For those watching UConn-OSU ...
by CJC (2023-03-25 17:37:57)

That last backcourt trap was a great example of how these games are being called.

Without the benefit of a replay, that looked to me like one or both of the defenders fouled the offensive player as she attempted to dribble up court. Instead, it was no foul, and a travel call.

UConn has 22 turnovers in roughly 25 minutes of play.

As I said in Romper Room after the game, this is college basketball today. Add OSU to the list of teams that plays ultra-aggressive defense.

To thrive against teams like that, Notre Dame needs:

a healthy Olivia Miles;
more players in addition to Sonia Citron who can hold up under pressure like that -- hopefully, the continued development of Cass Prosper and KK Bransford and for Hannah Hidalgo who is ready for this kind of game;

And I'd add, the mindset to defeat that kind of play. To me, that starts with confidence that teams cannot disrupt Notre Dame with non-stop pressure and reaching and slapping for the ball. Beyond that, if the players are properly prepared, that they can exploit that kind of defense and turn it into easy points.

Like others have observed, I don't like what that style of play is doing to women's college basketball, but it is what is is. It's not a conspiracy against Notre Dame and it's not going to stop. If anything, it's going to increase, as more coaches mimic such a successful approach.

I believe that Notre Dame will have the physical talent next season to thrive against that kind of approach. I don't fault this year's coaching staff for how we struggled -- injuries and Jenna's Brown ineffectiveness (whether due to lingering effects of injury or otherwise) severely limited ND in that regard.

But they should devote a lot of their offseason work to overcoming that kind of approach -- and not simply hoping that they don't encounter it on the way to the 2024 Final Four.