I guess I'll beat WBBfan this time on WBB. I watched the end of the first half and almost all of second half. We came back from a 7-point deficit when I started watching to win the game by one.
First, let's go with the negatives:
1. Defensive rebounding. I didn't look at the box score but we were murdered. I know we don't have a strong post presence, and I know we'll struggle without SamO cleaning the board for us, but I don't expect THIS bad. There were times it felt "relief" when Kansas scored a basket (after keep extending the possessions with offensive rebounds after offensive rebounds) b/c we could finally end the misery.
2. Interior offense: the bigs need to finish. The guards need to finish. They have point-blank shots and just missed too many of them. Several times they make good passes inside and I was like, "Good," only to be blocked or we missed.
3. Intensity. Is it a gender thing? It just doesn't seem the women are as intense, and I don't mean chest pumping or taking charge kind of thing, but simple things like running back on defense. There are several times I see someone is just lazy to run back, and only get bailed out b/c Kansas missed open shots or fails to find the open player.
Now the positives:
1. A win is a win. The player never seems panic even in such a close game, and I like the leadership.
2. Good teamwork on offense. Against the zone, there are several occasion I see the guard passes to the big, which kicks back out to the guard, and she makes a 3. That's how you attack a zone! Playing inside-out-inside-out. Coach V also employs a lot of misdirection, where the guard driving on baseline one way and kick out to the other side for a shooter at the wing. It's absurd that the women can do all these to break a zone while the men's team couldn't. In Painter's defense, he only really has Stephens as a reliable shooter whereas Coach V has Moses, Houser, and even Wilson as a legit 3-pt threat.
3. Good set play and passing. I remember one particular play in which the PG has the ball up top, and a big came up to high post and set a back screen. The PG thus beat her defender, forcing the opposing big to cover but she's out of position, which forces a second defender to rotate, and the PG made an easy pass to her teammate where the helper was just defending. Easy lay-up. That was beautiful basketball and I find myself saying, "Now THAT's how you play basketball." It's sad that we just don't see these kind of ball movement and slicing the defense with the men's team.
Kansas is not a great team but this is a true road game and we won by one. It was an exciting game to watch (and more pleasant than the men's team b/c I am less frustrated. Overall I don't expect much from this year's women's team b/c in the women's game you really need the talent to compete, and we simply don't have the Stephanie White kind of talent on this team. Yet, I like how they play as a team, and if they can box out more on defense I think we can be decent.