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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Jim Clark’s Husky Report: Day One, WBCA Classic

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By Jim Clark
Correspondent

It may have been a day of upsets for some Top 25 teams, but such was not the case in Gampel Pavillion. To no one’s great surprise, UConn trounced Hofstra, 91-46.

The victory was Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey’s 700th win at UConn. It was, not coincidentally, also Geno Auriemma’s 700th win. Auriemma leads all Division I coaches with a .851 winning percentage.

Asked to comment on the 700th win, Auriemma said, “I think I can remember every single game I ever coached . . . I can probably tell you something that one of my players did [in each of the games] that still stays with me all of these years.”

But on winning 700? “I’m not a put-it-all-in-perspective kind of guy. That’s not what I do.”

Later: “If you ask me . . . we won our first game we ever played. That was really cool. And I told Jamelle [Elliott – Cincinnati’s new head coach and former UConn assistant] that. They won their first game and … I told her, ‘You remember that the rest of your life.’ . . . We went 7-0 my first year.’ And she says, ‘Then what?’ I said, ‘We lost 10 straight.’”

UConn 91 – Hofstra 46

In a game more noteworthy for the attendant ceremonies than for what happened on the court:

Kalana Greene received a ball for her 1000th point.

Tina Charles received a ball for her 1000th rebound.

Charles was also named the 2009 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year for leading the U.S. team to two gold medals on the year. Charles led all scorers and rebounders on the World University Games Team in July in Serbia. Then, in October, playing as the only collegian on the Women’s National Team in the Ekaterinburg Tournament in Russia, Charles was second in both points and rebounds. She spent 39 days during the year training or playing with USA basketball. The previous three winners of the award are Diana Taurasi, Candice Wiggins and Katie Smith.

New shot clocks were installed in Gampel Pavilion, to go with the astonishingly high-def big-screen scoreboard unveiled at the start of the season.

Out on the floor, UConn continued to work on the 2-1-2 three-quarter court press they have featured during most of the early games.

Hofstra, 3-0 on the season, played hard from the start, not appearing intimidated by Connecticut, and competed on the boards early. The Pride are UConn’s first opponent with a post presence: Four players exceed 6’2”. Hofstra also forced several Husky turnovers with effective double teams.

At the 14:14 mark, UConn led, but only 8-7, the closest game fragment all season. It was not to last. UConn followed with pressure and a 18-2 run.

UConn’s passing was not up to standard in this contest. Against an active defensive team, Tiffany Hayes and Kelly Faris repeatedly tried to force the ball into the post, with turnovers the result. Connecticut had an unacceptable 14 turnovers in the first half, finishing with 23. Hofsta had 20, and 32.

Hardly a news flash, but Maya Moore is the best finisher in women’s basketball. She simply does not miss layups, a malady all too common in the women’s game. And she converts even passes that appear far too late, from underneath the backboard.

Kelly Faris is a pesky and savvy defender, with a sense of passing lanes and very active feet. She had three steals in just nine first-half minutes.

When McLaren subs for Tina Charles, Connecticut shifts to a zone.

Kalana Greene continues to run hot and cold. Coaches have spoken of a lack of concentration as the cause. After a first half with just two shot attempts, one rebound and two turnovers, she opened the second half with a two-minute burst of energy including a jumper, a rebound and assist, a layup and another jumper.

The Tiffany Hayes experience at the point is still problematic. Her handle is still not secure. At this point, quick-handed athletic guards are able to pressure her into regular mistakes. Hofstra clearly had a plan to intercept Hayes as she crossed half-court, and she rarely made them pay for the pressure. Hayes finished with three assists and three turnovers. Caroline Doty had nine assists and three turnovers.

Heather Buck is looking more comfortable each game she plays, but the limited minutes indicate she has not yet convinced the coaching staff that she can contribute against stiff competition. This is only slightly surprising, as post players develop notoriously slowly. But she is in her second year in the system, so we might expect her to have progressed a bit more. She runs the floor hard and quickly, and those who saw her in high school swear she has all the post moves down. Connecticut fans have to hope that she has a epiphany between now and December 23 (Stanford).

The Undercard: Richmond 86 - Clemson 67

In the early game, a crowd of maybe 250 watched Richmond trounce Clemson, 86-67. The score with 5:40 left in the first half was 34-13.

Richmond’s Brittani Shells is a talented guard with a sweet 12-foot pull-up jumper. She was 8-for-12 including two-of-two from beyond the arc, grabbed five boards, dished out five assists, and swiped two steals. Richmond forward Joyous Harrington is an early-season nominee for best player name.

Richmond was organized on both offense aand defense. They ran actual plays, with cuts and screens. I mention these somewhat obvious aspects of good basketball because Clemson appeared to be unaware of any of them. I have seen playground teams with more organized play. Shockingly, Clemson defeated Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks earlier this month, 94-92 in overtime. That says way too much about SC’s likely future in the SEC this season.

Clemson’s most impressive player was burly sophomore center Shaniqua Pauldo. She tallied 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including one-of-two from three-point range.

Saturday, Clemson plays Hofstra at 5:00 p.m.; UConn plays Richmond at 7:30 p.m.

 

Originally published Fri, November 27, 2009


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.