Why UConn Doesn't have Depth?



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I have never understood, nor been able to accept, the meme that "Connecticut is not for everyone" as the excuse for such a small number of top recruits agreeing to come here. Yes, we get a number at the very top. But we're always short of a bench, and we appear to be chronically short of post players and power forwards.

Certainly Connecticut has recruited front-court players who are top-rated. But we've not done well with landing them. By contrast, Tennessee, Baylor, Texas, Mississippi State, Maryland and others appear to be more attractive destinations for "the bigs."

"We're not for everyone" is just not a rational explanation, when this program has won more NC's than anyone else- by far. Why wouldn't every kid want to play for the best coach(es) on the planet?

Doesn't make sense....
 
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It is obvious that I march to a different drummer. I see this a bit differently: Geno does not like to work with more than 8 or 9, often he fills spots with nice kids,with some talent, but never destined to play many minutes: Practice players if you will.
Then too, Geno is compassionate.. Touly like Hunter before her was recruited by Geno. Geno is LOYAL (that should be bigger) and compassionate. Where do Hunter or Touly go for physical support??? Who would take them---GENO. He knew what he was gettting--accept that.
 

bballnut90

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I have never understood, nor been able to accept, the meme that "Connecticut is not for everyone" as the excuse for such a small number of top recruits agreeing to come here. Yes, we get a number at the very top. But we're always short of a bench, and we appear to be chronically short of post players and power forwards.

Certainly Connecticut has recruited front-court players who are top-rated. But we've not done well with landing them. By contrast, Tennessee, Baylor, Texas, Mississippi State, Maryland and others appear to be more attractive destinations for "the bigs."

"We're not for everyone" is just not a rational explanation, when this program has won more NC's than anyone else- by far. Why wouldn't every kid want to play for the best coach(es) on the planet?

Doesn't make sense....
Post shortage is a recent issue. Last year you had the luxury of bringing a talented 6-6 Z off the bench. Go back 5 years and your roster had:
6-5 Dolson
6-4 Stewart
6-3 Stokes
6-2 Tuck

Geno missed out on some good kids 2016-->now but still has a highly rated post in ONO for 3 more years. Last year he was blindsided by Stevens leaving early and he probably expected Camara to be better than she has been.
 

bballnut90

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It is obvious that I march to a different drummer. I see this a bit differently: Geno does not like to work with more than 8 or 9, often he fills spots with nice kids,with some talent, but never destined to play many minutes: Practice players if you will.
Then too, Geno is compassionate.. Touly like Hunter before her was recruited by Geno. Geno is LOYAL (that should be bigger) and compassionate. Where do Hunter or Touly go for physical support??? Who would take them---GENO. He knew what he was gettting--accept that.
Hunter was a former #1 recruit and Camara top 50.....lots of schools would've taken them.
 

CocoHusky

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I have never understood, nor been able to accept, the meme that "Connecticut is not for everyone" as the excuse for such a small number of top recruits agreeing to come here. Yes, we get a number at the very top. But we're always short of a bench, and we appear to be chronically short of post players and power forwards.

Certainly Connecticut has recruited front-court players who are top-rated. But we've not done well with landing them. By contrast, Tennessee, Baylor, Texas, Mississippi State, Maryland and others appear to be more attractive destinations for "the bigs."

"We're not for everyone" is just not a rational explanation, when this program has won more NC's than anyone else- by far. Why wouldn't every kid want to play for the best coach(es) on the planet?

Doesn't make sense....
It really not that hard to understand and this same author has already written part two of this story.
Playing the post at UCONN is ultra demanding thus. Not every kids meets the talent level to play at UCONN. Some that meet the talent level are not willing to meet the demands of the program and be coached hard-harder than anywhere else! Those that have the skill and want to meet the demands Geno misses out on in recruiting.

" You just go through some cycles where the kids you want, you know it’s a long shot,” Auriemma said. “‘Why don’t you take some other kids?’ I don’t want them. But you have to do something.”

After Missing Out On Top 2019 Recruiting Targets, What’s Next For UConn Women’s Basketball?
 

CocoHusky

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Post shortage is a recent issue. Last year you had the luxury of bringing a talented 6-6 Z off the bench. Go back 5 years and your roster had:
6-5 Dolson
6-4 Stewart
6-3 Stokes
6-2 Tuck
Geno missed out on some good kids 2016-->now but still has a highly rated post in ONO for 3 more years. Last year he was blindsided by Stevens leaving early and he probably expected Camara to be better than she has been.
In consecutive years UCONN has lost Morgan Tuck, Natalie Butler, and Azura Stevens before their NCAA eligibility was exhausted and most importantly very late in the recruiting cycle to find adequate replacements.
 
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I really would like to see part two and three before I give my deep dive. But My early guess is transfers has played a part in Geno and how he does business.
 
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After reading this I think the chances of Griffin making an impact are slim to none.
 

oldude

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While we would all like to see UConn legitimately go 7-8 deep in big games, I have to ask the question, which top team has any real depth when it counts? In the FF ND & OR went barely 5+ deep. UConn was a solid 6 deep and national champion Baylor a little better at about 6+. Just because you may have 15 players on the bench does not mean you have real team depth.
 
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While we would all like to see UConn legitimately go 7-8 deep in big games, I have to ask the question, which top team has any real depth when it counts? In the FF ND & OR went barely 5+ deep. UConn was a solid 6 deep and national champion Baylor a little better at about 6+. Just because you may have 15 players on the bench does not mean you have real team depth.
I agree, most top teams don't go deeper than 7 players. But I think the top teams are better equipped to go to the bench when needed.
 

oldude

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I agree, most top teams don't go deeper than 7 players. But I think the top teams are better equipped to go to the bench when needed.
If you’re suggesting that other teams have more athletes than UConn that they can throw out on the floor in a pinch, I generally agree. But outside of Stanford, and maybe a few others, there are very few teams that can substitute freely without a significant drop off in execution.
 

CocoHusky

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While we would all like to see UConn legitimately go 7-8 deep in big games, I have to ask the question, which top team has any real depth when it counts? In the FF ND & OR went barely 5+ deep. UConn was a solid 6 deep and national champion Baylor a little better at about 6+. Just because you may have 15 players on the bench does not mean you have real team depth.
Baylor was a solid 7, Cox got hurt and her replacement Smith fouled out. Ursin came into the game and she was the one that fouled Arike on the base line before the fatal FT miss.
However more in support of your point:
Baylor had 3 HS McDonalds AA that watched the entire championship game (Egbo, DeAcosta & Scott Grayson)
ND also had 3 McDonalds AA that watched the entire championship game ( Patterson, Nixon, Gilbert)
That is a lot of talented scholarship spectators and probably a two 20 team if they were all playing on the same team.
 
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oldude

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Baylor was a solid 7, Cox got hurt and her replacement Smith fouled out. Ursin came into the game and she was the one that fouled Arike on the base line before the fatal FT miss.
However more in support of your point:
Baylor had 3 HS McDonalds AA that watched the entire championship game (Egbo, DeAcosta & Scott Grayson)
ND also had 3 McDonalds AA that watched the entire championship game ( Patterson, Nixon, Gilbert)
That a lot of talented scholarship spectators and probably a two 20 team if they were all playing on the same team.
Smith is clearly a player for Baylor. But I’m not sure I would go as far as suggesting that Ursin is a “solid player.” She played only 2 min vs OR (0 pt, 0 rb, 0 ast). As you point out, with Cox & Smith out vs ND, Kim was forced to go deeper into her bench. Against the Irish, Ursin played 8 min (0 pt, 2 rb, 1 ast) while the Lady Bears hung on for dear life.
 
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Wonder if Geno has tried on the two Chinese giants (6’9 & 6’7) just drafted by WNBA this year. They are 18&19 YO. Wonder why there is no age limit in Wnba’s drafting of foreign players. Geno could have persuaded them w free college education and his title of former Olympic gold medal coach.
 

bballnut90

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In consecutive years UCONN has lost Morgan Tuck, Natalie Butler, and Azura Stevens before their NCAA eligibility was exhausted and most importantly very late in the recruiting cycle to find adequate replacements.
The only one that was unexpected was Stevens. Tuck leaving wasnt a surprise considering she had her degree and was going to be leaving with Stewart/Jefferson. Butler wasnt good enough to earn any PT with a post depleted roster and would've been a bench warmer behind Z if she stayed. Z leaving hurt.
 
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IMO part of the Depth Problem is Geno/Chris' Recruiting Strategy. Every year, they have identified the very few players who they consider their Priority A players and if there are any their priority B players. This is after they have eliminated the Highly Skilled players that have the talent they want, but for whatever reason believe they're not UConn type players. They go after their A players and if they miss out on them, in most years, they say we'll wait until next year and go after the Priority A players for that years class. If they have any Priority B players, they'll go after them, but I suspect in many cases they're too late to get on them. In some years, they'll sign a couple of players to fill out the roster for practice players.

I think they miss out on some players who have a significant jump in skills between their Sophomore and Junior years as they might not have recruiting them prior to then. UConn is going after the players that have the talent to be McDonald All Americans early in their HS Years. Other schools are looking for Talented players.

I think Geno/Chris need to revise their recruiting strategy to recognize that they're not going to get all the players they want, because we're UConn. They need to sign some developmental players who have the potential to starters by their Junior year. Instead of only identifying five or six players each class they're going after, the list needs to be 10-12 players.

But what do I know. I do know this, UConn needs to be signing more then One player in a recruiting Class.
 

Orangutan

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I have never understood, nor been able to accept, the meme that "Connecticut is not for everyone" as the excuse for such a small number of top recruits agreeing to come here. Yes, we get a number at the very top. But we're always short of a bench, and we appear to be chronically short of post players and power forwards.

Certainly Connecticut has recruited front-court players who are top-rated. But we've not done well with landing them. By contrast, Tennessee, Baylor, Texas, Mississippi State, Maryland and others appear to be more attractive destinations for "the bigs."

"We're not for everyone" is just not a rational explanation, when this program has won more NC's than anyone else- by far. Why wouldn't every kid want to play for the best coach(es) on the planet?

Doesn't make sense....
There's really not that many posts that fit the way UConn plays. They could cast a wider net, but just getting someone who is ranked in the top-50 by Hoopgurlz or whatever is not going to guarantee success.

I mean, what has Maryland, Texas, or Tennessee done lately with those post players? UConn did recruit Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox. So that covers Baylor for you.

I'm not really seeing the recruiting failure here - the great posts that UConn failed to recruit. I guess Geno didn't go to Alaska to recruit Ruthy Hebard. That's about all I can come up with.
 

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