Olivia and Aaliyah Against TN's Size: More Equal Than You Think

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A lot of people on the TN Postgame thread seemed to think that UConn got totally outplayed in the paint, and that our big players were ineffective. I think they are wrong.

As usual, it helps to look at the box score:
  • Olivia played 31 minutes and picked up only 2 fouls (both in the second half). She didn't have to miss any time due to foul trouble -- in fact, no UConn player except Aubrey did, and Aubrey's foul trouble didn't occur until late in the game. She was 0-for-4 from 3 (all attempts were early in the game, and then she stopped attempting 3's), but 2-for-3 from 2-point range. I believe both of these scores were in the 22-point 4th quarter. She hauled down 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds. She had 3 blocks and zero turnovers. Her opponent, Tamari Key, also played 31 minutes but picked up 3 fouls and had 9 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Key scored 10 points, blocked 3 shots, and committed 4 fouls. Basically the two players were equally effective, but Liv saved most of her ammunition for the 4th quarter when it is fair to say that she dominated.
  • Aaliyah Edwards played 21 minutes and had 6 points, 3 rebounds (1 offensive) and 3 fouls. Her opponent, Kishkituah, who is either a junior or a senior, played 23 minutes and scored 3 points with no fouls. In other words, they played each other roughly evenly.
Bottom line: UConn did not get dominated by Tennessee's big players. Tennessee's size on the perimeter was a bigger problem, since they were able to guard a lot of jump shots that would have been open against other opponents. As a team, though, UConn blocked 7 shots and TN blocked 6 -- again, not a big difference. It is invalid to conclude that UConn was flummoxed by Tennessee's size, or that this is likely to occur when they play other teams (South Carolina?) with similar size.
 
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A lot of people on the TN Postgame thread seemed to think that UConn got totally outplayed in the paint, and that our big players were ineffective. I think they are wrong.

As usual, it helps to look at the box score:
  • Olivia played 31 minutes and picked up only 2 fouls (both in the second half). She didn't have to miss any time due to foul trouble -- in fact, no UConn player except Aubrey did, and Aubrey's foul trouble didn't occur until late in the game. She was 0-for-4 from 3 (all attempts were early in the game, and then she stopped attempting 3's), but 2-for-3 from 2-point range. I believe both of these scores were in the 22-point 4th quarter. She hauled down 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds. She had 3 blocks and zero turnovers. Her opponent, Tamari Key, also played 31 minutes but picked up 3 fouls and had 9 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Key scored 10 points, blocked 3 shots, and committed 4 fouls. Basically the two players were equally effective, but Liv saved most of her ammunition for the 4th quarter when it is fair to say that she dominated.
  • Aaliyah Edwards played 21 minutes and had 6 points, 3 rebounds (1 offensive) and 3 fouls. Her opponent, Kishkituah, who is either a junior or a senior, played 23 minutes and scored 3 points with no fouls. In other words, they played each other roughly evenly.
Bottom line: UConn did not get dominated by Tennessee's big players. Tennessee's size on the perimeter was a bigger problem, since they were able to guard a lot of jump shots that would have been open against other opponents. As a team, though, UConn blocked 7 shots and TN blocked 6 -- again, not a big difference. It is invalid to conclude that UConn was flummoxed by Tennessee's size, or that this is likely to occur when they play other teams (South Carolina?) with similar size.
In the first half and for the beginning of the 2nd, UConn got pummeled by TN's big's offensive rebounding and was behind most of that time. Little offense from ONO and Griffin and they didn't create any movement that allowed the other shooters to be effective. UConn made some adjustments and won the game. I like our chances alot if we would play TN again. Geno likely to make these changes part of the game plan. Put ONO back under the basket and get the ball out of Griffin's hands on offense and we win by 20+.
 
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I like them playing together, though I was mystified when Aaliyah was playing the high post with Olivia down low. They did switch that up after a few possessions, but their skill sets set up exactly opposite of how they started.
 
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To clarify my original post on this thread, I do think that TN's length gave UConn problems, but it was their length on the perimeter that made shooting difficult. It was not because Olivia and Aaliyah were getting dominated in the paint.
 

CocoHusky

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A lot of people on the TN Postgame thread seemed to think that UConn got totally outplayed in the paint, and that our big players were ineffective. I think they are wrong.

As usual, it helps to look at the box score:
  • Olivia played 31 minutes and picked up only 2 fouls (both in the second half). She didn't have to miss any time due to foul trouble -- in fact, no UConn player except Aubrey did, and Aubrey's foul trouble didn't occur until late in the game. She was 0-for-4 from 3 (all attempts were early in the game, and then she stopped attempting 3's), but 2-for-3 from 2-point range. I believe both of these scores were in the 22-point 4th quarter. She hauled down 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds. She had 3 blocks and zero turnovers. Her opponent, Tamari Key, also played 31 minutes but picked up 3 fouls and had 9 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Key scored 10 points, blocked 3 shots, and committed 4 fouls. Basically the two players were equally effective, but Liv saved most of her ammunition for the 4th quarter when it is fair to say that she dominated.
  • Aaliyah Edwards played 21 minutes and had 6 points, 3 rebounds (1 offensive) and 3 fouls. Her opponent, Kishkituah, who is either a junior or a senior, played 23 minutes and scored 3 points with no fouls. In other words, they played each other roughly evenly.
Bottom line: UConn did not get dominated by Tennessee's big players. Tennessee's size on the perimeter was a bigger problem, since they were able to guard a lot of jump shots that would have been open against other opponents. As a team, though, UConn blocked 7 shots and TN blocked 6 -- again, not a big difference. It is invalid to conclude that UConn was flummoxed by Tennessee's size, or that this is likely to occur when they play other teams (South Carolina?) with similar size.
Tamari Key established "dominant" low position at the onset of the game and UCONN failed to to move her off that spot in the 31 minutes she played. Key was extremely productive in that spot. UCONN also played a significant of zone defense in this game so your matchups & box scores analysis needs to take than into account. Size & length continues to be a problem for for UCONN in general and bulk continues to be an issue for Liv. TN and Providence are ample examples of Liv's issues.
 
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A lot of people on the TN Postgame thread seemed to think that UConn got totally outplayed in the paint, and that our big players were ineffective. I think they are wrong.

As usual, it helps to look at the box score:
  • Olivia played 31 minutes and picked up only 2 fouls (both in the second half). She didn't have to miss any time due to foul trouble -- in fact, no UConn player except Aubrey did, and Aubrey's foul trouble didn't occur until late in the game. She was 0-for-4 from 3 (all attempts were early in the game, and then she stopped attempting 3's), but 2-for-3 from 2-point range. I believe both of these scores were in the 22-point 4th quarter. She hauled down 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds. She had 3 blocks and zero turnovers. Her opponent, Tamari Key, also played 31 minutes but picked up 3 fouls and had 9 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Key scored 10 points, blocked 3 shots, and committed 4 fouls. Basically the two players were equally effective, but Liv saved most of her ammunition for the 4th quarter when it is fair to say that she dominated.
  • Aaliyah Edwards played 21 minutes and had 6 points, 3 rebounds (1 offensive) and 3 fouls. Her opponent, Kishkituah, who is either a junior or a senior, played 23 minutes and scored 3 points with no fouls. In other words, they played each other roughly evenly.
Bottom line: UConn did not get dominated by Tennessee's big players. Tennessee's size on the perimeter was a bigger problem, since they were able to guard a lot of jump shots that would have been open against other opponents. As a team, though, UConn blocked 7 shots and TN blocked 6 -- again, not a big difference. It is invalid to conclude that UConn was flummoxed by Tennessee's size, or that this is likely to occur when they play other teams (South Carolina?) with similar size.
I would have liked a little more low post presence from Liv. On the other hand, if she hits a jumper or two and makes her darn FTs, she would have had a double double. I have always said that we need 12 and 10 from Liv against top competition.

Are TN bigs top competition? I don't know....but Liv fell a little short of what I had hoped on offense but she did come up big in the 4th and made some timely blocks and rebounds.

Maybe I'm being harsh, but I was hoping for more like 12-15 pts against TN.

You do make a good point that we didn't get dominated by TN and Liv was a big part of that. Take out the first Quarter and I think we out-rebounded them. Not sure...but it seemed like we did.
 

CocoHusky

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I would have liked a little more low post presence from Liv. On the other hand, if she hits a jumper or two and makes her darn FTs, she would have had a double double. I have always said that we need 12 and 10 from Liv against top competition.
Are TN bigs top competition? I don't know....but Liv fell a little short of what I had hoped on offense but she did come up big in the 4th and made some timely blocks and rebounds.
Maybe I'm being harsh, but I was hoping for more like 12-15 pts against TN.
You do make a good point that we didn't get dominated by TN and Liv was a big part of that. Take out the first Quarter and I think we out-rebounded them. Not sure...but it seemed like we did.
You are not being too harsh. TN front line is not "top" competition and neither is Providence. To her credit Liv sparked UCONN in the 4th quarter with great defensive blocks and rebounding. Not to her credit is those were her first impact moments in a big game since her freshman year against ND with the swat of Mabrey. This team needs more from Liv-more rebounds, higher FG%, more impact moments & more consistency.
 
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Geno has said many times in the past that he hates the women's ball because it doesn't bounce true on the rim. It seems to go off more like a beach ball. The rebounds were not coming off under the basket but outside more. UConn, not counting AG, seems to have a hard time judging where it is going to go and seem to wait hoping it will come to them rather than aggressively going to get it. That changed in the 4th when they dominated. This team plays a better zone than I have seen from UConn maybe ever.
 

SVCBeercats

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Bottom line: UConn did not get dominated by Tennessee's big players. Tennessee's size on the perimeter was a bigger problem, since they were able to guard a lot of jump shots that would have been open against other opponents. As a team, though, UConn blocked 7 shots and TN blocked 6 -- again, not a big difference. It is invalid to conclude that UConn was flummoxed by Tennessee's size, or that this is likely to occur when they play other teams (South Carolina?) with similar size.
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Gus Mahler

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Watched the game again and at least in the 4th quarter, ONO was quietly dominate, blocking shots, grabbing loose balls, playing great defense, etc. Paige got the headlines but ONO did quite a bit of work that got us the win.
Yes, and let us note that on each block in the 4th she kept the ball in play. The first time happened from desire, effort, and athletic ability.
 

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