UConn's Geno Auriemma says sorting out loaded roster will be hard

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Minutes aren't going to come easy for the Connecticut women's basketball team this year. According to head coach Geno Auriemma, this is the deepest squad he has had in years, really since the last Huskies team that won a national championship.

That depth is breeding competition for playing time, Auriemma said.

"We have 14 players on our team," he said. "How many realistically are going to play? Twelve every night getting double-figure minutes? I doubt that. The competition for those top eight or nine spots will be pretty intense. We've got a month to figure out who they are."

"We had a lot of guys have to play a lot of minutes last year, and I don't see that being the case this year," Auriemma said. "That second unit, whoever that turns out being, will be a really strong group."

 

Centerstream

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Minutes aren't going to come easy for the Connecticut women's basketball team this year. According to head coach Geno Auriemma, this is the deepest squad he has had in years, really since the last Huskies team that won a national championship.

That depth is breeding competition for playing time, Auriemma said.

"We have 14 players on our team," he said. "How many realistically are going to play? Twelve every night getting double-figure minutes? I doubt that. The competition for those top eight or nine spots will be pretty intense. We've got a month to figure out who they are."

"We had a lot of guys have to play a lot of minutes last year, and I don't see that being the case this year," Auriemma said. "That second unit, whoever that turns out being, will be a really strong group."
My interpretation is that a 5 for 5 substitution pattern could be a serious option. IMO.
 
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since the majority of conference games are going to be wipe outs, I see no reason why ten players can't get some decent minutes during the season.......those final four spots unfortunately perhaps not so much......
 

Carnac

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Hopefully the staff will be able to workout a rotation that allows the end of the bench to get 5-6 minutes in conference games that have been decided by the end of the third quarter, especially against teams in the bottom third of the standings.

That will help keep the starters fresh also. No doubt there will be a conference game or two that UConn puts away late. The players on the end of the bench can do simple math. They know their minutes will be few. All they can do is continue to work hard in practice, and be ready when their name is called.
 
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So, my view is that he figures out a way for all 14 players to feel like they contributed - with important minutes (not mop-up minutes) to the teams success. Will it happen?….no. Could it happen? In 90% of the schedule…yes. If he is going to keep the same “7 players” plan, he’s missing an opportunity that no coach has ever enjoyed. It would be a shame. No team in the BE could beat the 7 who will be hoping for those mop up minutes. Time to be a Renaissance man. Take advantage of the incredible talent on this team. Stars are born during the heat of battle. Not in practice. The player who would refuse to lose to another Arizona needs time on the floor to be identified.

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My interpretation is that a 5 for 5 substitution pattern could be a serious option. IMO.
Seth Meyers No GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers
 

Aluminny69

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I think we will learn a lot about this team, if and when they play South Carolina Sunday November 21st. Who gets significant minutes, how will Geno deal with two tall players on SC, how good is this team really etc. Like I wrote, a lot of these questions will be answered on that date.
 

Blakeon18

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I do remember...only on pretty rare occasions...that he did the 5 for 5...when he was angry about the overall play of the starters...I think it was pretty early against Providence once. Will he be angry at the overall play of the starting five on occasion this year? He wouldn't be Himself if he were not.
 
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My interpretation is that a 5 for 5 substitution pattern could be a serious option. IMO.
I don’t believe that will be his approach though I do believe 10 players will see regular, MEANINGFUL court time.
I think “changing out” players in search of combinations that can alter tempo and exploit opponents weaknesses while keeping the basic framework of the offense will be the strategy.
Similar to the difference between a fastball pitcher and one that has a fastball, a good curve and a good change up—can really keep opponents off balance an dictate the games flow.
JMHO
 
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One difference we can look for is how quickly Geno will pull someone off the floor with 2 fouls early.
With Dorka, Azzi, Caroline, Aubrey, AE, many options.
However...
To quote the Wicked Witch of the West, "These things must be done delicately, or you'll hurt the spell!"
The last thing ONO needs is discouragement when she's setting screens, defending under the hoop, and other endeavors that have goten her in foul trouble.
Don't want to overdo it with Nika, either.
 
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Its all in the practice culture you create. If everyone knows the game plan is to push then everyone will understand the fouls are part of that and we'll rotate players in order to maintain the push and manage fouls.
 
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I think we will learn a lot about this team, if and when they play South Carolina Sunday November 21st. Who gets significant minutes, how will Geno deal with two tall players on SC, how good is this team really etc. Like I wrote, a lot of these questions will be answered on that date.
Counting CHICKENS before they hatch?

IF that November match-up does happen, I would love to see some extended minutes between your 4 newbies + 1 transfer versus our 4 newbies + 1 transfer. Would be great fun and this possible game won't really matter much.
 
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Counting CHICKENS before they hatch?
I don't think we will have any problem negating the 2 tall SC players with Liv, DJ and AE. (in a pinch for a short period of time I can see SP helping out up front) Then the game comes down to the guards and wings and as good as SC probably thinks they are, they are no where near our combo of PB, CW, EW, AF, NM, and CD
 
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UConn is in a position they've not been in for many years. The last team I recall being this deep was the 2001 Huskies who were basically loaded at every position but also failed to win the NC after Shea and Sveta went down.

I always hope for an injury free season for everyone but unfortunately it could happen. Depth is a good problem to have but it doesn't always last nor does it always guarantee success. I put the Huskies/SC/Stanford all as highly likely to win the NC based on their rosters with an edge to UConn due to PB and Azzi plus the upperclass leadership but X factors cannot be predicted.

Still it should be a fun year for UConn fans as they will likely see a season of "who has next" as there are about 6 people who could lead the team in scoring on a given night. This will also be the most talented team since 15-16 so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
 
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I don't think we will have any problem negating the 2 tall SC players with Liv, DJ and AE. (in a pinch for a short period of time I can see SP helping out up front) Then the game comes down to the guards and wings and as good as SC probably thinks they are, they are no where near our combo of PB, CW, EW, AF, NM, and CD
My reference to "counting chickens" means that we MAY NOT play in November. We have to get by Oregon to get to that game.
 
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Oh poor Liv with the delicate feelings! Of course Geno will leave her in despite her, as you say, picking up fouls for the good of the team. After all, we really have no one to replace her....
You have to be kidding. Dorka is the better player without having played one regular season game for UConn.
 

D J B

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You have to be kidding. Dorka is the better player without having played one regular season game for UConn.
I'm thinking you might possibly be right, but until games are played, opportunities are had, and results are recorded, we won't really know. If anyone is going to put ONO on the bench, Dorka is the one. We'll see.
 
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I can see the 5 man substitutes from two perspectives with tradeoffs for each. First if the same group comes off the bench and plays as a consistent unit, they over time develop great chemistry with each other. But it takes away from Geno's ability to mix and match players based on what is most needed for that game and that opponent. More game flexibility comes at the cost of less developed chemistry and visa versa.

Having said that he has rarely had 5 bench players that he considered ready for prime time competition, and this year he probably does. He really had an 8 player rotation last when Anna was healthy. Taking her out there are 7 returning rotation regulars. With two very obvious additions of Azzi and Dorka, who are virtually assured of being in the rotation, that gets us to 9, and I think Caroline if she reminds Geno of Carla Berube is the likely 10th, if he went with a two unit 10 player rotation.

Like Noah's Arc, two for each position.

C- Liv and Dorka

PF- Aaliyah and Aubrey

SF- Evina and Caroline

SG- Christyn and Azzi

PG- Paige and Nika
 
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At this point ONO has had 3 years playing a significant role and players often save their best for last after realizing it's their audition for a pro career. On the other hand Juhasz is a 2 time all-B1G 1st team forward. She was a total unknown to me which is understandable when your school is all about football.

This isn't a matter of who is better. Both will play a lot because Juhasz has enough experience and talent to fit in as a 4 or 5. UConn can now tell their posts to play more physical. Last year Edwards had to be the backup center. Now we have 80 mins to share between 3 players or 25 each. And if one picks up a 4th UConn doesn't have to go soft inside. :D
 
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