Can UConn's Bench Help the Huskies Win Big Games?



oldude

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During UConn’s last championship season, the Huskies had the incredible luxury, at various times throughout that season, to bring in no less than 3 future 1st team AA’s off the bench. Since the graduation of the Big 3 in 2016, UConn fans have lamented UConn’s lack of depth, with clear justification. While it is still very much a “work in progress,” I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.

Liv is probably the only reserve with the potential to be a future AA. She is young and has much to learn, but at 6’5” with exceptional athletic ability, she has already paid big dividends vs ND and other opponents. Right now, Liv is on a crash course to upgrade her basketball skills. How successful she develops by March will be critical to the Huskies run for a 12th banner.

Kyla’s 2 starts in place of Megan were an absolute revelation. She’s not spectacular in any way other than doing all the little things you need to do to win basketball games: set picks, box out, rebound, take charges, work on defense, pass the ball and if you don’t guard her at the arc, Kyla is more than capable of knocking down 3’s. It’s clear Geno trusts Kyla, and he will use her to buy minutes for his starters against anyone UConn faces.

I have said before that Mikayla is the best “woman-to-woman” defender on UConn. Incredibly quick and athletic, with great anticipation, she can rebound, pick your pocket, sprint the floor and finish at the rim on offense. While she is not a good shooter, and is unlikely to become one anytime soon, there is one area that I believe she can get better at right away, and that is to drive to the basket under control either to score or kick the ball to an open teammate. If she learns to do just that, she will be a valuable reserve, even if she never improves her shooting. I have suggested in another post that I would love to see Mikayla play key minutes defending Asia Durr when UConn travels to Louisville. We shall see.

Molly hustles as much as anyone, and she is clearly more confident shooting the ball this season. She’s a reasonably good defender and she will chase down rebounds and loose balls like a terrier. Geno will likely give Molly some “prime time” minutes in upcoming games to see how she fairs. If she can play under control on offense, she has an opportunity to also gain Geno’s trust for the big games to come.

Batouly’s effort to play on two bad knees for the past two seasons is both noble and heart breaking. If she can somehow get reasonably healthy over the next few weeks, Batouly has an important role to play vs Baylor and other teams with dominant post players. Batouly is the strongest player on the team. Much like Nat, she can buy the Huskies minutes against big post players in key games.

So there you have it. UConn has 5 players off the bench, all of whom have various strengths and weaknesses; and all of whom, given the right opportunity, can help UConn win big games.
 
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During UConn’s last championship season, the Huskies had the incredible luxury, at various times throughout that season, to bring in no less than 3 future 1st team AA’s off the bench. Since the graduation of the Big 3 in 2016, UConn fans have lamented UConn’s lack of depth, with clear justification. While it is still very much a “work in progress,” I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.

So there you have it. UConn has 5 players off the bench, all of whom have various strengths and weaknesses; and all of whom, given the right opportunity, can help UConn win big games.

as you saw against Notre Dame the bench gets very short against the good teams...............ONO and possibly Coombs are the only two bench players that will any significant time unless there are injuries or foul trouble.................don't worry though, next year everybody will be seeing big minutes but out of sheer necessity................heck Jasmine may have to put on a uniform.................
 

oldude

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as you saw against Notre Dame the bench gets very short against the good teams.....ONO and possibly Coombs are the only two bench players that will any significant time unless there are injuries or foul trouble.......don't worry though, next year everybody will be seeing big minutes but out of sheer necessity......heck Jasmine may have to put on a uniform.......
I hope you're wrong. I see Geno using his bench more strategically this year. What I mean by that is that most teams, including UConn, have a set rotation. Last season, Z was 1st off the bench, usually followed by Megan and so on. This season, I think Geno will use his bench based on situational need. For instance, when St Johns was playing UConn very physically, Geno put Batouly in the game. Batouly promptly knocked a few St Johns players on their asses and order was restored. Potentially, all 5 UConn reserves can be used to buy minutes in big games, depending on the situation at hand.
 

CocoHusky

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Only 5 "Big games" remain on the UCONN WBB schedule. @Baylor, @Louisville, Regional Final, FF & Championship Game. Baring injury, I would not expect the rotation to expand beyond 6 for any of these games. If we are going to see the rotation expand it a meaningful game it might be in the next two road games against quality teams in Ok and Cal.
 

oldude

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Only 5 "Big games" remain on the UCONN WBB schedule. @Baylor, @Louisville, Regional Final, FF & Championship Game. Baring injury, I would not expect the rotation to expand beyond 6 for any of these games. If we are going to see the rotation expand it a meaningful game it might be in the next two road games against quality teams in Ok and Cal.
Again, I hope your wrong. See my response to Charliebball. I also note that you don't list SC as a big game, to which I fully concur.
 

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I thought he had a pretty tight rotation last year in AAC games (with the exception of the infamous Tulsa game). I think it would be to his advantage for Mikayla and Kyla to average 20+ minutes each in AAC games. If they held their own against St. Louis and Seton Hall, they can do it against Memphis and East Carolina.
 

CocoHusky

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Again, I hope your wrong. See my response to Charliebball. I also note that you don't list SC as a big game, to which I fully concur.
I also hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I clearly do not see what you see: " I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.". Not even when I squint my eyes really hard do I see current bench players (beyond ONO) emerging into contributors in big UCONN games. I have happily read all the threads & posts about Mikayla's improvement, Kyla's last two starts, Molly's improvement etc. Don't want to deflate any balloons but those starts, sparks and flashes were against SLU and Seton Hall. Baylor & Louisville on the road will be a different beast. There were similar post anticipating that Mikayla specifically and some other might be able to help UCONN @ND and that never happened. As I have said before though, I hope I'm wrong.
 
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I also hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I clearly do not see what you see: " I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.". Not even when I squint my eyes really hard do I see current bench players (beyond ONO) emerging into contributors in big UCONN games. I have happily read all the threads & posts about Mikayla's improvement, Kyla's last two starts, Molly improvement etc. Don't want to deflate any balloons but those starts, sparks and flashes were against SLU and Seton Hall. Baylor & Louisville on the road will be a different beast. There were similar post anticipating that Mikayla specifically and some other might be able to help UCONN @ND and that never happened. As I have said before though, I hope I'm wrong.

I don't think you're wrong. We will play 6 in any game of consequence with the outcome in doubt.

Even Coombs is too much of a liability to keep things running smoothly when she's out there -- the defense could just key on the other 4 and make things difficult.

The bench will help by keeping the starters fresh throughout the season. Geno attributed our poor second half against Seton Hall to fatigue, and here we are only 9 games in. We can't afford to have Lou have to come back in during the 4th quarter to stop a run against one of these cupcake teams.

The bench should be capable enough to play 20 minutes against these teams, so that Lou, Collier, Dangerfield, and Williams can stay sharp but fresh with 25 mpg.
 

Wbbfan1

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Ono is the only bench player that can come off the bench and score 10+ points against elite competition, when the game is still in doubt. The best we can hope for Kyla and Mikayla is that they provide meaningful minutes and maybe score a basket or two. They've improved but they have a long way to go. Without a transfer in, have to think one of them may start next year. Their offensive game has to improve significantly.
 
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I hope you're wrong. I see Geno using his bench more strategically this year. What I mean by that is that most teams, including UConn, have a set rotation. Last season, Z was 1st off the bench, usually followed by Megan and so on. This season, I think Geno will use his bench based on situational need. For instance, when St Johns was playing UConn very physically, Geno put Batouly in the game. Batouly promptly knocked a few St Johns players on their asses and order was restored. Potentially, all 5 UConn reserves can be used to buy minutes in big games, depending on the situation at hand.

I would hope that the entire bench gets plenty of playing time during AAC play.................I'm not sure we will continue to see constant 40+ point blowouts but it certainly behooves Geno to get the starters off the court once these games are no longer in doubt.........................Batouly is a wild card depending on her health...............
 
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if nothing else they can eat up time in other games giving our starters the chance to rest and have the energy to win the big ones. As it stands I think ONO already did. We needed her to play strong against ND when we got into foul trouble and she did just that.
 

oldude

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I also hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I clearly do not see what you see: " I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.". Not even when I squint my eyes really hard do I see current bench players (beyond ONO) emerging into contributors in big UCONN games. I have happily read all the threads & posts about Mikayla's improvement, Kyla's last two starts, Molly's improvement etc. Don't want to deflate any balloons but those starts, sparks and flashes were against SLU and Seton Hall. Baylor & Louisville on the road will be a different beast. There were similar post anticipating that Mikayla specifically and some other might be able to help UCONN @ND and that never happened. As I have said before though, I hope I'm wrong.
Here’s my argument for Kyla vs Liv against Baylor as a “situational” substitute. Eventually, Liv will be a dominant post player, but at this point in her career, Kalani Brown will likely overpower Liv at both ends of the court, and UConn will become far less efficient on both offense & defense.

With Kyla, the Huskies probably don’t fair much better when defending Brown, but on the offensive end Kyla allows UConn to continue to spread the floor and run their offense. Brown has to respect Kyla’s ability to shoot the ball, giving UConn the ability to continue to attack the paint.
 

HuskylnSC

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Kalani Brown will likely overpower Liv at both ends of the court
Honestly, I envision a scenario where Kalani won't be able to catch Liv in transition resulting in several fast break layups/oops. Remember, it's not the big that eat the small; its the quick that eat the slow.
 

oldude

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Honestly, I envision a scenario where Kalani won't be able to catch Liv in transition resulting in several fast break layups/oops. Remember, it's not the big that eat the small; its the quick that eat the slow.
Hope your right.
 
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During UConn’s last championship season, the Huskies had the incredible luxury, at various times throughout that season, to bring in no less than 3 future 1st team AA’s off the bench. Since the graduation of the Big 3 in 2016, UConn fans have lamented UConn’s lack of depth, with clear justification. While it is still very much a “work in progress,” I am beginning to see the very real outlines of a solid bench emerging for the Huskies.

Liv is probably the only reserve with the potential to be a future AA. She is young and has much to learn, but at 6’5” with exceptional athletic ability, she has already paid big dividends vs ND and other opponents. Right now, Liv is on a crash course to upgrade her basketball skills. How successful she develops by March will be critical to the Huskies run for a 12th banner.

Kyla’s 2 starts in place of Megan were an absolute revelation. She’s not spectacular in any way other than doing all the little things you need to do to win basketball games: set picks, box out, rebound, take charges, work on defense, pass the ball and if you don’t guard her at the arc, Kyla is more than capable of knocking down 3’s. It’s clear Geno trusts Kyla, and he will use her to buy minutes for his starters against anyone UConn faces.

I have said before that Mikayla is the best “woman-to-woman” defender on UConn. Incredibly quick and athletic, with great anticipation, she can rebound, pick your pocket, sprint the floor and finish at the rim on offense. While she is not a good shooter, and is unlikely to become one anytime soon, there is one area that I believe she can get better at right away, and that is to drive to the basket under control either to score or kick the ball to an open teammate. If she learns to do just that, she will be a valuable reserve, even if she never improves her shooting. I have suggested in another post that I would love to see Mikayla play key minutes defending Asia Durr when UConn travels to Louisville. We shall see.

Molly hustles as much as anyone, and she is clearly more confident shooting the ball this season. She’s a reasonably good defender and she will chase down rebounds and loose balls like a terrier. Geno will likely give Molly some “prime time” minutes in upcoming games to see how she fairs. If she can play under control on offense, she has an opportunity to also gain Geno’s trust for the big games to come.

Batouly’s effort to play on two bad knees for the past two seasons is both noble and heart breaking. If she can somehow get reasonably healthy over the next few weeks, Batouly has an important role to play vs Baylor and other teams with dominant post players. Batouly is the strongest player on the team. Much like Nat, she can buy the Huskies minutes against big post players in key games.

So there you have it. UConn has 5 players off the bench, all of whom have various strengths and weaknesses; and all of whom, given the right opportunity, can help UConn win big games.

The test of what you say is whether the subs can keep the game on an even keel when they enter. Last year they could not, but this season they are not only holding steady, they sometimes increase the lead. I believe this reflects a growing understanding of what their roles are as well as their commitment to carrying out those roles. Also, as Geno has often said, he expects everyone who plays for UConn to leave a better player than when she entered. This year we have quality instead of quantity.
 
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Only 5 "Big games" remain on the UCONN WBB schedule. @Baylor, @Louisville, Regional Final, FF & Championship Game. Baring injury, I would not expect the rotation to expand beyond 6 for any of these games. If we are going to see the rotation expand it a meaningful game it might be in the next two road games against quality teams in Ok and Cal.

True, but there are also all those pesky conference games. We know how they'll go. We need bodies to play in them, rest the regs, fill-in for injured. Of course, when push comes to shove, Geno will put his best on the floor. Meantime, the other guys are important, too.
 

Carnac

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Interesting and insightful comments here. I'll throw in my two cents if I may, on the Kalani Brown vs ONO comparison, we must remember two things no one mentioned.
1. Brown is two inches taller than ONO, and outweighs her (conservatively speaking) by at least 40 lbs. On the best day of her life, ONO would not be able to move or budge Brown. If ONO tries to body her or push and shove her for position, she'll lose. Similar to post players during Shaq O'neal's L.A. Lakers days. All they could do was foul him. He was too big and strong (and aggressive) to stop.

2. Brown is a senior, and 3 years older (born 3/21/97) than ONO, and much more experienced. Being a senior, she has long since figured things out, while ONO is just beginning her journey. I seriously doubt that ONO has ever played against anyone as BIG as Brown. You can try and simulate it in practice with a 6'7" male practice player (if they have one that size), but it's not really the same.

Most of the players she plays against this year will be older than she is. Brown will be the most challenging post player ONO will meet this season. McCowan (Miss St.) will also be more than she can handle IF they meet in March. Like Brown, McCowan (a senior) is bigger, stronger, older and more experienced. ONO and Geno can be glad that she will only see them once this year, and never again after that.

I remember when Stewie took A'ja Wilson to school during their game on 2/9/2015, Wilson's freshman year, even though Wilson was an inch taller. Stewie was getting and doing whatever she wanted, and there was nothing Wilson (or Elem Ibiam or Alaina Coates) could do about it. If you don't recall, watch the highlights.

Actually, Stewie was getting whatever she wanted against everyone that guarded her that night. She finished with 22/8/5 blks. I just reviewed those highlights before I posted the link, I loved it. One of the best games to watch that year. So. Carolina was #1 at the time.

I think ONO can be counted on to hold her own against "normal" sized post players this year. Brown and McCowan ARE NOT normal size. They are of the "EXTRA LARGE" variety. They give everyone problems. :cool:
 
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I hope you're wrong. I see Geno using his bench more strategically this year. What I mean by that is that most teams, including UConn, have a set rotation. Last season, Z was 1st off the bench, usually followed by Megan and so on. This season, I think Geno will use his bench based on situational need. For instance, when St Johns was playing UConn very physically, Geno put Batouly in the game. Batouly promptly knocked a few St Johns players on their asses and order was restored. Potentially, all 5 UConn reserves can be used to buy minutes in big games, depending on the situation at hand.


I agree with most of your original posting on this; my disconnect is Touly. She can and has done all you say BUT, big BUT stamina, physical capabilities, and the 72 dollar question: How healthy or unhealthy is she.
Oliva--LIV-ONO: She's had one very good for a frosh, not great for a soph and one St Louis that was pretty good however, they were not all that tall.
I go overboard in my praise of these kids --some me a little above average and I'm cheering to the clouds. I want them to succeed that much. But reality is reality.
I know Oliva shall be better by March and each game she plays she'll get better. In some coming up big games she may be a liability (Tx) could be great, I doubt that's in the cards. Still I can hope.

Coombs: Needs to slow down and then develop confidence. I've lived some time with seeing a faster world at a bit slower pace to slow down the brain then the body is not as easy as it may appear. Geno, in my less than expert opinion, could and maybe instilling the confidence she needs. At this time she does not need a bloody rear end for simple mistakes- Coaches can give and take away confidence, especially with players that want to please the coach. CW like DT knew they were near great ---CW== I was born to play big games. CW--I expect to win an NC as a freshman ala DT/Stewie/ the big ingredient in great players. HIGH confidence. Coombs if all the roadblocks are removed AA is not beyond belief.

MOLLY: Confidence is lacking--her talent while not at Dangers or Napheesa isn't bad either. If she starts throwing up accurate 3's in bigger games, keeps playing decent defense, with her intellect she would be an asset.

IRWIN---has Geno's heart and he loves her work--she has all the limitation you say. She too needs to shoot when open. She is the only one that shot often and well last season tends to defer. If Geno needs her shot--she'll give it.
 
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Interesting and insightful comments here. I'll throw in my two cents if I may, on the Kalani Brown vs ONO comparison, we must remember two things no one mentioned.
1. Brown is two inches taller than ONO, and outweighs her (conservatively speaking) by at least 40 lbs. On the best day of her life, ONO would not be able to move or budge Brown. If ONO tries to body her or push and shove her for position, she'll lose. Similar to post players during Shaq O'neal's L.A. Lakers days. All they could do was foul him. He was too big and strong (and aggressive) to stop.

2. Brown is a senior, and 3 years older (born 3/21/97) than ONO, and much more experienced. Being a senior, and has long since figured things out. ONO is just beginning her journey. Most of the players she plays against this year will be older than she is. Brown will be the most challenging post player ONO will meet this season. McCowan (Miss St.) will also be more than she can handle IF they meet in March. Like Brown, McCowan (a senior) is bigger, stronger, older and more experienced. ONO and Geno can be glad that she will only see them once this year, and never again after that.

I remember when Stewie took A'ja to school Wilson during during their game on 2/9/2015, Wilson's freshman year, even though Wilson was an inch taller. Stewie was getting and doing whatever she wanted, and there was nothing Wilson (or Elem Ibiam or Alaina Coates) could do about it. If you don't recall, watch the highlights.

Actually, Stewie was getting whatever she wanted against everyone that guarded her that night. She finished with 22/8/5 blks. I just reviewed those highlights before I posted the link, I loved it. One of the best games to watch that year. So. Carolina was #1 at the time. I think ONO can be counted on to hold her own against "normal" sized post players. Brown and McCowan ARE NOT normal size. They are of the "EXTRA LARGE" variety. :cool:
Haha. Brown outweighs ONO by 140 lbs, maybe. ONO is about as big as one of Brown's legs.
 
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Interesting and insightful comments here. I'll throw in my two cents if I may, on the Kalani Brown vs ONO comparison, we must remember two things no one mentioned.
1. Brown is two inches taller than ONO, and outweighs her (conservatively speaking) by at least 40 lbs. On the best day of her life, ONO would not be able to move or budge Brown. If ONO tries to body her or push and shove her for position, she'll lose. Similar to post players during Shaq O'neal's L.A. Lakers days. All they could do was foul him. He was too big and strong (and aggressive) to stop.

2. Brown is a senior, and 3 years older (born 3/21/97) than ONO, and much more experienced. Being a senior, and has long since figured things out. ONO is just beginning her journey. Most of the players she plays against this year will be older than she is. Brown will be the most challenging post player ONO will meet this season. McCowan (Miss St.) will also be more than she can handle IF they meet in March. Like Brown, McCowan (a senior) is bigger, stronger, older and more experienced. ONO and Geno can be glad that she will only see them once this year, and never again after that.

I remember when Stewie took A'ja to school Wilson during during their game on 2/9/2015, Wilson's freshman year, even though Wilson was an inch taller. Stewie was getting and doing whatever she wanted, and there was nothing Wilson (or Elem Ibiam or Alaina Coates) could do about it. If you don't recall, watch the highlights.

Actually, Stewie was getting whatever she wanted against everyone that guarded her that night. She finished with 22/8/5 blks. I just reviewed those highlights before I posted the link, I loved it. One of the best games to watch that year. So. Carolina was #1 at the time. I think ONO can be counted on to hold her own against "normal" sized post players. Brown and McCowan ARE NOT normal size. They are of the "EXTRA LARGE" variety. :cool:
Q
@Scoop. My concerns about Liv, Oliva, ONO, has been physical weight. Ono with more schooling may handle some bigger post but not those you mentioned for your exact reason. She may handle lessor experienced (everyone has more than she right now) posts with her finesse. Yet, having said that : I'm happier having Olivia than not having her to plug a hole or 3. It is what it is and only time and good food and schooling shall make a difference. We can demand, moan (I do it often), groan, we can only sit back enjoy what is enjoyable and chalk the rest up to learning. In some games she'll give good relief in some games we'll be happy to have her---in some games--?????
!
 
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True, but there are also all those pesky conference games. We know how they'll go. We need bodies to play in them, rest the regs, fill-in for injured. Of course, when push comes to shove, Geno will put his best on the floor. Meantime, the other guys are important, too.

I have been a huge B-witcher about Geno's playing the 5 too long and not allowing the Bench more time. Repeating: You learn in practice and hone skills in games.
There is a fine line between resting and rusting. Highly trained athletes as these 5/6 may be can lose and edge if not given the right amount of time. I have no idea of what that amount maybe.
 

Carnac

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Q
@Scoop. My concerns about Liv, Oliva, ONO, has been physical weight. Ono with more schooling may handle some bigger post but not those you mentioned for your exact reason. She may handle lessor experienced (everyone has more than she right now) posts with her finesse. Yet, having said that : I'm happier having Olivia than not having her to plug a hole or 3. It is what it is and only time and good food and schooling shall make a difference. We can demand, moan (I do it often), groan, we can only sit back enjoy what is enjoyable and chalk the rest up to learning. In some games she'll give good relief in some games we'll be happy to have her---in some games--?????
!

I love ONO!! I'm not complaining, merely stating the obvious. ONO was the one recruit I wanted last year more than anyone else. If you've been reading my comments, you know I follow Geno's lead as to the expectations from freshmen. I basically give them a pass their freshmen year. Whatever we get from them is gravy.

I don't like what I've seen from ONO so far, I love it!!! :D As far as her need for weight gain, she'll be fine. You can be sure they have her on a year round weight training program that may produce visible results as early as next fall. Look at the difference a year’s worth of weight training made in Megan Walker’s physical development. We’ve all noticed the metamorphosis in Crystal “guns” Dangerfield from her freshman year to now. She’s in good hands.

All Liv needs is "live" game experience. She will make the adjustment to playing at this level and at this speed. The game will slow down for her, and she will become more comfortable as she strings together a series of well played games. Then she’ll know in her heart that she can play at this level, and that she belongs here.

After the Notre Dame game, she should have already had that revelation!! :cool: ND is the best team (and biggest game) on UConn's schedule this season. Remember, she's the youngest player on the court (along with Christyn). This is her first time around the block.

The games with Notre Dame and St. Louis was her first road trip. (I'm not counting the trip to the Virgin Islands as a "road trip") That was more like a "tropical" vacation from the freezing weather in Storrs for 5-6 days. :D Remember, they went snorkeling. You don't snorkel on road trips.

I don't compare her to Christyn. They're two different people with different skills, DNA and mindsets. I could be wrong, but it doesn't appear that she has Christyn's level of aggressiveness.........yet. They're roommates. Christyn is going to rub off on her in some fashion, I know.

Christyn IS NOT your normal freshman. She has already proven beyond a doubt that she is not afraid to compete at the highest level in the biggest games. If she didn't shrink or disappear at South Bend against the #1 team in the country, she won't against anyone else.

During his recent summer golf tournament, Geno told us how special she is. Over the first 9 games, we got to see just how special she is for ourselves. In short Broadway, you're preaching to the choir. I'm elated that ONO (and Christyn) chose UConn!! :)

This end of semester break for studying and taking finals can't be over too soon. I was really enjoying watching them play, and build their 9-0 record.
 
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DefenseBB

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I am missing something on this debate. Ono, when in the game, if man to man, will more likely be on Cox. Liv is still way too foul prone and Kim will have her team go after Liv. I see more Pheesa with Meg and KLS help forcing the Baylor guards to hit 3’s. On offense, I see Baylor playing more zone with their bigs to clog the middle and take away the drives, forcing KLS, CD3, CW and even Meg to make 3’s. If they have Brown and Cox try to cover the perimeter, Pheesa and KLS will cut them up inside with their quickness and deft passing. Should be a good game with 2 radically different styles.
 
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I love ONO!! I'm not complaining, merely stating the obvious. ONO was the one recruit I wanted last year more than anyone else. If you've been reading my comments, you know I follow Geno's lead as to the expectations from freshmen. I basically give them a pass their freshmen year. Whatever we get from them is gravy. I don't like what I've seen from ONO so far, I love it!!! :D As far as the weight goes, she'll be fine.

All she needs is "live" game experience. She will make the adjustment to playing at this level and at this speed. The game will slow down for her, and she will become more comfortable playing, once she has more good/great games, and knows in her heart that she can play at this level, and that she belongs here.

After the Notre Dame game, she should have already had that revelation!! :cool: ND is the best team (and biggest game) on UConn's schedule this season. Remember, she's the youngest player on the court (along with Christyn). This is her first time around the block. The games with Notre Dame and St. Louis was her first road trip. (I'm not counting the trip to the Virgin Islands as a "road trip") That was more like a "tropical" vacation from the freezing weather in Storrs for 5-6 days. :D Remember, they went snorkeling?!? You don't snorkel on road trips.

I don't compare her to Christyn. They're two different people with different skills, DNA and mindsets. I could be wrong, but it doesn't appear that she has Christyn's level of aggressiveness....yet. They're roommates. Christyn is going to rub off on her in some fashion, I know.

Christyn IS NOT your normal freshman. She has already proven beyond a doubt that will is not afraid to compete at the highest level in the biggest games. If she didn't shrink or disappear at South Bend against the #1 team in the country, she won't against anyone else. Just ask Muffet McGraw. Geno told us that she was special during the summer. Over the first 9 games, we saw that for ourselves. In short Broadway, you're preaching to the choir. I'm elated that ONO (and Christyn) chose UConn!! :)

This end of semester break for studying and taking finals can't be over too soon. I was really enjoying watching them play. :p

@Scoop I read all you post because it is factual and interesting thanks.
Full agreement. CW is the exception that only proves there are great players to be had after Stewie/Maya/Dt, etc. With current limitation that time and experience will fix I believe ONO, before she is done, may be spoken of as we speak of CW. Olivia isn't your average freshman.
One point I tend to forget: The position that Oliva Nelson-Odado has is much more demanding than that which CW currently fills. She is constantly jockeying for position on both offense and defense. That kind of full-time effort wears on body and soul. Yet the kid pops off the floor with a huge grin--I just got to love the effort and the kid.
@Scoop that for the reply and for seeing the possibilities of Olivia.
 

Oldbones

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Interesting and insightful comments here. I'll throw in my two cents if I may, on the Kalani Brown vs ONO comparison, we must remember two things no one mentioned.
1. Brown is two inches taller than ONO, and outweighs her (conservatively speaking) by at least 40 lbs. On the best day of her life, ONO would not be able to move or budge Brown. If ONO tries to body her or push and shove her for position, she'll lose. Similar to post players during Shaq O'neal's L.A. Lakers days. All they could do was foul him. He was too big and strong (and aggressive) to stop.

2. Brown is a senior, and 3 years older (born 3/21/97) than ONO, and much more experienced. Being a senior, she has long since figured things out, while ONO is just beginning her journey. I seriously doubt that ONO has ever played against anyone as BIG as Brown. You can try and simulate it in practice with a 6'7" male practice player (if they have one that size), but it's not really the same.

Most of the players she plays against this year will be older than she is. Brown will be the most challenging post player ONO will meet this season. McCowan (Miss St.) will also be more than she can handle IF they meet in March. Like Brown, McCowan (a senior) is bigger, stronger, older and more experienced. ONO and Geno can be glad that she will only see them once this year, and never again after that.

I remember when Stewie took A'ja to school Wilson during during their game on 2/9/2015, Wilson's freshman year, even though Wilson was an inch taller. Stewie was getting and doing whatever she wanted, and there was nothing Wilson (or Elem Ibiam or Alaina Coates) could do about it. If you don't recall, watch the highlights.

Actually, Stewie was getting whatever she wanted against everyone that guarded her that night. She finished with 22/8/5 blks. I just reviewed those highlights before I posted the link, I loved it. One of the best games to watch that year. So. Carolina was #1 at the time.

I think ONO can be counted on to hold her own against "normal" sized post players this year. Brown and McCowan ARE NOT normal size. They are of the "EXTRA LARGE" variety. They give everyone problems. :cool:
The highlights with Mo, KML, Stewie made me feel so wistful, kind of like seeing old pictures of myself when I had hair on top of my head and wore size 34 trousers. Thanks (I think)
 

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