What makes this year's team so much better than last year? | Page 3 | The Boneyard

What makes this year's team so much better than last year?

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We are longer with Newton out there. RJ could get abused sometimes. Clingan is a giant addition. He creates so many easy buckets off rebounds and ally-oops.
 
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Aside from Big Three's dramatic improvement.. Team first mentality-BBIQ-Sharing the ball.. Commitment to defense and roles.

Upgrade in talent from freshmen and the portal..
100% Different Leadership. Nothing against Cole or Martin but their answer for everything was isolation plays. This team wins as a team. It doesn't depend on one player to be the hero every night. Andre is a natural leader. He brings people together. Last years team was all good guys but the leaders on that team were not vocal and had a hard time raising their team mates up. This team follows Andre's and Adama's work ethic and trust one another. It's beautiful basketball that can beat you in a million ways.
 
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100% Different Leadership. Nothing against Cole or Martin but their answer for everything was isolation plays. This team wins as a team. It doesn't depend on one player to be the hero every night. Andre is a natural leader. He brings people together. Last years team was all good guys but the leaders on that team were not vocal and had a hard time raising their team mates up. This team follows Andre's and Adama's work ethic and trust one another. It's beautiful basketball that can beat you in a million ways.

Counterpoint: they're not blowing people out because of different leadership. They're blowing people out because they have different players.
 

caw

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PG position: Newton is better defender for Hurley's schemes. RJ tried but he was short and switches caused poor mismatches. Offensively I think Newton might fit better also (post entry passes), though RJ was pretty darn good.

SG position: Martin could shoot but he did not have that hair trigger Hawkins has, which causes opposing defenses to have to play up on him and chase him around screens. Martin was more of a set shooter, an opportunistic three-point shooter. Basically Hawkins draws much more attention even if Martin could get the same amount of points.

SF position: Jackson is just better this year.

PF position: Whaley was a better defender and while he could shoot a bit and pass a bit, Karaban is a more natural shooter and passer who plays solid defense. Again it keeps his defender honest when he's stepping beyond the arc. Whaley was almost dared to shoot (like Adama this year).

C position: Sanogo is better this year.

Bench: Last year it was Hawkins, Gaffney, Akok and Polley. While I do believe UConn would have gone further in the NCAAT last year with a healthy Hawkins, really none of those four are as good as Clingan, Alleyne, or Diarra defensively and right now Clingan and Calcaterra bring much more offensively.
 
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I'm as excited about this year's team as anyone else, and I was doing a quick comparison of position by position of this year vs last year. Some of the same players are still in some of the same positions, yet the sky is the limit with this year's squad. So, what's the difference?

At the point- RJ vs Tristan. Hard to say who I'd want more
At shooting guard- Hawkins vs Hawkins- no difference
At the 3- Andre vs Andre- no difference
At the 4- Alex Karaban vs Tyrese Martin- wouldn't edge go to Martin?
At the 5- Sanogo vs Sanogo- no difference
But,
Back-up 5- Clingan vs Whaley- big edge for Clingan
Other major players on this year's squad- Joey Calcaterra, Hassan Diarra, Naheime Alleyne
Other major players players on last year's squad- Tyler Polley, Jalen Gaffney, Akok Akok

What accounts for the explosiveness this year? Clingan and Joey C being on the squad? Having another year's development for the returnees? Some kind of team cohesion/confidence that is hard to describe but undeniable?

This was not the lineup last year. Martin at the 4? What?
 
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I'm as excited about this year's team as anyone else, and I was doing a quick comparison of position by position of this year vs last year. Some of the same players are still in some of the same positions, yet the sky is the limit with this year's squad. So, what's the difference?

At the point- RJ vs Tristan. Hard to say who I'd want more
At shooting guard- Hawkins vs Hawkins- no difference
At the 3- Andre vs Andre- no difference
At the 4- Alex Karaban vs Tyrese Martin- wouldn't edge go to Martin?
At the 5- Sanogo vs Sanogo- no difference
But,
Back-up 5- Clingan vs Whaley- big edge for Clingan
Other major players on this year's squad- Joey Calcaterra, Hassan Diarra, Naheime Alleyne
Other major players players on last year's squad- Tyler Polley, Jalen Gaffney, Akok Akok

What accounts for the explosiveness this year? Clingan and Joey C being on the squad? Having another year's development for the returnees? Some kind of team cohesion/confidence that is hard to describe but undeniable?
Hawkins Andre and Sonogo are not no difference. They all got better
 
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quickness, depth, shooters, and riding the mojo from the bowl bid!
 
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also, i think if you added cole to this team and he played the newton role the team would CRUISE to a fifth chip.

I don't agree with this take. I love Cole, he carried an incredible burden with this team, but (i) I'm a fan of not having a 5-9 point guard who's not particularly quick or explosive and (ii) the complaints about Newton are, to my mind, wildly overblown and mostly a product of the fact that the team is pounding everyone so we need some "cons" to discuss. Someone said yesterday that "he's regressed." That's insane to me. This stuff is not linear. He's going to be a massive part of what they're trying to do.
 
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As others have said noticeable skill improvement from 3 starters. Much improved bench depth and contributions. Multiple ball handlers. More team chemistry. More killer instinct. Better coaching.
 

August_West

"Ah, hon, you got Arby's all over me"
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Counterpoint: they're not blowing people out because of different leadership. They're blowing people out because they have different players.
Yes. But question. would you trade Martin for Alleyne and RJ for Newton?

Personally I wouldn’t move a piece. We just work. So that’s that.

But it’s not that facile either, empirically. The frosh and advancements of our existing pieces are greater than portal imo. Except for Joey calzone. What the hell.
 
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We are longer with Newton out there. RJ could get abused sometimes. Clingan is a giant addition. He creates so many easy buckets off rebounds and ally-oops.
And, his length and anticipation, disrupt or reduce the scoring of the other team's big men. And, he often either blocks their shots, alters their shots, or even forces them into travels.

Quite a difference maker.
 
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Yes. But question. would you trade Martin for Alleyne and RJ for Newton?

No, I wouldn't spend a second even considering trading Newton for Cole. In case I wasn't clear, I don't agree that this team is better with Cole rather than Newton at point guard. I think it's worse.

As far as the other one, Martin has certainly been more productive than Alleyne but I wouldn't do that one either, for the reason you said: this team just works. I also think that Alleyne has way too long a track record as a productive college basketball player to not break out at some point, so the people calling him a "miss" in December are, as would be expected, completely jumping the gun.
 
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Yes. But question. would you trade Martin for Alleyne and RJ for Newton?

Personally I wouldn’t move a piece. We just work. So that’s that.

But it’s not that facile either, empirically. The frosh and advancements of our existing pieces are greater than portal imo. Except for Joey calzone. What the hell.
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August_West

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No, I wouldn't spend a second even considering trading Newton for Cole. In case I wasn't clear, I don't agree that this team is better with Cole rather than Newton at point guard. I think it's worse.

As far as the other one, Martin has certainly been more productive than Alleyne but I wouldn't do that one either, for the reason you said: this team just works. I also think that Alleyne has way too long a track record as a productive college basketball player to not break out at some point, so the people calling him a "miss" in December are, as would be expected, completely jumping the gun.
I don’t think he’s a “miss” per se . And let me preface by saying you’re absolutely right, this is all idle chatter with a bunch of starved fans who want so hard to believe we are the number 1 or 2 team in country. I believe that. We are that. Wouldn’t change a thing, it’s a luxury ( and probably stupid) to discuss the merits of RJ vs Newton. I feel like I could argue either side and be right. But results are on newtons side.
 

Hoopcrazee

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Ball movement = open looks and easy buckets at the rim... PLUS BBall IQ is way higher
 
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What if I told you that we had one of the 10 best players in the sport (vastly improved from last year) and that when he was off the court, both our offense and defense got better?

This is a Donovan Clingan post.
 
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You do know Whaley was not a back up 5 last year? He started at the 4 and played 30 plus minutes. Martin the 2. Rj at 1 and Jackson at the 3. That was the starting lineup.

So Martin at 2 over Hawk? Hawk. Karaban at 4 over Whaley on offense at least. Newton pushes the ball and attacks, Cole got the inbound and walked it up court. I’d take Newton on this team. If we had last years teams I’d take Cole to run that team over Newton.
 

Icehawk

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Synergy

Instead of having guys who have 1 talent we have guys who have multiple. More height isn't a bad thing either.

Hurley is a good (great) coach but I think is a bit limited when the players don't suit the style he wants to play, not a real knock here, now that he's got a lineup that is what he wanted it's all clicking. See the first word I posted.

Like I said a few weeks ago, I'm all-in & chugging the Kool-aid. I won't say what I'm dreaming about but you're all there right with me I know it.
 

GoDAWGS

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Players are better, but we also have better shooters to add, the floor is actually spaced this year. They also pass really effectively to find the open man. You can either crowd sanogo and they'll find a 3 point shooter or you can guard the shooters and the centers eat. Every position can score and defend on this team.
 
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Sanogo has undergone a physical transformation of sorts since last year. I have no idea what his BMI is, but there's less fat and more finely tuned muscles involved. The difference in speed and reaction time is more than noticeable. He still sweats more than any other human, but now he doesn't look winded. Ever.
It shows the most on the High Hedge. Last year, he got 'stuck' outside when the ball went inside, way too often. This year, his speed and especially reflexes (and perhaps a better comprehension of what the hedge is supposed to accomplish and how it works) have improved dramatically.
Now if we could just get him to kick the ball back out more than once in a blue moon when he's double/triple teamed in the post, we'd be dang well unstoppable.

Playing 5 minutes less per game probably doesn't hurt either.
 
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There isn't a simple answer here, but I think it probably boils down to:

1. More shooters.

2. Our bench is a humongous upgrade. Gaffney and Akok were borderline unplayable. Clingan and Joey C could start without a hiccup. The bench limited our ceiling last year.

3. Player development. Sanogo, Hawkins, and Jackson have substantially improved.

4. Better fitting pieces. Whaley was an awesome player, but him at the 4 hindered our offense.
 

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