Van Gundy (By Implication): UConn Lacks a Midrange Offensive Game | The Boneyard

Van Gundy (By Implication): UConn Lacks a Midrange Offensive Game

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JoePgh

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Replaying the Baylor game, I took note of a quick comment by Jeff Van Gundy in the second half when Brittney Griner was swatting away all the layups after otherwise successful backdoor plays. He said (roughly), "Unless you have a mid-range/pullup game, there is no reason for Griner to stay high on those back cuts."

It occurred to me that this is a very insightful and apt comment on UConn's offense in that game. Obviously Griner didn't fear Stef's foul line jump shot, and certainly not Heather's. But why does it have to be the UConn center? Couldn't a play be designed where Bria / Kelly / Caroline / Tiffany (they were all doing it) successfully beats her man with a back cut to the basket and takes a pass, but then (instead of passing to the corner for a jump shot as they sometimes did, and certainly instead of laying up a ball that will surely be blocked) passes back to KML or one of the other guards for a foul line jump shot? Stef or Heather could screen for that shot instead of taking it themselves. It's certainly a higher-percentage play (with a better chance of recovering a miss) than a blocked layup. And if a few of those are made, then Griner would have more of a reason to stay high so that the regular backdoor play, finishing with a layup, might actually work.

I think that is a real difference between the upper levels of WCBB and the NBA -- in WCBB, offense is either in the paint or from the 3-point line (at least 80% of the time), whereas in the NBA the midrange game seemingly gets much more attention.

Does anyone know a reason for this pattern, if it is a pattern?
 

EricLA

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you make a great point IMHO. not sure why the UCONN players kept driving at Brit as she blocked one shot after another. even when they came from the other side, or got past her, she just stood behindi them and held her arms up and was able to block the shot.

Kalana Greene, Sue Bird, and Renee Montgomery all had terrific mid range games for UCONN (i know there are lots of others). Renee and Sue had a great pull up which they used when driving to the basket, or on a break-away when they had defenders in front of them. i think Bria has a pretty good mid range game.

you'd think Tiff, Kelly and Caroline would have good mid range games too...
 

MilfordHusky

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Bria has a nice pull-up, as does Kaleena. They need to use it.

Griner blocked 9 shots against UConn. She averages under 5 per game. She played more minutes than average against UConn, but we should not have given her the opportunity to block that many. It shows no adjustment on our part.
 
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you make a great point IMHO. not sure why the UCONN players kept driving at Brit as she blocked one shot after another. even when they came from the other side, or got past her, she just stood behindi them and held her arms up and was able to block the shot.

Kalana Greene, Sue Bird, and Renee Montgomery all had terrific mid range games for UCONN (i know there are lots of others). Renee and Sue had a great pull up which they used when driving to the basket, or on a break-away when they had defenders in front of them. i think Bria has a pretty good mid range game.

you'd think Tiff, Kelly and Caroline would have good mid range games too...
Correct; there are several players who can make that shot. It's odd, but it seems that the pull-up jumper is either ingrained in some players, or it isn't. I thought Sue was the best. I think many times, against a player like Griner, the strategy to drive and have her foul is overdone. Besides the pull-up, another good option is to drive, stop, and dish it back to someone else for a short jumpshot.
 
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UCONN gave away 20 points to Baylor on poor execution and dribble drives into the post. BG just swatted them away........Did they learn that last year?......
 

semper

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So, why didn't Geno use this strategy? Any ideas?
 

Vowelguy

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you'd think Tiff, Kelly and Caroline would have good mid range games too...

Mid-range generally needs to be a jump shot and a quick release. Tiff has neither. Dont think Kelly has a particularly quick release & Caroline prob cant get much elevation.
 
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For the reasons mentioned above, Stef is the one to do the jumper, as Geno had her doing in the 2nd half of the Baylor game. She was 2 for 4. She should be 3 for 4 on those shots, with Heather rebounding and putting in the misses, or a on pass, if Griner challenges.
 

Icebear

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2/4 on foul line jumpers, maybe 3/5 is what you can expect, not 75% (3/4).
 

msf22b

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This is not news. Think of last year. Maya took short/ mid-range pull-ups when: she had an offensive rebound, when her path to the hoop was blocked, when she was in the post. The rest of the time were three's (for the most part)
The rest of the team: Tiff doesn't really have the shot, Caroline perhaps, Bria does and when she learns to shoot it more often she'll score even more. KLM. ditto. Should not be rocket science; aren't shorter jump shots more likely to go in than 3's.
I forgot Kelly. It would be great for her to shoot short/mid-range shots like she did to start the A&M game. But the second shot...was a three and the third as well (if memory serves).
 

cohenzone

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Aside from Bria and I guess KLM, Tiff is the player whose quickness to the hoop has to be respected, but she really doesn't have Bria's mid-range game. She doesn't throw real jump shots and is either a standstill 3 point shooter or a drive to the basket lay-up shooter. I was hoping she would have developed a mid-range pull-up game, an asset she could certainly use if she wants to succeed in the WNBA, not to mention how much it would help against the better big teams/players UConn faces.
 

Icebear

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Aside from Bria and I guess KLM, Tiff is the player whose quickness to the hoop has to be respected, but she really doesn't have Bria's mid-range game. She doesn't throw real jump shots and is either a standstill 3 point shooter or a drive to the basket lay-up shooter. I was hoping she would have developed a mid-range pull-up game, an asset she could certainly use if she wants to succeed in the WNBA, not to mention how much it would help against the better big teams/players UConn faces.
KML
 

UConnCat

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Mid-range generally needs to be a jump shot and a quick release. Tiff has neither.

I don't agree. Tiff has a jump shot on the mid-range shot and her release is plenty quick enough. Her release on her pull-up is not like her 3-pointer which is more of a set shot and requires time. Tiff lacks confidence in her mid-range shot which comes from repetition and success. Most of her pull-ups so far have been just off (in and out of the basket) and not enough success to give her confidence. So, when under duress and in the heat of a game, she reverts to what is most comfortable which is using her quick first step and going to the basket. Against most defenders she's at least been able to draw fouls and get to the line. Griner, however, is unlike most defenders and Tiff needed go against her comfort level and pull up and take the short jumper. Hopefully, she'll continue to work on her short jumper so she can use it if the team faces Baylor again this year.
 

cohenzone

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"I don't agree. Tiff has a jump shot on the mid-range shot and her release is plenty quick enough. Her release on her pull-up is not like her 3-pointer which is more of a set shot and requires time."

Tiff really does not have a mid-range game. Yes, when she tries the mid-range shot, it is more of a jumper because she is on the move, but she hardly ever tries it and it is not a strength at all.
 

UConnCat

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"I don't agree. Tiff has a jump shot on the mid-range shot and her release is plenty quick enough. Her release on her pull-up is not like her 3-pointer which is more of a set shot and requires time."

Tiff really does not have a mid-range game. Yes, when she tries the mid-range shot, it is more of a jumper because she is on the move, but she hardly ever tries it and it is not a strength at all.

I didn't say it was a strength. She worked on it this summer and her attempts thus far this season have produced mixed results. I was responding to the post that said she doesn't have a jump shot and doesn't have a quick enough release. She's physically capable of getting the shot off but if she doesn't have success she's not going to try it when under duress.
 
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I thought Stef has been more than adequate with her mid range jumper, just not in this game where more than adequate was necessary.
 

DaddyChoc

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I don't agree. Tiff has a jump shot on the mid-range shot and her release is plenty quick enough. Her release on her pull-up is not like her 3-pointer which is more of a set shot and requires time. Tiff lacks confidence in her mid-range shot which comes from repetition and success. Most of her pull-ups so far have been just off (in and out of the basket) and not enough success to give her confidence. So, when under duress and in the heat of a game, she reverts to what is most comfortable which is using her quick first step and going to the basket. Against most defenders she's at least been able to draw fouls and get to the line. Griner, however, is unlike most defenders and Tiff needed go against her comfort level and pull up and take the short jumper. Hopefully, she'll continue to work on her short jumper so she can use it if the team faces Baylor again this year.
Ive seen Tiff in practice plenty of times and I will agree she does have a pull-up mid-range jumper...
 
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