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Who will Make It Happen

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It can be easy to overlook Aubrey’s contribution to this team, since she doesn’t add a lot to the offense. Watch the 19-0 run against Baylor one more time. But don’t focus on the 19. Focus on the 0.

Aubrey shuts down the Wade Trophy winner, NaLyssa Smith, and alertly switches off Smith on 3 occasions to force turnovers: 2 charges by Carrington & 1 travel by Egbo (not shown in the highlight). Aubrey had possibly the best defensive sequence of any Husky for the entire season. Without her play, UConn doesn’t make it to their 13th straight FF.
Totally agree. I am an Aubrey Stan, but she really needs to show some improvement on offense. On the other hand though if we have 4 other players on the floor with her who are extreme offensive threats maybe we could get away with it? (PB, Azzi, CW, AE/Dorka?) If she can just look comfortable out there and make the right passes, occasionally hit a mid range I think that’ll be huge. I’m not sure, with all the talent, what this year will look like for her but I’m hoping she can be a contributor and show a big improvement from the past two years.
 

Carnac

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I don’t see Dorka starting at the beginning of the year, but I do see it happening for at least one game before the end of the year.
I believe Dorka will be more effective and valuable coming off the bench. She will provide Geno with some balance and zero drop off when she’s inserted into a game. The most important thing is SHE'S GOING TO GET HER MINUTES! And I believe she’ll be on the floor late in most games until the outcome is decided.
The starters can't play 40 minutes a night. They all need a blow. Enter the reserves. There will be plenty of conference games that will be decided in the first 3 quarters. Fear not. The reserves will have plenty of opportunities to shine and put in work.
 

Carnac

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It can be easy to overlook Aubrey’s contribution to this team, since she doesn’t add a lot to the offense. Watch the 19-0 run against Baylor one more time. But don’t focus on the 19. Focus on the 0.

Aubrey shuts down the Wade Trophy winner, NaLyssa Smith, and alertly switches off Smith on 3 occasions to force turnovers: 2 charges by Carrington & 1 travel by Egbo (not shown in the highlight). Aubrey had possibly the best defensive sequence of any Husky for the entire season. Without her play, UConn doesn’t make it to their 13th straight FF.
OD, your comment got me thinking. Admittedly, I never really gave much thought or credence to her defensive prowess. You are 100% correct! Aubrey IMO is our best defensive player (unless and until I see otherwise from one of our newbies). Geno said that Aubrey can do things no one else on the team can do. Watching her "breakout" 25 point game her freshman year @ Seton Hall messed me up because she showed us and the world what she was capable of doing coming off the bench. The talent is there!!

We desperately need a "lock down" defender the likes of Moriah Jefferson, Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and Breanna Stewart. Yes, points win ball games, but so does being able to throw a blanket over the opposing team's best player, and make them virtually disappear. :D We've got plenty of girls that can "score the basketball", we need someone that can make stops, get steals and cause turnovers. It's not good enough to score 120 points if your opponent scores 121.

If someone had been able to lock down Chelsea Dungy, UConn would have beaten Arkansas by double digits. That 19-0 run against Baylor was very instrumental in UConn winning that game.

1624906361671.png


NyLyssa Smith at 6'2" is the real deal. A winner of the Wade Trophy and the Katrina McClain Award (presented annually to the best women's basketball power forward in the country. She is projected as one of the top basketball prospects for the 2022 WNBA draft. She's not chopped liver. If that is to be Aubrey's role this year, I'm OK with it, as long as she can be consistent and dominant in its application. I want her to be an "irritant" to whomever she's assigned to. I want to see her be great when Geno needs her to be. :)
 
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I think we will be waiting on Aubrey to develop an offensive game for another two years. Enjoy her for what she is, a spirited defender who appears totally lost on offense, who will enter a game for a couple of minutes here and there and make a great play here or there. The very definition of a spot player and every team needs one. But there several players on the team who will contribute more, both starting and off the bench.
 
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I understand the logic of your position Chris...
But recalling Geno's penchant of loyalty to seniors...
(remember Doty starting even when walking was difficult).
I rather think we'll see Evina and Olivia (injuries and lack of effort aside)
at least for the top of games.
I have said before about Carolyn, when someone goes above and beyond what they can or should do. They will continue to start unless they tell Geno not to start them. That's the Geno and Uconn way.
 
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In all the excitement in the posts above and don't get me wrong...justifiable excitement...but in all that excitement about the abundance of talent that will pervade next year's team...have we forgotten about the very talented and gifted Aubrey Griffin?

I haven't. I think she gets lost because she isn't a primary scorer in the offense. But she excels at getting the poorly named "garbage points". She and Edwards both were very good at rebounding Bueckers' misses and scoring on a putback. When Nurse was around there were as many posts complaining about her offense. ("can't create her own shot")
Defense always takes a back seat to offense in the minds of fans. Except when a team is down 2 with a minute left and you need a stop or an offensive rebound.
She started to show an elbow jumper last season. If she can develop a decent perimeter game that has to be defended then the roster/minutes question gets even tougher for the coaches.
 
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G Bueckers
G Fudd
G Williams
F Edwards
C ONO

Bench
G Muhl
G Westbrook
F Griffin
F Dorka
I think those are the main rotation pieces early. The others will get some run, but I think those are the main pieces.
Don't forget about McLean, Ducharme, DeBerry & Poffengberger. Depending on how Gabriel responds to post-surgery therapy, and builds back up to playing shape, she could be a force in the post come the Big East tournament. All are capable of working hard, and bringing lots of energy when their number is called.
 
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All the different combinations of players being presented makes me sit here and rub my palms together with glee and anticipation.

I do have to admit, some combinations causes me to really scratch my head. Kind of like oil and vinegar, but I guess even oil and vinegar is good on a salad

Any combinations of starters for the first game would not surprise me. Having said that I expect the same starting lineup as we had at the end of the year.

The player combination I'm most looking forward to seeing is. . . Nika, Paige, Azzi, Aaliyah, and Whoever.

The little idea just bouncing around in my head is that every single player on this team is going to be better than what they were last year.

I anticipate playing minutes for every player including Paige to be less than last year.

My one little wish would be. starting with the first break in play in the first quarter, players rotated in one at a time so that they can become comfortable playing in games with the best players, when it still matters.

I've never understood bringing in multiple player when the game is basically out of reach in the fourth quarter. Really, how is that helping player/team development?.
As an experiment, I am hoping the "Whoever" is Aubrey Griffin. Talk about a ridiculously quick and athletic five (probably not starting), but could be a last two minutes of the first half or starting two minutes of the second half to blow the game wide open. I suspect of those two minutes, 1:52 will be spent on the UCONN offensive side of the court...
 
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Don't forget about McLean, Ducharme, DeBerry & Poffengberger. Depending on how Gabriel responds to post-surgery therapy, and builds back up to playing shape, she could be a force in the post come the Big East tournament. All are capable of working hard, and bringing lots of energy when their number is called.
McClean I don’t see getting many minutes, just for the fact that Uconn has an upperclassman (Aubrey) with a pretty similar skill set who is better and more experienced.
Piath I don’t see doing much this year, I think her development is going to take another year or two to be impactful.
Saylor is also coming off an injury, I’m not personally expecting much from her this year.
DeBerry I would love to see get some minutes, but I think there’s too many players in front of her and expect this year to be garbage minutes. I think she’ll also take some time to develop to be impactful.
Caroline, I really have no idea. Again I’d love to see her have an immediate impact, but am assuming it’ll take some time/a year.
Out of these 4 I’m assuming Caroline and maybe McLean will lead this group in minutes (but still will be a small amount).
 

Carnac

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There are a lot of really good WBB teams, but UConn, Stanford & SC appear to be in a class by themselves. I am a little concerned with Azzi’s nagging injuries. The Huskies will be a very deep and talented team, even without Azzi. But a healthy Azzi elevates UConn to another level.
OD, I’m glad you added Stanford to the mix, because they have a great team and a great coach and must be taken seriously. Any talk about legitimate contenders for this year's championship MUST include the Cardinal. Tara knows what to do and how to coach talent when she has it. She’ll have them ready to play when the lights come on.

It’s going to be a knock down drag out dog fight in the PAC-12 this year between Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona. These 4 teams will be the front runners fighting for league supremacy. Since Stanford is the reigning national champion, they are the team with a LARGE target planted "firmly" on their back.

No off nights for them this season. Every team they play will give them their best shot. Let’s see how well they stand up to the challenges they’ll face this season. I seriously doubt they go undefeated. Who will be the first team to knock off the champs? Last year this team earned the right to hoist the championship trophy and from it, drink and enjoy the "Nectar of the Gods." This year, they want another sip. Which is more difficult to achieve, winning a championship, or repeating? The Stanford Cardinal are about to find out. :cool:
 
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Great post!! Yeah I am a believer of competition setting the stage for how you go about setting your rotations, who starts, who sits...on and on. Those practice sessions are going to be the key as to who among this talented group, is that DAWG. Who is going to be that ALPHA. Who has that WILL and DETERMINATION to go on the attack when needed. Who has that COMPETITIVE fire that is almost scary on how dangerous they are. Practice is going to be where the roles are set and defined for our beloved UConn Huskies. I wish that I could be a fly on the wall at those practice sessions. Wow!!
 

Carnac

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Great post!! Yeah I am a believer of competition setting the stage for how you go about setting your rotations, who starts, who sits...on and on. Those practice sessions are going to be the key as to who among this talented group, is that DAWG. Who is going to be that ALPHA. Who has that WILL and DETERMINATION to go on the attack when needed. Who has that COMPETITIVE fire that is almost scary on how dangerous they are. Practice is going to be where the roles are set and defined for our beloved UConn Huskies. I wish that I could be a fly on the wall at those practice sessions. Wow!!
JB, who do YOU think the ALPHA DAWG(S) will be on this year's team? when I read your qualifications: "Who has that WILL and DETERMINATION to go on the attack when needed. Who has that COMPETITIVE fire that is almost scary on how dangerous they are." Two players immediately came to mind, and maybe a third. Maybe. :rolleyes:
 
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G Bueckers
G Fudd
G Williams
F Edwards
C ONO

Bench
G Muhl
G Westbrook
F Griffin
F Dorka
I think those are the main rotation pieces early. The others will get some run, but I think those are the main pieces.
I mostly agree, but I have "E" Westbrook starting and Aaliyah Edwards
sharing the 40 minutes ( let's say 20 minutes for Aaliyah, depending on
the " mix" needed on the floor at any given moment ). Of course in
the BIG EAST games let the sun shine on everyone!
 
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I believe Dorka will be more effective and valuable coming off the bench. She will provide Geno with some balance and zero drop off when she’s inserted into a game. The most important thing is SHE'S GOING TO GET HER MINUTES! And I believe she’ll be on the floor late in most games until the outcome is decided.
The starters can't play 40 minutes a night. They all need a blow. Enter the reserves. There will be plenty of conference games that will be decided in the first 3 quarters. Fear not. The reserves will have plenty of opportunities to shine and put in work.
ONO and DORKA as a "tag team"!! Geno will find the " chemistry"
to develop what is required in the context of each individual game flow.
 
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I think we will be waiting on Aubrey to develop an offensive game for another two years. Enjoy her for what she is, a spirited defender who appears totally lost on offense, who will enter a game for a couple of minutes here and there and make a great play here or there. The very definition of a spot player and every team needs one. But there several players on the team who will contribute more, both starting and off the bench.
I just smile when I remember the " offensive charges" that Aubrey set up
against any number of opposing "guards". GO AUBREY!!!
 
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It’s going to be a knock down drag out dog fight in the PAC-12 this year between Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona. These 4 teams will be the front runners fighting for league supremacy. Since Stanford is the reigning national champion, they are the team with a LARGE target planted "firmly" on their back.
W hat, no love for Oregon State? I boldly predict they will be among the top 3 in the Pac-12 next year. I think AZ is the most likely to drop to out of the top 4 but, as they say, that's why they play the games.
 

HuskylnSC

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Jumping into this post now is like getting into the middle of Abbott and Costello; "Who's on first. I don't know! He's on third base."

My feelings (because there are no facts to go on):
Game 1 starters; Paige, CW, Nika, EW, ONO.
Game 15 starters; Paige, CW, Azzi, Dorka, Aaliyah.
Final Four minutes;
Backcourt: Paige 30, Azzi 25, CW 20, Nika 20, EW, 15
Frontcourt: Dorka 25, Aaliyah, 25, Aubrey 15, ONO 15
 
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OD, I’m glad you added Stanford to the mix, because they have a great team and a great coach and must be taken seriously. Any talk about legitimate contenders for this year's championship MUST include the Cardinal. Tara knows what to do and how to coach talent when she has it. She’ll have them ready to play when the lights come on.

It’s going to be a knock down drag out dog fight in the PAC-12 this year between Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona. These 4 teams will be the front runners fighting for league supremacy. Since Stanford is the reigning national champion, they are the team with a LARGE target planted "firmly" on their back.

No off nights for them this season. Every team they play will give them their best shot. Let’s see how well they stand up to the challenges they’ll face this season. I seriously doubt they go undefeated. Who will be the first team to knock off the champs? Last year this team earned the right to hoist the championship trophy and from it, drink and enjoy the "Nectar of the Gods." This year, they want another sip. Which is more difficult to achieve, winning a championship, or repeating? The Stanford Cardinal are about to find out. :cool:
While those are clearly the top teams in the PAC 12, I have to believe that Az will take a step back this season. I am still bullish on their future as a good team but I think it will be very difficult to duplicate the last two seasons without McDonald. I do think they will be a real threat again starting next season (22/23) as she (Coach Barnes) is recruiting really well and has definitely shown that she is a very good coach. The PAC 12 is going to be a real problem for the next few years!
 
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OD, I’m glad you added Stanford to the mix, because they have a great team and a great coach and must be taken seriously. Any talk about legitimate contenders for this year's championship MUST include the Cardinal. Tara knows what to do and how to coach talent when she has it. She’ll have them ready to play when the lights come on.

It’s going to be a knock down drag out dog fight in the PAC-12 this year between Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona. These 4 teams will be the front runners fighting for league supremacy. Since Stanford is the reigning national champion, they are the team with a LARGE target planted "firmly" on their back.

No off nights for them this season. Every team they play will give them their best shot. Let’s see how well they stand up to the challenges they’ll face this season. I seriously doubt they go undefeated. Who will be the first team to knock off the champs? Last year this team earned the right to hoist the championship trophy and from it, drink and enjoy the "Nectar of the Gods." This year, they want another sip. Which is more difficult to achieve, winning a championship, or repeating? The Stanford Cardinal are about to find out. :cool:

At least Summitt, when healthy, sought out challenging games.

Tara won't play UConn so to heck with her.
 
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Muhl is going to start, period.

Not starting does not mean that Fudd will not get plenty of playing time, But, this year, with the incredible depth in the guard position (every position ) there is no necessity to play anyone who has any injury. Let Fudd's injury heal,

Against many teams, the starters will play minimal minutes, giving the rest of the team ample playing time, The reduced minutes for starters will reduce the chance of injuries, so that the team will be healthy for the post-season.

There were a few fairly well-regarded players who did not start as freshmen at the start of the season in the past, Wasn't there someone named Maya among them?
 
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Here's a fantasy aimed at beefing up the schedule and getting serious minutes for many players:
Split the team into two relatively even squads. Have them schedule televised games, with fans, played between the squads. Competition against a good team, and people would pay to attend and to watch.

Could this work?
 

Carnac

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W hat, no love for Oregon State? I boldly predict they will be among the top 3 in the Pac-12 next year. I think AZ is the most likely to drop to out of the top 4 but, as they say, that's why they play the games.
I'll put some respect on their name when they show they deserve it by being competitive and winning at least two games against the BIG 4. Until then....I'm from Missouri. :cool:
 

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