One fact that should stand out more than all this talk about how much talent Conn. has is the emergence of Breanna(sp?) Stewart as a major threat during the NCAA's She is something Natalie is not, a scorer both outside and inside. Without her emergence as a major star, Conn. would not have been as tough as they turned out to be Tuesday night. The game also featured a mind bending bad shooting night by ND, too many turnovers by Skylar, and too many missed passes and layups underneath. Conn. peaked during the tournament, ND went the other way. ND did not play that well,even against Iowa. So, yes, Conn. has alot of talent, but there dash to the top during the tournament was fueled by the sudden rise to stardom of one player and coming together as a team, while ND went the other way and didn't have anyone play halfway well against the Huskies.
but UCONN is loaded with talent. I still say that KML is UCONN's most dangerous scorer. She hits 3's like others hit layups. Stewart relieved pressure on KML and balances their scoring attack so that defending teams can't concentrate on shutting down just 1 or 2 UCONN players.
UCONN's main strategy in the last meeting with ND was to from the start put pressure on both Diggins AND McBride, the 2 main ball handlers. They kept that pressure up and it paid off.
and it's one that I had a few times before that. "We're just too damn short." It can't be that simple, but I do think our size deficit was a big factor in our loss -- that, plus uncharacteristically poor shooting that was partly but not entirely attributable to UConn's defense.
There are many variables. Some get hurt. Some just transfer. What if Geno had successfully got Della Donne? That team woulda been this year's team to beat instead of Baylor but UConn won without her so what would have been added? I think the elite programs go after the elite players (all of them as far as players) knowing they will not get them all.
As for coahces, UConn will get another boost now because what player wouldn't want to be on a team that sets the NCAA record (maybe more than once) for all-time titles? Onmly one team can do that in the forseeable future. It will next be a Geno record in anticipation of UT winning another one sometime. The reason the NCAA did not name the championship trophy after Summitt was 1) Someone else will have more wins and titles and 2) There has been a lot of over-glorifying Summitt this past season. She was ahead of the pack, but so many of her longevity records will quickly fall. In the SEC alone, Andy Landers has already coached more league seasons than she did and next year will have been in more NCAAs than she was.
As fun as it is now, so many of the founding coaches of the national game are still around. NCAA women's hoops is just in its beginning years. We may never forget Summitt because of the way she left the game. But others have obviously been better coaches, even in given seasons competing with her, and other programs have also been built. She is truly Hall of Fame. The over-arching coach of this game has not yet been named. Geno is on deck now for as long as he wants to be.
it's the truth. I've been thinking about this for years and every year I get depressed because of our lack of size in the incoming recruits.
Muffet is a great coach but this needs to be addressed.
respect to jumping ability) means that there is no substitute for height across the front line with women. Men can get away with it because some guys can jump well and some guys are so quick (and quick leapers). But with women even the quick ones aren't that quick and the best jumpers aren't that much better than the average.
Size matters in women's probably more than men's BB.
As one example, based on body type, you'd expect Dev Peters to really be able to out jump Achonwa, but I'm not sure that's really the case. While Peters may in fact be able to out jump Achonwa the difference probably isn't nearly as great as if you compared two men of comparable body types.
than with men's -- particularly at the highest levels of college and pro basketball.
Only three of ND's players are at or above 6' and only one is as tall as 6'3" (Achonwa). One is only 5'4" (Holloway) and the others are between 5'8" and 5'11".
UConn has six players over 6' and four who are 6'3" or taller. Their tallest are Dolson (6'5") and Stewart (6'4").
I don't think I've ever seen elite men's teams towering over their top competition the way that UConn towers over ND.
Let's not forget we went 35-2, beat UConn three times, and beat Iowa, a team that completely towered over us in every way, earlier in the tourney. Height can help, but if the players are tall, slow and have butterfingers then we're better off with agile 6'1 forwards who can bang in the paint.
But still never won the a title.
she'll show up next. Surely somebody will hire her soon.
She was considered for USC and Ohio State and said no to both.
Gail needs another place like Duke where she can recruit high profile athletes but have some academic restrictions.
The women's teams have only a few dominant programs which can load up with several players whereas the men with one and done will never have that again. For women it is not just basketball, NC in soccer continues to win National Championships (over 20 including last year) because they continually get the best players including more US U-18 national team players. They even get walk-ons who would easily be D1 scholarship players on many teams. The primary reason is the top talented girls want to play with the best for 4 years. Luckily ND is the next best program as are the only other school to have won more than 1 National Championship. With 11 players having to play stocking talent leads to championships.
Basketball has the same dynamic but since there are only 5 players it is harder to dominate with one team . UConn and Tennessee are the most dominant teams with 8 national championships each but ND, Duke, Stanford, Baylor, and few others (Cal, Louisville, Kentucky, NC, Georgia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma) are getting most of the talent. The beauty with these players is they plan on staying all four year. The others schools are lucky to get into the Elite 8 and only rarely.
The men will continue to have the Wichita States and VCU's whereas the women's surprise will be limited to the Delaware's making the Sweet 16.
is a difference in mindset between boys and girls.
While I can't site any sources, I believe there's plenty of evidence to suggest that girls are more cooperative while boys are more independent. This may translate to recruiting in that a top female recruit may be more willing to go and join a team full of all Americans to be part of a great team, whereas a boy may want to go somewhere where he can be the star and stand out.
TV coverage may also have something to do with it. Lots of mid-major men's basketball programs get decent TV coverage. Not as much with the women. If you want to play on TV, there are only so many options for the women's game.
just like everyone else. And he doesn't red shirt freshmen, like they do on the men's side.
Because the WBB talent pool is not as deep or broad as the men's, and the fact that he is a great basketball coach with 8 national titles, he can command the cream of the crop of WBB right now. Any girl who has talent and is serious about winning national championships, becoming an All American and a national player of the year, will want to go to UCONN because Geno knows how to mold them into great players and win championships.
That wasn't always the case with him. After he won the 1995 championship, Geno struggled to get top talent. He not only had to compete with Tenn but also Stanford and Duke.
As the WBB talent pool gets deeper and broader, more WBB teams will improve. That's happening now, but when will critical mass be reached? I don't know. Maybe when Geno retires from coaching. He's got at least 8-10 years before his health becomes a serious factor to his ability to coach. Pat Summit most likely was suffering from dementia before it went public and I think that contributed a lot to her inability to recruit the top talent against UCONN. She was 59 when her ailment was publicly announced and she had to retire.
Pat never struggled to get talent, but I don't think she was getting the talent that fit her system.
I worked there for two years and saw all their games. They had players who believed in hard work and dedication. The last few years the talent has been good, but they didn't have grinders.
Simmons is highly overrated but she gets her points and the media loves her and Tennessee. Also, kids are tired of not being the stars as she's had quite a few transfers lately.
I am interested to see how UT does with Russell. I don't think Holly is gifted enough with the X's and O's to win titles, but will have talented to get back to F4.
Playing very poorly against good teams and racking up points against cellar dwellers does not make you an All American.
But with red-shirts and things like that thrown in the mix, it surprises me that some of these girls are willing to go sit, when they could be the next star story somewhere else. That girl at Delaware hopefully changes someones thoughts just a little bit, stay home, get an education, win ball games and be a star. Not go to UCONN, Play for an ass, and sit until the Junior year rolls in.
Say what you want about Louisville Men's but they had some Seniors, some Juniors and I like that. I like Pittino's style and I like the fact that most kids stick around for him. Not to mention that he doesn't always get the stars that UNC, Duke and Kentucky get every year.
Notre Dame has a good thing going, hope it continues and hope some of these mid 50 level girls catch on.
for talented WBB players. Homesickness or wanting to play in front of family and friends was the norm for top WBB talent. That's why Geno had a hard time recruiting top talent even after winning his first title in 1995.
That started breaking when he got recruits, like Shea Ralph from NC and Diana Taurzsi from CA. They are players who want to win more than stay home and play in front of family and friends. Those kinds of players are the future for WBB, not the past.