UCONN recruiting - simply UNREAL... | The Boneyard

UCONN recruiting - simply UNREAL...

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EricLA

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I know people on here generally realize that UCONN has been recruiting gangbusters, but i was looking at some stats since 2009 and i wonder if people realize just how amazingly insane it's been especially compared to everyone else out there?

certainly other teams have recruited well. the usual suspects are pulling in top kids every year, or every other year or so. but NO ONE has been doing it like Geno and UCONN.

since 2009, UCONN has landed 8 top-10 kids. That's right - EIGHT. Faris, Hartley, Walker, KML, Stokes, Tuck, Jefferson, Stewart. please note i was looking at composite rankings and giving weight to Blue Star, ASGR, and PBR. we all know HG has routinely rated several UCONN recruits obscenely low (much worse than any of the other services). and i'm not even including Dolson, who i bet would be listed as one of the top 10 sophomores if they were to compile a new list.

Believe it or not, Duke and Rutgers have recruited the next best in that 4 year period tied for 2nd with 4 each (I counted Laney as a top 10 kid as she was 11 per HG but 10 per Blue Star and 6 per ASGR). Tennessee is 4th with 3, and Stanford, Baylor, ND, and L'ville all have 2 each.

so UCONN has landed at least twice the number of top 10 kids of the next best school in recruiting. all those schools (Duke, Rutgers, Tenn, Stan, Baylor, ND, and L'ville) should be very excited about their futures, but you can see why Geno said (more or less) "i don't see us losing any games in the next 2 years" (starting in November 2012).

and UCONN's not just not getting top 10 kids. they are getting top 2 kids. 3 out out of UCONN's top 8 kids are rated either #1 or #2. i hate to sound Tony-esque (actually i don't hate it at all!), but UCONN is potentially about to enter an era of dominance previously unseen in WCBB. at least not since the days of Sue, Swin, Tamika, Ashja, and Diana. i just can't believe how bright the future looks, but i'm super psyched for sure!

one other note - Diana was 2 years younger than Sue et al. UCONN's 2011 and 2012 classes are only a year apart and contain KML, Jefferson, Stewart, Stokes and Tuck. Add in Banks, who is higher rated than Sue was in high school, and you have a core of 6 super stars only a year apart. i think you all can see where i'm going with that... :)
 
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I think the Admins will be asking you for a DNA sample next, just to be certain you're not tonyc.

You're sure you're not tonyc's long lost twin?

The good padre is bound to chime in with reminders of Proverbs 16:18 - "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

But I'll join you in the fires of Hell if we get DeShields!
.
 

AboutWeston

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.

I think the Admins will be asking you for a DNA sample next, just to be sure you're not tonyc.

You're sure you're not tonyc's long lost twin?

The good padre is bound to chime in with reminders of Proverbs 16:18 - "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
.

WONK--

I tried to "like" you and by mistake may have hit the wrong thingy - I particularly "liked" the reference to being "tonyc's" long-lost twin!
 

MilfordHusky

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Let me add a voice of reason here. :)

In addition to the number of top 10 kids, look at the very top. Most of the top 1-2 make it to the Final Four, often multiple times. Tamika, Diana, Tina, and Maya all got 2+ national championships.

The distribution of talent is unbounded in the sense that the number 1 player may be a lot better than anyone, whereas the #4 and #5 players, for example, are basically even. Getting the absolute #1 is a big, big deal, especially when it is a transcendent player like Maya. We'll see how they do, but pairing Kaleena and Breanna seems a lot like pairing Tina and Maya. KML and Bree will do great things, especially together.
 

alexrgct

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Let me add a voice of reason here. :)

In addition to the number of top 10 kids, look at the very top. Most of the top 1-2 make it to the Final Four, often multiple times. Tamika, Diana, Tina, and Maya all got 2+ national championships.

The distribution of talent is unbounded in the sense that the number 1 player may be a lot better than anyone, whereas the #4 and #5 players, for example, are basically even. Getting the absolute #1 is a big, big deal, especially when it is a transcendent player like Maya. We'll see how they do, but pairing Kaleena and Breanna seems a lot like pairing Tina and Maya. KML and Bree will do great things, especially together.
And don't forget Moriah Jefferson. The trio of KML, Breanna, and MoJeff is ridiculous, and they have two years overlap with Bria and Stef, too. That 2013-14 team is going to be a beast.
 
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I'll give you Hartley, Walker, KML, Jefferson, and Stewart. Tuck is real close. Faris and Stokes were no better than top 20 to 30.

Since 2009, UCONN has landed 8 top-10 kids. That's right - EIGHT. Faris, Hartley, Walker, KML, Stokes, Tuck, Jefferson, Stewart.
 
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I was explaining this to my cousin who doesn't follow sports at all the other day. I was bringing out how prolific of a player Breanna is and how we have Moriah as well, (didn't even get in Morgan, who is just as valuable) Then I added in KML for this year and she basically said, whats the fun in that? Although I still think it will be very fun to watch, am I the only one who got a little bored during parts of the streak? I love UCONN basketball and want nothing more than our team to win in March/April but this is just not going to be fair. If these players play to the level they have shown in high school, there won't be a team that can get within 20 points of them, which is not something I want to happen. Hopefully a young team like Baylor or A&M will have great development and be able to give that team a challenge.
 

EricLA

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I'll give you Hartley, Walker, KML, Jefferson, and Stewart. Tuck is real close. Faris and Stokes were no better than top 20 to 30.
Well... Faris was 9 per Blue Star and 7 per ASGR. she also made every USA national team she tried out for. the fact that HG was way off base doesn't take away from the fact that everyone else thought she was a top 10 kid.

Kiah Stokes was 9 per ASGR, 6 per Peach State, and 10 per PBR. she also was 11 per Blue Star (Banks was 14) so the average of those 4 is in the top 10.

Keep in mind that HG is free and easy to access. it's the rating system most everyone looks at first. but they had Kelly at 34, Stef at 39, Bria at 14, Brianna at 24, Kiah at 42, Morgan at 15, Michala at 46, and Lauren at 95. i realize that we didn't have the benefit of seeing these kids in high school, but the composite ranking of the other available services for each was Kelly - 8, Stef - 18, Bria - 5, Brianna - 12, Kiah - 9, Morgan - 6, Michala - 23, Lauren - 41.

i'm not trying to bash HG, but it makes one question just how they rate these kids. they supposedly take into consideration potential as well as their current skill set (and coachability, attitude, etc). given that i think so far Kelly, Stef, and Bria have proven to be much better than 30+ rating (for Kelly and Stef) and 14 for Bria, it's fair to question just why they were rated so low, and in this case, give more credence to the multiple other sources which seem to be much more accurate and reflective of the players' talents, and potential.
 

doggydaddy

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I'll give you Hartley, Walker, KML, Jefferson, and Stewart. Tuck is real close. Faris and Stokes were no better than top 20 to 30.
You can't use ESPN Hoopgulz as the gospel. As Eric said, other service had Faris and Stokes as top 10.

Tuck was the #1 player in her class before hurting her knee. She is clearly better than the 15 Hoopgurlz has her.
 

alexrgct

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I was explaining this to my cousin who doesn't follow sports at all the other day. I was bringing out how prolific of a player Breanna is and how we have Moriah as well, (didn't even get in Morgan, who is just as valuable) Then I added in KML for this year and she basically said, whats the fun in that? Although I still think it will be very fun to watch, am I the only one who got a little bored during parts of the streak? I love UCONN basketball and want nothing more than out team to win in March/April but this is just not going to be fair. If these players play to the level they have shown in high school, there won't be a team that can get within 20 points of them, which is not something I want to happen. Hopefully a young team like Baylor or A&M will have great development and be able to give that team a challenge.
That is one of the fundamental philosophical questions of sports: would your rather experience the suspense of a game whose outcome is in doubt, or would you prefer to experience Greatness (capital G intentional) in its pure, athletic form? There's no wrong answer to this, by the way; it's just a philosophical divide.

The NFL and NBA have made changes in their respective salary structures that have led to greater parity (and the NBA will probably be making more such changes before this lockout is resolved). Personally, I prefer experiencing sports played at their highest level, even if it results in competitive unbalance.

With respect to WBB in particular, I think the dominance of UConn has been good for the sport. People who knew nothing and thought less of WBB knew about The Streak. And going forward, I think Geno's next act is really to transform the way the game is played. UConn is going to be bigger and more versatile (i.e., girls who can play multiple positions), and I think that's the general direction the sport's going as a whole. It's just that Geno's going to accelerate that migration. So, I'll appreciate witnessing the quantuum leap first hand. I understand/respect the opposing viewpoint that you've expressed, however.
 

UConnCat

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And going forward, I think Geno's next act is really to transform the way the game is played. UConn is going to be bigger and more versatile (i.e., girls who can play multiple positions), and I think that's the general direction the sport's going as a whole. It's just that Geno's going to accelerate that migration. So, I'll appreciate witnessing the quantuum leap first hand. I understand/respect the opposing viewpoint that you've expressed, however.

I agree and I think his experience coaching USA basketball will accelerate this transformation. There is much to like about international basketball, particularly the versatility of big players. Geno is seeing it up close and he'll be able to incorporate a lot of what he's learning in to his UConn program, particularly with versatile players like Stewart.
 
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That is one of the fundamental philosophical questions of sports: would your rather experience the suspense of a game whose outcome is in doubt, or would you prefer to experience Greatness (capital G intentional) in its pure, athletic form? There's no wrong answer to this, by the way; it's just a philosophical divide.

The NFL and NBA have made changes in their respective salary structures that have led to greater parity (and the NBA will probably be making more such changes before this lockout is resolved). Personally, I prefer experiencing sports played at their highest level, even if it results in competitive unbalance.

With respect to WBB in particular, I think the dominance of UConn has been good for the sport. People who knew nothing and thought less of WBB knew about The Streak. And going forward, I think Geno's next act is really to transform the way the game is played. UConn is going to be bigger and more versatile (i.e., girls who can play multiple positions), and I think that's the general direction the sport's going as a whole. It's just that Geno's going to accelerate that migration. So, I'll appreciate witnessing the quantuum leap first hand. I understand/respect the opposing viewpoint that you've expressed, however.

Great post! I've had hoopstreams for every game since Maya's Sophomore year and watched every game, even when I knew the outcome was going to be a 40 point blowout. I will continue to watch every game, and be enamored with the beautiful style that our team with display. The only thing I worry about is that people will get bored with the sport, because the outcome of the season will be known before the first jump ball. I don't want Women's basketball to get phased out, like women's softball has at the Olympics. Not that it would ever happen, but it could hurt the sport immensely. I agree that the streak was great publicity for the sport but I'm worried people will not have the same response the next time, considering UCONN has already had a 90 game streak just a year ago. Either way I just want this season to start, because it will be the last competitive one for a bit.
 
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If everyone performs up to expectations it will feel weird to have so much talent on the bench. You wonder if the best games to see would be the practice games. Stef vs. Breanna, Moriah vs. Brianna, Caroline vs. Bria, etc. Now that I'd like to see!
 

EricLA

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If everyone performs up to expectations it will feel weird to have so much talent on the bench. You wonder if the best games to see would be the practice games. Stef vs. Breanna, Moriah vs. Brianna, Caroline vs. Bria, etc. Now that I'd like to see!
you are absolutely right. next year you could see a team of...

Caroline, Bria, Kelly, KML, Stef vs.
Moriah, BBanks, Morgan, Bree, and Kiah.

i bet that 2nd team i listed would be easily ranked in the top 10 (maybe even top 5) even with the 3 freshmen on it.
 

pinotbear

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Shades of 2001, when the Holy Cross coach said that he was going to Storrs to play "the two best teams in the country". Given that the "second string" at that point in the season (pre-injury) was DT, KJ, Shuey, Tamika, and Morgan Valley/Big Rigg, well, he may have been right.
 

MilfordHusky

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That is one of the fundamental philosophical questions of sports: would your rather experience the suspense of a game whose outcome is in doubt, or would you prefer to experience Greatness (capital G intentional) in its pure, athletic form? There's no wrong answer to this, by the way; it's just a philosophical divide.

The NFL and NBA have made changes in their respective salary structures that have led to greater parity (and the NBA will probably be making more such changes before this lockout is resolved). Personally, I prefer experiencing sports played at their highest level, even if it results in competitive unbalance.

With respect to WBB in particular, I think the dominance of UConn has been good for the sport. People who knew nothing and thought less of WBB knew about The Streak. And going forward, I think Geno's next act is really to transform the way the game is played. UConn is going to be bigger and more versatile (i.e., girls who can play multiple positions), and I think that's the general direction the sport's going as a whole. It's just that Geno's going to accelerate that migration. So, I'll appreciate witnessing the quantuum leap first hand. I understand/respect the opposing viewpoint that you've expressed, however.

The best answer is a competitive game between 2 great teams. See UConn v. Stanford as an example.
 
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Has no one here watched the Harlem Globetrotters play during their glory days? Did you really expect the Washington Generals to win? Don't be silly - people went to watch highly skilled players put on a display.

That's how I view the UConn Huskies women. They show how the women's game can be played, and it's great!
.
 

VAMike23

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And don't forget we may well be adding a
small-diamond1.jpg
to the mix, and possibly Reimer (it could happen) ..! Just crazy.
 

Kibitzer

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Maybe someone, some time, said or thought something similar to what Jack Lambert (arguably the NFL's greatest -- and certainly the nastiest -- linebacker at 220 lbs.) said about football:

"Football is designed to reward the one who hit the hardest. If you can't take it, don't play."
 
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I agree and I think his experience coaching USA basketball will accelerate this transformation. There is much to like about international basketball, particularly the versatility of big players. Geno is seeing it up close and he'll be able to incorporate a lot of what he's learning in to his UConn program, particularly with versatile players like Stewart.
I'm not sure Geno needs to make any transformation. I tend to see him as ahead of the curve. He went to his first Final Four twenty years ago with his star center shooting 3s. He played Rebecca Lobo at 6'4" as the third wing/guard on offense, particularly once he went to the triangle offense her senior year. In 2002 he mostly had his defensive center in Asjha Jones playing the third wing/guard role on offense letting Swin and Tamika play as the two posts. He'll play his posts on the perimeter and his guards in the post. There's plenty for Geno to learn, but I have always been impressed with the emphasis Geno places on versatility in recruiting and the way he utilizes that versatility.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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Well... Faris was 9 per Blue Star and 7 per ASGR. she also made every USA national team she tried out for. the fact that HG was way off base doesn't take away from the fact that everyone else thought she was a top 10 kid.

Kiah Stokes was 9 per ASGR, 6 per Peach State, and 10 per PBR. she also was 11 per Blue Star (Banks was 14) so the average of those 4 is in the top 10.

Keep in mind that HG is free and easy to access. it's the rating system most everyone looks at first. but they had Kelly at 34, Stef at 39, Bria at 14, Brianna at 24, Kiah at 42, Morgan at 15, Michala at 46, and Lauren at 95. i realize that we didn't have the benefit of seeing these kids in high school, but the composite ranking of the other available services for each was Kelly - 8, Stef - 18, Bria - 5, Brianna - 12, Kiah - 9, Morgan - 6, Michala - 23, Lauren - 41.

i'm not trying to bash HG, but it makes one question just how they rate these kids. they supposedly take into consideration potential as well as their current skill set (and coachability, attitude, etc). given that i think so far Kelly, Stef, and Bria have proven to be much better than 30+ rating (for Kelly and Stef) and 14 for Bria, it's fair to question just why they were rated so low, and in this case, give more credence to the multiple other sources which seem to be much more accurate and reflective of the players' talents, and potential.

To be fair, Faris has not put up the numbers that one would expect of a top ten kid. Yes, there are other players around her who are immensely talented (and are top ten kids themselves), but they have put up bigger numbers, even within UConn's team concept.

A recruit may be a great player when she is the focus of the offense, but may not know how to be a 2nd option or 3rd option when surrounded by other great players.

Also keep in mind that Hoopgurlz has (or had) more individuals viewing players and more opinions about them than other services (not to mention viewing more tournaments).

Another point to keep in mind - and this is especially true regarding Dolson - is that certain players will blossom under certain coaches. Dolson was tailor-made for Geno to work to such a degree that her numbers would not have been the same had she played for most other coaches. That is something that Hoopgurlz cannot factor into the rankings.
My final point...Hoopgurlz does something no other service does. It publishes the "stars" and "rating scores." Perhaps examining what the stars and ratings scores for the recruits might yield different opinions. If player #12 and player #24 have the same stars and rating scores, it might mean that there is very, very little difference between the two.

Not trying to sound like the Hoopgurlz Pollyanna Cheerleader (though I am sure Eric will look great in that Halloween costume), but there are other factors to consider merely by looking only at the ranking several years ex post facto.
 
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I generally agree with you Cam, except this part.
To be fair, Faris has not put up the numbers that one would expect of a top ten kid. Yes, there are other players around her who are immensely talented (and are top ten kids themselves), but they have put up bigger numbers, even within UConn's team concept.

Faris has certainly had a top ten type of impact at UConn. Outside of scoring her numbers are also there. Last season she led UConn in minutes played and was 2nd in rebounds, assists, and steals on a Final Four team that was ranked 1st in the country. And she is regarded as one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire country.

Now I would agree that Faris much like you argued with Dolson went to the perfect program for her skills, and could have easily had less an impact if she would have stayed home and gone to Purdue for example and gotten lost in the shuffle.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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I generally agree with you Cam, except this part.

Faris has certainly had a top ten type of impact at UConn. Outside of scoring her numbers are also there. Last season she led UConn in minutes played and was 2nd in rebounds, assists, and steals on a Final Four team that was ranked 1st in the country. And she is regarded as one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire country.

Now I would agree that Faris much like you argued with Dolson went to the perfect program for her skills, and could have easily had less an impact if she would have stayed home and gone to Purdue for example and gotten lost in the shuffle.


Interesting. I was going from memory (regarding Faris), and I did not look up the specific statistics like I usually do.

Reading your post now, I was remembering Doty's scoring numbers from the 2009-2010 season (about 6 ppg) and attributing them to Faris. Thank you for the correction.
 

fleudslipcon

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That is one of the fundamental philosophical questions of sports: would your rather experience the suspense of a game whose outcome is in doubt, or would you prefer to experience Greatness (capital G intentional) in its pure, athletic form? There's no wrong answer to this, by the way; it's just a philosophical divide.

The NFL and NBA have made changes in their respective salary structures that have led to greater parity (and the NBA will probably be making more such changes before this lockout is resolved). Personally, I prefer experiencing sports played at their highest level, even if it results in competitive unbalance.

With respect to WBB in particular, I think the dominance of UConn has been good for the sport. People who knew nothing and thought less of WBB knew about The Streak. And going forward, I think Geno's next act is really to transform the way the game is played. UConn is going to be bigger and more versatile (i.e., girls who can play multiple positions), and I think that's the general direction the sport's going as a whole. It's just that Geno's going to accelerate that migration. So, I'll appreciate witnessing the quantuum leap first hand. I understand/respect the opposing viewpoint that you've expressed, however.

Nicely written. That streak did help bring some additional attention to women's bb because of the rarity of its accomplishment.

People like dominant teams, programs and players for many reasons. Golf had a lot more draw when Tiger Woods was winning because it is unusual for one person to win so many times in golf. In the NBA is was Michael Jordan. More people consider themselves Yankee fans than any franchise team.

So what causes this attraction? Certainly a component to this draw is winning with the delight it affords us. Another is the desire to observe things being done well. If you have a player or team that is more skilled the level of play by that athlete or team has a greater chance to be superior to teams or players with less skills.

Losing isn't fun. And usually the performance of losing teams is not up to the performance of winning teams. Since most of us prefer pleasure over pain it is natural for people to prefer winners vs. losers.

An additional factor is that some people prefer certainty over uncertainty. Some people struggle with the tension of close games. And if the season is filled with nail biters, it becomes too uncomfortable to watch in spite of the overall success. So this group prefers domination by it's team or player, because the tolerance level with tight finishes or losses is minimal.

Another factor is curiosity. People want to see how long excellence can be maintained. So they stay with this player or team until that player or team goes downhill.

On the other side of the coin there are people who do not like domination.

Certain personalities might prefer the uncertainty each game affords. This person may not be bothered by tension or may thrive on tension. When this person's team earns a victory it is appreciated more because it was the result of effort and strategy as opposed to superior athletes.

They find it uncomfortable or uninteresting to observe the continual dominance by a superior athlete over a much more inferior set of athletes. They wouldn't find the sport in this. For this person the play by a dominant team against an inferior opponent would be like knowing the end of a mystery before starting to read the book. Certainly they could get pleasure from observing the writing style of the author, but they are equally or more interested in the twists and turns afforded in the story and trying to guess its outcome as opposed to knowing the outcome.

I lean slightly to this latter group. The best victories for me were the games UConn played against opponents like Tennessee when both teams played really well. The angst I felt watching these games was worth it, in my mind, because the elation I felt when UConn beat this excellent opponent was worth the risk.

So give me as many excellent A teams as possible, all playing their A game and let the outcome be what it may be, as opposed to a superior UConn or any other team playing its A game against a B or lower teams.
 
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