Uconn Vs. Aic Player Observations | The Boneyard

Uconn Vs. Aic Player Observations

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tykurez

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Went to the game last night ... first time I've been at Gampel in over 6 years so it was nice to get back. Going to break this down into a couple posts due to the character limit ... but I wanted to open up discussion on other people's observations.

PG / Shabazz
Obviously had a nice game based on his assist stats, but watching him was a slightly different story. They were probably focusing on offensive sets the majority of the first half, but 'Bazz was tentative during much of it. By tentative I mean he wasn't aggressively pushing the tempo up the floor and at one point (I think early in the 2nd half) I saw Calhoun motion to him to do so and he drove quickly to the rim and got an and-1 to a Calhoun's exasperated "I told you so." Obviously a 15-0 a:t ratio doesn't lie, he was smart with the ball, but there was a clear lack of that UConn "push the tempo down your throat" feel to the game. Additionally, his shot selection was akin to last year ... which isn't that great. 0-5 from the arc (I don't remember him taking that many) and a few of them were heaves. Room to improve there.

From the PG perspective, you could feel the loss of Boatright without even having seen him play a game. Whatever the issue with his eligibility is, for the season's sake I hope it get's cleared up soon. Obviously from the post presser Calhoun was not pleased with his other options at point and having Boatright back will be key.
 

tykurez

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Lamb
Smooth, a bit more assertive ... especially on a monster dunk where he elevated over two guys. One of the gripes against him is his inability to draw contact and get to the foul line, but he did a decent job of that last night. He has no trouble finishing around the rim and his midrange game was as good as ever. I believe he missed all the 3's he took, but they were all in rhythm and will surely fall as the season goes on.

As far as him running the point at all this year ... eh. Sure, it's only one game, but he's far better off at this point in his development running off screens or on the baseline, not creating the offense. Obviously if the Boatright situation doesn't clear up soon he'll be forced into the roll more and I'm sure it's something they can work on throughout the year ... but it was underwhelming with just him in there running the show.
 

tykurez

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Daniels/Roscoe/Giffey
I think Daniels going to be a nice surprise this year ... if a top rated recruit can be a surprise. The 3-point monocle aside, he had a solid first game. His shot is legit from deep and he finishes nicely around the rim. He missed a layup (that should have gone in) on one break but what I found impressive was his quickness down the floor and his smooth adjustment at the rim to avoid the defender at full speed. He reminds me of a taller freshman Jeremy Lamb ... I see a LOT of upside in his game. He's not going to crash the boards as much as a 6'8" guy probably could, but the rest of his game is there.

Even though Daniels and 'Scoe are nearly the same individual body wise, their games are very different. Roscoe immediately ripped down a board when he finally got in, quickly reminding you what great asset he was to last year's team ... he's always in the thick of the action. He missed a few bunnies around the rim but was able to finally finish an and-1 late. Not enough playing time to really see any improvements but he does look a bit bigger this year. Whatever happened I'm sure is over now, but it was weird seeing him sit on the bench for an entire half.

Giffey had a somewhat rough game. He made some of his patented hustle plays and got to the line a few times, but he also had a couple charges and drew the ire of Calhoun on a number of plays ... just uncharacteristically out of control at times. Chalk it up to the first game back.
 

tykurez

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Oriakhi/Olander/Drummond
I think we're in for a wonderful year down low. All three of these guys had solid games.

I was VERY impressed with Olander's improvements ... they seem to be as advertised. He's much beefier and was a monster on the boards ... very aggressive. His midrange shot is going to be a big asset.

Andre's athletic ability is obvious. He runs the floor as good as any big man we've had. He missed a couple close in early, but his ability to flush the ball is incredible. If he's within the free-throw line it seems like he has a chance to dunk it. With a full year to work on his game, he could be the premier big man everyone thinks he's going to be. However, didn't get a chance to see him work the blocks much. His one free throw attempt was interesting, might see teams hack him if he's got any sort of space down low.

Oriakhi is going to benefit greatly from the other guy's games and it's already showed. With teams having to focus on an improved Olander and a monster Drummond, look for Alex's scoring numbers to go up. His post moves looked good ... he took his time and didn't rush the shot once he went up. Between the three of these guys, one of them you can run an offense set through while the other is there to clean up. Going to be a nightmare for opposing teams.
 

fleudslipcon

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Great observations. I agree with everything you stated.
 
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Thanks for the breakdown! I can't wait to see them play!
 
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Thanks for the clear and concise observations. I agree about this year from the bigs. I look forward to having some depth there as well as practice competition. Bazz is Bazz. Very good handle, tends to get a bit flamboyant, but at least last year he had Kemba and Ollie to reel him in. This year is going to be a good one , but we will fly on Bazz'z wings. Hopefully Boat will be there.
 

mets1090

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I think we're going to see a ridiculous year from AO. It looked to me like the game has really slowed down for him. Of course part of this is due to the fact that AIC was completely over matched athletically but it seemed that he always knew what kind of move he wanted to put on and I can't recall him forcing any shots last night.
 
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nice breakdown, tykurez. I noted the same things. Good pick up about Giffey's hustle plays and getting to the line. I forgot about those. He did have a tough game, garnering JC's ire a few times. But coach stuck with him. He'd take him out, but put him back out there to get it right. It either shows he has confidence in Niels or he's trying to see what he has in him.

I'm very curious to see who gets what PT when they begin to play teams where the outcome is unknown. For years JC would pretty much stick with a few he trusted most who were players he wanted to develop to give them the best chance of winning in the post season. Last year he morphed that MO a bit and went a lot deeper into the bench where he would ride one hot horse for a while, though tried to give everyone at least a little PT every game or every few games. He rode Giffey early, then went to JCMs, then back to a combination of the two.

I would not be surprised if he settled mainly with Daniels, Scoe and Lamb sharing the 40 at the 3. That is if Boatshow is able to play. Giffey could easily be the bench guy who's not part of the rotation that gets spot duty every blue moon. On the other hand, JC might divide that time liberally giving more to two to three of them depending on who's playing well that game. If he trusts all 4, they might all get some time. Lamb will get a lot at the 2, but could pick up some wing PT if JC has Bazz and Boat in at the same time...again assuming they clear up Ryan's situation.

Scoe is going to get a bunch of time at the 4. The more he gets at the 4, the more he squeezes PT from Olander or carves into AD's and AO's PT numbers. He was liberal with PT last night, but you know that will change some. How much? It's hard to say.
 
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Could the 35 minutes PT been a factor for Bazz (with his recent nagging injuries)? We need a backup fast because I don't see him as Iron Man.
 

tykurez

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How did Allen look?

Sorry, left him out.

Seems like a great defender ... has very nice size for his position. I believe he's 6'4" and he's built well. The staff says he's one of the fastest on the team and it showed.

Got a lot of minutes, however didn't do much with them on the offensive end. Very tentative, but that's expected out of a freshman walk-on. Not sure what kind of role he will play going forward, I think much of it will depend on the Boatright situation, but he'll need to gain some confidence if forced into more playing time. Didn't seem to want the ball in his hands on offense and didn't even consider looking for his shot. Didn't actually run any point until the very end and didn't look comfortable in that role. I'm sure he'd be a big work in progress, but he seems like he has some plus attributes.
 

tykurez

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I think we're going to see a ridiculous year from AO. It looked to me like the game has really slowed down for him. Of course part of this is due to the fact that AIC was completely over matched athletically but it seemed that he always knew what kind of move he wanted to put on and I can't recall him forcing any shots last night.

Absolutely ... "slowed down for him" is a great way to put it. He would occasionally rush his shot last year when he got decent position and end up throwing up a 5,000mph brick ... but I didn't see any of that last night. It seemed he had improved on that late last year so hopefully it's carrying over and getting even better.
 
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