Uconn vs Texas A&M analysis, how'd I do? | The Boneyard

Uconn vs Texas A&M analysis, how'd I do?

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doggydaddy

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Overview – I was so happy that the A&M game was on Sunday, so I didn’t have to base this on last year’s viewing of their team and stats alone. I will do my best to not just rely on a down game by A&M as the basis for my analysis. But there are trends that you can see by looking at the stats and combining that with Sunday’s loss to Purdue.

I was told to expect A&M to press for close to 40 minutes. Well, they certainly didn’t do that against Purdue. I saw a full court press for a few minutes and Purdue had little trouble breaking it. They hardly pressed the rest of the game. I did see a tough on ball defense by A&M. They are quick (outside of Bone) and tenacious. But because of their lack of height in the backcourt, UConn’s guards will be able to pass over them to the wings and into the post.

I like UConn’s post players in this game. While Bone and Gilbert are big and can be tough, UConn’s posts are quicker. A&M will need a big game from their post duo, but I’m not sure that can happen.

The killer for A&M is their shooting. They stuggle from the 3 point line and the foul line. Against a team like UConn, that can be devastating. Their saving grace is their defensive intensity and if UConn can hold on to the ball and make smart passes, they can mitigate this advantage.

Players lost – Uconn – Moore and Dixon. A&M – Adams and Colson.
I think I did pretty well in my opening analysis. A&M struggled again from 3 and shooting in general. UConn did a great job holding on to the ball. And Stef outplayed both A&M posts.


My “player vs player” analysis is based on my limited but recent review of the A&M game yesterday and what I recall from watching A&M last year.

PG – Doty 5’10” (5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg) vs Pratcher 5’7” (7.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.7 apg)

Pratcher reminded me of El-Amin from the men’s team several years ago. Short and stocky, but is still quick. She hit a couple of quick 3’s against Purdue, but was 1-8 after that. Nice form and could get hot if left open. Likes to penetrate but at 5’7” it’s tough to get off her shot in traffic. Doty is coming around slowly but certainly is not where she will be later in the season. At this point, Pratcher is playing better.

Advantage A&M
I think I got this one wrong. Doty had her best game of the year. But I thought Pratcher played well. I would call their matchup even, but maybe a slight UConn edge as Pratcher had 4 TO's.


SG – Hartley 5’9” (15.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.0 apg) vs Carter 5’6” (12.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg)

Carter is a returning starter from last year, but appears to be struggling some with her added responsibilities. She is shooting poorly from the field and really having a tough time on 3’s. Hartley is playing like an AA in my book. Showing great leadership both on and off (in huddles) the court. And yes, she is 3 inches taller and will give Carter all she can handle.

Advantage UConn

I was right on here. Actually, HUGE advantage UConn would have been more accurate.

SF – Hayes 5’10” (14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.1 apg) vs White 6’ (12.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)

Wow…the battle of the athletes. White is playing like she is on a pogo stick and Hayes is rebounding like a maniac. Hayes is having an all-round terrific season and White is struggling to score. But White’s defense is outstanding. Hayes’ overall game and her quickness advantage will give White trouble. I am really looking forward to this matchup.

Advantage UConn

Another good analysis here. White is terrific, but really struggled at times in this game. And Haye's quickness was a huge factor.


PF – Faris 5’11” (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.0 apg) vs Elonu 6’1” (12.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.3 apg)

Another tough matchup for Faris, and she is giving up a couple of inches to a very long player. Faris’s energizer bunny type play will tire Elonu out. But before that happens, Elonu will be tough for Faris to stop.

Even
Another miss here. I have to stop underestimating Faris. While I don't expect her to contribute offensively every game like she did in this one, her impact in all other facets of the game is huge. Elonu is long and lean but not at the same level as Faris in ability to impact the game.

C – Dolson 6’5” (10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.7 apg) vs Bone 6’4” (13.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, .9 apg)

Two big players at different stages in their careers based on time on the court. Bone is still trying to find her game while Dolson is trying to refine hers. Bone struggled with Purdue’s bigs and Dolson is bigger and more skilled than any of them. At this point and time, Dolson is playing better. But look out for Bone in the future once she gets her sea-legs.

Advantage UConn

I think I hit this one on the head as well. Dolson was my player of the game. Coach Blair mentioned her improvement in is post-game statements. "I really think the difference in the ball game was (Stefanie) Dolson. She is so improved. She’s so long".


Bench – Lewis 6’ ( 16.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.1 apg), Stokes 6’3” (4.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, .7 apg), Banks, 5’9” (5.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.6 apg), Buck (5.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.2 apg) vs Gilbert 6’5” ( 6.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .4 apg), Standish 5’8” (2.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), Collins 5’9” (3.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg, .4 apg)

Anytime you have a player like Lewis coming off your bench you have an advantage. But even with that situation, Uconn has the stronger bench. From what I saw from Gilbert, she is on par with what UConn can expect from Stokes/Buck. And Banks will help contain the A&M guards and will give Standish and Collins a lot of trouble should they match up. Total stats off the bench – Uconn – 31.4, 17.3, 5.6. A&M – 11.7, 7.7, 2.4.

Advantage UConn

Gilbert is a better player than Stokes and Buck but not by much. And Dolson outplayed her as well. Lewis was Lewis and UConn will have the advantage in most games with her coming off the bench.


Coach – Geno Auriemma vs Gary Blair

Coach Blair is one of my favorite coaches. Smart and down to earth. And right there with Geno in quips. Geno is Geno and he has the advantage over everyone.

Advantage UConn


Geno has this team playing to peak performance. I think Blair is struggling with his team right now. Pretty clear that Geno was the better coach last night, but he also has the better team.

Intangibles – Home court jumps out. A&M struggled at Purdue and as someone else posted, wait until they play in front of 13K+. So, is the fact that A&M lost to Purdue a plus or minus coming in? Hard to say. They certainly will be playing hard. But playing the defending champs? UConn will be sky high as well.

Advantage UConn


Crowd was pretty good last night, but I'm not sure it would have matter if the place was empty.

Final analysis –

Looking at the matchups, their prior games, and all the intangibles, it’s hard to see UConn losing this game. Of course, A&M can get hot and UConn could go cold. But the odds of both happening are slim. The loss of Adams and her inside/outside game has made a world of difference in how teams defend A&M. And while Colson was not a scorer, you don’t lose 220 assists and not struggle to get the ball to the right place at the right time. And the missing leadership is almost as big a problem. While UConn lost Moore and to a lesser degree, Dixon, they have made up much of the points and rebounds with the new players. A&M has not been able to make up for their losses.
Final prediction - UConn should win this game by double digits, and it could approach a blowout (20+).
I continue to underestimate this team. I don't know if it's because I believe in Mojo and just don't want to jinx them.

Next analysis - Baylor!!! I am already struggling with this one.
 

Icebear

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I was amazed how many times they allowed Gilbert to crash the boards over the back without whistles.
 

sarals24

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I thought they called some really strange fouls...the reach ins on Tiff and CD were pretty ticky-tack, and I thought for sure they would call a charge on Bria when she got that and-one in the second half.

Other than that it was a physical but not dirty game. I love how all these other teams: Stanford, A&M, etc, are painted as being extremely physical and then UConn just comes out and outmuscles them. Part of the problem with rebounding was that a lot of A&Ms shots were taken at the last second or were off-balance, leading to some strange bounces. Everyone was blocking out, that I could see. And on our end, we were shooting a pretty high percentage so there weren't many opportunities for offensive boards.
 

Icebear

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Agree, Sara, I thought some potential offensive calls on us went unwhistled or against aTm. But Gilbert was continually over the back and very physically so.
 

pap49cba

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The uncalled Bone elbow that knocked Doty down was a joke.
 

bruinbball

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I thought they called some really strange fouls...the reach ins on Tiff and CD were pretty ticky-tack, and I thought for sure they would call a charge on Bria when she got that and-one in the second half.

Other than that it was a physical but not dirty game. I love how all these other teams: Stanford, A&M, etc, are painted as being extremely physical and then UConn just comes out and outmuscles them. Part of the problem with rebounding was that a lot of A&Ms shots were taken at the last second or were off-balance, leading to some strange bounces. Everyone was blocking out, that I could see. And on our end, we were shooting a pretty high percentage so there weren't many opportunities for offensive boards.

The mid-court foul on Faris was rather funny. She was pressuring the A&M guard but did not force her into tripping and falling over the ball-she did that on her own. The screen Engeln set and put the A&M player on their butt was kind of humorous, as was the Stefanie foul that had the bench-namely Faris and Doty, mimicking her rather intentional hack after getting frustrated.

The team is playing very well together. Everyone is stepping up and getting after each other when a mistake is made. If we consistently hit shots like that, we may be unbeatable.

I have a feeling A&M may be suffering from that satisfying feeling of winning it all last year. It is something that Geno seems to be able to motivate beyond, unlike many other coaches. A&M is talented and losing Colson and Adams is huge. They will be a top 10-15 team at the end of the year but they are not as dangerous as when they had Adams hitting her smooth fade-aways or three point bombs. Bone does not look like the #1-3 player she was rated for 2009 - she's just not at that level yet.
 

sarals24

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I think Gary is a really good coach, and the NC will help the program in the long run but getting recruits, interest in College Station, etc. I mean, Geno won his first in 1995 and then didn't win again for four years. Mulkey has only won one at Baylor, and she has kept Baylor at a consistently good level since. I think we will see in the next five years or so if Gary will keep this team on top nationally. He's not getting any younger, though, so we shall see.

I think A&M won last year because they peaked at the right time and had a little help from the other teams along the way.
 

alexrgct

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I think Gary is a really good coach, and the NC will help the program in the long run but getting recruits, interest in College Station, etc. I mean, Geno won his first in 1995 and then didn't win again for four years. Mulkey has only won one at Baylor, and she has kept Baylor at a consistently good level since. I think we will see in the next five years or so if Gary will keep this team on top nationally. He's not getting any younger, though, so we shall see.

I think A&M won last year because they peaked at the right time and had a little help from the other teams along the way.
Will be interesting to see for sure, but their 2012 class is certainly stellar. GB is no spring chicken, but I believe they're grooming Vic Schaefer to take the reins at such time as Blair steps down. So they'll have continuity if that happens.

UConn 1996-1999 was an interesting time. Great, great teams and players, but a lot of bad luck, injuries, etc., seemed to derail them. They were never quite at full strength (though they came very, very close in 1996). However, they were right there in a way Baylor wasn't 2006-09
 

speedoo

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Good post-mortem DD. When I read your analysis pre-game, I thought you were being a little too positive re. Prather and aTm in general based on their very poor performance in the Purdue game. But I have not been impressed at all with Prather so far. Let's see if she can develop.
 
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