UConn @ Baylor analysis | The Boneyard

UConn @ Baylor analysis

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doggydaddy

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Overview – It’s the early season game we have all been waiting for. Baylor has shown that they deserve their number one ranking with their excellent games against ND and Tennessee. There isn’t a better 1-2 (not position number) punch in the game than Griner and Sims. They also play terrific defense as with Griner to cover for them when beaten by their man, the Baylor defenders can afford to play more aggressively. There has been some inconsistency with their other post players, Williams and Pope, but their potential is unmistakable. UConn this year has shown that they can play without Moore and play at a very high level. What is yet to be determined is how they can play on the road under duress. The game against Stanford showed this team has some mettle, but this is going to be a tough environment.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. Baylor- Jones.

Clearly UConn has lost more than Baylor from last years club, but don't underestimate the loss of Jones. She was the emotional leader and she did have 14 rebounds from the guard spot last year.

For purposes of this analysis, I’m going to put Pope in the starting lineup. I’m not sure that Mulkey will put her back on the bench after her nice start against St. Johns. For players on the bench, I usually go with players that play in the tougher games. Against ND, Tennessee and St. Johns, Baylor played Agbuke only 2 total minutes and Roberson only 12 (all in the St. Johns game as Condrey was out). So I’m only going to show two bench players here.

PG – Doty 5’10” (7.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Sims 5’9” (17.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 7.2 apg)

Doty seems to be coming around. She seems more confident in what she is doing and is now leading the team in 3pt percentage at 45%. He defense is surprisingly good so far, looking comfortable with her knee. But I don’t expect her to cover Sims the entire game if at all. Sims has played like the best point guard in the country for most of this year. She struggled against St. Johns after getting two 1st half fouls and it seemed to put her off her game. I don’t expect that to happen in this game. She is as tough as nails.

Advantage Baylor

SG – Hartley 5’9” (13.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.1 apg) vs Hayden 5’11” (8.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)

As stated above, I don’t expect Doty to cover Sims much. I think this will fall on Hartley’s lap for the most part. Hartley has been in a little shooting slump, but maybe memories of her clutch shooting last year will get her out of it. Hayden is a terrific player, but her offense is very inconsistent. From easttexastrash, our Baylor fan visitor – “Hayden is long and fast like Madden and is really good at overplaying the passing lanes from the PG to the wing and gets her share of steals from that. However, she is just a train-wreck on offense, driving wildly to the basket and throwing up crazy shots or charging.” Even so, Uconn will have to be wary in leaving her open for a 3. Her on the ball defense is excellent, but Hartley is too quick for her if they do match up.

Advantage UConn

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.9 apg) vs Madden 6’ (5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Hayes is playing like we all were hoping she would. Her all-around game is outstanding. While still inconsistent from 3 point land, her rebounding and passing have been excellent. She will get some votes for AA if this continues. Madden is the teams defensive stopper, but she hasn’t seen anyone as quick as Hayes and Hayes being left handed always confuses the opponents. If Madden takes a lot of shots, Uconn is in great shape. Against St. Johns she took 17.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg) vs Pope 6’1” (11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)

I said I won’t pick against Faris again, and I’m sticking to it. Kelly’s offense seems to be coming around some, and that is something Uconn needs. They can’t afford to play 4 against 5 on offense. She plays the best 1-1 defense in the country, so if Geno decides to go with Dolson and another big at times, don’t be surprised if Faris is covering Sims at times. Pope appears to have taken over the stating position. That could change as Williams had a good 2nd half against St. Johns. She is tough down low with she gets the ball where she wants but is inconsistent on her put backs. And horrid FT shooter at 41%.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg) vs Griner 6’4” (22.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Not much to say here. Griner is the best in the country and the toughest matchup for any center. She is not only long, but a terrific instinctual shot blocker. Dolson will have a few thrown back at her. The question is, can Dolson keep her away from the basket and can Uconn make the entry pass difficult?. And can Dolson draw Griner away from the basket so Uconn can drive to the hoop as they like to do? Tough to say, but there is no doubt who has the advantage here.

Advantage Baylor

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .6 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg)
vs
Baylor - Williams 6’1” (9.6 ppg,7.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), Condrey 5’7” (4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 28.9, 15.5, 4.9. Baylor14.3, 10.8, 4.6.

As I said in the A&M analysis and any other analysis going forward, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Kim Mulkey

Mulkey is a terrific coach and motivator and her success at Baylor has put her on pace for wins over any top coach not named Pat. She is a great motivator and a kick to watch on the sidelines. Her in game moves are sometimes questioned but she has been around the game as a player and coach for a while and has a terrific understanding of the game. As I said in my A&M analysis, Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone.

Advantage UConn

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure and is the only intangible advantage I see for either team. Not sure how true the slight in house stuff (Mulky calling out everyone but Sims and Griner and Sims then publically agreeing). I don’t expect that to be an issue other than the players called out might try to hard because of it.

Advantage Baylor

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. The kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out…lol. Baylor has to value the ball. Uconn forces over 20 TO’s a game and they press like no one else does. I did see the Tennessee press be successful for some of their game against Baylor and ND was able for force 17 TO’s. Pressure on the ball in the half court defense for Uconn is paramount. It will take time off the clock and help prevent easy entry passes to Griner. Dolson will have to use her bulk to keep Griner from where she wants to go. In looking at the box scores, it appears that Griner and Sims do not have viable backups, so expect them to play 40 minutes each. Depth is a weakness for Baylor in my opinion and it’s something that Uconn will likely exploit. For Uconn on offense, can Hayes and Hartley get to the basket with Griner there? And with the on ball pressure that Baylor brings, can Uconn get off open 3’s and make them. With 3’s being such a big part of Uconn’s offense, this will be a difference maker. Finally, can Lewis play with the aplomb of an upper classman in her first road test in college? The answer so all the questions above will decide the game.

Final prediction – This is such a difficult game to predict. Baylor is terrific, but I have seen some struggles lately and not just a 9 minute drought like Uconn had against Seton Hall. Uconn’s defense is unbelievable this year. Will it impact Baylor as it has everyone else? So many factors here. Home court for Baylor is huge. But I’m going to go with Uconn by the slimmest of margins. 1-3 points.
 

alexrgct

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UConn does indeed have a number of advatanges over Baylor, but the magnitude of the advantages Baylor has over UConn is significant. That's what makes this such a difficult game to predict. I think if Griner and Sims are the two best players on the floor (not just generally are the two best players, but actually play like it in this specific game), then that's going to be tough for UConn to overcome, especially in a road environment. This will be a great game to see just how well-conditioned each team is at this stage of the season.

Griner's height and wingspan are formidable, but she's relatively light- 190-195 lbs if she's indeed 15+ pounds heavier than last year. So much of defensive position comes from the lower body, and Stef/Buck might have an advtange there. Griner is going to get her points, but she absolutely must have to work hard for them. UConn is not winning a BG layup drill. Stef has also been terrific this season at sealing off driving lanes. Doing that well will be especially crucial with as phenomenal a shot-blocker as BG.

Stef has committed frustration fouls this season. She simply cannot do that against Baylor. If she does, UConn loses.

It is a testament to the hard work UConn has put in that I see this game as tough to call. At the beginning of this season, I saw a December matchup with Baylor in Waco as an obvious loss, with perhaps a chance at retribution in April if the team progressed. I'm still going Baylor 75, UConn 68, but I think this is a game UConn can take if the Huskies play to their full potential and refs are reasonable with whistles.
 

EricLA

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will it be Pope or Williams in the post? not sure who Baylor would start but while i like Kelly's toughness and grit, i think her size deficit vs. Pope or Williams gives the slightest edge to Baylor IMHO. but it's all just opinions. i think it's a tough matchup both ways.
 

huskeynut

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DD - as always, an excellent analysis.

I would add that Geno may go with the twin towers option of Stephan and Heather or Stef and Kiah. I think this would cause major problems for Baylor both offensively and defensively. Imagine Stef up high and Kiah or Heather down low.

With Uconn's pressure defense, which I don't think Baylor can handle - a Uconn win 72-68.
 
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DD, what are you thinking?.........LOL!!......Great analysis and you made some excellent points and UCONN will need to find a way the 1st 10 minutes in half 1 and the 1st 5 min in the 2nd half.......Balance of the game will be all UCONN......I, too, think it will be very close........77-69...UCONN!!
 
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It will be very tough for our young squad to play well in a hostile environment. This is a huge test and a lot to put on the shoulders of Dolson & Hartley (Sophomores) and KML & Stokes (Frosh).

This is the first advanced sellout game for Baylor women's basketball. Congrats!
 
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Overview – It’s the early season game we have all been waiting for. Baylor has shown that they deserve their number one ranking with their excellent games against ND and Tennessee. There isn’t a better 1-2 (not position number) punch in the game than Griner and Sims. They also play terrific defense as with Griner to cover for them when beaten by their man, the Baylor defenders can afford to play more aggressively. There has been some inconsistency with their other post players, Williams and Pope, but their potential is unmistakable. UConn this year has shown that they can play without Moore and play at a very high level. What is yet to be determined is how they can play on the road under duress. The game against Stanford showed this team has some mettle, but this is going to be a tough environment.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. Baylor- Jones.

Clearly UConn has lost more than Baylor from last years club, but don't underestimate the loss of Jones. She was the emotional leader and she did have 14 rebounds from the guard spot last year.

For purposes of this analysis, I’m going to put Pope in the starting lineup. I’m not sure that Mulkey will put her back on the bench after her nice start against St. Johns. For players on the bench, I usually go with players that play in the tougher games. Against ND, Tennessee and St. Johns, Baylor played Agbuke only 2 total minutes and Roberson only 12 (all in the St. Johns game as Condrey was out). So I’m only going to show two bench players here.

PG – Doty 5’10” (7.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Sims 5’9” (17.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 7.2 apg)

Doty seems to be coming around. She seems more confident in what she is doing and is now leading the team in 3pt percentage at 45%. He defense is surprisingly good so far, looking comfortable with her knee. But I don’t expect her to cover Sims the entire game if at all. Sims has played like the best point guard in the country for most of this year. She struggled against St. Johns after getting two 1st half fouls and it seemed to put her off her game. I don’t expect that to happen in this game. She is as tough as nails.

Advantage Baylor

SG – Hartley 5’9” (13.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.1 apg) vs Hayden 5’11” (8.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)

As stated above, I don’t expect Doty to cover Sims much. I think this will fall on Hartley’s lap for the most part. Hartley has been in a little shooting slump, but maybe memories of her clutch shooting last year will get her out of it. Hayden is a terrific player, but her offense is very inconsistent. From easttexastrash, our Baylor fan visitor – “Hayden is long and fast like Madden and is really good at overplaying the passing lanes from the PG to the wing and gets her share of steals from that. However, she is just a train-wreck on offense, driving wildly to the basket and throwing up crazy shots or charging.” Even so, Uconn will have to be wary in leaving her open for a 3. Her on the ball defense is excellent, but Hartley is too quick for her if they do match up.

Advantage UConn

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.9 apg) vs Madden 6’ (5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Hayes is playing like we all were hoping she would. Her all-around game is outstanding. While still inconsistent from 3 point land, her rebounding and passing have been excellent. She will get some votes for AA if this continues. Madden is the teams defensive stopper, but she hasn’t seen anyone as quick as Hayes and Hayes being left handed always confuses the opponents. If Madden takes a lot of shots, Uconn is in great shape. Against St. Johns she took 17.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg) vs Pope 6’1” (11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)

I said I won’t pick against Faris again, and I’m sticking to it. Kelly’s offense seems to be coming around some, and that is something Uconn needs. They can’t afford to play 4 against 5 on offense. She plays the best 1-1 defense in the country, so if Geno decides to go with Dolson and another big at times, don’t be surprised if Faris is covering Sims at times. Pope appears to have taken over the stating position. That could change as Williams had a good 2nd half against St. Johns. She is tough down low with she gets the ball where she wants but is inconsistent on her put backs. And horrid FT shooter at 41%.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg) vs Griner 6’4” (22.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Not much to say here. Griner is the best in the country and the toughest matchup for any center. She is not only long, but a terrific instinctual shot blocker. Dolson will have a few thrown back at her. The question is, can Dolson keep her away from the basket and can Uconn make the entry pass difficult?. And can Dolson draw Griner away from the basket so Uconn can drive to the hoop as they like to do? Tough to say, but there is no doubt who has the advantage here.

Advantage Baylor

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .6 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg)
vs
Baylor - Williams 6’1” (9.6 ppg,7.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), Condrey 5’7” (4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 28.9, 15.5, 4.9. Baylor14.3, 10.8, 4.6.

As I said in the A&M analysis and any other analysis going forward, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Kim Mulkey

Mulkey is a terrific coach and motivator and her success at Baylor has put her on pace for wins over any top coach not named Pat. She is a great motivator and a kick to watch on the sidelines. Her in game moves are sometimes questioned but she has been around the game as a player and coach for a while and has a terrific understanding of the game. As I said in my A&M analysis, Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone.

Advantage UConn

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure and is the only intangible advantage I see for either team. Not sure how true the slight in house stuff (Mulky calling out everyone but Sims and Griner and Sims then publically agreeing). I don’t expect that to be an issue other than the players called out might try to hard because of it.

Advantage Baylor

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. The kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out…lol. Baylor has to value the ball. Uconn forces over 20 TO’s a game and they press like no one else does. I did see the Tennessee press be successful for some of their game against Baylor and ND was able for force 17 TO’s. Pressure on the ball in the half court defense for Uconn is paramount. It will take time off the clock and help prevent easy entry passes to Griner. Dolson will have to use her bulk to keep Griner from where she wants to go. In looking at the box scores, it appears that Griner and Sims do not have viable backups, so expect them to play 40 minutes each. Depth is a weakness for Baylor in my opinion and it’s something that Uconn will likely exploit. For Uconn on offense, can Hayes and Hartley get to the basket with Griner there? And with the on ball pressure that Baylor brings, can Uconn get off open 3’s and make them. With 3’s being such a big part of Uconn’s offense, this will be a difference maker. Finally, can Lewis play with the aplomb of an upper classman in her first road test in college? The answer so all the questions above will decide the game.

Final prediction – This is such a difficult game to predict. Baylor is terrific, but I have seen some struggles lately and not just a 9 minute drought like Uconn had against Seton Hall. Uconn’s defense is unbelievable this year. Will it impact Baylor as it has everyone else? So many factors here. Home court for Baylor is huge. But I’m going to go with Uconn by the slimmest of margins. 1-3 points.

Excellent analysis. But I would have liked to see you include the possible consequences, in terms of who guards who, to the outcome of the game if:

Bria, Tiff, KML, SD and CD/KF are all in the game at the same time.

IMO, this could be a nightmare lineup for Baylor to defend against.

Peace,

John Fryer
 

HuskyNan

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But I would have liked to see you include the possible consequences, in terms of who guards who, to the outcome of the game if:

Bria, Tiff, KML, SD and CD/KF are all in the game at the same time. IMO, this could be a nightmare lineup for Baylor to defend against.

Why don't you give it a shot?
 
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We like tough.
Remember a few years back, what we did to NC on their own court in a battle of 1 vs 2?
We won by 30.

NC didn't have a 6'8 giant who is the best player in the country on their team. As I said before, I would be happy with a one point win.
 
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Overview – It’s the early season game we have all been waiting for. Baylor has shown that they deserve their number one ranking with their excellent games against ND and Tennessee. There isn’t a better 1-2 (not position number) punch in the game than Griner and Sims. They also play terrific defense as with Griner to cover for them when beaten by their man, the Baylor defenders can afford to play more aggressively. There has been some inconsistency with their other post players, Williams and Pope, but their potential is unmistakable. UConn this year has shown that they can play without Moore and play at a very high level. What is yet to be determined is how they can play on the road under duress. The game against Stanford showed this team has some mettle, but this is going to be a tough environment.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. Baylor- Jones.

Clearly UConn has lost more than Baylor from last years club, but don't underestimate the loss of Jones. She was the emotional leader and she did have 14 rebounds from the guard spot last year.

For purposes of this analysis, I’m going to put Pope in the starting lineup. I’m not sure that Mulkey will put her back on the bench after her nice start against St. Johns. For players on the bench, I usually go with players that play in the tougher games. Against ND, Tennessee and St. Johns, Baylor played Agbuke only 2 total minutes and Roberson only 12 (all in the St. Johns game as Condrey was out). So I’m only going to show two bench players here.

PG – Doty 5’10” (7.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) vs Sims 5’9” (17.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 7.2 apg)

Doty seems to be coming around. She seems more confident in what she is doing and is now leading the team in 3pt percentage at 45%. He defense is surprisingly good so far, looking comfortable with her knee. But I don’t expect her to cover Sims the entire game if at all. Sims has played like the best point guard in the country for most of this year. She struggled against St. Johns after getting two 1st half fouls and it seemed to put her off her game. I don’t expect that to happen in this game. She is as tough as nails.

Advantage Baylor

SG – Hartley 5’9” (13.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.1 apg) vs Hayden 5’11” (8.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)

As stated above, I don’t expect Doty to cover Sims much. I think this will fall on Hartley’s lap for the most part. Hartley has been in a little shooting slump, but maybe memories of her clutch shooting last year will get her out of it. Hayden is a terrific player, but her offense is very inconsistent. From easttexastrash, our Baylor fan visitor – “Hayden is long and fast like Madden and is really good at overplaying the passing lanes from the PG to the wing and gets her share of steals from that. However, she is just a train-wreck on offense, driving wildly to the basket and throwing up crazy shots or charging.” Even so, Uconn will have to be wary in leaving her open for a 3. Her on the ball defense is excellent, but Hartley is too quick for her if they do match up.

Advantage UConn

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.9 apg) vs Madden 6’ (5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Hayes is playing like we all were hoping she would. Her all-around game is outstanding. While still inconsistent from 3 point land, her rebounding and passing have been excellent. She will get some votes for AA if this continues. Madden is the teams defensive stopper, but she hasn’t seen anyone as quick as Hayes and Hayes being left handed always confuses the opponents. If Madden takes a lot of shots, Uconn is in great shape. Against St. Johns she took 17.

Advantage UConn

PF – Faris 5’11” (6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg) vs Pope 6’1” (11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)

I said I won’t pick against Faris again, and I’m sticking to it. Kelly’s offense seems to be coming around some, and that is something Uconn needs. They can’t afford to play 4 against 5 on offense. She plays the best 1-1 defense in the country, so if Geno decides to go with Dolson and another big at times, don’t be surprised if Faris is covering Sims at times. Pope appears to have taken over the stating position. That could change as Williams had a good 2nd half against St. Johns. She is tough down low with she gets the ball where she wants but is inconsistent on her put backs. And horrid FT shooter at 41%.

Advantage UConn

C – Dolson 6’5” (9.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg) vs Griner 6’4” (22.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Not much to say here. Griner is the best in the country and the toughest matchup for any center. She is not only long, but a terrific instinctual shot blocker. Dolson will have a few thrown back at her. The question is, can Dolson keep her away from the basket and can Uconn make the entry pass difficult?. And can Dolson draw Griner away from the basket so Uconn can drive to the hoop as they like to do? Tough to say, but there is no doubt who has the advantage here.

Advantage Baylor

Bench – Uconn - Lewis 6’ ( 15.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 apg), Stokes 6’3” (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .6 apg), Banks, 5’9” (4.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), Buck (4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg)
vs
Baylor - Williams 6’1” (9.6 ppg,7.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), Condrey 5’7” (4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 28.9, 15.5, 4.9. Baylor14.3, 10.8, 4.6.

As I said in the A&M analysis and any other analysis going forward, anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage.

Advantage UConn

Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Kim Mulkey

Mulkey is a terrific coach and motivator and her success at Baylor has put her on pace for wins over any top coach not named Pat. She is a great motivator and a kick to watch on the sidelines. Her in game moves are sometimes questioned but she has been around the game as a player and coach for a while and has a terrific understanding of the game. As I said in my A&M analysis, Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone.

Advantage UConn

Intangibles – Home court makes a difference for sure and is the only intangible advantage I see for either team. Not sure how true the slight in house stuff (Mulky calling out everyone but Sims and Griner and Sims then publically agreeing). I don’t expect that to be an issue other than the players called out might try to hard because of it.

Advantage Baylor

Final analysis – This is going to be a lot of fun. The kind of game that makes my stomach turn inside/out…lol. Baylor has to value the ball. Uconn forces over 20 TO’s a game and they press like no one else does. I did see the Tennessee press be successful for some of their game against Baylor and ND was able for force 17 TO’s. Pressure on the ball in the half court defense for Uconn is paramount. It will take time off the clock and help prevent easy entry passes to Griner. Dolson will have to use her bulk to keep Griner from where she wants to go. In looking at the box scores, it appears that Griner and Sims do not have viable backups, so expect them to play 40 minutes each. Depth is a weakness for Baylor in my opinion and it’s something that Uconn will likely exploit. For Uconn on offense, can Hayes and Hartley get to the basket with Griner there? And with the on ball pressure that Baylor brings, can Uconn get off open 3’s and make them. With 3’s being such a big part of Uconn’s offense, this will be a difference maker. Finally, can Lewis play with the aplomb of an upper classman in her first road test in college? The answer so all the questions above will decide the game.

Final prediction – This is such a difficult game to predict. Baylor is terrific, but I have seen some struggles lately and not just a 9 minute drought like Uconn had against Seton Hall. Uconn’s defense is unbelievable this year. Will it impact Baylor as it has everyone else? So many factors here. Home court for Baylor is huge. But I’m going to go with Uconn by the slimmest of margins. 1-3 points.
 
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Let's not forget that Geno has coached Griner and knows her strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, etc. He knows a lot more about her than he's been saying and will use this knowledge to develop a strategy to handle her.
 

Tonyc

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All this talk about the enviornment. Our girls have played all over the world. I do think there will be jitters early on but it will wear off as the game moves on. Playing hard defense will help relieve any jitters. Another point BU will have to play perimiter defense which means Griner will have little effect on us, unless she comes out then we can use our cutters. Geno is a master in games like this. Unless UConn gets in big foul trouble, and cant throw the ball in the ocean I dont see us losing. Defense wins out in these games and I think UConn has the best defense in WCBB. One other point both teams will be off 9 days. Our poise and disipline should play a big factor in that too.
 
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Let's not forget that Geno has coached Griner and knows her strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, etc. He knows a lot more about her than he's been saying and will use this knowledge to develop a strategy to handle her.
He coached a fatal flaw into her. We'll find out what it is Sunday night.
 

easttexastrash

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It will be very tough for our young squad to play well in a hostile environment. This is a huge test and a lot to put on the shoulders of Dolson & Hartley (Sophomores) and KML & Stokes (Frosh).

This is the first advanced sellout game for Baylor women's basketball. Congrats!

That is exciting for Baylor. Of course, it takes a combination of a player like Griner and the presence of UCONN to make it happen. Having UCONN come to Waco is very exciting for all fans. I suspect that UCONN will get a very warm reception, just as Tennessee did when our fans gave Pat a standing O, and that was before the announcement of her medical condition.

UCONN seems to have a nice mix of veterans and young talent. Hayes, Doty and Faris will play a very important role in steadying the team and should be up to the task of keeping the younger players from being overwhelmed in any environment.
 
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That is exciting for Baylor. Of course, it takes a combination of a player like Griner and the presence of UCONN to make it happen. Having UCONN come to Waco is very exciting for all fans. I suspect that UCONN will get a very warm reception, just as Tennessee did when our fans gave Pat a standing O, and that was before the announcement of her medical condition.

UCONN seems to have a nice mix of veterans and young talent. Hayes, Doty and Faris will play a very important role in steadying the team and should be up to the task of keeping the younger players from being overwhelmed in any environment.

I was at last year's UCONN/Baylor game in Hartford. After the game, I saw a bunch of Baylor fans and we congratulated each other on a great game played by both teams. I wished them good luck on the rest of their season and one lady gave me a hug. I just love this type of respect by both fan bases.
 

speedoo

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Great analysis, as usual, DD. But special kudos for this one because it is so much tougher IMO than other big games. Also excellent comments from Alex.

Something I have noticed about Sims is that she seems very much to be a loner on the court at least, almost never talking with her team mates, or, frankly doing anything that would make you think she is actually part of the team. I can't think of any recent successful point guards that behaved like this. And what's with, instead of supporting her team mates on the court, she calls them out after games? And it definitely seems like something has been off chemistry wise for Baylor recently.

No question, Sims has great ability, but I have to question her "intangibles" for lack of a better word.
 

doggydaddy

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Great analysis, as usual, DD. But special kudos for this one because it is so much tougher IMO than other big games. Also excellent comments from Alex.


Something I have noticed about Sims is that she seems very much to be a loner on the court at least, almost never talking with her team mates, or, frankly doing anything that would make you think she is actually part of the team. I can't think of any recent successful point guards that behaved like this. And what's with, instead of supporting her team mates on the court, she calls them out after games? And it definitely seems like something has been off chemistry wise for Baylor recently.

No question, Sims has great ability, but I have to question her "intangibles" for lack of a better word.
You are right about that. This was a tough one to write. I passed it by our resident Baylor expert and gave it his seal of approval in regards to the Baylor players.

In Sims defense, she was just repeating what her coach had just said. Still wrong in my opinion, but not as egregious as if she made these comments on her own.
 
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Thank you DoggyDaddy. I enjoyed and believed your detailed analyis. Belonging to the BoneYard often pays dividends even though I don't pay for the service. Great info, great stories about UConn women, and plenty of surprises that I just appreciate.
 

easttexastrash

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You are right about that. This was a tough one to write. I passed it by our resident Baylor expert and gave it his seal of approval in regards to the Baylor players.

In Sims defense, she was just repeating what her coach had just said. Still wrong in my opinion, but not as egregious as if she made these comments on her own.

I was not a fan of those public comments. Sims is a great player and I think she has earned the respect of her teammates and that they do listen to her. But that comment could create some hard feelings and I hope it has been addressed between her and her teammates and not allowed to fester.

DD, I appreciate your inclusion of me on this. It was very insightful and showed that you have really done your homework when it comes to both teams and their strengths and weaknesses.
 

Kibitzer

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DD - Superb analysis, as always.

I believe the difference-maker will be UConn's swarming full-court defense.

I like our chances. As always.
 

AboutWeston

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DD--

Ditto! Great job! (To the analysis as well as comments so far in the thread!):)
 
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Thank you, DD for your sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy (and learn a lot from) your game analysis.

My thoughts regarding the "hostile" environment ......... I wonder if having a boisterous crowd does more to energize and encourage the home team than it does to fluster the visitors.
 
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