Monday, November 28, 2022

Doggy's UConn/Iowa Post Game Report



Whew, what a game. And what a team. 

In a game of runs, UConn took over midway through the fourth quarter to finally put away Iowa winning 86-79.

I posted this already in my daily blog but it deserves to be repeated. 

Iowa hits a three pointer at the 6:21 mark of the third quarter to take a 52-41 lead. Geno calls a time out. He is calm and cool when talking to the team. So what happens? UConn goes on an 11-0 run to tie the game forcing a timeout by Iowa. Seven points by Fudd ending that run with a three pointer. The freshman Patterson added the other four points.  

Iowa bounced back from UConn going on a 20-5 run over the last 6:21 of the third quarter. Down 61-57, the Hawkeyes went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter in the first 3:03  ro rkw  66-61 lead. 

After an exchange of a few baskets to make the score 70-66, the Huskies went on another run, this time 10-0 behind Ducharme and Lou to take a 79-70 lead with 3:30 left in the game.  

Clark did her best to get Iowa back in the game but even her two LONG three pointers weren't enough.

This is a classic UConn share the ball team. On their 38 baskets they had 30 assists. Tremendous!

Full credit to Iowa. They played a great game. They will be a tough opponent for anyone this year.

For the game UConn shot 55% from the field, 40% on threes and outrebounded Iowa 44-28. And this  without Dorka Juhasz, their biggest player. 




Replay and Highlights

Game Replay

Full Game Highlights

Azzi Fudd Highlights

Paige Bueckers Mic'd up

Reaction from Iowa perspective 

Post game with Iowa Coach and Players


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Geno Auriemma
Game Quotes from Geno
"Dorka's not playing Friday and she probably won't play Sunday ... My guess is when we get back, she will be looked at and then there's gonna be some rehab starting but I don't think she's gonna play next weekend, Friday or Sunday."

"Nika and I have a great relationship: I don't like the way she plays, she doesn't like the things I say to her... She always does enough where she recognizes 'I gotta be better.'"

"Nika Mühl said she was "really bad" today despite her 13 assists and great defensive job. She sets the tone for how tough this team is because she is so hard on herself."

"The team didn't feel good about themselves at halftime, but then took control of the game. I have to give kudos especially to Azzi Fudd and Aaliyah Edwards."

"We have a will to win. I think that was evident today."

"We talk about Caroline, the staff, and sometimes we just shake our heads and go, ‘I don’t know what makes her good, but, damn, she’s good.  I still can’t figure out why she’s good, but she’s good. She’s a tough competitor.”

“It’s taken some time and we’re not quite sure if Caroline’s 100 percent, 90 percent, 80 percent, so I just keep rolling her out there, gauging how she feels and how she looks, just figuring at some point, it’s going to start to show itself.”

“The best thing anybody can say about you is ‘you’re a great competitor and she’s a tough kid and she wants to play very badly. She took another little bump on the back of her had, and I was worried about her, but she said, No, I’m okay. So to get her back in addition to what we’ve been doing, that’s pretty comforting going forward.”

"You don't know if you have it until you're put in that situation. You don't know how tough you are. You can talk about it all you want. At some point, you're going to find out. We just beat some really good teams in the span of 12-13 days. We have another one this Sunday [Notre Dame] with a conference game in between. You have to be able to bounce back, quarter-to-quarter, possession-to-possession, game-to-game. That's what prepares you for what happens in March."

"This team responds. I knew we were tired and it was a struggle, and against]a team that just keeps punching you. And Azzi, she punched back. Being tired and facing all the attention she faces, she's really been remarkable since Paige got hurt."

“It really was difficult to play against these guys. I don’t think we felt really good about ourselves at halftime. I thought we came out in the third quarter and really took control of the game.”

“There’s nothing that Aaliyah does that surprises me. There’s certain players on my team I expect certain things. So for Aaliyah, getting a double-double, that should be the baseline for her, it should never be lower than that. It’s a lot. But you’re a junior, man. You’re a junior playing at UConn, you’ve got to be like a pro. Our juniors and seniors, they’ve got to play like pros. I mean, nobody gets a medal for showing up at UConn, there’s no praise if we finish fourth. So you have to be a tremendous competitor, and Aaliyah is right there, man.”


Game Quotes Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder

“Ducharme was a difference-maker. You go on statistics. We know she’s a great player, but you also go on statistics and she hadn’t been doing that this year. You have to rely on those numbers a little bit.” 

“They found some openings in our zone defense, which had been pretty good up to that point. We tried some different things, but nothing seemed to work for us defensively.”

“We had a great first half, but they outscored us by 10 in the third quarter, 26-16, and that was the difference,”.

“Azzi Fudd really came to life in that third quarter. I was really pleased with our first half. If it wasn’t for that third quarter, but yes, we play four. And we missed some shots in the fourth quarter that we usually make.”

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UConn Player Evaluations

Aaliyah Edwards
Player of the Game

When a player wins MOP of the tournament how can I not make her Player of the Game? And she was also named Big East Player of the week!

What a change in a player from one year to next. I said her freshman year she was going to end up like that Baylor player Nalyssa Smith. Then her sophomore season happened and I thought I was totally wrong about her. I'm back on the Edwards wagon as matching Smith's accomplishments. In her junior season Smith averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds. Looks like Edwards is going to exceed this!!

In this game, she was just terrific. In 35 minutes he scored 20 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and added 6 assists. Just a great game. And her defense on the Iowa center was outstanding. Mostly playing Czinano 1-1, Aaliyah held her to 8 points, 11 below her average.

Edwards was 10-16 from the field and several of those were mid-range shots. She has really expanded her game and it showed against Iowa. It will be hard to keep her off the AA list if she continues to play like this.    

Azzi Fudd

I might have given the MOP to Azzi. I wouldn't have complained if she won it. Her second half scoring was so important to the win. Two points in the first half and 22 points in the second half and her three pointers were back breakers for Iowa.  Like Nika, Fudd player all 40 minutes. She was 10-19 from the field and 4-10 on threes for her 24 points. She also added 4 assists and zero turnovers. One of these games she will have 40 minutes of hot shooting and you will see a 40+ point game. It's coming!! 

Nika Muhl

This young lady surprises me every outing. Coach Dailey said she was under the weather but still player all 40 minutes. Her defense on Clark was terrific. No one can shut Clark down but Nika made life difficult for her. Clark was only able to to make 9-24 shots and 2-11 threes. Way below her production. Muhl only scored 3 points, but she had her third straight double digit assist game with 13. That is a UConn record with Sue Bird the only other player with 2 games with double digit assists. That is some great company for Nika. She takes control in every team huddle. A true leader.    

 Lou Lopez Sénéchal

Not her best game but the threat of Lou hitting her shots opened up the court for others. She played 32 and was 5-11 from the field and 1-3 on threes. She added 1 assists and 5 rebounds. She is really getting the UConn system and will only have better games in the future. Like the picture shows, she always has good defensive position.   

Aubrey Griffin

This was another solid game for Griffin. Playing 23 minutes she was 5-6 from the field for 10 points, with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. Oddly, she was the only minus on the +/- for the team. I guess she was on the court for every Iowa run. But it doesn't reflect her great contributions to this win.  

Caroline Ducharme

Well, that was a sight for sore eyes. Ducharme was back to her old self in this game. At least really close. She played 24 minutes and was 5-11 from the field. It was good to see her take so many shots. And going 3-6 on threes?  She can become that third three point threat the team needs. Her stat line was terrific with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. She just finds a way to be productive and she certainly did that in this game. Both offensively and defensively. I can't wait to see her build on this effort.

Caroline - “It’s frustrating. Last year I was dealing with my hip all season, and then this neck injury, it’s hard to kind of know. Some days are really good, some days are bad, so I’m just trying to manage that.”

Edwards - “Ohhh, she’s back” 

Fudd - “It was great to see her play like that. She’s going to be able to build on this. It’s been great to have her back, but to see her with that confidence, I bet she feels great, just like a weight was lifted off her shoulders to be able to play like her old self again.”



Ayanna Patterson

There were no Iowa game shots of Ayanna so I grabbed this one from the Texas game. Look at the box out position she takes. Perfect. Against Iowa she played only 7 minutes but it was a really productive 7 minutes. She scored 4 points on 2-2 shooting, with 3 rebounds and one offensive rebound. But her big contribution was her defense on the Iowa big Czinano. She played her tough and although giving away some size,  she never back down. More to come from this young lady.  

Final Thoughts

Wow.....what can I say about this team. They are solidly in third in the latest AP poll just a smidgen behind Stanford. This after starting the season at No. 6. No team has the amount of wins against Top Ten teams as UConn. And after a game against a Big East opponent in Providence, they travel to South Bend for a tough game against No. 7 Notre Dame. This will be a big challenge, especially without Dorka there for some height against a big Irish team.

I have to say something about the Men's team who beat Iowa State in the finals of the Men's Phil Knight Invitational tournament, winning all three games by double digits. They went from No. 20 to No. 8 in the country. I can't remember the last time they were this high in the rankings. Congrats guys!!!    

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Doggy's Doghouse 11/27/2022

 





 



                                                                                                                          
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GO UCONN!!!!!

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This game deserves a full Postgame Report and I'll work on that later. But just a few highlights that I'll probably repeat later in that report.

Iowa hits a three pointer at the 6:21 mark of the third quarter to take a 52-41 lead. Geno calls a time out. He is calm and cool when talking to the team. So what happens? UConn goes on an 11-0 run to tie the game forcing a timeout by Iowa. Seven points by Fudd ending that run with a three pointer. The freshman Patterson added the other four points.  

Iowa bounced back from UConn going on a 20-5 run over the last 6:21 of the third quarter. Down 61-57, the Hawkeyes went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter in the first 3:03  ro rkw  66-61 lead. 

After an exchange of a few baskets to make the score 70-66, the Huskies went on another run, this time 10-0 behind Ducharme and Lou to take a 79-70 lead with 3:30 left in the game.  

Clark did her best to get Iowa back in the game but even her two LONG three pointers weren't enough.

This is a classic UConn share the ball team. On their 38 baskets they had 30 assists. Tremendous!

Full credit to Iowa. They played a great game. They will be a tough opponent for anyone this year.

More on this game later!

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Straight from the Dog

You always hope that players improve from season to season. From what I can tell so far after 5 games, UConn is looking good in that regard. 

Clearly Fudd has improved, most of that from being healthy. The Fudd we are seeing this year looks a lot like the sophomore Fudd from high school. She was just amazing that year. She is physically more mature than the 16 year old Fudd but compared to last year? No question how much better she is.

Edwards is another player that has improved from last year. She is looking more like the freshman player we all thought would be an All-American someday. Her sophomore season last year was very diappointing for her and the team. But this year?  She is playing better than ever. And that's in all facets of her game. Shooting, passing, defending, decision making? Her double-double average so far are things that All-Americans are made of. 

What can I say about Nika Muhl that hasn't been said already. She is clearly on her way to obliterating the UConn season record for assists at 11.2 per game so far. She is by far a better player in many ways compared to her play last year. She is physically stronger so that helps her on the defensive end. And her decision making is just unreal. She takes charge in the huddle so her leadship is off the charts. 

I suppose if you sat out last year, you'd have to be better if you are playing this year. And that is so true with Aubrey Griffin. But she is also better than the last full season she played in 2020-21. She is shooting better, passing better and maybe even defending better. 

It is yet to be determined if Ducharme and Juhasz will also be better than last season. Not enough games due to injuries to make that call. But I liked what I saw from Ducharme in the Iowa game to be hopeful.

UConn needed these improvements with Bueckers out and the graduation of Williams, ONO and Westbrook. Hard to believe but this team looks better than last years Championship Game team.     
______________________________

According to Massey, UConn has the second best SOS in the country, just behind South Carolina. And I believe that will change after playing Iowa vs South Carolina playing Hampton. UConn has played and beaten three top ten teams. 

What is disappointing is how many cupcakes some of the other top teams play early in the season. I already mentioned Hampton as South Carolina's opponent. No.2 Stanford is playing Hawai'i. No. 4 Ohio State is played North Alabama. No. 11 Virginia Tech played Longwood. Tennessee played Eastern Kentucky. I'm sure there are more examples. 

I just don't see how a team benefits from these games.    
______________________________

I hate injuries. It looks like last season's POY Aliyah Boston hurt her ankle early in the game against Hampton and sat on the bench with a walking boot for the remainder of the game. Hoping she recovers quickly. 

Good news for Texas but sparkplug point guard Roty Harmon is back from her injury to score 11 points in their win against Princeton. Great to see!! 
______________________________


The first UGGY award of the year goes to Longwood, who played against No. 11 Virginia Tech. I don't like to give the away in such mismatches, but these numbers were too hard to ignore.

The Lancers were able to get up 60 shots in this game. That is a lot! But they only made 10 of them for 16.7% from the field. Coincidentally they were 3-18 on threes for the same 16.7%. They were outrebounded 55-30 as well. At least they only had 17 turnovers.

The key to winning this award was the 28 points they scored in the game. You don't see under 30 very often!!

So, congrats to Longwood on their UGGY award. Well deserved! 

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By PHIL

International players

1990 – 91 was an important year in UConn women’s basketball history. It was the first year that UConn made it to the Final Four. After (just barely) beating 11 seed Toledo 81 – 80, the Huskies took on North Carolina State. In that game, Orly Grossman scored 17 points to help UConn defeat NC state in its road to its first Final Four.

Orly Grossman was from Israel, the first player on UConn’s roster from outside the USA. She would not be the last, although it would be seven years before a second international player joined the roster. In 1997 Tihana Abrlic came to UConn and played for two years. She was from Zagreb, Croatia. (How many knew she wasn’t the first player from Zagreb?)

1997 was an auspicious year for international presence on the UConn team. In addition to Abrlic, UConn invited Svetlana Abrosimova from Russia and Kelly Schumacher from Canada to join the team.

Two years later, Christine Rigby became the second player north of the border to join the UConn team.

Despite the success with international players, when Abrosimova, Schumacher and Rigby finished their careers in 2001, no new international players were added to the roster until 2004 when Rashidat Sadiq became the first UConn player from an African nation, Nigeria. She played only one season with UConn.

Then there was a nine-year gap until Kia Nurse became the third Canadian to play for UConn. She was the only player from outside the US on the team through her career, but the following season we added Anna Makurat from Poland and Evelyn Adebayo from United Kingdom.

Then we opened the international spigot. In 2020, Nika Mühl became our second player from Croatia, Aiilyah Edwards became our fourth player from Canada. In the next season we added transfer Dorka Juhász from Hungary, and this year we added the Fairfield transfer Lou Lopez Sénéchal, who was born in Mexico but grew up in France. We also added Inês Bettencourt from Portugal.

While not yet on the roster, Jana El Alfy of Egypt will be a freshman next year.

Not only is the international presence at an all-time high, when Dorka returns to the lineup, we will have four international players in the starting lineup. I don’t know any easy way to check this, but I don’t think there are many other teams that can make this claim.

There are other teams with significant international presence. University of Maine has recruited internationally for a long time. The last three rosters included seven, six and seven players from outside the United States:

Maine 22-23 7 players from Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Spain (2), Canada, Israel

Maine 21-22 6 players from Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Spain (2), Canada

Maine 20-21 7 players from Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Spain (2), Sweden, Israel

The current roster includes four players from outside the United States who started, although I did not confirm whether all four started the same game.

Duquesne is another school with an international recruiting presence. They’ve had four and five players respectively on the last two rosters:

Duquesne 22-23 4 players from Bosnia, France, Kosovo, Sweden

Duquesne 21-22 5 players from Macedonia, Canada, Spain, Senegal, Sweden

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By David in Naples


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Here is an option for any contributions for my time in putting together this blog.

I'm not requiring the contribution in order to read the blog. It's totally voluntary. And I'm not recommending how much to donate or how often. 

Thanks to all my loyal readers!!!

If you don't have Venmo, you can sign up here 
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******************************************************** 
UCONN LINKS

Several links are pay sites. Sorry!


******************************************************** 

Message Boards

UConn Territory - The best UConn women's message board ever!!! 
Vol Nation - Tennessee women's basketball board
ND Nation - Notre Dame women's basketball board
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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Doggy's Doghouse 11/26/2022

 





 



                                                                                                                          
                    ****************************************************

GO UCONN!!!!!

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In case you didn't see it here is my UConn/Iowa Pregame Report!! Enjoy!

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I usually have the top of the blog stories about UConn, but I'm so happy for the entire conference in regards to their performance so far that I have to CROW!!!

Right now the BE has 3 teams in the top 25 with one just outside of the rankings. UConn is leading the way but Creighton, who had a nice NCAA tournament run last year is No. 16 and Villanova is No. 23, with Marquette is No. 27. Great start! 

But more impactful are the wins that the conference has had. Opposing fans like to the conference the Big Least, but it's far from the truth.

So far the Big East has had several wins against Top 25 teams and even more against the so called Power 5 conferences. 

Creighton beat No. 23 South Dakota State and No. 22 Nebraska.
Villanova beat No. 21 Princeton
UConn beat No. 3 Texas and No. 10 North Carolina State
Marquette beat No. 3 Texas
Depaul beat No. 14 Maryland
Seton Hall beat Power 5 schools Wisconsin, Rutgers, and today a comeback win against Georgia. More on this game later in the blog.

That is 5 different Big East teams beating ranked teams. No big least here!!!    

This is the current record of the P5 and the Big East against the AP Top 25.

************Wins*************Loss

ACC----------2-----------------5

Big 12--------1-----------------6

Big East------7-----------------2

Big 10--------3-----------------7

PAC 12-------2-----------------5

SEC-----------2-----------------8


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Straight from the Dog

In a great comeback, Seton Hall erased an 8 point Georgia lead late in the third quarter to take an 86-80 win. Great game for the Pirates over an overrated (now) SEC team.

Most UConn fans remember those brutal games against UCF. They were so physical to the point of playing dirty. Well, their coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, who actually seems to encourage this type of play if not downright teach it, moved on to Georgia. In yesterday's game against VCU this happened.

From my friend Ken - "In the Paradise Jame today, her team was playing VCU late in the 1st qtr, when a near fight broke out. 4 of Abe's players were ejected and 1 VCU player, with one of Abe's angels the primary aggressor. 3 other Georgia players left the bench, so they were ejected. 8 free throws for VCU and the ball. It took about 15 minutes to do the review and then another 15 to explain it to apoplectic Abe, who just didn't believe so many of her players left the bench? During the long explanation, Abe called over to one of her coaches on the bench 3X for clarification? She tried to contest the decision, but the officials would have none of it? Although they did spend about another 5 minutes reviewing video. The decision stands and Coach Abe was full of malarkey? I've never seen a review where a coach is so clearly STUPID and asking for help from an assistant coach 3X, much less 1 time? Then to spend 5-10 minutes disputing it? Rolling her eyes and just being 1000% obtuse? Just another dirty SEC team?"

That wasn't the only issue. In the third quarter, there was a collision between a few VCU and Georgia players and one of the Georgia players kicked a VCU player. This was seen (thankfully) by the ref and that player was also ejected from the game.

Today's win by Seton Hall is a little payback for a dirty coach and a dirty basketball team. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out in the rugged SEC conference. I'm sure there are several more ejections in the Bulldogs future.   

______________________________

 I don't like many SEC teams as you can probably tell. But one I really like is Arkansas. I think Mike Neighbors is a great coach and a really good guy. His interviews are delightful. Saturday, the Razorbacks played No. 25 Kansas State and they knocked them out of the top 25 with a 69-53 win. One other reason I like them is former UConn player Saylor Poffenbarger transferred there. I thought she would have been a great UConn player but it was not to be. She was terrific in this game and really played a point forward position. She had   

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By David in Naples

Duke is now 0-10 in their last ten games vs UConn. The last loss was in 2006, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. :)

Today's victory was a team effort with players stepping up and doing what needed doing.

Consider:

1. Lou had 2 rebounds in the first three games. Tonight, with Dorka out, she grabbed 6.
2. After a dismal 9-18 free throw outing against Texas, in the last two games, the Huskies have made 29-34 from the charity stripe. That's 85%.
3. Azzi was limited to 13 shots, but still scored 14 points, had 3 assists and 2 rebounds.
4. Caroline played 22+ minutes to get back into game shape & give starters a break.
5. Ayanna had 11+ minutes, scored 6 points, made all 4 free throws and had her usual 4 fouls.  8-)

Some players did what they always seem to do:

1. Nika had another 10 assists, was perfect on her free throws (4-4) and pulled down 6 rebounds. 
2. Lou scored 23 pts on just 13 shots and 3-3 free throws.
3. Aaliyah had yet another double-double with 17 pts and 11 boards.

UConn outrebounded Duke 42-26, including 10 offensive boards. They dominated points in the paint 30-12. Very nice win against a good team.

Go Huskies..!!

**************************************************


Here is an option for any contributions for my time in putting together this blog.

I'm not requiring the contribution in order to read the blog. It's totally voluntary. And I'm not recommending how much to donate or how often. 

Thanks to all my loyal readers!!!

If you don't have Venmo, you can sign up here 
or add the app to your iPhone or iPad.

And here is another option that is being pushed by Paige!!


******************************************************** 
UCONN LINKS

Several links are pay sites. Sorry!


******************************************************** 

Message Boards

UConn Territory - The best UConn women's message board ever!!! 
Vol Nation - Tennessee women's basketball board
ND Nation - Notre Dame women's basketball board
Rebkell - WCBB for everyone that thinks they are smarter than everyone else



I'm always open for suggestions. Just please reply to this blog or email me at: