Is Nika the X-Factor?

oldude

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So a fellow BY’er just pointed out that Nika is not the only freshman guard who’s had a tough game. In the near upset by unranked Wake Forest, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith scored 5 pts on 2-7 shooting with 5 turnovers, and she’s been starting all season long. Hopefully, Louisville will recruit a better guard next season so they don’t have to play Van Lith.....:rolleyes:

For what it’s worth, Louisville was recruiting Nika hard before Geno showed up in Croatia.
 
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So a fellow BY’er just pointed out that Nika is not the only freshman guard who’s had a tough game. In the near upset by unranked Wake Forest, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith scored 5 pts on 2-7 shooting with 5 turnovers, and she’s been starting all season long. Hopefully, Louisville will recruit a better guard next season so they don’t have to play Van Lith.....:rolleyes:
Well it is always good to cover yourself. ;)
 

Gus Mahler

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Didn't Culmo say recently that Geno was really high on Nika?

I loved Molly and so wish things had turned out differently for her. But I don't see a comparison. Nika as a freshman is way better than Molly as a senior.

Context is key. Look at the situation she's been in. And consider how Geno & Co. put so much emphasis on stripping new players down, undoing bad habits, and then building them back up. Nika just needs time.
 
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I like Nika and I’m rooting for her, but I guess I’m missing something. I don’t see her, at least at this point, being a key In UCONN winning another NC. Someone said it earlier that she is really just a slightly more talented Molly Bent. I tend to agree. Haven’t really seen much more. I hope she continues to improve and give the team great minutes off the bench, including adding to the score.
 
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You, like some others, are taking for granted the incoming freshmen are going to grasp the UConn system quicker than the current group. I doubt it, except for maybe Fudd. Let's see how quickly Poffenbarger learns this season. If Anna gets over her injury, I believe she will continue to start. She came to UConn this season in great physical shape but due to the pandemic, she lost that edge, and now the injury. I believe Anna will play a lot next season even with the new additions.
Yeah, I am. Anna isn't playing as much now. Remember, I'm one of those guys that has said repeatedly that Saylor should consider it a victory if she gets significant minutes this year, and I've previously mentioned a myriad of reasons. In watching Saylor at the U16's however her body, her flow, her defense on the perimeter and her shot, against very good competition (and the fact that she made the squad) makes me feel she will, by next season have Anna sitting more than standing. Now, in watching Ducharme I'm not impressed by her speed nor her athleticism. But her agility, body control, shot making skills, size, body type and offensive IQ are better than what I've seen of Anna last year and this year.

With Fudd however there is no doubt that Nika, who has been awful in the 2 guard position this year, will be no where near what Fudd is already at PG. It's funny how so many believed Paige, even before she stepped onto campus, to be an AA, but some question whether Fudd will be. I've seen as much of Fudd's HS and international play as I saw of Paige before she came to UConn, and I can tell you that Fudd kid is special indeed. She doesn't turn the ball over, is a better shooter than Paige from 3 and with her pull up (which when going from left to right is one of the best I've ever seen), has quick feet on defense, and a strong frame and lower body that is comparable to CW's when she hit campus. Her quick power drive to the basket is also a thing of beauty, and she's also a finisher at the hoop. If Fudd and Nika came to Storrs at the same time Nika would barely be seeing mop up time.
 

Gus Mahler

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hey don't laugh at 14%...........she was at 0% for the entire season.........one good shooting game and she's golden!!.........:)
Reminds me of Geno's comment last year re Anna: "O for America" :D
 
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Yeah, I am. Anna isn't playing as much now. Remember, I'm one of those guys that has said repeatedly that Saylor should consider it a victory if she gets significant minutes this year, and I've previously mentioned a myriad of reasons. In watching Saylor at the U16's however her body, her flow, her defense on the perimeter and her shot, against very good competition (and the fact that she made the squad) makes me feel she will, by next season have Anna sitting more than standing. Now, in watching Ducharme I'm not impressed by her speed nor her athleticism. But her agility, body control, shot making skills, size, body type and offensive IQ are better than what I've seen of Anna last year and this year.

With Fudd however there is no doubt that Nika, who has been awful in the 2 guard position this year, will be no where near what Fudd is already at PG. It's funny how so many believed Paige, even before she stepped onto campus, to be an AA, but some question whether Fudd will be. I've seen as much of Fudd's HS and international play as I saw of Paige before she came to UConn, and I can tell you that Fudd kid is special indeed. She doesn't turn the ball over, is a better shooter than Paige from 3 and with her pull up (which when going from left to right is one of the best I've ever seen), has quick feet on defense, and a strong frame and lower body that is comparable to CW's when she hit campus. Her quick power drive to the basket is also a thing of beauty, and she's also a finisher at the hoop. If Fudd and Nika came to Storrs at the same time Nika would barely be seeing mop up time.
I agree with you about the 3 wings/ guards that are coming. Other than Bueckers they are well ahead of the wing/ guards of the last two classes fundamentally and in terms of understanding concepts, plus moving and shooting in traffic. They all can shoot and have been prepared by playing good AAU competition.
 

donalddoowop

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Yeah, I am. Anna isn't playing as much now. Remember, I'm one of those guys that has said repeatedly that Saylor should consider it a victory if she gets significant minutes this year, and I've previously mentioned a myriad of reasons. In watching Saylor at the U16's however her body, her flow, her defense on the perimeter and her shot, against very good competition (and the fact that she made the squad) makes me feel she will, by next season have Anna sitting more than standing. Now, in watching Ducharme I'm not impressed by her speed nor her athleticism. But her agility, body control, shot making skills, size, body type and offensive IQ are better than what I've seen of Anna last year and this year.

With Fudd however there is no doubt that Nika, who has been awful in the 2 guard position this year, will be no where near what Fudd is already at PG. It's funny how so many believed Paige, even before she stepped onto campus, to be an AA, but some question whether Fudd will be. I've seen as much of Fudd's HS and international play as I saw of Paige before she came to UConn, and I can tell you that Fudd kid is special indeed. She doesn't turn the ball over, is a better shooter than Paige from 3 and with her pull up (which when going from left to right is one of the best I've ever seen), has quick feet on defense, and a strong frame and lower body that is comparable to CW's when she hit campus. Her quick power drive to the basket is also a thing of beauty, and she's also a finisher at the hoop. If Fudd and Nika came to Storrs at the same time Nika would barely be seeing mop up time.
I believe Fudd will be ready. However, I see DeBerry and Ducharme struggling just as Walker and Williams did. They were ranked even higher in high school. I expect Saylor to struggle when she starts practicing this season. Because she is starting practice this season, she may be ready early next season. I hope they all develop soon. At my age, I don't know if I can be looking to 2023 or 2024, as many of you can.
 

donalddoowop

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I agree with you about the 3 wings/ guards that are coming. Other than Bueckers they are well ahead of the wing/ guards of the last two classes fundamentally and in terms of understanding concepts, plus moving and shooting in traffic. They all can shoot and have been prepared by playing good AAU competition.
That still does not prepare them for UConn concepts. Williams and some of the others played top level AAU competition and look how they struggled.
 
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I believe Fudd will be ready. However, I see DeBerry and Ducharme struggling just as Walker and Williams did. They were ranked even higher in high school. I expect Saylor to struggle when she starts practicing this season. Because she is starting practice this season, she may be ready early next season. I hope they all develop soon. At my age, I don't know if I can be looking to 2023 or 2024, as many of you can.
I see DeBerry being very similar to ONO as a freshman. Although playing with the Philly Belles for at least one summer, her HS competition was pretty weak so it might take a while.
 
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That still does not prepare them for UConn concepts. Williams and some of the others played top level AAU competition and look how they struggled.
I’m talking basic BB concepts that would coincide with UConn concepts. Like understanding how to offensively use a high ball screen or defensively how to defend one. True about AAU, however they struggled because some of them were taught limited fundamentals. The AAU competition is necessary to experience the speed and physicality of other advanced athletes, whereas the coaching competence can be iffy.
 

CocoHusky

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That still does not prepare them for UConn concepts. Williams and some of the others played top level AAU competition and look how they struggled.
You keep saying Williams struggled yet she was a day 1 starter, dropped 28 against the #1 team at ND and averaged 18 PPG in her first NCAA tournament. Can we sign all the freshman up for this kind of struggle?
 
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You keep saying Williams struggled yet she was a day 1 starter, dropped 28 against the #1 team at ND and averaged 18 PPG in her first NCAA tournament. Can we sign all the freshman up for this kind of struggle?
Earlier you made a point about players improving under Auriemma; just curious, would you say Williams has improved from that freshman performance?
 

CocoHusky

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Earlier you made a point about players improving under Auriemma; just curious, would you say Williams has improved from that freshman performance?
Absolutely not. She regressed tremendously as a sophmore and has only rebounded slightly this season. Yes, very rare for a Geno player and tremendously disappointing.
 
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Absolutely not. She regressed tremendously as a sophmore and has only rebounded slightly this season. Yes, very rare for a Geno player and tremendously disappointing.
Her defense and rebounding are much better. In the Tennesse game, I think she knew Paige was struggling and she needed to put points on the board and she did. Last year in the Baylor game same thing points on the board. I think she is a big-game player. We didn't get to see who would step up at the end of the year due to COVID but this year we will need players to step up let's see who does.
 

CocoHusky

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Her defense and rebounding are much better. In the Tennesse game, I think she knew Paige was struggling and she needed to put points on the board and she did. Last year in the Baylor game same thing points on the board. I think she is a big-game player. We didn't get to see who would step up at the end of the year due to COVID but this year we will need players to step up let's see who does.
That is what I meant by rebounding slightly. On a positive side, she has stepped up to leadership role and has grown into an understanding that she can impact the game in other ways besides scoring. Her rebounding numbers are up slightly and her A:TO is pretty good. On the down side Geno wouldn’t have to be riding Paige so hard to shoot the basketball if Christyn was scoring and shooting more consistently.
 

Huskee11

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I don`t get the Molly Bent comparison. Bless her heart, we all rooted like crazy for her, but Molly was afraid of her own shadow out there. The definition of tentative. She has a great 4.0 brain, but it got in her way on the court.

Nika has tried to take it to the hoop for shots/passes, and has pushed the ball upcourt, more already than Molly ever dared to do. She is forcing, admittedly too much, where Molly shied away. But she will learn. As far as getting beat on defense, there are plenty others on the team who qualify as well. And I thought her defense the other day was pretty good. Certainly she was putting in the effort.

I like Nika`s intensity and determination. And she would have had a bunch of assists the other day if somebody could actually make a shot.
 
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My stance on Nika is based on several factors:

1) She's a freshman
2) In a different country
3) UConn's system is difficult to grasp and harder to execute
3) She plays hard but way too fast

In time she'll be fine, but this year will be all about learning the American way of basketball
 
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So a fellow BY’er just pointed out that Nika is not the only freshman guard who’s had a tough game. In the near upset by unranked Wake Forest, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith scored 5 pts on 2-7 shooting with 5 turnovers, and she’s been starting all season long. Hopefully, Louisville will recruit a better guard next season so they don’t have to play Van Lith.....:rolleyes:

For what it’s worth, Louisville was recruiting Nika hard before Geno showed up in Croatia.
I think Oregon was recruiting her too, and of course South Florida. I think we could assume that if the Wake Forest game was Hailey's first game, she would be described as a bust by a significant portion of the Boneyard.
 
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I think Oregon was recruiting her too, and of course South Florida. I think we could assume that if the Wake Forest game was Hailey's first game, she would be described as a bust by a significant portion of the Boneyard.
How do we matchup with Louisville?
PB on Hailey, Aubrey on Evans- take away her strength advantage. Anyone, anyone...... Bueller
 

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