re Stef's game and we had better some production from the center position Stef,Buck,Stokes. Agree this is a prime time game which would raise questions re Stokes,Banks, and behind themJohnson and Engelin. KML is capable of going off for 30 or not shotting great. She is capable of providing intangibles. Again Kelly does it all! The issue since she has been here has been her scoring,which has taken away attention from everything else she provides. Kelly is not a secret anymore and if she adds offense to go with everything else we can pull this out.CD is improving and adjusting to the changes she has had to make to her game,Bria is fearless and xapable of going off for 25 while providing everything else. Tiffany is also capable of doing this,but in big games she has to do it! This is a heavyweight boxing match! The pieces are flowing more in sync right now for ND and the game being is Southbend gives the edge in this game to ND.:( Thank God the game is not played on paper. The place will be a madhouse. Pieces to our puzzle will have to fall into place while shaking ND's puzzle up! More re Nd's pieces.
 
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Overview – UConn dominated ND at times last year, winning the series 3-1. Of course the loss was pretty painful. You can make some conclusions based on those results, but I would throw most of that out in this years first match-up. Coming into this game, UConn has been a little inconsistent offensively since the Baylor loss while ND has been on cruise control the last 4 games winning by an average of 60+ points. It will be a game of who can impose their will on the other. Can UConn pressure ND into mistakes? Will ND continue to be able to turn over their opponent with their quick hands? Who will get hot from the outside? It will be an intense game. Can't wait.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. ND- Bruszewski.

UConn has lost more than ND from last years club, but "Bruiser" was the physical and emotional leader for ND.

Figuring out who should match up with who was not easy. Both teams play 4 guards and I took a logical guess at the match-ups. I'm sure that this will not align with what we will see throughout the game, but it's the best I could do.

PG – Doty 5’10” (6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Diggins 5’9” (16.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.8 apg)

Doty is still knocking off the rust. I've seen snippets of the old Doty, but not enough to make me believe she is as good as she will be by tournament time. Diggins is just a great player but not the nightmare for Doty that Sims was. Where Sims is like heavy metal, Diggins is like smooth jazz. Controlled improvisation. But her hands are like a cobra and Doty will have to be extra careful with the ball.

Advantage ND

SG – Hartley 5’9” (14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg) vs Novosel 5’11” (15.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg)
Hartley continues to show everyone that she is the most competitive players on the team. She relishes games like this and Saturday will be no exception. I expect she will play a terrific game and hit several clutch shows. On the other side, I could type almost the exact same thing. Novosel is just a great player. She hits clutch shots (see Duke this year) and is like a free safety in how she plays defense. I would call it Faris-esque.

Even

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg) vs Mallory 5’10" (5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Hayes is still playing at a high level and even when her shot is off, contributing in many ways. Her quickness will give Mallory, or whoever is defending, her fits. Mallory is all grit. Not the quickest player, she uses her smarts and great positioning to play defense. Hayes will have to look out for charging fouls. Mallory can get hot from beyond the arc, so Hayes will have to pay attention and not leave her open looks.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.5 apg) vs McBride 5’11” (12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Faris continues to show game after game that she is the most important player on the team. Coming off one of her best games (although she was unhappy after the game) Faris has her work cut out for her with McBride. One of the most improved players in the country, she is very athletic and a reallllll smart player. If this is the matchup, it will be a doozy. Still sticking with Faris in this matchup.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) vs Peters 6’2” (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Dolson is still struggling. She is working hard, but seems out of sorts. I'm hopeful that Dolson can draw on her two terrific performances last year against ND and break out. Peters is also struggling at times. She has fouled out in 2 games and has always been an inconsistent performer. But at home with a crazy crowd, I expect a terrific performance from Peters. Dolson has had the better games in 2 of the games last year while Peters was better in the other two including the championship game. At this point and time, Peters is playing better.

Advantage ND

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .5 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (3.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .9 apg)
vs
ND - Achonwa 6’3” (8.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), Wright 6’2" (6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), Miller 5'11 (3.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 27.6, 14.7, 4.7. ND18.1, 11.5, 4.6

As I said before, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage. Achowa is a solid post player and WILL have an impact in this game.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Muffet McGraw

Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone. But McGraw is a heck of a coach, and will do a great job in this game in both preparation and in-game adjustments. I just hope Muffet wears her leather skirt.

Advantage UConn (slim margin)

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure but this is not the only intangible advantage. The confidence gained from finally beating UConn cannot be minimized.

Advantage ND

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. Like the Baylor game, the kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out. Even more so being such a familiar opponent. UConn has to value the ball. ND leads the country in steals at 16.3 a game. ND also has three dangerous 3 point shooters and knows how to move the ball around to get that open look. UConn is just so quick and this could cause ND some big time trouble.

While ND is so dangerous on defense with their steals, they don't play the on-the-ball and in-your-face defense and can allow more points to the better offensive teams. Like the immovable object facing the irresistible force, ND draws a lot of fouls but UConn doesn't foul a lot. On top of that, ND fouls a lot but UConn doesn't draw that many fouls.

Final prediction – Tough to go against ND in this environment. They play so well together and at home they are even that much better. UConn certainly has the ability to win this game, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them pull it out. Should be a close game with the Irish squeaking one out.
I do not like a Doty / Diggins matchup! I do not beleive CD has the physical ability to play with Diggins at this time . This is a recipe for disaster. No one can argue CD's grit and toughness, but that alone will not control SD. CD looked terrible against Sims , and I believe Diggins is a better player. Irish weakness is interior play.
 

bruinbball

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First off, great analysis DD.

Other than Peters vs Dolson, it's impossible to know what both coaches will do in matching up these teams against each other. I think you took the proper look given the lineups. While I agree with Magic that Doty on Diggins could be a bad matchup for UConn, her against any of the others would also likely result in a ND advantage. We must get Peters in foul trouble early. I like the idea of Faris at the top of the key or elbow looking to feed the interior players or driving if the opportunity presents itself. Regardless, we need lots of motion to open up passing lanes and our shooters to be taking and preferably hitting their shots if open.
 

alexrgct

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Tough to argue with any of that, though I think Geno's a much better coach overall than Muffett- just not necessarily ways that will be pertinent to this game with the teams they respectively have.

I've also predicted a 69-66 victory for ND, and I'm sticking with that. But I expect UConn to win in the home rematch and again in the BET if there is a third meeting there.

And indeed, it would not be shocking to see UConn pull this out. Like UConn, ND has played a number of meaningless games to this point, but they've faced enough decent competition to know they're vulnerable. Their four good opponents have been Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, and Purdue, and Purdue is extremely inconsistent. I wouldn't call the Duke or Kentcky wins especially impressive; they were a little lucky to beat Duke, and Middle Tennessee beat UK by a wider MOV. And of course they gave up a TON of points to Baylor. UConn may not win, and I'm predicting they won't Saturday, but ND is emminently beatable.

This will be a fun game and tough to predict for two reasons: a) you have similarly-sized teams (both use a four-gard lineup), but b) UConn's identity has been more defense-oriented while ND's strongest suit is its offense. The team that imposes its identity more in this game will win.
 
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Good point in the analysis about CD still knocking off the rust. Sims was the first quality player CD faced on "D" in basically 2 years. I think CD will get better on both ends of the court as the year progresses. Lets see what she looks like in March. If CD is close to her old self, she can, at least, slow Sims down.
 

Kibitzer

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DD stated a clear and logical disclaimer about matchups which apparently was unnoticed by some. Permit me to add that whatever the speculative matchups, they will change when the ball changes hands.

For example, it is very reasonable that Muffet may want Diggins to guard Doty, figuring that Skylar not only has a bit more quickness but would unlikely get into foul trouble. At the other end of the court I think it is highly unlikely that Caroline will be the principle defender of Skylar.

Kelly will surely draw a tough defensive assignment (Novosel?) but she may face a different defender when UConn has the ball.

Add to this the fact that both teams play four guards a lot so there will be lots of switching, trapping, double-teaming, and "help" defense from the weak side. And either team may go into a zone defense at any time for as long or as short as either coach directs. All of which means the matchups on paper (good for DD's comparative analysis) don't always, um, match up on the court.

Then there are substitutions, but I don't dare go there.

When all is done being said, I like our chances.
 

doggydaddy

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DD stated a clear and logical disclaimer about matchups which apparently was unnoticed by some. Permit me to add that whatever the speculative matchups, they will change when the ball changes hands.

Thanks Kib!
 
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Again a really good breakdown! I liked what you had to say about Kelly! I would have her as mvp on our team.

With respect, I disagree.

Bria is our most valuable player.

Kelly is a very important contributor. But she isn't the MVP.

Peace,

John Fryer
 
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Apologies in advance to some that can't take sarcasm

My only complaint is that DD completely missed on the match-ups. Everybody knows Breanna Steward and Morgan Tuck will start next year.

Sarcasm off

For Mr. Fryer: I don't think we win ?any? games without Kelly. Defense determines the outcome, offense determines the margin. Therefore I'm not convinced on your MVP.
 

Ruffian75

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Regarding Miss Faris....she is probably the best blue collar worker we have had since Jamelle. She will never be an AA, but she is indispensible.
 

speedoo

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Heather is quite long and has the ability to block or disrupt shots without leaving her feet - think of the block vs Destiny Williams at Baylor. If she can bother Peters, it's possible that Peters will get frustrated and foul, which she is prone to do when annoyed Even if Buck doesn't score a point, if she can put Peters on the bench in foul trouble that would be huge for the Huskeis.
Exactly. UConn needs to somehow get Peters to have a bad game, and it seems she rarely has a good game against UConn. With Peters on the bench, the advantage swings to UConn, especially if Stef is playing well, a possibility that still exists despite her recent struggles.
 

speedoo

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Excellent analysis, DD. I agree with your approach, doing the matchups by position, simply because it is impossible to predict that there will be consistent player on player matchups throughout the game, except maybe for Peters/Stef. One very small quibble: I personally give the edge to Bria over Novasel, simply because Bria is a more versatile guard who can play the point, something I have never seen Novasel do. And in this game, I believe the versatility of Bria, Tiff and Kelly is very important. And that versatility in UConn's guards is something that kind of separates the teams... I don't see that kind of versatility in ND's guards.
 

speedoo

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Does anyone else think that both Muffett and Geno will keep some of their powder dry for this game? If I were Geno, I don't think I would be playing all my cards in this one. Lose the game, big deal, fall to #3 in the country vs. #2. Fall behind ND in the BE regular season race, bigger deal, but not worth going all out IMO.
 

easttexastrash

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Totally agree. I have been a Buck basher for years, but I actually think it might be time to play a more traditional lineup with Heather at the five and Stef at the four for a few minutes a game. It could free up Stef on offense. For some reason, Geno doesn't want them on the court at the same time. Anyway, he is in the HOF and I'm not.

Anybody notice that when HB runs the court that she looks like the "Truckin' Man?"....her feet are in front of her body.

That could be a tough assignment for Dolson at the 4 with her limited mobility. I can imagine that the average 4 player would have a fairly easy time driving past her.
 

easttexastrash

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I would say that Peters and Dolson are a wash in this one. Peters will undoubtedly get into foul trouble and will sit half of the game. However, Achonwa seems to be a nice back-up and will probably hold her own in the paint. She was just coming off of an injury against Baylor and didn't do much, but based on what I saw last year she is quite capable. I haven't really tracked her stats this year.

Both teams are much more dangerous on the perimeter and it will come down to guard play. Diggins and Hartley are also close to a wash. Novosel and KML will probably be a wash...both are great players and may neutralize each other.

McBride could be the X factor for ND and Hayes the X factor for UCONN. I think whichever of those two players has the better performance may determine the outcome of the game.
 
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