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Username Post: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't        (Topic#20896)
dperry 
PhD Student
Posts: 1033
dperry
Loc: Oreland, PA
Reg: 11-24-04
12-30-17 03:52 AM - Post#241609    

Sometimes I hate real life. Anyhoo, finally I get you your update just in time for the beginning of the Ivy season. Going game-by-game:

Binghamton: It ticks me off that we cannot beat this team. They have a lot of decent three-point shooters, which nullifies our usual defensive strategies; their best player can shoot the three and penetrate, and she just ate us alive. They have another guard who is deceptively dorky-looking, but who seems to get to every loose ball and offensive rebound. In crunch time, they were also able to put pressure on our ball handlers and cause enough bad plays to make the difference. This was the game in which our regular-season streak of always winning when we break 60 ended.
Lafayette: A desultory affair, in which we shot horribly (28% FG, 17% 3FG, 59% FT); however, the Leopards failed to take advantage, and Penn cranked up the defense enough in the fourth quarter to pull away.
Georgia Tech: Wasn't able to watch the first game of the Junkanoo Jam (played in an exceedingly tiny gym in the Bahamas; they had to pull the bleachers on the one side halfway in to make room for the scorer's table, and some local kids were hanging off the edge) due to other commitments, but my sense is that with the exception of Katie Kinum, who got 17 (more on her later), they just didn't have the firepower to keep up with the Yellow Jackets (a top 30 team).
Missouri St.: Game 2 of the JJ started dreadfully, as they shot 27% overall and 11% from 3 in the first half with 10 turnovers, and trailed by 18 at the break. However, Lauren Whitlatch got hot in the 2nd, knocking down six threes, and they improved overall to 47% and 64%, as well as crushing the Bears on the boards and finishing the game with an 8-0 run to win by five. At the time, I was rather bummed by this, thinking we had barely escaped from a bad team, but Missouri St has since moved up into the top 100 in Sagarin, having played a very difficult schedule and given several good teams a difficult time, so not as bad as I thought it was.
La Salle: This, on the other hand, is the nadir of the season so far. They started on an 11-0 run (including two FT's before the clock even started due to the Explorers getting T'd up for delay of game), and ended the first Q up 13, but things just started crumbling after that. They got into foul trouble in the second half, and La Salle was able to exploit this inside, shooting over 60% in the second half; meanwhile, Penn went dead cold, shooting 27% in the second and 0-7 from 3. Given that La Salle is about 240th in the country at the moment per Sagarin, just a really bad night.
Notre Dame: As noted earlier, things started looking up in this game. Again, they didn't have the offensive firepower to stay with the Irish at the end, but they forced 22 turnovers, and held ND to what is still their lowest score of the season (remember that this is a team that gave UConn a decent game on the road.) In the first half, Nwokedi was actually intimidating their front line with her shot blocking.
St. Joe's: This was a tough defensive struggle; in other words, right up our alley. Eleah Parker (and that's Ee-lay-uh, not Uh-lee-uh; I get this straight from her mom! ) had her first really big game, getting 15 pts. and 8 boards. When the Hawks cut Penn's lead to two with about six to go, Nwokedi took over, first making a nice pass to Parker in the post for a layup, then knocking down a three, and finishing with a nice drive to the hole of her own; meanwhile, the defense held St. Joe's scoreless for over four minutes. This is only our third win against them ever (sigh ).
Rhode Island: After exams, they returned with a nice tuneup against the Rams. Ashley Russell had a career-high 17, and the other four starters reached double digits; they also forced twenty-three turnovers and blocked seven shots.
NJIT Tournament: This has taken place over the last couple of days, and they took an easy championship, beating VCU by 30 and the hosts by almost 40. Parker had 34 points and 14 boards between the two games, with Nwokedi adding 23 pts. of her own, and they shot over 40% from 3 in both games.

So, how are they looking compared to the scenarios I posited at the start of the season?
The good:
--Parker has started from game 1 and has performed as advertised; she has now scored double-digits in six straight games and has looked strong on the boards as well. While I love Stipanovich dearly, Parker does at least three things on offense every game that Sydney just couldn't do. She's not quite the defensive player that Stip was, at least yet, and particularly early on they definitely had some problems with the interior defense in general, but lately they seem to be getting that straightened out. Parker and Nwokedi are also building a better rapport with every game; in particular, the last couple of games they have been setting each other up in the post beautifully. The one surprising thing is that Parker is only getting 21 minutes a game so far; I don't know if she still needs some work on her stamina or what, but given the way she's been dominating lately, you'd think she'd be out there more often.
--Ross has ended up playing a lot at the point, but she's doing much better than I expected; while her scoring is down about 1.5/gm from last year, her assists/gm is up about 1, and her A/TO ratio is almost 2. Furthermore, Katie Kinum, who has been the most pleasant surprise among the freshmen, is getting almost 16 minutes a game and handles the ball well; Ashley Russell has started most of the season and has improved her ball handling; and Kendall Grasela has also been getting quality time and is a very unselfish player. The three of them have taken a good bit of the ball-handling load off of Ross, and in the last few games, they have started to consistently create opportunities with their ball movement; in particular, they have been getting a lot of wide-open threes.
--Whitlatch has been streaky from beyond the arc, but her highs are higher than they were her first two years, and she shows no ill effects from her injury. Kinum is a stone-cold gunner; she's shooting 47% from 3, and is the first person they've had since Baron who can make threes off the dribble. Russell and Ross are both competent from long-range, and Beth Brzozowski, while losing minutes to Kinum and Grasela, is still doing pretty well herself. Phoebe Sterba was hurt to start the season and is just now getting back into the rotation; if she can play more and light it up, this team is going to be a terror from the perimeter.
--They're much deeper this year; McLaughlin has regularly run ten people out there a game, and with Sterba back it's probably going to be eleven eventually (although Russell just got hurt; I don't know how seriously yet.) The biggest surprise in that regard is that Tori Crawford, my preseason nominee for First Year Most Likely to be an AI Booster, has actually put in some competent minutes at power forward, allowing both Nwokedi and Parker to get much needed rests. I suspected last year that McLaughlin was using the non-conference schedule as a testing ground, and I'm convinced of it this year, so the rotation may tighten up a bit when the league season starts in earnest, but it's still a great situation.
The bad:
--The juniors are still underachieving. Russell has been starting and is definitely better than last year, but there are still too many plays where she ends up exceeding the limit of her skills; she needs to learn to stay within herself. Aghayere, while the first front-liner off the bench, has not really made any progress, and Kristen Daley and Deja Jackson are still only seeing garbage time.
--The defense has not been as tight this year; they're giving up about six more points a game so far, and as mentioned earlier, the interior has been a particular problem; there have been a lot of backdoor cuts and poorly contested drives to the basket, and it has cost them a couple of games. I think it is getting better now, but it needs to continue to improve in order to handle some of the teams we have coming up.

Turning to the rest of the league, as a whole we're the ninth-best conference in the country; I don't have last year's standings but I think it was pretty much the same then. The worst news is that Despicable Her and the orangy minions are playing considerably better than they did last year, going 9-3 against one of the top 40 schedules in the country per Sagarin. They've knocked off Seton Hall, currently standing at 44, beaten three other teams between 50 and 100, and played Villanova, a top 25 team, within three points, which is probably a lot better than we're going to do against them. So far, Carlie Littlefield has been the big revelation among their freshmen; she's started every game and is averaging nine pts. Abby Meyers, who was supposed to be the big catch, is playing competently but not starting or getting huge minutes. It's not easy to figure out from the basic stats why they're doing so much better; there doesn't seem to be any significant improvement in any of the major categories, but nevertheless, something is going on there (I'm really tempted to subscribe to the advanced stats site when the price goes down in a couple of weeks.) Bella Alarie is scoring 15 a game and making the strongest argument for POY so far; I don't know who the heck is going to guard her for us. Meanwhile, Brown has once again put up the gaudiest non-conference record, but once again it's against a lousy schedule. Dartmouth has seen a major improvement, but judging from their stats, it's been done by giving four of the five starters 30+ minutes a game, which will probably not be sustainable over six back-to-back weekends. Harvard is sputtering once again; they've given a couple of good teams decent games, but have no big wins yet, and their freshmen are not contributing much. Yale has also seen an uptick in record, but with only one quality win (at TCU); they will still need to be watched out for. Columbia is mediocre so far, but getting great play from Camille Zimmerman and good play from their freshmen; Cornell is just not very good.

The best news, with Princeton looming in a week, is that the offense has been clicking the past few games and has been very balanced, giving opponents a lot of problems to deal with. The ball movement in particular has pleased me. However, I do have to remind myself that the last three games have all been against the dregs of D-I; the Tigers, Villanova, and Temple are all going to be a lot harder eggs to crack. Furthermore, our RPI is down in the 150's, so unless league play raises that a lot more than I think it will, the auto bid is the only option we have. My heart is saying that they're starting to come on at the right time, but my head thinks that they're running a little below the median scenario I suggested at the beginning of the year. We will find out which one is right starting next Saturday.
David Perry
Penn '92
"Hail, Alma Mater/Thy sons cheer thee now
To thee, Pennsylvania/All rivals must bow!!!"


 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2254

Reg: 11-23-04
12-30-17 11:25 AM - Post#241613    
    In response to dperry

Thanks for the thorough analysis on the women's race. I can't add anything except that Coach Banghart ("Despicable Her"?) does a great weekly review -- The Court Report -- with one of the Tiger broadcasters (allegedly an alum of a despicable Ivy in Philly whose daughter just was admitted to Princeton). The coach is very high on this year's squad that has taken big strides since the beginning of the season. Like her or not, Courtney Banghart is a straight talker and the show is informative, informal and entertaining. It is posted on GoPrincetonTigers.com. each week. I am looking forward to her discussion of the upcoming P's matchup.🐅

 
11Quakers 
Sophomore
Posts: 120

Age: 57
Reg: 02-25-12
01-03-18 04:47 PM - Post#241898    
    In response to Tiger69

Since you asked T69 I'm one of those that does not care for Banghart. Too little class and too great a sense of entitlement. But then she just fits the PU mode so well which is easy to find distasteful.

d perry. Thanks for a great summary. I would agree that our offense has struggled as we have looked for who is the best 5th player. Hard to replace the speed of last years PG.

Also Stipanovich was a unicorn in the Ivy, she is just not replaced. No one else can play the inside like she could (with her soft touch) and consistently hit the mid range jumper.

With Anna at the point we miss some of her scoring and we have not found the athleticism in a 2 guard to match Anna's SG play from last year.

Katie Kinum seems like the most hopeful longer term option at the SG but who knows how a freshman will play in league play and I doubt she is ready to start yet. Let's hope Phoebe is healthy, she can be a difference maker.

Fingers crossed vs the halloween team but I suspect it will be a toss up between the two for the championship this year. Harvard and Yale don't seem to have enough and the rest of the league seems to lack depth.

d perry thanks again for the all your absolutely great commentary. We really enjoy it.




 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2254

Reg: 11-23-04
01-03-18 05:16 PM - Post#241903    
    In response to 11Quakers

Comparative match ups FWIW (Georgia Tech, St Joe's, Lafayette) suggest that the P's are very evenly matched. My very amateur observation is that Penn was better prepared and better coached in recent games against us. But we do have a few very promising newcomers. Both teams have made great strides since the beginning of the season. It seems to me that much of the nasty talk about Banghart, though, is just an unsupported ruse to rouse the troops. She is a very capable, open, supportive and confident coach. I wish we had a few more like her. Some fans unfortunately have very thin skin. As a Tiger myself, I'm not sure what I'm "entitled" to. But, I feel very lucky.🐅

 
Quakers03 
Professor
Posts: 7450

Reg: 12-07-04
Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-03-18 05:30 PM - Post#241908    
    In response to Tiger69

  • Tiger69 Said:
It seems to me that much of the nasty talk about Banghart, though, is just an unsupported ruse to rouse the troops.


The pathetic comments she has made over the years say otherwise.

It wasn't very long ago that you said this to dperry after he wrote why she is classless:

  • Tiger69 Said:
Many thanks for your very informative and dispassionate post. There is more to coaching than wins and losses. And, apparently Coach Banghart still has a few important things to learn.



 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2254

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-03-18 07:40 PM - Post#241925    
    In response to Quakers03

I guess that was then and this is now. If I recall correctly, there was a rather poor remark attributed to her at an inopportune time after a loss. I can't remember the specific comment. Not an excuse, but we are not all perfect all the time.(and I don't have your extraordinary memory of past slights!) I listen to the Coach's weekly broadcast and occasionally exchange emails. People change -- sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I suggest that you lighten up, get the 2 x 4 off your shoulder, and move on. Anger is not good for your health.

 
Old Bear 
Postdoc
Posts: 3424

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-03-18 10:45 PM - Post#241946    
    In response to dperry

Don't sleep on the Bears, DP. They maybe better than you think. They did lose a starter for the season with an injury, but they the will compete.

 
Quakers03 
Professor
Posts: 7450

Reg: 12-07-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-04-18 12:54 PM - Post#241977    
    In response to Tiger69

A quick search of her name does the trick, and as far as anger, I disagree. When it comes to Princeton, every bit of it is well worth it.

I look forward to watching this one. Is it on espn3?

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2254

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-04-18 01:07 PM - Post#241989    
    In response to Quakers03

You are young and I am getting old. At my age anger is never worth it. There are much better strategies.

 
dperry 
PhD Student
Posts: 1033
dperry
Loc: Oreland, PA
Reg: 11-24-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-04-18 03:33 PM - Post#242021    
    In response to Quakers03

  • Quakers03 Said:

I look forward to watching this one. Is it on espn3?



Negative, but it is on NBC Philly (still keep wanting to say CSN ), so if you're in the Philly area, you should be able to see it on that; I don't know if you can pick that up outside of the area, but it will be on ILDN as well.
David Perry
Penn '92
"Hail, Alma Mater/Thy sons cheer thee now
To thee, Pennsylvania/All rivals must bow!!!"


 
dperry 
PhD Student
Posts: 1033
dperry
Loc: Oreland, PA
Reg: 11-24-04
Re: Women's Update: Maybe They Will, and Maybe They Won't
01-04-18 04:13 PM - Post#242025    
    In response to Old Bear

  • Old Bear Said:
Don't sleep on the Bears, DP. They maybe better than you think. They did lose a starter for the season with an injury, but they the will compete.



I sleep on no one; you'll recall that I was far more worried about the Bears in the SEA last year than I was about the Tigers or Crimson (and for good reason, as it turned out), and with the offensive firepower they have, I definitely think they're one of the favorites to make the cut this year, particularly since Harvard is struggling. Nevertheless, if I'm going to discount my own team for having played three bad teams in a row, I have to discount yours for playing a whole season worth of them. Brown has played exactly one team that is currently over 150 in Sagarin; Penn has played three, and has two more coming up in non-conference (Villanova and Temple). Other than Cornell, who's almost as bad, Brown's schedule is 100 spots behind anyone else in the league.
David Perry
Penn '92
"Hail, Alma Mater/Thy sons cheer thee now
To thee, Pennsylvania/All rivals must bow!!!"


 
dperry 
PhD Student
Posts: 1033
dperry
Loc: Oreland, PA
Reg: 11-24-04
01-04-18 07:44 PM - Post#242044    
    In response to 11Quakers

  • 11Quakers Said:

d perry. Thanks for a great summary.



Thank you for the kind words.

  • 11Quakers Said:
I would agree that our offense has struggled as we have looked for who is the best 5th player. Hard to replace the speed of last years PG.

Also Stipanovich was a unicorn in the Ivy, she is just not replaced. No one else can play the inside like she could (with her soft touch) and consistently hit the mid range jumper.



Again, I love Sydney dearly, but I think Parker is already a better offensive player. She can make turnaround jumpers, drives the lane effectively, puts back tough rebounds by going straight up--these are all things Stip couldn't do on a regular basis. Parker plays like Alex Wheatley did for Princeton, which is something we haven't had from a front-liner yet in the recent run.
I don't know if she's going to be as good of an defensive player yet; she does seem to be getting better as the season goes along, but the biggest test will come next year after Nwokedi graduates.

  • 11Quakers Said:
With Anna at the point we miss some of her scoring and we have not found the athleticism in a 2 guard to match Anna's SG play from last year.

Katie Kinum seems like the most hopeful longer term option at the SG but who knows how a freshman will play in league play and I doubt she is ready to start yet. Let's hope Phoebe is healthy, she can be a difference maker.



While Kinum has had freshman moments, so far she's averaging more than 15 minutes a game, which is close to twice as many as Brzozowski, last year's sixth woman, has played so far (although in the last game, with Russell hurt, Brzozowski started and got 17 minutes, whereas Kinum only had 11.) Kinum handles the ball better than anyone but Ross so far, and as I said, she's the best jump-shooter they've had since Baron. She's scoring almost as many points/gm as Russell, despite playing five minutes less. Personally, I'd be starting her right now, and leave her there even when Russell gets back. McLaughlin has 500-some wins and three more Ivy championships than I do, so I will trust the process, but I certainly think she'll start next year.

David Perry
Penn '92
"Hail, Alma Mater/Thy sons cheer thee now
To thee, Pennsylvania/All rivals must bow!!!"


 
SteveDanley 
Freshman
Posts: 96

Age: 33
Reg: 02-25-12
01-05-18 12:10 PM - Post#242128    
    In response to dperry

  • dperry Said:


While Kinum has had freshman moments, so far she's averaging more than 15 minutes a game, which is close to twice as many as Brzozowski, last year's sixth woman, has played so far (although in the last game, with Russell hurt, Brzozowski started and got 17 minutes, whereas Kinum only had 11.) Kinum handles the ball better than anyone but Ross so far, and as I said, she's the best jump-shooter they've had since Baron. She's scoring almost as many points/gm as Russell, despite playing five minutes less. Personally, I'd be starting her right now, and leave her there even when Russell gets back. McLaughlin has 500-some wins and three more Ivy championships than I do, so I will trust the process, but I certainly think she'll start next year.





Super excited to see Kinum showing some explosive offensive talent -- but not surprised. My wife actually played in the same AAU program as Kinum -- their coach, Rich Leary, puts a huge emphasis on shot creation that's refreshing in the women's game (where potentially creative players can get locked into just running the flex over and over for system shots and never develop those skills).

One of the things that I loved about McCaughlin early on in the run was that his players played loose in big spots. Seeing Baron hit those shots in the tourney against Texas was awesome.

Made me think Kinum and McCaughlin would be a good pairing from day 1.

 
rbg 
Masters Student
Posts: 735

Reg: 10-20-14
01-08-18 10:38 AM - Post#242664    
    In response to SteveDanley

The women's team had a tough 70-55 loss to Princeton on Saturday. Bella Alarie was dominant with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks. Penn's bigs did a good job on her in the first half, but could not stop her in the second.

In the first half, the Tigers, who normally do not put up threes like Penn, Brown or Yale, hit 6 of 12. Backup guard Gabrielle Rush scored 14 points in the first half, including 4 three pointers.

Eleah Parker had a good game, going for 14 points and 7 rebounds. She kept them in the game in the first half, getting 10 points and 6 rebounds, but got shut down in the second when Alarie took control of the game.

Michell Nwokedi did a solid job offensively in the first half, getting 6 points on 43% shooting. However, she only managed 3 points on 13% shooting in the second half. She did managed to get 10 rebounds on the day.

The Quakers struggled from 3. They did went 6 for 20 from 3. They did get three in a row, but it wasn't until midway through the 4th quarter and by that point the Tigers had taken control of the game.

Princeton's first-year guard Carlie Littlefield sacrificed her offense to cover Anna Ross. Ross did score 11 points, but she went 3-10 and had to work really hard to get her buckets.

Penn did get 17 offensive rebounds, but the shots just wouldn't fall. For the game, they shot just 33%.

With lower rated Cornell and Columbia coming to the Palestra this weekend, the Quakers should be able to get back on track.

http://www.pennathletics.com/boxscore.aspx?id=1079...

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2254

Reg: 11-23-04
01-08-18 11:58 PM - Post#242786    
    In response to rbg

Just as the Penn men ended a long winless drought against the Tigers, so too the Tiger women beat the Quackers for the first time in a few years. Both programs are returning to their customary niches at or near the top of the league.

 
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