Maggie Dixon Classic recap: Is UConn's dominance bad for women's basketball?

Photo by Ray Floriani.

With the Connecticut Huskies dominating their opponents and seemingly on the way to yet another NCAA championship, people are starting to ask a familiar question.

NEW YORK CITY- The 1970's, specifically, brought more than changes in music and culture. On the men's college basketball side, the early part of the decade saw the dominance of UCLA - the situation seemingly had the rest of the nation battling for runner up.

Today there is a fear that is happening on the women's side.

UConn cut the nets down last season and with this group there is little reason to feel there will not be a repeat. At the Maggie Dixon Classic the question was posed, is UConn's dominance bad for the game?

St. John's coach Joe Tartamella does not think so. In fact, the Huskies imposing stature may be a good thing for everyone in the long-run.

"I think UConn gives a marquee team people want to see," Tartamella said following his club's win over Texas A&M. "I also think UConn is a marquee team people want to play against. We used to love our match ups with UConn. We reveled in that. People make a big deal about, '˜Hey it's UConn and everybody else' - it will be that way. People have to come and play. I think if our kids had an opportunity to play against them (UConn) they would enjoy it. I really do. (UConn) gives us a great product to show what our game is capable of."

While the Huskies have talent others can only admire and dream about, there is a lot of work, drills and daily development to maximize the talent and mold it into a team. "Sometimes you expect the perfect pass, shot or execution," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Then you have something like our first ten minutes (against California In the Dixon night cap). You are quickly reminded, even with the talent, it is always a work in progress."

In this case, "progress" means a succession of impressive victories.

The possession based and Four Factors numbers from the Maggie Dixon Classic.

St. John's 72 Texas A & M 70

Texas A & M

St. John's

Possessions

68

70

Offensive Efficiency

103

103

eFG Pct.

45

53

FT Rate

46

46

OREB Pct.

44

52

TO Rate

24

30

The matching efficiency epitomized this game won by St. John's on an Aliyyah Handford penetrating layup with two seconds left. Four Factors were relatively close with the eFG mark being the discernible difference. St. John's shot 3-for-8 from long range while going 23-for-44 (52%) inside the arc. If you want to carry the offensive efficiency out to its raw number, A&M had the slightest edge.

Texas A&M 1.02941

St. John's 1.02857

On the all important scoreboard, advantage St. John's.

UCONN 80, California 47

California

UCONN

Possessions

76

77

Offensive Efficiency

62

104

eFG Pct.

31

52

FT Rate

16

17

OREB Pct.

28

35

TO Rate

24

21

Total domination by the Huskies and the numbers bear it out. UCONN shot the ball well (7 of 19 for 37% from three) and defended exceptionally. Only metric of concern to Geno Auriemma would be the 21% turnover rate. Individually Breanna Stewart led the way with 29 points, 10 boards in 27 minutes.

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