UConn vs. Columbia Observations | The Boneyard

UConn vs. Columbia Observations

Status
Not open for further replies.

tykurez

For Your Health
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,559
Reaction Score
4,872
Underwhelming, that's how I would describe it (well, other than that nasty dunk by Jeremy which, imo, was up there with the best Husky dunks of all time.)

First regular season game, so there shouldn't be much in terms of expectations ... but this team is still very much a work in progress. They're still giving the ball up too much and I'm not sure you want two of your players scoring ~70% of your points.

Some things that stood out:

- Jeremy Lamb is all that's advertised thus far. He got 30 tonight and made it look easy. I would even argue that he wasn't aggressive enough, he barely used any of his dribble drive ... but he was on fire from down range.

- Shabazz, for all the supposed flak he's gotten in practice, did a great job running the team tonight. I still think he needs to push the tempo more, but perhaps without Boat here yet he needs to pace it a little bit. He shot the ball well tonight but I still hate that quick release shot he takes ... his shots seem much better when he follows through.

- Tyler Olander is a manchild. He is a 150% better player at this point than he was last year ... and he was a decent cog last year. He's an aggressive rebounder and has turned into a fantastic shot blocker. His elbow jumper is going to be money this year.

- The Bigs, outside of Tyler Olander, struggled. Calhoun is riding Oriakhi hard and it's because he knows how important he's going to be to the team this year ... he's just not getting into the flow of the game yet. Drummond also had a tough one, but it seemed he was never able to get into any sort of rhythm after picking up some sloppy fouls. They both played okay defensively, but it'll be important that this team has the ability to feed the ball down low and get some production in there.

- Defensive rotation was woeful at times ... there was a lot of matador defense that led to open looks for Columbia. They still do a decent job at contesting shots, but often got themselves so out of position that the teams still had enough time to get off a good look.

A lot to take away and work on, obviously ... but you can tell how good this team CAN be. Can't wait to see it come together.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
8,346
Reaction Score
10,191
With no Boat I think the team is going to be alot more methodical and slow in their approach like last year when they couldn't go full throttle because they needed to preserve Kemba. Once this team became complete with the AD addition I envisioned this team playing up and down like what JC envisioned the 09-10 team being(with obviously better results), but now with really no backup to Shabazz they can't do that. For the most part Shabazz was pretty great controlling tempo and running the offense and he looked like the shooter I expect him to be. Also, you can tell Shabazz has picked up on Kemba's tricks and exaggerations as far as drawing contact when penetrating, he definitely should've got that And 1 that the refs waived off.
 

jleves

Awesomeness
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
4,028
Reaction Score
6,661
With no Boat I think the team is going to be alot more methodical and slow in their approach like last year when they couldn't go full throttle because they needed to preserve. Once this team became complete with the AD addition I envisioned this team playing up and down like what JC envisioned the 09-10 team being(with obviously better results), but now with really no backup to Shabazz they can't do that. For the most part Shabazz was pretty great controlling tempo and running the offense and he looked like the shooter I expect him to be. Also, you can tell Shabazz has picked up on Kemba's tricks and exaggerations as far as drawing contact when penetrating, he definitely should've got that And 1 that the refs waived off.
I LOL'd a couple times watching Napier pull off the Kemba head or body throwback. He's trying to work it, but he doesn't do it as well as Kemba yet. A couple of times it just looked awkward.

I agree, even though the two primary guards scored 51 points, they are going to be a different team with Boat. It's going to make a big difference.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
8,346
Reaction Score
10,191
I LOL'd a couple times watching Napier pull off the Kemba head or body throwback. He's trying to work it, but he doesn't do it as well as Kemba yet. A couple of times it just looked awkward.

I agree, even though the two primary guards scored 51 points, they are going to be a different team with Boat. It's going to make a big difference.

Yea there was a moment at the end where he tried to sell it like 3x to the ref before he would call it and even he had to laugh at how bad it was.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
2,595
Reaction Score
2,259
Don't remember seeing any basketball team at Uconn that had so many "basketball athletes". Not talking Stanley Robinson or Jerome Dyson guys who were athletic and clumbsy at the same time or maybe call it weak handles. All these guys were so smooth for their size and body types. Drummond ran quickly down the court one time and was amazing, that spin move where he lost the ball was done in a nanosecond.

The play was actually only ok in terms of player movement and stopping penetration and rebounding/loose balls, but looked like team was trying to almost defer to each other too much. Shabaz could have driven and shot almost every play so he had to try to pass to others even if the best play was his drive; Roscoe needs to be greedy to make plays after he gets the ball in ok situation, if Lamb can score 30 looking like this he may be the next Durant.

Overall, this team looks like a high upside with some game experience and an additional few bodies like Boatright and the Gman.
 

tykurez

For Your Health
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,559
Reaction Score
4,872
The play was actually only ok in terms of player movement and stopping penetration and rebounding/loose balls, but looked like team was trying to almost defer to each other too much. Shabaz could have driven and shot almost every play so he had to try to pass to others even if the best play was his drive; Roscoe needs to be greedy to make plays after he gets the ball in ok situation ...

Agreed. It's still very early and players are going to take a while to develop into their "roles" ... there is/was a lot of deferring (except of course for Bazz and Lamb) ... but I agree that some need to be more aggressive. Roscoe in particular had a couple open lanes and he just gave the ball up.

In terms of movement, the screening on offense was weak again.

The good news is that all these things can, and most likely are, being worked on in practice. Like you said, the athleticism is there ... might be one of the the best accumulations of athletes UConn has ever had.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
6,137
Reaction Score
10,639
It was an interesting game. The team didn't play very well but most people are feeling somewhat positive because the two main questions marks <Shabazz being able to run the team and Lamb emerging as The Guy> were both answered as emphatically Yes as they could be vs. Columbia.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,218
Reaction Score
12,069
Underwhelming would be the word I'd use to describe the performance as well, but with it being the first game, I wasn't exactly expecting them to have it all together yet. Too many lulls in this game IMO, and by that I mean guys thinking they could coast, going through the motions. Sometimes when the talent differential is this big guys can get a little lazy. I'm not trying to defend it, but it's not unusual either. UConn gave up 16 offensive rebounds, way too many. Some of those might have been long rebounds, but I don't care, still not something that is going to fly with Calhoun when you're talking about a team with this much height and athleticism.

Defensive rotation is going to need some work. I think it all goes back to communication, and while we return four starters from last season, Daniels and Drummond still need to be integrated, and obviously with the loss of our vocal leader, and floor general in Kemba, growing pains are going to be expected on both ends of the floor. Team gave up 29% shooting, a number I would normally be pleased with. This team has the ability to be special on defense, though, so I'm always going to be wanting more.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,218
Reaction Score
12,069
Jeremy Lamb: As advertised, and more. The kid is incredibly polished for a sophmore in college. He can score from anywhere on the floor, whether it be shot faking and nailing a mid-range jumper, driving to the lane and tossing up a floater, or even jumping over somebody and throwing it home:). The step back three at the end of the half was an NBA move. As somebody said on twitter, Jeremy Lamb should enter his name into the draft right now.

Shabazz Napier: I've been very impressed with his play so far this season. I don't think you can expect much better out of a sophmore trying to follow in the footsteps of arguably the greatest player ever to wear the Husky uniform.

Roscoe Smith: He still looks very raw offensively, but tonight he did what he did all of last season, and I'm fine with that. Got some tough rebounds, picked up some scrappy points, ran the floor, etc. Right now I would say he's the toughest player on our basketball team.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,218
Reaction Score
12,069
Deandre Daniels: Didn't really assert himself much offensively, and looked a little lost at times, as if he wasn't quite sure where he was supposed to be. Obviously the talent is there, but it still seems like he's trying to fit in. Defensively I was impressed. He was very active, moved his feet well, forced a couple bad shots.

Tyler Olander: He played a solid game. He was definitely our best big, both offensively and defensively. He had some nice moves in the post, just didn't quite get it to fall. One time he had a put back slam, and another time he drained a nice 15 foot jumper from the elbow. I wasn't quite sure how many minutes he was going to get this season, but right now he's earning them.

Alex Oriakhi: I was very disappointed in his play tonight. We made an effort to get him the ball early and often, but he couldn't get anything to fall. He's still needs a little bit of work in catching the entry pass, and going up without getting the ball stripped. He grabbed six boards, which also doesn't cut it. If he can grab 21 rebounds against Texas he can sure as hell get 10 against Columbia. In this type of game he should be dominating the offensive and defensive glass. I'm harsh on Alex, mostly because I expect a lot out of him. He was named co-captain earlier in the year, and thus far he has not lived up to those expectations, at least on the court.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,218
Reaction Score
12,069
Andre Drummond: Underwhelming, but with the mask and it being his first game, I'll give him a pass. He also only played 12 minutes due to foul trouble, so he was unable to get into a rhythm. We haven't seen much of a post game from him so far, so we can only assume that he's very raw in that department. It seems like he'll mostly be a pick and roll type guy this season, rather than a post up guy. Staying out of foul trouble will be key.

Brandon Allen: It will probably take him a while to adjust to the D-1 level. He's going to have to learn the pace of this level. One time he made a pass that was intercepted that may not have been in high school. Defensively he's solid, but he'll most likely be a liablity on offense for now.

Obviously the talent is there. When the team really picked up the intensity, executed, and pushed the pace, they dominated for stretches. Early in the game they really looked to be clicking on all cylinders, but as I said, they would fall into lulls throughout the game where they wouldn't execute, stall in the half court, turn the ball over, fail to box out, etc. Not having that on court leader is going to take a little time to get used to.

Overall I'd say UConn probably played their C game, but all that really matters is that they got the win. Can't wait till the game Monday to see if the boys get better.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
3,189
Reaction Score
5,302
It was the first game playing division 1 competition. Keep in mind Boatright, Giffey, and Bradley out tonight. The team is short handed right now and I dont think that should be overlooked. I have a feeling Drummond and Oriakhi will have big games Monday. Nothing to worry about
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
593
Reaction Score
95
Wec are very athletic.Bazz needs to push the ball more. AD is a project, but you can see his athleticism. We did not defend the 3 well last year and that seems to be the problem again. With our size we should shut down the shooters and hope they drive right into the ministers of defense. 3's kill. Make them work for 2. Columbia is not a bad team, they were ready.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
909
Reaction Score
329
Shabazz Napier: 35 minutes, 21 points, 8 assists, 6 boards, 2 steals, and 3 of 6 from 3, no scholarship backup, a convincing victory in a game that was never in doubt, and a at least two guys in this thread think "he needs to push the ball more?"

Big WOW on that one boys. We've got a long slog 'til March, and the Boat Show's return date is uncertain. "Pushing the ball more" against the scrubs we'll face pre-BE season may be unadvisable.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
15,850
Reaction Score
22,473
Shabazz Napier: 35 minutes, 21 points, 8 assists, 6 boards, 2 steals, and 3 of 6 from 3, no scholarship backup, a convincing victory in a game that was never in doubt, and a at least two guys in this thread think "he needs to push the ball more?"

Big WOW on that one boys. We've got a long slog 'til March, and the Boat Show's return date is uncertain. "Pushing the ball more" against the scrubs we'll face pre-BE season may be unadvisable.

With Ryan out Bazz has added some more weight to his already loaded demands. I am not liking the 35 minutes part, but I didn't like Kemba's last year. I'm hoping Ryan comes back soon because Kemba rested somewhat during games at the 2 guard.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
3,204
Reaction Score
3,036
I was pretty happy after the game - the one thing I am not worried about this year is our front court. If Bazz or J Lamb had a real bad night I would be a lot more worried then I am right now.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
273
Reaction Score
80
Its worse than we all thought because according to JC, Tyler Olander is the only guy on the team who knows how to play basketball.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,631
Reaction Score
1,942
Yea there was a moment at the end where he tried to sell it like 3x to the ref before he would call it and even he had to laugh at how bad it was.
A lot of excellent observations in this thread. I wasn't sure where to jump in. This seemed as good as any. I was at the game with Hooper and we both had a few laughs watching Bazz do his head thing and flopsies. Good thing he's not a theater major.

All in all, it was a bit of a ho-hum game so to speak. I don't have all that much to add.

Lamb was outstanding and that dunk was filthy.

Someone posted in another thread that Roscoe's defense was good, but he really struggled to stay with Columbia's best player. It was Daniels who shut him down midway through the second half after he was lighting us up for a spell. DD has really surprised me how good a defender he's turned out to be. I realize we're only 3 games in and two were against D2 teams, but I think we might have a stopper in Daniels. Getting back to Roscoe, his handled doesn't seem to have improved. I don't know if it's a matter that some kids just don't have what it takes to handle the ball or if it's a matter of not working hard enough. DD has a much better handle than Roscoe already. Roscoe runs the risk of being a mobile 4 and spot up 3 if he doesn't improve his ability to put the ball on the floor and create for himself. Nonetheless, it's such a luxury to have 3 long wings (Scoe, DD & Giffey), 4 if you include Lamb that can match up in so many ways.

Half court execution still s*cks! The screens continue to be poorly set. Our handlers seem to let the on-the-ball pressure push them out, instead of attacking it and trying to draw fouls. They struggled with that very early last season, but adjusted well and both Kemba & Bazz would attack the pressure. I expect that to improve quickly. They just couldn't seem to work the ball inside.

I was surprised that AD didn't try to create more when he got the ball in the post. I've noticed, and read, that he tends to be passive at times. He needs to assert himself. Developing a few post moves couldn't hurt either. He's just a freshman and we're only 3 games in. I remember last season many criticizing certain players after having an unproductive game, then those players coming back with monster games. AD and his teammates will be a work in progress. Hopefully by mid-Big East season if not sooner they'll be firing on all cylinders.

Bazz had a nice game. I'd rather see him run the team better and shoot less compared to run the team not-so-good, but shoot the ball a lot and well. It's hard to say what effect having to play so much had on him due to Boat still having to sit. One good outcome of the situation is that Bazz will get a lot more shots than he will usually get and hopefully build some confidence in his offensive game. Good thing he's in great shape. He looked tireless while in contrast Daniels looked winded a lot out there. Again, there's a lot of hoops to be played and the newbies have little idea how hard they are capable of playing. DD will get stronger and in better conditioning as the season goes on.

Like the two exhibition games, their length on D really gave Columbia a lot of problems. Granted there were some breakdowns, often late in the clock or off broken plays, but there were some stretches where Columbia seemed to be smothered and unable to get good looks.

It was a typical early season game where some players didn't perform well and the offense sputtered along. We all need to give it more time to get an idea of what this team might be capable of. Don't forget last season we went into the post season, not expecting much and that group cut the nets down at the Garden and at -4. There's simply a lot of ball to be played and this young team should have a very high ceiling that they've not even started to come close to yet.
 

fleudslipcon

We are UConn!! 4>>>1
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
15,007
Reaction Score
17,231
I felt Shabazz, Jeremy, Tyler and Roscoe carried the team. I have to disagree with Dog, DD's defense was a liability until the last four minutes of his playing times, when he seemed to settle down. But his ineffectiveness on offense never changed. That is why he didn't get more minutes.

The three new guys played like three new guys. In order for this team to go far they will have to play better. My gut tells me they will improve. But until they and RB develop, the season will be up and down.

Their lack of contribution, really impacted the guys who did contribute. TO, JL and SN were gassed over the last six or so minutes. And that allowed Columbia back into the game.

Furthermore JL and SN are toning down their defense because of the lack of backups.

I expect some bumps in the road. JL and SN will be neutralized by some teams, and unless the other players besides TO can be offensive threats the games could get ugly. I believe BLUEDOGHOUSE might be correct about this team not fully gelling until the last part of the season.
 

fleudslipcon

We are UConn!! 4>>>1
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
15,007
Reaction Score
17,231
Agreed. It's still very early and players are going to take a while to develop into their "roles" ... there is/was a lot of deferring (except of course for Bazz and Lamb) ... but I agree that some need to be more aggressive. Roscoe in particular had a couple open lanes and he just gave the ball up.

In terms of movement, the screening on offense was weak again.

The good news is that all these things can, and most likely are, being worked on in practice. Like you said, the athleticism is there ... might be one of the the best accumulations of athletes UConn has ever had.
I agree with you about the screening. Additionally Tyler was the only big who positioned himself in the correct spots. Alex, AD, DD and to a lesser extent RS had to be directed where to go. And AO and AD rarely positioned themselves to receive the ball in spots they could take advantage of Columbia's inferior front line.

The sad thing about missing RB is that Allan really positions himself well for a 2G. Unfortunately he was supposed to be the 1G. So RB's absence messes two players from developing during this cupcake time. I'm hoping both players can move on when the team is whole.
 

babysheep

Rocky
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
2,062
Reaction Score
589
Olander is definitely a million times better than he was last year. It's because he's a million times more comfortable and confident. You can see it in pretty much all of he body language: during practice, the game itself, even when he's walking around campus. As a freshman, he was strictly a role-player (foul sponge) and was not very good; but winning a NC gets you laid. Now he's a sophomore, has a summer of practicing under his belt and knows he can be a big part of this team.

Whatever he's doing, he should help Oriakhi out, because AO has serious confidence issues. I'm not saying dude isn't confident, but since early last year I've started to notice that his overall game performance is often times determined by how well he starts. If right out of the gate he's getting his putbacks, layups and hooks to fall, you can expect a double double. If he misses his first few shots, he plays with a noticeable lack of confidence, which self-fulfilling-prophecy's himself into having a poor overall game.

I noticed that their zone gave us alot of trouble, and we ended up running around like chickens with their heads cut off. It didn't seem like half the team knew where to be at what time. We have the tools to bust the zone in DD and TO who can definitely hit the freethrow line jumpers, but Shabazz, despite his 8 assists, didn't seem like he could really get open guys like Kemba could. Maybe it's because nobody is going to double Shabazz all game which would leave someone open.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
923
Reaction Score
200
The one thing that hasn't been talked about on this thread is foul shooting 56%- Bazz and Alex combining for 4 for 11 just won't cut it. It's the first game and they struggled. No surprise. It's the minutes played that I find unsettling. Jeremy at 38 and Bazz, and Ty at 36 each is just too much!
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,631
Reaction Score
1,942
I felt Shabazz, Jeremy, Tyler and Roscoe carried the team. I have to disagree with Dog, DD's defense was a liability until the last four minutes of his playing times, when he seemed to settle down. But his ineffectiveness on offense never changed. That is why he didn't get more minutes.

The three new guys played like three new guys. In order for this team to go far they will have to play better. My gut tells me they will improve. But until they and RB develop, the season will be up and down.

Their lack of contribution, really impacted the guys who did contribute. TO, JL and SN were gassed over the last six or so minutes. And that allowed Columbia back into the game.

Furthermore JL and SN are toning down their defense because of the lack of backups.

I expect some bumps in the road. JL and SN will be neutralized by some teams, and unless the other players besides TO can be offensive threats the games could get ugly. I believe BLUEDOGHOUSE might be correct about this team not fully gelling until the last part of the season.
Hum...I was at the game and watched DD closely and thought he did a nice job on D particularly during that stretch when they put him on #1. Offensively he was as bit sloppy, as was a lot of the team.

They're just not running their sets crisply. No much of an advantage was created via screens. They'll get better. Even so, I was surprised that AD and AO did such a poor job of fighting for inside position and their teammates were just as ineffective finding them.

You make a good point about JL and SN having to be careful not to play too aggressively on D due to lack of backcourt depth. At one point early on, JC had Bazz on the bench and JL running the team. They never got into their offense and ended up turning it over. Next stoppage, Bazz was back in. There's little doubt that Boatright is extremely important to this team. They need him to return ASAP. It's not good when your starting 2G and PG have to play 38 and 36 minutes respectively during your first game of the season which happens to be against a low level D1 team. Don't mean to take anything away from Columbia. They played hard till the final buzzer.

I found it curious that JC didn't go with JL and Allen at the point for longer stretches in a game like this. Unless, JC knows that Boatshow will be back soon, he's running a risk of not preparing these two to run the team if Bazz has to sit for any long stretch during the game or even worse, is not available at all, such as fouling out late in a game. At this point it doesn't appear that either of them will be capable of giving us what Bazz does.

Allen was close to mistake free and steady the first two games, but in this one, he immediately turned it over, though his teammates did a very bad job of getting open. I think the same thing happened to Lamb during his first set at the point. Might not have been completely Allen's fault. You can't expect him to bail his teammates out by creating for himself when they can't get open. They must execute much better especially when he or Lamb are at the point.

The problem with Lamb at the point, you end up taking away our best off-the-ball weapon. FWIW, he seems lost when he's at the top of the key. He's much better when he receives the ball from the elbow or baseline where he catches the ball and quickly makes his move before the D is completely set. I can't tell if he just doesn't have a quick enough first step to get that edge on the defender when they're standing right in front of him with help ready to come over once he makes his move, if it's a matter of not having the instincts what to do since he hasn't played much PG or just needs to get over those initial fears and simply be more agressive in that role. He played a little point last season in some emergency situations when both Bazz and Kemba were sitting and did okay, but I think that happened late in the season while the team was executing well or at least okay in the half-court.

Hopefully Ryan will be able to play soon and will play with similar maturity that Bazz did last season. That's yet to be seen. Unfortunately, there is no other alternative. He has to be able to come in and play at a pretty high level since Bazz can't be playing the kind of minutes he did last night game after game, though I was impressed at his conditioning. He didn't look very winded out there.

We knew this team was thin in the backcourt. Once Boatright is allowed to play, that should resolve the problem. The position you can least afford inadequate play is the point, followed closely by the center position, particularly with post defense. We have plenty of bigs and wings. We just need another floor general.

Based on the latest report of a player from another team getting a 2 or 3 game suspension for what seemed like a similar benefit, I'm hopeful Boatright can return after the following game or the one after that and have a 1 to 2 games to get his feet wet before they have to face their first big test during the Battle of Atlantis.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
7
Reaction Score
0
I have to agree about DD. He was blanketing #1 in the second half. As far as I remember, #1 did not score when DD was guarding him. DD went to the bench and #1 hit a three. He was back in soon after.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Online statistics

Members online
230
Guests online
707
Total visitors
937

Forum statistics

Threads
168,865
Messages
4,151,017
Members
9,051
Latest member
Newfull19


Top Bottom