Why is Caroline a natural at PG and Bria a natural at SG? | The Boneyard

Why is Caroline a natural at PG and Bria a natural at SG?

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Consensus on the board seems to be that Bria's natural position is the shooting guard while Caroline's is the point guard. And Geno seems to agree.

But just based on their high school careers, I would've guessed it the other way around: Caroline, I thought, was recruited to be a shooting guard, Bria, I thought, was recruited as a point guard. Caroline was a 3pt gunner and Bria had showed a great handle and the ability to get by defenders.

I know they are both great at both positions (and great combo-guards), but I'm wondering what it is that is tipping the scales in either direction.

Now, Caroline is a born leader. Bria, I think, is more than capable of leading too, but Caroline is just special in this respect. However, even given Caroline's leadership - I think there's more to it.

Is it that Caroline is a slightly better passer? Is it that Bria is considered a slightly more dynamic scorer? Is it that Caroline takes care of the ball just a bit better?
 
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My feeling is that for Caroline to play within a starting lineup of Tina, Maya, Kalana, and Tiffany, she had to play the point. It is easier, then, to move Bria into the 2 Guard slot than to move Caroline over. Until Bria succesfully executes a 2 on 1 break, I will continue having doubts about her passing ability.
 

doggydaddy

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My feeling is that for Caroline to play within a starting lineup of Tina, Maya, Kalana, and Tiffany, she had to play the point. It is easier, then, to move Bria into the 2 Guard slot than to move Caroline over. Until Bria succesfully executes a 2 on 1 break, I will continue having doubts about her passing ability.
Of course she has done just that. She had over 100 assists last year. The issue was the 100 TO's as well. She needs to learn to take care of the ball better. Based on her TEAM USA performance, she is making strides.
 
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Of course she has done just that. She had over 100 assists last year. The issue was the 100 TO's as well. She needs to learn to take care of the ball better. Based on her TEAM USA performance, she is making strides.

Reminds me of how players used to rag on Magic Johnson's gaudy assist numbers when he was feeding Kareem in the post.

You are right, though. Bria is going to have to take better care of the ball this year. that comes with experience. A number of her turnovers were just outright carlesseness; as if she could not believe her opponent was capable of taking the ball from her.
 

doggydaddy

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Reminds me of how players used to rag on Magic Johnson's gaudy assist numbers when he was feeding Kareem in the post.

You are right, though. Bria is going to have to take better care of the ball this year. that comes with experience. A number of her turnovers were just outright carlesseness; as if she could not believe her opponent was capable of taking the ball from her.

Ah...more, "she had Moore so her assists were inflated" bull.
 

MilfordHusky

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Caroline also had Renee in the line-up her first (partial) season.

Geno said that Brianna was their best post entry passer, except maybe for Caroline. Caroline is a good passer. Bria played on a high school team with limited talent. She was expected to receive passes, not make them. She may still be low on the learning curve, but Geno and Shea will teach her.
 
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Caroline also had Renee in the line-up her first (partial) season.

Geno said that Brianna was their best post entry passer, except maybe for Caroline. Caroline is a good passer. Bria played on a high school team with limited talent. She was expected to receive passes, not make them. She may still be low on the learning curve, but Geno and Shea will teach her.

I only saw one of Bria's high school games and actually liked that North Babylon team. There was a young eighth grader out there with no consscience; Reminded me of Dennis Scott.
 
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If there is consensus that Caroline is a point guard then it is a relatively new consensus. I've argued in the past that Caroline was suited to play point guard and that she was actually recruited to play point guard, but I always seemed to be in the minority position. It was a vocal minority, but a minority trumped by the vast majority of the fan base that first saw her play as a shooting guard as a freshman.

And when Bria was recruited the vast majority of the fan base seemed to believe that she was the point guard of the future and Geno made some comments that reinforced. I got the sense the majority of fans were excited about Bria playing point guard and Caroline moving back to shooting guard.

Caroline is a better passer and does see the floor better than Bria in my opinion. Geno declared Caroline the best post entry passer on the team back when she was a freshman, which was something I had also noticed. That said if Bria does nto play much point guard this season it will have more to do with removing the burden of the administrative duties of playing point guard to free up her scoring than whether not Bria is or is not a point guard. This is a very rough comparison, but it is not that different from Maria Conlon bringing the ball up in the half court and initiating the offense the majority of the time freeing up Diana Taurasi from expending energy on those tasks. And similarly whether Doty or Bria is named the point guard has limited meaning because this is UConn where point guard and shooting are largely interchangeable and who plays what is mostly dictated by the defense played against them, rather than Geno fitting players into specific positions. They will both play both.
 
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She isn't. Bria isn't being moved to the SG because Caroline's the better PG. She's being moved there because Bria is our best scorer. She's also our best player. I'm actually surprised at how underrated she seems to be.

Look, Caroline is one of my all time favorite Huskies. But she wasn't a better point guard. In fact, the year she played point, she struggled mightly. (I would wager a lot of that was coming off a second knee injury, but still) She even struggled with things as simple as handling the ball. Bria's point struggles were things like getting too risky with passes. Freshman mistakes. She's a natural PG with the ability to score in bunches. And she'll end up our PG next season.

She does have the bigger personality than Bria. And she's already the team leader (as she was last season) and as I said, Bria's the best scorer on the team. It just makes more sense to have Caroline doing the leading/running the team, and filling in points when need be, then for Bria to do all that plus do a majority of the scoring and just have Caroline play the Mel Thomas role. (Looking for her three point shot. And Caroline isn't as good of a shooter as Mel.) That's asking too much of Bria, and limiting Caroline's role in an unnecessary manner.

And I agree, in that a lot of this doesn't matter anyway. Both players will play both. They are interchangeable. But this is simply about taking some stress off of Bria's shoulders.
 
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She's being moved there because Bria is our best scorer. She's also our best player. I'm actually surprised at how underrated she seems to be.

+1 Thank you, someone finally says what I've been thinking for the longest time!
 
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Of course she has done just that. She had over 100 assists last year. The issue was the 100 TO's as well. She needs to learn to take care of the ball better. Based on her TEAM USA performance, she is making strides.

Remember Geno's tweet: "Three days of practice. If we stop turning it over we are gonna be GREAT! #passittoourguys"
 

Icebear

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If Bria meets or exceeds her assist total from last year, then my comment is pure uncomposted bull.
That will, also, depend on the minutes Bria and Caroline log at the point and the roles they are expected to play. I expect the two seasons with or without Maya will not be comparable for Bria because she will not be at the point as frequently. A better measure may well be the improvement in her A/TO ratio.
 

EricLA

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i honestly don't know what conversations Geno had with Caroline or what position he envisioned for her when he recruited her. the reports i read about her said that her strengths were her 3 point shooting, athleticism, and while among her weaknesses were her ball handling, strength, and defense. we know Geno likes to recruit players who are flexible and can play more than one position.

Historically, it seems that players Geno recruited as PURE point guards were Rizotti, Rita Williams, Kiersten Walters, Ashley Valley, Kia Wright, Ketia Swanier, Renee Montgomery, Lorin Dixon, and Moriah Jefferson.

Players Geno recruited who were "guards" who could, or ended up playing PG were Sue Bird, Maria Conlon, Caroline Doty, Bria Hartley and Brianna Banks. maybe i 'm missing one or the other on the lists. my point is, the kids on the 2nd list lacked some of the pure PG skills when they came to UCONN. maybe they played some PG in the past, but it wasn't the position they necessarily excelled at.

Renee was one of the few PG's UCONN had who could also be a SG easily as she had a pretty darn good 3 point shot. and usually the PG's are shorter. IMHO, Bria and CD are natural scoring guards who fortunately are talented enough to be able to play the 1 as well.
 
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Lastly, I am glad we have both young women on our team...........I pity the teams that UCONN plays this season......This team has 3 plus weeks of experience in Europe and Geno is ready to come out running........
 
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I seem to recall that Geno and others have said that there doesn't have to be a distinction between point guard and shooting guard. How important is that degree of specialization? It would drive a defense crazy to face 2 guards that can do both.
 
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It seems to me that CD had a real struggle making 3-pointers when last she played. Anyone know her shooting percentage vs. Bria on 3-pointers?
 

doggydaddy

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UConnCat

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I expect to see an increase in Bria's assists and a decrease in her turnovers this year. Much of that will come from experience and the patience that comes with experience.
 

Kibitzer

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All this mention of guards and especially point guards. Didn't Diana win some award (Lieberman? Nancy, not Joe) for being the Best Point Guard?

On a separate note, NBA teams (and probably some or many college teams) keep a stat about "would be assists." The give the passer a tic mark on the team stat sheet when a good pass is made but the receiver/shooter either blows the bunny or gets fouled. I wonder how something like that would alter perceptions of players' passing skills.

In this regard, back to Diana. I remember Ann Strother saying that she learned early that she should have Stickum on her hands to receive and hold on to unexpected passes from Diana.
 

Tonyc

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Bria played the point in HS and Caroline played both the point and swing. I got that from a friend, someone who has watched them play alot more then all of us combined. Now we have two established point guards, along with BB. We have Kelly Tiffany and Stef who a very good passers. I think we are going to have alot of assists this season and maybe not to many turnovers even though we are young. Not making turnovers means we could win a bunch of games .
 

Icebear

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Bria played the point in HS and Caroline played both the point and swing. I got that from a friend, someone who has watched them play alot more then all of us combined. Now we have two established point guards, along with BB. We have Kelly Tiffany and Stef who a very good passers. I think we are going to have alot of assists this season and maybe not to many turnovers even though we are young. Not making turnovers means we could win a bunch of games .
+1 I saw Caroline in AAU and for Germantown she played both positions but I always she had particular skills given to PG among which is her handle which is solid but not fancy.
 
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Bria played the point in HS and Caroline played both the point and swing. I got that from a friend, someone who has watched them play alot more then all of us combined.

Just to add a little detail based on what I know that I don't believe contradicts your friend. Bria played point in HS, but did not play point in AAU much because she was playing with a bunch of smaller New York area guards so naturally got pushed off the ball. For example when Bria's AAU team went to Russia for a tournament Bria won the best small forward award for the tournament.

Caroline was basically the inverse. In AAU during her days playing on the same AAU team as EDD Caroline primarily played point guard. In HS at Germantown Academy she mostly played off the ball and didn't play much point guard.

They both came to UConn with Geno believing that playing point guard was in their future at UConn even though significant sections of the AAU/HS world believed they were both shooting guards. A lot of that discrepancy comes from the reality that playing point guard at UConn the way it is supposed to be played requires combo guard skills, rather than pure point guard skills.
 

UcMiami

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I agree with most of what has been posted here. More recently, there was a quote from Geno re Bria playing point/off the ball. He said she lost some of her agressiveness when she was playing point and that was not good.
I think ideally he wants CD to start at point so Bria can play off the ball and start the game agressively, with the hope that when CD then sits, he can shift Bria to the point and her having started the game agressively will carry over. It is one of the toughest transitions for star players on less talented high school teams joining teams with more consistent talent at the next level to understand when to shoot and when to pass. This is especially true for guards and especially for point guards. I think this also points to CDs struggles when she started playing the point at Uconn, and to Tiff's failures when she was trying to run point. It can get into a players head, and I think CD had a much higher shooting percentage her first year when she was playing off guard.
 
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One who has reason to know, told me a long time ago, that if you weren't ready, one on Dianas' passes could knock you on the floor. In my book, High School and Defense are mutually exclusive terms. The kids look like a herd of cats running back and forth. Not a definitive consideration. I've been involved with basketball for 60+ years and my instincts and exp. tell me that CD Jr is the point Bria (all 5-10 of her) at the two. Leadership ability is an important factor here. While I would want Bria to take the last shot, I would want CD Jr. at point to insure she got the ball.
 
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