Why UConn Doesn't have Depth?

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CocoHusky

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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.
I have to disagree on Natalie Butler, when Baylor came into UCONN Butler was very effective in the post against Brown and Cox. With Natalie and Azura you would have a complementary set of post that could play together with Natalie focusing on the rebounding (she did lead the nation) and freeing up Azura to concentrate on the scoring. Here is the bonus on top of bonus that would have free up Gabby Williams to be an occasional perimeter defender. Remember is was Jackie Young from the perimeter (32pts) and Shepard from the post that largely decided that ND loss. Over the course of that season Natalie would have meant 5 minutes of game rest for Napheesa and 5 minutes for Gabby. UCONN never got to a matchup with Mississippi state but if that had happened I would have like UCONN's chances with Natalie.

BTW one other tidbit about Natalie leaving UCONN it was definitely to the coaching staff. Natalie stated reason for leaving UCONN was that UCONN did not offer a master in the major (Global Governance) she intended to pursue. UCONN never had such a masters program to begin with.
 
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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.
You're correct. Top teams don't go more than 6 deep. This depth thing is pretty much a waste of time discussion. It all sounds good but it's a rarity to get really good players that are satisfied to be the 7th kid on the team regardless of how great your team is. Fact is, the vast majority of kids coming out of HS are not motivated to be the best player in the country nor even the best on their college team. In many cases, being near home and getting to play all 4 years is enough for them.
 
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I have to disagree on Natalie Butler, when Baylor came into UCONN Butler was very effective in the post against Brown and Cox. With Natalie and Azura you would have a complementary set of post that could play together with Natalie focusing on the rebounding (she did lead the nation) and freeing up Azura to concentrate on the scoring. Here is the bonus on top of bonus that would have free up Gabby Williams to be an occasional perimeter defender. Remember is was Jackie Young from the perimeter (32pts) and Shepard from the post that largely decided that ND loss. Over the course of that season Natalie would have meant 5 minutes of game rest for Napheesa and 5 minutes for Gabby. UCONN never got to a matchup with Mississippi state but if that had happened I would have like UCONN's chances with Natalie.
I agree with you, Nat would have helped us a lot but I think that she was always looking over her shoulder when she was on the court with the starters, thinking that she would be yanked after a "mistake". When she was on the court with the other bench players, she played a completely different game.
And she did provide some very good minutes for the team.
 
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Ah. I too was curious about the answer.
Do I show as off-line? I don't have the "show on-line" Preference selected.
You show "offline" if no small green triangle in top left corner of avatar.

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In the past Geno has quoted Red Auerbach "if you cant win with 8, you cant win with 88"
the problem is that with injuries happening at an alarming rate if you only have eight it's possible you end up the season with five or six...there were teams this past season that lost as many as five players......the bottom line is you gotta have ready reserves who are capable of playing real minutes during a long season...
 
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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....
They have to be willing to work harder than they ever have. Not for everyone.
 
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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.
Good points. And sometimes they just fall into your lap. A good example is Kara Wolters. I saw her several times in HS because my daughter was competing in some of the same AAU events. She was big but very slow and awkward and certainly didn't fit the way UConn wanted to play. She wasn't widely recruited but Auriemma saw some potential if she could ever get into basketball condition. You can't teach 6-7 so he took a shot and because she had the guts and determination to transform herself he wound up with a AA that nobody saw coming.
 

Argonaut

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BTW one other tidbit about Natalie leaving UCONN it was definitely to the coaching staff. Natalie stated reason for leaving UCONN was that UCONN did not offer a master in the major (Global Governance) she intended to pursue. UCONN never had such a masters program to begin with.
She may not have known that that’s the master’s program she wanted when she transferred. Or, she may have thought she would play overseas when she finished, so the master’s was less important. There are a lot of a ways to look at that aspect of the situation.
 
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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.
Probably because they were already playing professionally in China and are certainly part of the Chinees national team. Communist countries make it hard even for professional teams to sign their players. Any contract needs to be approved by the government. The players do not even get to keep all the money. The only reason that these players got the approval of the government was that they felt playing in the WNBA would help their development. They were not even drafted as high as their abilities dictated because how soon or often they would be available to the teams that drafted them. You overestimate Gino's pull in respect to foreign and even more and more his appeal to domestic players. Besides the better players really have nothing to say in where they go. They also would need the approval of the National team and I am sure those coaches believe they are just as good as Geno even if by chance they are not.
 

bballnut90

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I have to disagree on Natalie Butler, when Baylor came into UCONN Butler was very effective in the post against Brown and Cox. With Natalie and Azura you would have a complementary set of post that could play together with Natalie focusing on the rebounding (she did lead the nation) and freeing up Azura to concentrate on the scoring. Here is the bonus on top of bonus that would have free up Gabby Williams to be an occasional perimeter defender. Remember is was Jackie Young from the perimeter (32pts) and Shepard from the post that largely decided that ND loss. Over the course of that season Natalie would have meant 5 minutes of game rest for Napheesa and 5 minutes for Gabby. UCONN never got to a matchup with Mississippi state but if that had happened I would have like UCONN's chances with Natalie.

BTW one other tidbit about Natalie leaving UCONN it was definitely to the coaching staff. Natalie stated reason for leaving UCONN was that UCONN did not offer a master in the major (Global Governance) she intended to pursue. UCONN never had such a masters program to begin with.


Nat had a good game vs Baylor but that was the highlight of her year. UCONN badly needed size inside. Geno opted to have 5-11 Gabby and 6-1 Collier handle all post duties instead of his 6-5 transfer. Based on what Nat showed, she just wasn't good enough to compete at this level. Plus writing was on the wall for the following year--both Gabby/Collier were back, Stevens was going to be eligible and the #1 recruit was coming on board...she would've been buried deeper on the bench. Plus in 2018, Stevens provided those extra few minutes of rest for Collier/Williams. The front court players were better rested that year.

In regards to ND, UCONN was controlling the game with Stevens in the lineup. Why Geno didn't play her more has been spoken about many times on here. Nat wouldn't have logged any minutes that game, especially considering Collier/Stevens were the best UCONN players that night. And you forgot about AO who had Nurse, the defensive POY, on her and still went off for 27.

Against Mississippi State, I don't think Butler would've made any difference had they matched up. When they did match up in the 2017 semis, sophomore McCowan (who was a shadow of junior McCowan) had 10/8 in 25 minutes, Butler didn't score in 6 minutes of play, had 2 TOs and 1 foul. Even with improvement, Z would've been matched up with McCowan unless there was foul trouble issues.
 
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UConn's lack of depth is pretty simple really. Bent, Irwin, and Camara have not worked out. The lack of development by Coombs and the departure of Espinoza-Hunter hurt too, but having only one contributor from the Dangerfield class the past two seasons has been a killer.
 
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Bottom line......Geno needs to bring in some post players that can help now or in the very near future period!!! Who he gets, or where he finds them is irrelevant. UConn can't not keep singing 1-2 (non post) player classes, and think everything is going to be OK. :confused:
 

Golden Husky

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"At the same time, over-recruiting can be a problem as well, just look at South Carolina. According to WBBBlog.com, the Gamecocks signed 16 players between 2014 and 2017. Nine of those players left before graduating, or 64%."

Let's see: Nine divided by 16 =56.25%. Even Hemingway had an editor. This guy deserved one--with rudimentary math skills--too.
 
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Why is that? Just curious.
There isn’t a blanket reason for it. But one trend that emerged is that the Huskies’ recent recruiting classes are boom or bust. Either UConn gets a top-five player which turns into a star or they get someone outside the top-10 that doesn’t see much playing time or transfers out.

Since Griffin isn’t a top 10 talent, history kind of shows that she probably won’t have major success at UConn. The only players out side of the top 10 that had major success at UConn are Heartley, Gabby, Nurse, Dolson, and Stokes, and even with that only Williams, Heartley, Dolson were All Americans.
 
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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.
There was a short period of time in which we had Stewart and Tuck and Stokes and Dolson. But that was a short period. Over the course of UConn basketball, that sort of feast has not been the norm; rather a famine of bigs.

Look at how many bigs we lost out on for so many of those years...
 
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The only players out side of the top 10 that had major success at UConn are Heartley, Gabby, Nurse, Dolson, and Stokes, and even with that only Williams, Heartley, Dolson were All Americans.

Should be noted that Gabby was top-10 at two outlets and just outside at a third. Nurse was top-10 at Blue Star and the #1 international at Prospects Nation which doesn't combine Americans and non-Americans.
 
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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.
You're right: Maryland hasn't been able to coach those players together to the Big Time. Texas languished with Charli Collier on the bench. And we know all about Tennessee. There's no substitute for Coach Geno in nurturing unvarnished talent into great works of athletic art.

But still, we get passed by more times than seems rational...
 
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There isn’t a blanket reason for it. But one trend that emerged is that the Huskies’ recent recruiting classes are boom or bust. Either UConn gets a top-five player which turns into a star or they get someone outside the top-10 that doesn’t see much playing time or transfers out.

Since Griffin isn’t a top 10 talent, history kind of shows that she probably won’t have major success at UConn. The only players out side of the top 10 that had major success at UConn are Heartley, Gabby, Nurse, Dolson, and Stokes, and even with that only Williams, Heartley, Dolson were All Americans.
Griffin's injuries are the main reason for her #33 ranking.......she's more likely a top 15 talent perhaps even better......no guaranty she's going to be an All American but those are few and far between......odds are she'll be a high level contributor and that's what counts....
 

bballnut90

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There was a short period of time in which we had Stewart and Tuck and Stokes and Dolson. But that was a short period. Over the course of UConn basketball, that sort of feast has not been the norm; rather a famine of bigs.

Look at how many bigs we lost out on for so many of those years...

Up until this past year, UCONN has almost always had a top post player in combination with an exceptional forward to help shoulder the load.
2007: 6-3 Charles, plus 6-1 Houston
2008: 6-3 Charles and 6-0 Maya
2009: 6-3 Charles and 6-0 Maya
2010: 6-3 Charles and Maya
2011: 6-5 Dolson and Maya
2012: 6-5 Dolson, no top forward though
2013: 6-5 Dolson, 6-4 Stewart
2014: 6-5 Dolson, 6-4 Stewart
2015: 6-4 Stewart, 6-2 Tuck, 6-3 Stokes
2016: 6-4 Stewart, 6-2 Tuck
2017: lacking true big, 5-11 Williams played big and 6-1 Collier
2018: 6-6 Stevens, 5-11 Williams, 6-1 Collier
2019: lacking true big, 6-1 Collier, 6-1 Walker, no true big getting 20+ minutes

It's no coincidence that the rebounding margin was significantly less during the 2 years where two years UCONN lacked a big post presence playing 20+ mpg. If ONO develops, UCONN will be fine. A combination of ONO/Walker is a formidable front line. Especially when your backcourt is Williams/Bueckers. If ONO doesn't develop, it could spell trouble for UCONN.
 

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