Michigan coach Kim Barnes Ariko is watching the fourth round of the women’s final between South Carolina and Stanford, as well as the match against UConn in Arizona. This year, for the first time in school history, Barnes Ariko directed the wolves to “Sweet 16”.
STANFORD vs SOUTH CAROLINA.
Led by two incredible coaches, this match is going to come down to whether Stanford will be able to score, as they did in the second half against Louisville, or South Carolina can slow them down.
It will be a chess match between Tara VanDerveer and Dawn Staley, for whom I respect the most. They both do very well in making adjustments in big games,: the moment should not anger either of them.
The Cardinal has a dominant guard in Kiana Williams, who is no stranger to hitting big shots և in the second half, the team settled in the game against the Cardinals of Elite Eight. Stanford has incredible depths that can take many different views in South Carolina. You saw in the Elite Eight game, Ashten Prechtel did not play in the first half ացավ rose 16 points և scored the team. They are just as versatile in what they can do at both ends of the hte court.
South Carolina has a really good presence inside and out. Alia Boston predominates in pain, as do Zia Cook and Destani Henderson. If you double Boston, will other kids be encouraged to play? Cook և Henderson definitely can.
Stanford has a lot of depth in the post: very different views on throwing Cameron Brink in Boston, if he is healthy, Fran Belibi and many others.
Gamecocks are also very good in the transition, so the Cardinal has to find a way to slow down a bit.
UCONN vs ARIZONA:
Experiment with newcomers. To think that UConn has visited 13 Final Fours in a row is crazy, but Geno Auriemma is ready to get them there every year. Arizona is playing in its first game, but it can help them, because they have nothing to lose, they have no real pressure on them.
Adia Barnes has done a phenomenal job մեկն is one of the expected business coaches. Looking at Aari McDonald from afar, alas, that child is fast and sensational. He plays with the ball so fast, he interferes with the defensive edge. There are not many players who are “defensive players of the year”, the best players of the conference.
Looking at my kids, they said he was the fastest player we’ve seen in a whole year.
UConn is likely to counter him with Christine Williams, who has done a tremendous amount of work on the defensive end over the past month or two. This will be a great personal meeting. Can the Huskies make him work for all his points? Arizona will need someone else to meet on the offensive line to win the game, even if McDonald scores 30 points.
Wild cats need to be fearless, ruthless and confident. Take shots when they are open,: play as they did in Elite Eight if the game is tense.
Huskies have their star in Paige Bueckers. He has already shown so much optimism as a freshman, reminding me a bit of Diana Taurasi on the pitch with his clasp. It’s unusual for freshmen to have so much confidence, but Auriyma has helped instill it in him. He has been in his prime during the heyday of those situations.
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