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Playing in the AAC hurts UConn in the postseason

 
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pilight



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 2:26 pm    ::: Playing in the AAC hurts UConn in the postseason Reply Reply with quote

http://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/23014892/why-playing-american-athletic-conference-hurts-uconn-huskies-postseason

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Down the stretch against the Irish, and last season in similar fashion against Mississippi State, UConn looked uncharacteristically fazed and a little lost despite being the favorite and having more talent and more All-Americans.



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Fighting Artichoke



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 2:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I thought it was a BS article. The only point that I thought held any water at all was the claim that UConn wasn't challenged after the Louisville game (Feb 12). That left the last 4 AAC regular season games and the then the 3 AAC tournament games as non-challenging, although USF isn't chopped liver, and UConn played them twice in the those 7 games.

UConn's schedule before that was the best in the country at that point. They would have been tested more had their OOC opponents rose to the challenge, but really only 2 of those opponents even made UConn anxious after halftime.

UConn's struggles (if you want to call it that) in late game situations is extremely infrequent, as they almost never get challenged. If they joined a P5 conference, they would be tested more in the conference tournament and might get to practice those late game situations a bit more close to the start of the tournament. I guess that would be the big competitive benefit.


GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 4:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Of course playing in the AAC is a negative factor in preparing UConn for elite OOC opponents during the season or in the tournament afterwards. I don't see how anyone can reasonably deny that. It also probably is a negative factor in recruiting, though UConn's many positive recruiting factors can overcome it.

Another negative factor for UConn in the rare close game against elite opponents is Geno's lack of coaching experience in these situations. Every high school and AAU coach in America over the past 25 years has likely had far, far more experience coaching in close games than Geno. And his poor record in close games and overtimes reflects this.

Another factor in close games is luck, good and bad. How often is a 14 PPG player going to have a once-in-a-career Maya Moore game? How often are last second circus shots under pressure going to go in? How often is the outside shooting of one of the top five shooting teams going to dry up? How are crucial ref calls going?

Yet another factor is the foul situation and whether the coach has a prepared backup lineup and plans for foul trouble on key players.

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.

Lots of things, negative for UConn and positive for the opponent, coalesced to defeat UConn in the tournament the past two years. South Carolina and Notre Dame will always be the national champs for 2017 and 2018, but in my opinion UConn was the best team in both years -- in the sense that they likely would have won seven out of 10 against any of the the other Final Four participants. Again, just my opinion.
ArtBest23



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 5:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.


Hardly.

One of those four was to an All American player widely regarded as the star of the team, Brianna Turner.

And Katherine Westbeld missed games, missed far more practices, and played with serious pain all year with an ankle injury. She recently discussed that she considered redshirting for the year but decided to play through the pain.

And Lili Thompson was the 6th man until she was lost for the year, and started in Westbeld's absence.

Sorry that reality doesn't fit your preferred narrative.

https://twitter.com/angdicarlo/status/980927627723714560?s=21




Last edited by ArtBest23 on 04/03/18 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ex-Ref



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 5:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ArtBest23 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.


Hardly.

One of those four was to an All American player widely regarded as the star of the team, Brianna Turner.

And Katherine Westbeld missed games, missed far more practices, and played with serious pain all year with an ankle injury. She recently discussed that she considered redshirting for the year but decided to play through the pain.

Sorry that reality doesn't fit your preferred narrative.

And Lili Thompson was the 6th man until she was lost for the year, and started in Westbeld's absence.

https://twitter.com/angdicarlo/status/980927627723714560?s=21


Don't forget Jackie's broken nose.



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ArtBest23



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 5:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:


Don't forget Jackie's broken nose.


Thank you. I did in fact forget that Jackie had to wear that face mask much of the the year because of her broken nose.


GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 5:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ArtBest23 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.


Hardly.

One of those four was to an All American player widely regarded as the star of the team, Brianna Turner.

And Katherine Westbeld missed games, missed far more practices, and played with serious pain all year with an ankle injury. She recently discussed that she considered redshirting for the year but decided to play through the pain.

Sorry that doesn't fit your preferred narrative.

https://twitter.com/angdicarlo/status/980927627723714560?s=21


What the media played up about Notre Dame were the four ACL injuries. My comment clearly specified injuries "suffered this season". Brianna Turner suffered her ACL the prior season, eight months before 2017-18 season. The other three ACL injuries (one to an unexpected grad transfer) were to players who were or would have been primarily bench players.

In any event, the topic is about UConn and the main point of my comment was that three UConn starters had months long lingering injuries that kept them out of some games but were almost never mentioned by the national press.
ArtBest23



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 6:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
ArtBest23 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.


Hardly.

One of those four was to an All American player widely regarded as the star of the team, Brianna Turner.

And Katherine Westbeld missed games, missed far more practices, and played with serious pain all year with an ankle injury. She recently discussed that she considered redshirting for the year but decided to play through the pain.

Sorry that doesn't fit your preferred narrative.

https://twitter.com/angdicarlo/status/980927627723714560?s=21


What the media played up about Notre Dame were the four ACL injuries. My comment clearly specified injuries "suffered this season". Brianna Turner suffered her ACL the prior season, eight months before 2017-18 season. The other three ACL injuries (one to an unexpected grad transfer) were to players who were or would have been primarily bench players.

In any event, the topic is about UConn and the main point of my comment was that three UConn starters had months long lingering injuries that kept them out of some games but were almost never mentioned by the national press.


So even though you're whinng about the media coverage of FOUR ND players, you want to selectively exclude the best of those four, AND ignore other injuries more significant than any of UConn's that the media rarely mentioned.

Yeah, if you want to ignore and play with the facts, I guess you can make up any kind of fictional scenario.


bballjunkie



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 6:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I think the NCAA made a nice contribution to Notre Dame with allowing a transfer, so I don’t understand all the complaining by MM. The whining was only coming from 1 coach, I didn’t hear any other coaches whining about injuries or the fact that the NCAA did not allow their transfers, oh and then there was the whining by the same coach that another player got POY. Hmm


calbearman76



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PostPosted: 04/03/18 10:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I agree that playing in the AAC doesn't do UConn any favors, but the main problem is Geno. He has never been a good coach in close games, and that predates the AAC. I believe he has now lost 7 overtime games in a row. I will not go quite so far as to say his teams choke, but his coaching style doesn't lend itself to situational play.

Going back to 2011-12, the last season in the Big East. UConn won 33 games by double digits. They also lost 5 games, 2 in overtime, one by 1 point one by 5 and one by 13. Geno usually has the best team, and make no mistake that he makes most players that go through his system better, but when it comes to close games his teams underperform in the final minutes more often than not. And that was true before the AAC.


CBiebel



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 12:32 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:

A final factor is injuries. While the injuries Notre Dame's suffered this season (all to bench players) were endlessly played up, UConn had injuries to three starters that persisted throughout the tournament but were never mentioned, mainly because the UConn players didn't want to talk about it. KLS has a persistent ankle injury that may require off-season surgery. Williams has persistent hip pain that she refuses to talk about even to UConn's homer announcers. Dangerfield has had shin splints since at least mid-season and has only minimally participated in practice since February.


ND injuries that were not ACLs:

1. Kat Westbeld injured her ankle (not the one she had surgery on in the offseason and which kept her from playing for a few games at the beginning of the season) in the NCAAs and that was the reason why she only played in the 2nd half vs Villanova. She didn't practice at all during the NCAA Tournament. That ankle injury was not healed by the NC game.

2. Shepard came down badly on her ankle in the semis. Looking at how she came down on it, I'm sure it wasn't 100% after that.

During the season:

Kat Westbeld was slow to recover from ankle injury in the offseason (the other ankle, not the one she injured in this year's NCAAs). She also had a nasty shiner for about 2-3 weeks from getting an elbow to the face (incidental contact, but nasty) in a game.

Jackie Young had her nose broken during the season and had to wear a mask for much of it.

Shepard has had ankle problems off and on during the season.

Trust me, you don't want to go down the "injury comparison" road with ND this season.

And let's not forget that while they might not have "been ready", UConn still had scholarship players available to play if necessary. ND didn't.




Last edited by CBiebel on 04/04/18 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total
CBiebel



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 12:36 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

bballjunkie wrote:
I didn’t hear any other coaches whining about injuries


So what other coach had 4 players out with ACLs? As I noted in another post, those were far from the only injuries to the team BTW.

Please enlighten me. What other team went down to 7 scholarship players?


taropatch



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 1:52 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

CBiebel wrote:
bballjunkie wrote:
I didn’t hear any other coaches whining about injuries


So what other coach had 4 players out with ACLs? As I noted in another post, those were far from the only injuries to the team BTW.

Please enlighten me. What other team went down to 7 scholarship players?


Baylor



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CBiebel



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 3:16 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

taropatch wrote:
CBiebel wrote:
bballjunkie wrote:
I didn’t hear any other coaches whining about injuries


So what other coach had 4 players out with ACLs? As I noted in another post, those were far from the only injuries to the team BTW.

Please enlighten me. What other team went down to 7 scholarship players?


Baylor


Consider me enlightened... Wink


CBiebel



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 4:33 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I think the major flaw in the argument that this article is making is that UConn's two semifinal losses were in OT. It's not like they were blown away.

I'll admit that when the conference realignment happened, I thought that UConn's recruiting could take a hit and they might go the way of La Tech, but that has yet to happen.

Two Semifinal losses is way too early to be declaring the death of UConn Women's Basketball. Hey, they went through the "dark ages" between Taurasi and Moore.


snlMINAJ



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 5:07 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

id say since DT definitely, maybe montgomery - i can't think of a primary guard who can take a game over and/or create a shot. (jefferson maybe could have but quite honestly never had to).

uconn lacks a player like morgan william or arike or diggins or sims - all who in the past could take over a game/create a shot for themselves.

this most recent team - whose hands would you put the ball in to make a play for themselves off the dribble?


PRballer



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 7:08 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

CBiebel wrote:
I think the major flaw in the argument that this article is making is that UConn's two semifinal losses were in OT. It's not like they were blown away.

I'll admit that when the conference realignment happened, I thought that UConn's recruiting could take a hit and they might go the way of La Tech, but that has yet to happen.

Two Semifinal losses is way too early to be declaring the death of UConn Women's Basketball. Hey, they went through the "dark ages" between Taurasi and Moore.


Interesting to compare the situation to Louisiana Tech - but that program weathered the relatively weak Sun Belt and then WAC (way worse) pretty well. If anything the decline for La Tech came after their HOF coach retired. That to me is the telling sign for UConn.


ucbart



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PostPosted: 04/04/18 8:48 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

snlMINAJ wrote:
id say since DT definitely, maybe montgomery - i can't think of a primary guard who can take a game over and/or create a shot. (jefferson maybe could have but quite honestly never had to).

uconn lacks a player like morgan william or arike or diggins or sims - all who in the past could take over a game/create a shot for themselves.

this most recent team - whose hands would you put the ball in to make a play for themselves off the dribble?


BINGO! As much as losing Stewie hurts, she’s the mos decorated female athlete of all time...the player we really miss, is Moriah Jefferson. I’m 2018, Crystal was still a very young sophomore. I know we are pinning our 2019 hopes to a freshman, but I think Williams is behind the real deal and the player we desperately missed the last two years.


TechDawgMc



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PostPosted: 04/08/18 9:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PRballer wrote:
CBiebel wrote:
I think the major flaw in the argument that this article is making is that UConn's two semifinal losses were in OT. It's not like they were blown away.

I'll admit that when the conference realignment happened, I thought that UConn's recruiting could take a hit and they might go the way of La Tech, but that has yet to happen.

Two Semifinal losses is way too early to be declaring the death of UConn Women's Basketball. Hey, they went through the "dark ages" between Taurasi and Moore.


Interesting to compare the situation to Louisiana Tech - but that program weathered the relatively weak Sun Belt and then WAC (way worse) pretty well. If anything the decline for La Tech came after their HOF coach retired. That to me is the telling sign for UConn.


The big drop off certainly related to losing Barmore. Still, there was a shift when the Techsters joined the American South (came before Sunbelt and didn't include W. Kentucky). The team was making final fours, but losing to teams that did not appear to be as good--and losing close games when not used to being in them as well. In that sense, it does have a bit of a parallel feel.

Still, the Techsters remained nationally competitive for another decade+ after the conference issues began. It just wasn't sustainable after Bamore stepped down. UConn does have a few advantages Tech didn't have (when Bamore retired the Tech athletic program had very little money for anything, and, of course, we were never ESPNs darling).


acsuc99



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PostPosted: 04/09/18 12:06 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is obvious to everyone at this point besides HuskyNan and about 60% of the Boneyard.


ClayK



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PostPosted: 04/09/18 9:26 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Interesting ... I don't think Tech's fall had anything to do with their conference, but more with the investment that larger schools began to make in women's basketball. Old Dominion suffered the same fate ...

Remember, Gonzaga was a consistent national level team for years despite playing in the WCC.

I think it's more about resources and commitment from the administration that conference affiliation.



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bballjunkie



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PostPosted: 04/09/18 11:03 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

If you think teams don’t have injuries then you are dilusional. Plus by keep harping on the number which quite frankly is not representative of the situation as timely transfers made for a nice little gift. There are many teams who play with a short rotation and again, they don’t complain about it.


summertime blues



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PostPosted: 04/09/18 12:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TechDawgMc wrote:
PRballer wrote:
CBiebel wrote:
I think the major flaw in the argument that this article is making is that UConn's two semifinal losses were in OT. It's not like they were blown away.

I'll admit that when the conference realignment happened, I thought that UConn's recruiting could take a hit and they might go the way of La Tech, but that has yet to happen.

Two Semifinal losses is way too early to be declaring the death of UConn Women's Basketball. Hey, they went through the "dark ages" between Taurasi and Moore.


Interesting to compare the situation to Louisiana Tech - but that program weathered the relatively weak Sun Belt and then WAC (way worse) pretty well. If anything the decline for La Tech came after their HOF coach retired. That to me is the telling sign for UConn.


The big drop off certainly related to losing Barmore. Still, there was a shift when the Techsters joined the American South (came before Sunbelt and didn't include W. Kentucky). The team was making final fours, but losing to teams that did not appear to be as good--and losing close games when not used to being in them as well. In that sense, it does have a bit of a parallel feel.

Still, the Techsters remained nationally competitive for another decade+ after the conference issues began. It just wasn't sustainable after Bamore stepped down. UConn does have a few advantages Tech didn't have (when Bamore retired the Tech athletic program had very little money for anything, and, of course, we were never ESPNs darling).


^^^^This^^^^^is most certainly true. Of course ESPN was just getting into broadcasting WBB at the time. But you had all those factors at work there. I think Barmore's retirement was the real biggie and the lack of money the school put into women's athletics came next. Things turned around a little bit (and I am going to get bashed for this, putting on my armor already) when they realized what straits they were in and hired Tyler, and he did bring the team out of the basement and into the middle of the conference and got some good recruits, but then HE GOT STUPID (there, does that make y'all happy? I know he was an idiot!) and ruined his career, and now Tech is right back where they look likely to stay.

Now UConn is a bigger school with a lot more name/brand recognition and probably will not fall so far, but whenever Geno retires, they will most likely not be the juggernaut they are now. They're not likely to become Tech; more like Tennessee.

Where I think playing in the AAC hurts UConn, and I have said this before, is that they just don't have the close games they may get in the early part of the season. I have long been a proponent of mixing up the schedule so OOC and conference games are not bunched up, with one being played first and the other last, but that's not the way it's done now. UConn gets used to cruising, and that's never a good thing. Geno, for all I think he's a great coach, gets out of the habit of managing tight games. When one comes around....oopsy! And there we are.



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