Impressions Of Day Two At Paradise Jam

by Categorized: ACC, Big East women's basketball, Breanna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, Paradise Jam, Stefanie Dolson, UConn women's basketball Date:

Good morning everyone:

I am looking out of my window at the pristine blue waters that abut the Marriott Frenchmen’s Reef resort.

It gives me a similar feeling to what I’ve had this week watching the UConn women envelop Wake Forest and Marist.

You know, what can possibly be better?

Let’s just say, there are ragged rocks on sandy bottoms and rough spots Geno Auriemma wants to iron on defensively.

Nothing is as perfect at it appears.

Some random thoughts:

  • There is a report, unsubstantiated to this point, that an iguana tried to draw a charge on Stefanie Dolson Friday as she sat on her chair at the pool. Sources say Dolson got out of the lane as quickly as she could and allowed the iguana access to anything it wanted access to. No harm, no foul.
  • Tonight’s challenge – and I use the term advisedly – at the Paradise Jam is No. 14 Purdue, which is still undefeated (5-0). The Boilermakers dispatched Wake Forest on Friday, 67-53, after having an easy time with Marist on Thursday. Here is Geno Auriemma’s take: “Every year, they are a program that contends for the Big Ten championship and their style has been physical, as well. They are again a very physical team and are getting great guard play right now. I don’t think it will be an easy game and we knew going into this tournament that it would be our toughest game.”
  • I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, although I must admit I have a whimsical streak that provokes this type of behavior: But 10 of UConn’s 11 players got double-figure minutes against Marist (none more than Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ 29) and each one of them made a substantive contribution to the win. In terms of oceans, UConn is deep as the Pacific (35,837 feet, if you must know).
  • Geno says he would have played zone all night against Marist, which led to a 42-14 halftime lead, but his players wouldn’t learned a hoot about defense that way. And he says some have a lot to learn. “The player Breanna Stewart was guarding [Marist’s Emma O’Connor] scored 16 of her 18 while [Stewart] was on her.”
  • You say ‘Can this team go undefeated and win the national championship?’ I say ‘Yep.’
  • It’s a little late now, of course, but if you are a crazy UConn fan and have always wanted to have great access to the program and its games, a tournament like this one is the best place to do it. You can mingle in the lobby, at the pool, in the elevators and sit so close to the bench at games that you can see the soles of Geno’s cool blue Cole Haan loafers.
  • Do I know what’s going to happen with UConn and the Big East? I do not. I wouldn’t chance a guess. I know what I’d wish for. Have you ever been to Charlottesville, Va? It will make you forget East or West Orange, N.J., in a heartbeat. But I will say this. If we wake up in a month and UConn is still in the Big East, and Cincinnati and Louisville are not, the best thing to do will be to pull the covers up and over our heads.
  • Do you wonder what Notre Dame’s point of view is about all of this? When the Irish sit in ACC meetings and are asked about the remaining programs in the Big East, whom do you think they will lobby for if they must chose just one? “I hope Notre Dame would be an ally of anyone in the Big East,” Geno said. “I feel the Big East did a lot for it, as much as they did for us. I don’t know what impact that would have on anyone. I don’t spend a lot a time thinking about. It’s part of the athletic equation I know nothing about.”
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31 thoughts on “Impressions Of Day Two At Paradise Jam

  1. Village Idiot

    So those of you who think this team, as it played against lowly Marist could win an NCAA championship–yep with ton and tons of luck. Defense stunk. Ability to get baskets in the lane stunk. Dolson got off maybe 6 shots, all misses. This in not a TEAM failure it’s a coaching FAILURE. EVERYONE from now on will pack the lane and pull on Dolson and Stewarts arms. Stewart could not defend OConner.
    Marist as a team played great excellence defense. If Uconn could not hit the 3 ball–Uconn would have lost. When a good team plays Uconn like this and stops the 3–it will be a very bad night for UConn–and us Fans.\Idiot maybe–but it is what it is.

    1. Mike McManus

      After reading several of the Village Idiot’s comments, his blog name is indeed appropriate. The only statement that I agree with is that Breanna Stewart needs to work on her defense..and Geno already mentioned that, which is why he refused to play a zone defense.

      1. Village Idiot

        Mike you don’t agree with the extent of Marist defense having the effect in the lane it had and assuming (which happens all too often) the 3 ball game fails. What happens against Stanford or ND or Baylor or UCLA or Louisville. What happens then. And this has happen plenty to UConn in the past. With all the Freshmen, will they fade in the big games?? Come on Mike you are more intelligent than that.

      2. Village Idiot

        Geno always says that LOSES ARE COACHING LOSES. They failed to make proper adjustments. Marist is almost a Div2 caliber team. Yet UConn couldn’t get an inside game (typically UConns bread and butter) going.

      3. Village Idiot

        Mike—I’d love to see UConn win it all. But I am not for anointing anyone champ just yet. I suspect by years end the Freshmen will be playing like sophs.
        Have you seen UCLA play defense?? They have speed and talent at all positions. Up to 10 deep and all play. They are ranked in PAC12 at #3. It could have been a seriously different outcome had UConn played them rather than Marist.

    2. Village brain

      Did you really think that UConn tried to play their best to win the game? Geno knew going in that they could win by at least 50 if they wanted to. He used the game to experiment with different defense, combinations and to give all his freshmen experience. Why run the team to the ground now? They will be ready in March.

      1. Village Idiot

        Anyone who thinks that Geno EVER would allow his player to play LESS than their best is a more Mental inhibited than I. Any player that plays less than 110 percent SITS. Yes it was a “warm up” Marist is almost a Div 2 team. Yet they would not allow Uconn to play it’s INSIDE game. Marist is this year a terrible shooting team. The low percentages they made was normal for them. O Connor without any defense on her hit 18 points. Read the record and stats –then comment.
        Less Inhibited than thou..

        1. Village brain

          You sure are what you claim to be. Why didn’t Geno have them play zone all day? Instead, he changed defense to see how his new players react and why did he not press all game? Why didn’t he play only 6 or 7 players as he always did during the NCAA run? They played hard, but they are working at things they are not comfortable with so they can learn. They will peak at the right time, in March. not three games into the season.

  2. Chris Saran

    No doubt you are an idiot. Marist decided to pack the lane, so UConn took advantage of their strategy by shooting threes, and making quite a few I might add. The 39 points Marist scored certainly proves just how much the defense stunk. The fact that Breeana was on O’Conner and not Kelly was a mistake. Why would you want a 6’4″ post player that far away from the basket guarding a three-point shooter? Haven’t figured that one out. Alarmists tend to be idiots, as you have proven. You have three new players, a player just coming back from injury, and Geno and his staff mixing and matching trying to find the most productive combinations. UConn will compete for the national championship. Those with faith in the staff and players can see where they are headed. They will be where they need to be come March.

    1. Dumber than Village Idiot

      Auriemma is a 7 player rotation coach. When it counts most, Auriemma is going to make at least 2 players very unhappy. He is not going out of his comfort zone in tournament time, just to make 10 players happy.

      By mid season in February, Auriemma will have changed his 10 player rotation to 9. Stokes will be next to Buck, unless Dolson is in foul trouble or injured.

      By the Sweet 16 game, Auriemma will stick to his elite 8. His favorite Doty, Faris, Dolson, gunner KML, Stewart, Hartley if not red shirted, Tuck, and Jefferson.

      As good as Banks has been so far, no way Auriemma moves Jefferson out of his tournament rotation. He has to plan for next season with Jefferson at PG.

      Assuming that UConn reaches the Final Four, Doty’s minutes will probably be reduced because her mobility would be attacked by quicker guards.

  3. Dumber than Village Idiot

    After the Marist ugly win, on her SNY interview, Kaleena is clearly NOT happy being 2nd fiddle to Stewart. She has been too quick to pull the trigger and launch shots with no one in rebounding position.

    Right now, Stanford defeats UConn by 10+. Stanford would kill UConn on the boards. Stanford refs would get Stewart in early foul trouble reaching. Stanford refs would get Dolson in early foul trouble trying to get position down low.

    It is easy to see why Auriemma preferred less talent on his bench in the recent past. UConn has great depth, not just because of the 3 freshmen, but because Banks worked her tail off in the summer. He has to win games and teach, but also some how find the minutes to make everyone happy.

    I doubt Hartley gets close to 100% this season. The only way she gets better is to pull the plug and red shirt. But if Hartley miraculously became 100% by the Stanford game, Jefferson and Banks will lose minutes. One or both will be pouting like Stokes on the bench

    I do not understand why KML or any player would get 29 minutes in a blowout win in game 2 of 3 consecutive games. Other players could have used the minutes for game experience. And why risk injury.

  4. Baylor 42-1 FKA "Baylor 80-0"

    This Jam is nothing more than a warmup for UConn. The practices are way more difficult. In the stretch of the season, Standford will show many shortcommings. Baylor will have it tuff against UConn and maybe loose.

  5. Broadway (VA) Bill

    The packing lane defense by Marist (who was beaten badly by Purdue) was great. If UConn cannot,and it will happen, make 3′s Uconn will lose against that defense. 3 ball shooting depends upon the shooter being loose. When you are behind or pressured the three stops falling. Genos has said : Those that live by the 3 die by the 3. A triangle in the post (dolson, Stewart, Stokes/Tuck) could relieve the packing pressure. Dumber and Idiot are both correct. Uconn is far from Championship material now. Hope Genos can fix the problems before Tourney time.

  6. Baylor 47-1

    Point is they will never have 80 and 0, Uconn had 91 and 0 a very poorly Ref’ed game–a disgrace ended the UConn streak that would have reached 100 easily.
    The 3 minutes Sims wasn’t in the game didn’t lose the game, if it did Baylors in deep doo doo.

  7. Lewis Shatzer

    Some of you guys are so full of crap. Geno isn’t a 7 player rotation coach. Look at the 2001 and 2002 teams. They were loaded with talent and he played whoever was on that night. He managed minutes to keep people happy. In recent years he hasn’t had that luxury. Last year he only had 6 productive players. I don’t want to hear about developing players last year. The 2 kids who transferred would not have been productive no matter how many minutes they played. I trust Geno, not the arm chair coaches who don’t really have to make coaching decisions.

    1. Mike McManus

      Hurray for Lewis being right-on about “full of crap” comments. These pundits have the entire season explained…lineups, minutes played etc… And what’s the basis for their expertise? Every year this blog is tainted with one or two nay-sayers and Geno-haters. For God’s sake, UCONN has the most talented and successful coaching staff in Women’s B-ball and more NCAA championships than most other programs yet, we still have these local “experts” who do nothing but annoy other readers with their uneducated biases.

      1. Village Idiot

        Au Contre–I think Geno is the greatest living coach in the world, in Woman’s basketball and can’t find a Mens coach who compares. Yet he is human. How else do you explain him allowing Dolson and Stewart being shutdown in the lane? Marist played great defense–but for ever defense their is an offense to counter it. Mike I am your booster too usually you are right on–now you are speaking out of loyalty.

    2. Charter Oak Bridge

      Lewis – if you were actually a UConn fan who knew anything about this team, you would know that the 2001-2002 39-0 team was a 6 player rotation in the championship. And you would know that the 2000-2001 team with 10 players averaging 10+ minutes was the LAST TIME that ever happened at UConn. If you were a real UConn fan, you would know that after 2000-2001, Auriemma is ON RECORD saying he never wants to coach 10 All Americans again. Because it is too much trouble worrying about making everyone happy with equal minutes. * * * * * Just watch the minutes of Stokes, Tuck, Banks, and Jefferson DECLINE thru out the season. * * * * *

  8. Harryh

    Gee I wasn’t the only one who noticed how even Marist just walked around Dolson at will. She is a real defensive liability. Buck plays better defense

    I really enjoyed the woman’s boxing on sny before they decided to cover the game. Since John is a paid sny employee he wouldn’t comment but is that the treat we’re going to get all the time until they choose to cover the game? No pre game basketball show? Maybe that is why Herbst chose sny. She is a boxing fan.

  9. Rexie Dominguez

    Stephanie is not the greatest defender on this team but she’s one of the best players.. She does a lot of things on the court that helps this team wins..

  10. Rexie Dominguez

    Agree with mike 100%..Geno-haters if u have nothing nice to say or anything that makes sense better shut-up!!

  11. Phil

    Someone mused that Stewart on O’Connor was a mistake. Maybe.
    Here’s a theory – Geno told Stewart she needed work on her defense, and Stewart being Stewart, nodded in agreement, but Geno could tell by her expression that she didn’t really buy it.

    Now he was game film to show her.

  12. Ray

    All these nay sayers picking on this or that while theirs only two teams in the country that they might be underdogs to, And this is with a very young team.

    1. JR

      You do realize that UCLA got beat by double digits at home to Notre Dame yesterday, don’t you? And that was despite a 5-17 shooting night from Diggins.

  13. Arty155

    - Hats off to John Altavilla – and thanks to the Courant – for another terrific, fun update.
    - Great to see the Courant’s continued strong commitment to us WCBB fans, providing such early season coverage at the V.I., particularly while other print media do not seem to have a presence.
    - As a Husky fan, it’s easy to appreciate the widely varied strengths of each member of the generally-excellent UConn sports press “Horde” (e.g., some routinely reaching out to recruit’s H.S. coaches, parents, etc…). Nobody compares to Mr. Altavilla as our best “color commentator,” with his fun, easy going, train-of-thought observations on what makes our UConn WCBB unique.
    - As other fans have noted, the obvious sacrifice and effort required to somehow keep this entertaining writing going when all our families were still recovering from Sandy has also been very much appreciated.
    - Hope John enjoys his next umbrella drink while analyzing iguana team-defense for us. He’s earned it.
    Arty155

  14. Eileen

    Arty155-thanks, you took the words right out of my mouth or should I say fingers!! John is doing an excellent job bringing us all the “goodies” from the VI. Looking forward to more of it when we beat Purdue tonight by at least 20. The UCONN team is good, but not as good as Geno wants them–or when is he EVER happy and still finding little things to work on, even in the final four. That is what a great coaching staff does–never satisfied until the end. GO HUSKIES.

  15. Charter Oak Bridge

    Have you noticed the last 4 teams to beat UConn were coached by women? Geno is NOT a great coach in games where the players HE coaches are not doing well. He is NOT an Xs and Os coach. He is a screamer.

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