Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Composure could be key tomorrow

As Penn State found out the hard way, there is a different between playing fast against some teams and playing fast against UConn.

The Lady Lions came out and played right into UConn's hands by turning the first few minutes into an up and down, 94-foot game. Not surprisingly UConn wasted little time jumping out to an early 10-point lead en route to a routine victory.

Kentucky also liked to put their foot on the pedal so it bears watching to see if Kentucky is able to control the tempo in tomorrow's Elite Eight game.

"We are going to focus on ourselves," Kentucky senior guard Amber Smith. "We don't want to play that style of game so we are going to do whatever we needed to do to keep the tempo in our hands and pace in our favor."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma knows facing Kentucky will be different from any style of play they've had to contend with this season.

"You watch them play and you see these wild swings in what they do and I think that's part of what they generate out on the court. They beat Tennessee by one and then lose by (37) You go  'what???' Or they'll just thoroughly dominate somebody for the longest stretches and then they'll beat McNeese State by three. They'll be down and you think, 'There's no way they can win this game,' and they come back and they win the game. So, I think their style of play, if you're not careful, gets you into such a crazy way of playing that they're a lot better at that than you are. So, if you don't control the tempo and you don't take control of the basketball game – and keep control of it – I think they get you exactly where they want you and then you're at their mercy.

"We were talking about that this morning with our coaches that you play Penn State and you know exactly where most of their points are going to come from. But when you play Kentucky, its kind of like playing us a little bit, you're not quite sure where all their points are going to come from. You know some are going to come from here, some from there.  They're one of those teams that are difficult to play against because you just don't have a lot of places where you can just play off of. But if they did, they wouldn't be here. They'd be with all the other teams, watching this game on TV tomorrow."

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