Whaley

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whaley's 18-14-2 proved he could do that and then some. not saying he's more skilled than akok, and who knows how good akok would have been next year, but this was the most dominant game we've gotten out of a big man all season. i'd be even more optimistic if i knew he could do it playing alongside another traditional big like springs, brown, or sonogo/grad transfer.
This is the most dominant game we've gotten out of a big man in at least THREE seasons. Glad it was him he seems like a good dude.
 
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yeah the bottom line is we need more help down low. until Hurley fills the last scholly (or 2) this summer, it's impossible to comprehend all the potential permutations and combinations.
Jordan Bruner from Yale makes some sense. He fits the mold I touched on earlier. Him and Whaley would be a nice 1/2 punch in the front court.
 
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In the past years he never was given significant PT. I would say that he's set up for a great season next year but didn't I say that about Carlton last year?
I was surprised to see when I looked up the starts that Carlton averages 8 and 6. This is actually comparable to last year. Feel like a lot of the things he has trouble with are hard things to teach like having soft hands. He may have hit his ceiling, not to say he isn't a big part of the team and isn't capable of producing. I always like Carlton and feel like some of the expectations he was given were unfair.
 
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His conference only numbers are awesome.
  • He has the team's best ORTG (bearing in mind that he's not using a ton of possessions, so skill curve adjustments have to be considered).
  • He's been possibly the best rebounder in the conference (top 5 in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate, a cursory look through shows he'd be the only one).
  • 2nd in the conference in block %, behind Houston's Chris Harris. Yes, above Akok.
  • Quite good steal rate. He leads the conference in "stocks" (aka steals and blocks added together) per 40 minutes.
  • Small sample size, but 76% on FTs is a career high for him. He doesn't draw a ton of fouls, but they're often shooting fouls when he does.
  • He is still fouling a lot, but it's down from the non-conf portion of the season and you kinda have to live with it considering his activity level.
  • He's been our best finisher in the paint by a mile.
  • Turnovers are still a weakness (that one where he lifted his foot yesterday while pivoting before passing was a groaner). But he's average on our team in that regard, since our whole team stinks at this.
 

ClifSpliffy

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I’m not sure, I think Cole-Bouk-Jackson-Whaley-Carlton will do some damage. That team 1-4 is rock solid and let’s just hope Carlton as a senior will be halfway serviceable. Then off the bench Gaffney-Adams-Wilson-Springs-Ferguson. Something tells me Springs will surprise us. If we somehow land Sanogo we’re top 20 easily.
Gaffney is, and will be for a long time to come, our starting point guard. for good reason.
 

CL82

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Did Cole play the 1 or the 2 at Howard?
 
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Did Cole play the 1 or the 2 at Howard?
He was the PG. But in fairness, he was basically their whole team, his usage rates reflect that. UConn’s played AG and JG at the same time, so I think we’ll see lineups with JG and RJ together. Might allow JG to play a bit more off the ball; crucial offseason for him to improve his jump shot and increase his strength so he can attack the basket more. Maybe they flip that and have RJ play some off the ball. Who knows... but they have some versatility between the two.
 

CL82

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I love having two points on the court at the same time. We've had a lot of success on that in the past. On a somewhat related topic, I hope Gaffney spends time working on his handle this summer. That's a somewhat of weakness for him.
 
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I’m not sure, I think Cole-Bouk-Jackson-Whaley-Carlton will do some damage. That team 1-4 is rock solid and let’s just hope Carlton as a senior will be halfway serviceable. Then off the bench Gaffney-Adams-Wilson-Springs-Ferguson. Something tells me Springs will surprise us. If we somehow land Sanogo we’re top 20 easily.
Funny thing about Springs is every thing I've read about him sort of reminds me of how Whaley plays. Long, athletic, plays hard, maybe not the most offensively gifted but will get some garbage buckets, etc. Bigger than Whaley too. If he can be Whaley-lite off the bench next year and then be similar to what Whaley is this year as a sophomore, we'll be in really good shape.
 

ClifSpliffy

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the j&j backcourt - the quiet General and the Truth. and as far as his 'voice,' watch the dynamic when he is in, and there is a break in the action (foul shot, etc.). Gaffney doesn't yell, but man o man do they listen to that freshman. now, when he finally gets rid of that thumb brace ...
 

UcannUconn

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I see Gaffney, Cole, and Bouknight all starting next year.
Definitely. I also see Whaley starting he has earned it. His play has been spectacular. I can see us going small with Cole, Gaff, Bouk, Jackson, Whaley.
 

Doctor Hoop

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You can check my timeline and add me to the list
 
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How good is Cole? Is there a guard we know who he compares to?
I have not seen RJ play much, but I was looking through some numbers and found this interesting:
  • Points Over Replacement Per Adjusted Game At That Usage (PORPAGATU) estimates how many more points per game a player creates than a hypothetical "replacement player" at their usage level. I think of this as similar to WAR in baseball.
  • RJ Cole in his final year at Howard had a PORPAGATU of 4.3 (the next closest on his team was 2.5)
  • For context on how good 4.3 is, that would be about top 75 in the country this season, top 85 last season of all the players in D-1 basketball
  • For even better context to the UConn fan, the last time we saw a player with a PORPAGATU better than 4.3 was Ryan Boatright in 2015 (5.2). Shabazz was 5.6 in 2014, Kemba was 7.5 in 2011 for some other UConn notables.
  • I am not expecting RJ to play at a Kemba/Shabazz level (if he does, fantastic), but factoring in that he was really the only threat at Howard, has already shown he can be a top performer against high major teams, and has a year to sit and learn Hurley's system that he could be a very nice player in Storrs
  • From purely looking at the numbers, he does not appear to be a three level scorer like Jalen Adams was (at the rim, midrange, three point), but seems to shoot well from deep, a pest on defense (2.7 stl/game), and gets to the foul line a ton (Free Throw Rate of 48.9, which accompanied an 81% FT%). He was #9 in the country in made free throws in 2019. That's probably the most underrated part of his game.
 
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I wanna believe, I really do. My fear is more about the step up in competition. I know UConn’s played tough this season against everyone, but there’s no cupcakes. They won’t have a stretch in conference play like they will these next 4 games. If Carlton is starting at the 5, I’m concerned. SW is such a wild card, never know what to expect there. Ferguson, if they can get anything out of him, that’s huge. He’s so young and raw, feel like it’s unfair to expect too much from him so early on. Springs seems to be the key here, if he can just play solid defense, finish around the rim, and rebound, while also giving minutes at the 5 that’d be huge. Still think adding an experienced guy who has some positional flexibility at the 3-5 is key, gotta try to replace some of what Akok brought.
Part of me thinks nexts years squad will be tourney, part of me feels bottom half of big East. Truly don’t know what to think for next year. I do know one thing - that lineup you posted doesn’t even include Polly akok and AG -that lineup could be crazy deep and talented
 
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The question with Whaley is really can he play well consistently. If he can he will really be a big time contributer to this team. Even so he's proven he has the athleticism and knowledge. Let's hope he keeps it up.
 
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If AG did return would Cole get PT because that’s 5 guards.
 
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I don't think there is a person on this site who would have predicted (prior to the season)games like 18 and 14 from Whaley. One of the great successes of an up and down season.

Amazing transformation by a kid who busted his ass. Well done.
 
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If AG did return would Cole get PT because that’s 5 guards.
Cole was not recruited to ride the bench. He’s gonna play and prolly play a lot of minutes. DH moved off a promising recruit in Hyland to snag RJ instead. He’s playing.
Part of me thinks nexts years squad will be tourney, part of me feels bottom half of big East. Truly don’t know what to think for next year. I do know one thing - that lineup you posted doesn’t even include Polly akok and AG -that lineup could be crazy deep and talented
Let’s revisit this once we know what the final roster looks like into the season. Lot of uncertainty with that and with the injured players you’ve listed in terms of how they bounce back and if they even play next year (especially AA).
 

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