UConn's best starting 5? | The Boneyard

UConn's best starting 5?

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There’s been a lot of threads about UConn’s line-up and rotation. The more I thought about it, the more I’ve convinced myself…not necessarily others…that the best line-up is comprised of the five players who collectively man all positions at the highest level possible. At face value, that statement sounds obvious, but this doesn’t mean playing the best PG, the best 2G, the Best SF, etc. It does mean the best combination of players who not only play their given position well, but do things that helps the other 4 players play their positions well.

I don’t think you lose or gain that much playing Bazz & Lamb at the 1 & 2 over playing them at the 2 & 3. If you agree with that, then it comes down to does Boatright at the 1 help the team play more effectively than playing Daniels or Roscoe at the 3 or vise versa?

Using this type of logic, plus expecting a couple players to return to their 2012 post-season form , UConn’s best line-up would be Boat, Bazz, Lamb, Oriakhi & Drummond. The following explains why I think it will turn out that way:

1-2-3: Boat, Bazz and Lamb play those three positions collectively at a higher level than any other combination of players. Boat and Bazz can be somewhat interchangeable at the 1 & 2, with Ryan probably the better fit at the 1 due to his ability to disrupt the D by breaking down his defender off the dribble. All three can score off the ball from deep, midrange and attacking the basket. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Bazz and Lamb need a tad more space to knife into the lane than Boatright. One way to create that extra space, is to delivering the ball to them where they can start their move before the defender closes back on them, or by making the team commit a 2nd defender which Boatright does best due to his handle, quickness and ability to finish off the dribble. Lamb is best when he attacks from the elbow. Bazz has been good at attacking the basket in transition or before the half-court D is set, but is not as good at beating his man off the dribble as Boatright once the D is set. At least that’s what I’ve observed so far. Once you take either Bazz or Boat out of the line-up, teams seem to be able to disrupt the one that’s in the line-up resulting in a lot of forced shots by either that player or whoever has the ball last. With both in the line-up, defenses are at risk of being beat off the dribble by either one of them, or if they try to commit two defenders, they’re at a big disadvantage once the ball swings over to one of the other 2 guards with a lot of open space in front of them.

In addition to what was described above, what gives the edge of these 3 over any other combinationsuch as Bazz, Lamb & Daniels (or Smith) is while one could make an argument that Bazz at the 1 is better than Boatright at the 1 and/or Lamb at the 2 is better than Bazz at the 2, which I don’t think is the case, is that Lamb at the 3 is so much better than any other UConn player at the 3. Now at some point in the season, Daniels (who is my first wing/guard off the bench) might have something to say about that, especially defensively. The Boat, Bazz & Lamb line-up will have their hands full defending bigger and more physical 1-2-3 combinations that match up athletically with them. But let’s assume…which could turn out to be a bigger problem than I’m making it out to be…that they’ll be solid enough defensively against most teams; the combined skills of Boat, Bazz & Lamb at the 1-2-3 is UConn’s best, which by the way was what JC went with most of the 2nd half against FSU.

4 – Oriakhi should be the best fit once he gets his head out of his ass and back on the court. So far Olander has been our best PF, but as soon as either Oriakhi or Smith right their ships, that will likely change. I lean toward Alex if he get his head back into the game and play like the monster around the basket on both ends of the floor like he did in the post season last year. When he’s right, his motor running hard, and plays physical, he’s a beat on both ends of the floor at either the 4 or the 5. I like Smith coming off the bench to provide energy, more versatile scoring, aggressive attacking of the basket, and his long disruptive reach on defense. As for Tyler, I like him as a spot energy guy who plays with fire and can knock down the midrange J. He’s a better passer than the other two. Since Oriakhi needs to slide over to the 5 when AD needs some rest, there would seem to be enough PT for Scoe and Olander. (I have no idea what Bradley will bring to the table, but I don’t see him or Wolf finding the floor all that much this season. There’s just not enough PT to go around for 6 players who for the most part can only play 2 positions.

5 – Drummond is a no brainer at the 5. He still has a lot to learn, but the kid is as beast. With Alex playing so poorly, I doubt that anyone here sees any combination of bigs being better than any duo that doesn’t include AD.

The one who is hurt the most by Boatright’s insertion into the line-up is Giffey. The 3G-Set plus the addition of Daniel’s squeezes him out. Maybe I’m wrong, but I see Boatright, Napier and Lamb on the floor together for at least 25 minutes a game. That leaves just 15 minutes at the wing for Daniels, Roscoe & Giffey. It’s not like we’ll see 25 minutes of the 3G-set every game, but I’ll be shocked if it’s not most games. Bazz has been averaging about 36 minutes a game while Lamb an eye popping 39 min/gm. I expect those numbers to drop slightly now that Boatright has been added to the rotation, but I think most of the minutes he’s going to pick up will be stolen from the wing.
 
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I'll go Kemba Walker-Ray Allen-Richard Hamilton-Toby Kimball-Emeka Okafor.

Oh wait - sorry. That wasn't what you meant.
 
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To win a game for me its, Boatright, Napier, Lamb, Oriakhi, Drummond. But if we're facing a team like duke with PF can shoot like Kelly. I would start Roscoe over Alex.
 
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To win a game for me its, Boatright, Napier, Lamb, Oriakhi, Drummond. But if we're facing a team like duke with PF can shoot like Kelly. I would start Roscoe over Alex.

A great illustration of why our versatility is so important.
 
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There’s been a lot of threads about UConn’s line-up and rotation. The more I thought about it, the more I’ve convinced myself…not necessarily others…that the best line-up is comprised of the five players who collectively man all positions at the highest level possible. At face value, that statement sounds obvious, but this doesn’t mean playing the best PG, the best 2G, the Best SF, etc. It does mean the best combination of players who not only play their given position well, but do things that helps the other 4 players play their positions well.

I don’t think you lose or gain that much playing Bazz & Lamb at the 1 & 2 over playing them at the 2 & 3. If you agree with that, then it comes down to does Boatright at the 1 help the team play more effectively than playing Daniels or Roscoe at the 3 or vise versa?

Using this type of logic, plus expecting a couple players to return to their 2012 post-season form , UConn’s best line-up would be Boat, Bazz, Lamb, Oriakhi & Drummond. The following explains why I think it will turn out that way:

1-2-3: Boat, Bazz and Lamb play those three positions collectively at a higher level than any other combination of players. Boat and Bazz can be somewhat interchangeable at the 1 & 2, with Ryan probably the better fit at the 1 due to his ability to disrupt the D by breaking down his defender off the dribble. All three can score off the ball from deep, midrange and attacking the basket. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Bazz and Lamb need a tad more space to knife into the lane than Boatright. One way to create that extra space, is to delivering the ball to them where they can start their move before the defender closes back on them, or by making the team commit a 2nd defender which Boatright does best due to his handle, quickness and ability to finish off the dribble. Lamb is best when he attacks from the elbow. Bazz has been good at attacking the basket in transition or before the half-court D is set, but is not as good at beating his man off the dribble as Boatright once the D is set. At least that’s what I’ve observed so far. Once you take either Bazz or Boat out of the line-up, teams seem to be able to disrupt the one that’s in the line-up resulting in a lot of forced shots by either that player or whoever has the ball last. With both in the line-up, defenses are at risk of being beat off the dribble by either one of them, or if they try to commit two defenders, they’re at a big disadvantage once the ball swings over to one of the other 2 guards with a lot of open space in front of them.

In addition to what was described above, what gives the edge of these 3 over any other combinationsuch as Bazz, Lamb & Daniels (or Smith) is while one could make an argument that Bazz at the 1 is better than Boatright at the 1 and/or Lamb at the 2 is better than Bazz at the 2, which I don’t think is the case, is that Lamb at the 3 is so much better than any other UConn player at the 3. Now at some point in the season, Daniels (who is my first wing/guard off the bench) might have something to say about that, especially defensively. The Boat, Bazz & Lamb line-up will have their hands full defending bigger and more physical 1-2-3 combinations that match up athletically with them. But let’s assume…which could turn out to be a bigger problem than I’m making it out to be…that they’ll be solid enough defensively against most teams; the combined skills of Boat, Bazz & Lamb at the 1-2-3 is UConn’s best, which by the way was what JC went with most of the 2nd half against FSU.

4 – Oriakhi should be the best fit once he gets his head out of his ass and back on the court. So far Olander has been our best PF, but as soon as either Oriakhi or Smith right their ships, that will likely change. I lean toward Alex if he get his head back into the game and play like the monster around the basket on both ends of the floor like he did in the post season last year. When he’s right, his motor running hard, and plays physical, he’s a beat on both ends of the floor at either the 4 or the 5. I like Smith coming off the bench to provide energy, more versatile scoring, aggressive attacking of the basket, and his long disruptive reach on defense. As for Tyler, I like him as a spot energy guy who plays with fire and can knock down the midrange J. He’s a better passer than the other two. Since Oriakhi needs to slide over to the 5 when AD needs some rest, there would seem to be enough PT for Scoe and Olander. (I have no idea what Bradley will bring to the table, but I don’t see him or Wolf finding the floor all that much this season. There’s just not enough PT to go around for 6 players who for the most part can only play 2 positions.

5 – Drummond is a no brainer at the 5. He still has a lot to learn, but the kid is as beast. With Alex playing so poorly, I doubt that anyone here sees any combination of bigs being better than any duo that doesn’t include AD.

The one who is hurt the most by Boatright’s insertion into the line-up is Giffey. The 3G-Set plus the addition of Daniel’s squeezes him out. Maybe I’m wrong, but I see Boatright, Napier and Lamb on the floor together for at least 25 minutes a game. That leaves just 15 minutes at the wing for Daniels, Roscoe & Giffey. It’s not like we’ll see 25 minutes of the 3G-set every game, but I’ll be shocked if it’s not most games. Bazz has been averaging about 36 minutes a game while Lamb an eye popping 39 min/gm. I expect those numbers to drop slightly now that Boatright has been added to the rotation, but I think most of the minutes he’s going to pick up will be stolen from the wing.

Completely agree with you with respect to three guard set. Boatright should play the 1 because he is quicker than anybody on the team, and can penetrate at will unlike anyone else at UConn. Bazz can play both 1 and 2 but with Boatright in the lineup he is better off at th 2 spot where he can score and make shots. Lamb at the 3 or the third guard is deadly playing off the ball as we all know and have seen.

Drummond at the 5 is also a no-brainer because he is already our best big and his athleticism mixed with his ever growing game will be big for us. The 4 spot is the hardest. I dont think Oriakhi is suited to play more than 20 minutes for this UCONN team. Roscoe is better suited for this team based on his toughness, rebounding, and defense. Roscoe also runs the floor much better than Oriakhi who is clumsy with the ball, and plays soft. We will see with Oriakhi its still early but I doubt he will be as important for us this year as he was last year. This team's run for the title will depend on 4 guys:

1.) Drummond
2.) Boatright
3.) Lamb
4.) Napier
 
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Completely agree with you with respect to three guard set. Boatright should play the 1 because he is quicker than anybody on the team, and can penetrate at will unlike anyone else at UConn. Bazz can play both 1 and 2 but with Boatright in the lineup he is better off at th 2 spot where he can score and make shots. Lamb at the 3 or the third guard is deadly playing off the ball as we all know and have seen.

Drummond at the 5 is also a no-brainer because he is already our best big and his athleticism mixed with his ever growing game will be big for us. The 4 spot is the hardest. I dont think Oriakhi is suited to play more than 20 minutes for this UCONN team. Roscoe is better suited for this team based on his toughness, rebounding, and defense. Roscoe also runs the floor much better than Oriakhi who is clumsy with the ball, and plays soft. We will see with Oriakhi its still early but I doubt he will be as important for us this year as he was last year. This team's run for the title will depend on 4 guys:

1.) Drummond
2.) Boatright
3.) Lamb
4.) Napier

Drumond may not be in at the end fo some games if his free throw shooting is dismal.
Will ne a lot of offense/defense substitutions
 
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The best starting line up is the one that works best together. We have so many interchangeable parts that collectively feeding off each other is more important than the best player in that particular position. Most of the time it's about match ups. I always told the kids that played for me that starting is nice, but finishing the game is more important.
 
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I can see the 3G line up for at least 25-30 mins a game depending on the matchup, but what would the lineup be when one of the 3 gets into foul trouble or is fatigued?

Is that when we put DD,RS,NG out there at the 3 and move either JL, SN, or RB back at the 2 to give one of the 3 a rest?
 
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I can see the 3G line up for at least 25-30 mins a game depending on the matchup, but what would the lineup be when one of the 3 gets into foul trouble or is fatigued?

Is that when we put DD,RS,NG out there at the 3 and move either JL, SN, or RB back at the 2 to give one of the 3 a rest?

With Boatright if hes tired you can move him to the 2 and move shabazz to the 1 letting shabazz run the team and vice versa. If either SHabazz or Boat need a break on the bench you can just play with the traditional 2 guard set. Daniels/Roscoe at the 3. Rocsoe/ oriakhi at the 4. If Lamb is tired you can put Giffey in the game for him. Giffey has good fundamentals and is pretty athletic.
 
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As of late, NG looks spastic and it appears he's trying to hard. He needs to relax and play his game.
 

RS9999X

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The best lineup will be the 5 players who execute and survive Captain Hook. Olander seems to be the most coachable 4--rotates, sets screens, creates opportunities and mismatches. That's valuable. The players who improve their footwork and passing in the half court will see time. We've seen this December dynamic before--talent versus teamwork , consistentcy, role-playing, and executing the practice sets .
 
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As of late, NG looks spastic and it appears he's trying to hard. He needs to relax and play his game.

True but playing only 5 to 10 minutes a game and being yanked for any mistake doesn't help in boosting confidence in a player. I like Niels though he has good fundamentals, can shoot it, and plays tough and gritty sort of like roscoe and has good athleticism. He will be solid for us. Niels game is a stabilizer for this team. When things aren't going well Calhoun usually inserts roscoe or giffey to help stabilize the team.
 
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True but playing only 5 to 10 minutes a game and being yanked for any mistake doesn't help in boosting confidence in a player. I like Niels though he has good fundamentals, can shoot it, and plays tough and gritty sort of like roscoe and has good athleticism. He will be solid for us. Niels game is a stabilizer for this team. When things aren't going well Calhoun usually inserts roscoe or giffey to help stabilize the team.

over 30 years 850 wins and 3 national titles a ton of players in the nba. he might know what hes doing.
 
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Agree, and in most close games this will be the lineup in last 5 minutes. In some games I see Daniels or Smith @ the 4.

I can see JC disappointed he missed out on Melvin or Harkless. Much better options than DD or RS.

There’s been a lot of threads about UConn’s line-up and rotation. The more I thought about it, the more I’ve convinced myself…not necessarily others…that the best line-up is comprised of the five players who collectively man all positions at the highest level possible. At face value, that statement sounds obvious, but this doesn’t mean playing the best PG, the best 2G, the Best SF, etc. It does mean the best combination of players who not only play their given position well, but do things that helps the other 4 players play their positions well.

I don’t think you lose or gain that much playing Bazz & Lamb at the 1 & 2 over playing them at the 2 & 3. If you agree with that, then it comes down to does Boatright at the 1 help the team play more effectively than playing Daniels or Roscoe at the 3 or vise versa?

Using this type of logic, plus expecting a couple players to return to their 2012 post-season form , UConn’s best line-up would be Boat, Bazz, Lamb, Oriakhi & Drummond. The following explains why I think it will turn out that way:

1-2-3: Boat, Bazz and Lamb play those three positions collectively at a higher level than any other combination of players. Boat and Bazz can be somewhat interchangeable at the 1 & 2, with Ryan probably the better fit at the 1 due to his ability to disrupt the D by breaking down his defender off the dribble. All three can score off the ball from deep, midrange and attacking the basket. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Bazz and Lamb need a tad more space to knife into the lane than Boatright. One way to create that extra space, is to delivering the ball to them where they can start their move before the defender closes back on them, or by making the team commit a 2nd defender which Boatright does best due to his handle, quickness and ability to finish off the dribble. Lamb is best when he attacks from the elbow. Bazz has been good at attacking the basket in transition or before the half-court D is set, but is not as good at beating his man off the dribble as Boatright once the D is set. At least that’s what I’ve observed so far. Once you take either Bazz or Boat out of the line-up, teams seem to be able to disrupt the one that’s in the line-up resulting in a lot of forced shots by either that player or whoever has the ball last. With both in the line-up, defenses are at risk of being beat off the dribble by either one of them, or if they try to commit two defenders, they’re at a big disadvantage once the ball swings over to one of the other 2 guards with a lot of open space in front of them.

In addition to what was described above, what gives the edge of these 3 over any other combinationsuch as Bazz, Lamb & Daniels (or Smith) is while one could make an argument that Bazz at the 1 is better than Boatright at the 1 and/or Lamb at the 2 is better than Bazz at the 2, which I don’t think is the case, is that Lamb at the 3 is so much better than any other UConn player at the 3. Now at some point in the season, Daniels (who is my first wing/guard off the bench) might have something to say about that, especially defensively. The Boat, Bazz & Lamb line-up will have their hands full defending bigger and more physical 1-2-3 combinations that match up athletically with them. But let’s assume…which could turn out to be a bigger problem than I’m making it out to be…that they’ll be solid enough defensively against most teams; the combined skills of Boat, Bazz & Lamb at the 1-2-3 is UConn’s best, which by the way was what JC went with most of the 2nd half against FSU.

4 – Oriakhi should be the best fit once he gets his head out of his ass and back on the court. So far Olander has been our best PF, but as soon as either Oriakhi or Smith right their ships, that will likely change. I lean toward Alex if he get his head back into the game and play like the monster around the basket on both ends of the floor like he did in the post season last year. When he’s right, his motor running hard, and plays physical, he’s a beat on both ends of the floor at either the 4 or the 5. I like Smith coming off the bench to provide energy, more versatile scoring, aggressive attacking of the basket, and his long disruptive reach on defense. As for Tyler, I like him as a spot energy guy who plays with fire and can knock down the midrange J. He’s a better passer than the other two. Since Oriakhi needs to slide over to the 5 when AD needs some rest, there would seem to be enough PT for Scoe and Olander. (I have no idea what Bradley will bring to the table, but I don’t see him or Wolf finding the floor all that much this season. There’s just not enough PT to go around for 6 players who for the most part can only play 2 positions.

5 – Drummond is a no brainer at the 5. He still has a lot to learn, but the kid is as beast. With Alex playing so poorly, I doubt that anyone here sees any combination of bigs being better than any duo that doesn’t include AD.

The one who is hurt the most by Boatright’s insertion into the line-up is Giffey. The 3G-Set plus the addition of Daniel’s squeezes him out. Maybe I’m wrong, but I see Boatright, Napier and Lamb on the floor together for at least 25 minutes a game. That leaves just 15 minutes at the wing for Daniels, Roscoe & Giffey. It’s not like we’ll see 25 minutes of the 3G-set every game, but I’ll be shocked if it’s not most games. Bazz has been averaging about 36 minutes a game while Lamb an eye popping 39 min/gm. I expect those numbers to drop slightly now that Boatright has been added to the rotation, but I think most of the minutes he’s going to pick up will be stolen from the wing.
 
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Agree, and in most close games this will be the lineup in last 5 minutes. In some games I see Daniels or Smith @ the 4.

I can see JC disappointed he missed out on Melvin or Harkless. Much better options than DD or RS.

Yea Moe Harkless was a big loss for us. He looks really good from what I have seen so far at St. Johns
 
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