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Discussion in 'UConn Basketball' started by KhalidShockedTheWorld, Mar 26, 2018.
And 19 total Final 4s for Geno. Incredible. This record will be hard to break.
Geno talks about the unrealistic expectations for the program, but 11 straight is video game ridiculous. He's a prisoner of his own greatness.
Khalid, does ND worry you at all?
Notre Dame is a very good team offensively and extremely hard to defend, but they do not play good defense, and they also have no depth due to injuries. The 3 guards played 40 minutes in the Elite 8 game and only 6 girls played for ND. UConn has 7 girl depth so not much better. Stevens was a big factor in the win over ND in Hartford and could be in this game as well.
I think ND has some physically strong/bulky offensive players that bully their way to the basket.
That being said, our length and athleticism bothers them more the second time around. 82/67
This is correct. I was watching Jessica Shepard against Oregon and she gets the job done despite having a terrible body and looking somewhat out of shape. She is big, but doughy looking, yet has excellent footwork and is surprisingly nimble around the hoop. She did get her shot blocked cleanly by Ruthie Hebard on one occasion, but she is tenacious and stays with plays. Ogunwabole is the same way from the guard position, she is thick and strong and bullies her way to the hole. In addition to their players being strong, they also run a very good offense and all their players handle and shoot well, making them tough to defend. I think it could be a 10-15 point game, or closer. UConn wore them down the first game, and that is what will happen this game. With 3 guards playing 40 minute games and only one girl on the bench, UConn's defense should take its toll on ND by the second half when the legs get heavy and the shots start to miss their mark. Don't be upset if ND has a lead at half. They have to play 40 minutes against UConn.
I think our length gives them more trouble this time around.
And Remember Katie Lou was coming off an ankle injury(she ended up with 18, but 0 assists and wasn't the player she is now) and Azura was still feeling her way around.
Not to be over confident, but I Think miss St has the best shot to knock us off. Because of the big girl and they've done it before. And even then, if we don't cut down the nets on Easter, it will be a major disapointment.
Watch UConn recruit Olivia Nelson-Ododa jam a basketball:
UConn recruit Williams Dominates, is MVP of McDonald's All American Game:
I watched some of the Mc game. Williams has some James Harden to her. She'll push Megan for the 5th starting spot next year.
Excellent game between MSU and Louisville. Louisville could have won in regulation but a big 3 hit at the end by MSU to tie the game. All MSU in OT. Final Four Record 25 boards by McCowan and to say she was a horse inside would be a vast understatement. Very similar to Aja Wilson, so UConn has seen her template before. But the team around McCowan is a lot better than what SC has around Wilson.
We have our hands full. Feels like final four last year.
Congratulations for nothing...they look like they don't even belong on the same floor with ND. The Irish are pushing Uconn away from the hoop on D and getting anywhere they want to go on offense.
Going to have to contest those mid range jumpers. Looks like we are in a zone now. It's all about stops. The offense will come,
Game changed when Stevens came in.......
Great second quarter, but we normally own the last few minutes. Hope that 4-0 mini run doesn't give them confidence. We need a 15-5 to start the half to gain a working margin.
Got to have Stephens starting second half.
KLS huge 3 at end of first to weather the storm.
Geno must have took ND and the under not playing Stephens.
Congratulations Uconn women ! ...you'll get nice seats to watch the finals 2 years in a row !
Love me some Geno, but at some point dont you put the defensive poy on young or the other girl(African name)? Especially with KLS in foul trouble.
And not riding the hot hand(Stephens) to start the second half and giving them life was puzzling.
Two tragic endings the last two years, but they are great to watch. Walker and Williams have to become the girls that take over the game when things bog down and in crunchtime. It's a beautiful brand of basketball but at the end, it has to be about 'my guy/girl is better than yours'.
IMHO, the guards didn't play very well. Nurse and Dangerfield were a combined 7 for 24. Overall, the three point shooting was pretty bad in regulation, especially in the first half, when they went 3 for 11. Overall, they shot 33% on 3s in regulation. UConn looks great when those shots are all falling, but aside from that run in the 2nd quarter, they didn't have any rhythm on offense and the shots weren't dropping like they usually do. Also, I noticed that UConn shot only six free throws the entire game, which speaks to a lack of inside game in the half-court, especially when Stevens was on the bench. I kept waiting for ND to tire in the second half given their short rotation. Then I realized that UConn only used six players as well, so there was no advantage. Maybe if UConn could have hit a few more threes and opened up some breathing room, they could have subbed more (which would have been great especially since KLS was forced to play with four fouls). I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as this team has looked out of sync (compared to normal) ever since Dangerfield started having problems with shin splints. Ultimately, it wasn't meant to be this year.
Your analysis of the loss is dead on. I also was waiting for ND to wear down as they did in the first game. ND played very hard and very well, and their defense was a notch better than what they normally play. They made good adjustments on Stevens towards the end of the game, and UConn had no other inside offense. ND outplayed UConn and deserved to win the game. It’s disappointing, but there is very good parity in the game now and I think Mississippi State, Louisville and ND all are close to UConn’s level and UConn was also prone to losing to either of the other two Final 4 teams with a subpar shooting effort. It’s going to be very hard to win championships in the coming years.
I'm hoping UConn either recruits or develops some muscle on the inside - which they haven't had the last two years. Stevens is great when she is under the basket. Against average players, she can make a move and get there. However, against a talented player with some bulk (such as ND's Miraculous Transfer), she can get bullied out of the paint. When that happens, she doesn't have the ability to make them pay by consistently hitting 12 foot shots, and her scoring is limited to offensive rebounds or the few times she manages to catch the ball right under the basket. A player with some bulk would be a nice complement to her inside game, and UConn needs that because as we saw last night, there are going to be times when they aren't shooting well from outside, and they need another way to score easy baskets.
You have the best coach and get the best players every year---that is not your problem. Your problem is the crappy league to which you belong. If you were in the ACC, SEC, PAC12 or other power league, you would not go undefeated in the regular season every year, but those one or two losses and consistently playing better competition would better prepare you for the postseason. Just my opinion.
Have you seen the out of conference schedule the last two years Inky?
They play almost everyone and won. They just played two gritty excellent teams the last two years and didn't respond.
That being said, their starters out free throwed uconn Starters 23-1. 23-6 overall. Not complaining about the refs, although the overtime was terrible.
Yes I know they don't duck playing the top teams, which is noble, but it's not the same as a consistently tough conference schedule.
Well, there's the answer we've been looking for: UConn just needs to join a P5 conference. It's as simple as that.
As I recall, UConn went undefeated in the Big East as well, when ND and Louisville were in the conference. I don't think lack of competition is the problem. If anything, UConn plays the toughest out of conference schedule possible. The one advantage UConn has in the AAC is that they have usually won the game by the end of the first half, which in theory should give them a chance to develop their backups in game situations - however that has not happened for the past few years. I'm not sure why, but the 8/9 players off the bench don't seem to be the most talented of the bench players, but they get the time. Maybe they practice better, but they certainly can't be used in important game situations.
Yes and no. I think UConn would benefit from a tougher conference - agreed - but their OOC schedule this year was the toughest they ever played, and they were undefeated against it, including home wins vs. Louisville and ND, a 25 point road win over SC, a 15 point road win against UCLA, and another road win against Texas, just to mention a few.
UConn lost because they were slightly weak against good physical play (we even saw this against Quinnipiac in the second round), and the guards did not shoot well against ND's zone. I think UConn isn't quite as superior as they were in past years, in part because the other teams have gotten better. ND historically has always given UConn problems. They are a very difficult team to defend and always have been, and due to their past success they know how to attack UConn's defense. ND is very, very good. Their only weakness is a lack of depth, but UConn is not deep either and could not expose that weakness.
There is something to be said about having a tough schedule all the way through, and I don't think going 101-0 against AAC teams has at all helped UConn.
One thing I have to say about the women’s Final 4: both of the semifinal games were excellent. I really felt like Louisville blew the game to MSU at the very end of regulation, and ND almost blew the game similarly to UConn at the end of regulation. Louisville did everything possible to win that game, but got beat by a clutch 3 and a key altered shot by McCowan on Louisville’s last possession in regulation. Anyone noticed how McCowan hustled her 6’7” butt up the court after the made 3? If that doesn’t happen Louisville wins that game.
I also think Adam Amin has really distinguished himself as a play by play announcer in this tournament. The dude has some great pipes and he does drama well. I can definitely see why ESPN likes him.
Looking forward to watching the final tonight between two ferociously battle tested teams.
Watching this game it looks to me like Blair Schaefer, though the coach’s cute daughter, is a bit of a liability on D. She seems to be primarily a 3 point shooter but having someone who is short and not good on D is not helpful against this ND team.
Unbelievable ending to probably the best women’s final 4 ever. Two game winning shots by Ogunbowale in one Final 4! Don’t think it’s ever happened before where one player won both games with a last second shot. ND was down 15 and looked dead as door nails. Their team certainly showed they had a ton of heart.
Nd reminded me of one of uconn boys last two championship teams. Gritty group and a star in Ogon. Like Kemba and Bazz.
Geno is the greatest ever, but he had the best team/most talent this year and didn't get it home. Last year, tip your cap to Miss St. This offseason, you may need to reinvent yourself.
UConn did have the best team this year, but the best team does not always win. UConn is not that much better than these other Final 4 teams, as they were 2013-2016, and when that is the case, you can get beat. It's not like UConn got hosed. They could have won the game last year if Chong did not play her worst moments all year late against MSU (spoiling a very solid season she had), and they could have beaten ND at the end of regulation Friday, but did not make the shot. I had predicted these games would be dogfights and all 3 games were incredible dogfights (or catfights). It was the best Final 4 I have ever seen and I watched all of it.
By the way I salute all the girls on all the teams for competing so hard. Louisville probably had the toughest loss of all 3 tough loss games, because they had a seemingly untouchable lead which dissolved in part due to a bad technical foul one of their players took for slapping the floor with both hands after being called for a personal foul. The tech maybe should not have been called, and then there was a rough sequence of events for the Ville after that play that ultimately caused them to blow the game. The high level pain of Louisville is now being shared by UConn, and MSU. Only one team gets to cut down the nets.
Good comments and analysis Khalid!
I had one other thought about what happened to the chemistry at the end of the year. For most of the season, Stevens was the first player off the bench, usually replacing one of the forwards - meaning there wasn’t a drastic difference in the style of play when she entered the game. When Dangerfield started having issues with shin splints, Stevens replaced her at the first substitution. Replacing a 5’ 6” point guard with a 6’ 6” F/C, while moving the two guard to point changes the style of play dramatically, and likely resulted in some of the lack of flow we saw towards the end of the year (at least against good teams).
A week later and this still leaves a foul taste in my mouth. It's hard not to win it all with basically 6 all americans. And most likely 7 girls that will be drafted inside the top 10 in the WNBA(5 may go top 5).
He is hard on his young players and his air tight rotation is good for your regular season record and down the road development. But not developing/trusting the bench(especially Walker) hurt us the last two years.
This feels like one that got away.