For the UW Women’s Basketball program, moving on mentally from the Hawaii defeat will go a long way towards the Huskies defeating the San Diego Toreros on Sunday.
The Huskies are better on paper than San Diego, just like with Hawaii, but it will take smart play and effort to secure the victory.
Here are the keys to a Huskies win on the road versus San Diego.
FFENSE: ONE DUAL THREAT AND A CLEANUP CREW
Like Hawaii, the San Diego Toreros are an average offensive team but very different in style and execution.
San Diego does not shoot well from the outside, in fact they are rated below average (26th percentile) on shots from 17 feet to beyond the three-point arc.*
This is good news for a Huskies team that, at times, struggles to defend the 3-point line.
3-Point Denial of Edwards
San Diego’s #23 5’8″ Jordyn Edwards , however, is the key exception to San Diego’s ineffective three-point shooting.
Edwards is San Diego’s most prolific three-point shooter, averaging 3.6 attempts per game and making 31% from beyond the arc.*
Edwards rates excellent as a no-dribble spot-up shooter (94th percentile)*, so the Huskies must either deny her the pass or closeout quickly to prevent her from taking the shot.
The only other Toreros to average more than 3 three-point attempts per game are Ana Ramos and Myah Pace, yet both shoot less than 30% from long distance.*
Likewise, San Diego overall makes only 23.5% of their three-point attempts which ranks 332nd among Division 1 programs.*
If the Huskies can shut down Edwards, they will effectively shut down San Diego’s three-point shooting.
Pick & Roll Double Edwards
Jordyn Edwards is also a threat when she is the ball-handler running pick-and-roll offense, rating an excellent 91st percentile nationally for this type of play.*
Edwards is most effective when single-covered in the pick & roll, so the Huskies would be wise to double Edwards early to make her pass out of the pick & roll to a teammate because her results are average when passing out (34th percentile).*
U(DUB) Better Defensive Rebound
Although the San Diego Toreros are definitely inferior offensively on paper.
They are a significant threat on the offensive boards, particularly for scoring on offensive put-backs.
San Diego’s #15 6’1″ Leticia Soares with 2.5 offensive rebounds per game; #34 6’0″ Patricia Brossmann with 3.4 offensive rebounds; and #11 6’1″ Madison Pollock with 2.6 offensive rebounds are the main reasons the Toreros rank in the national Top 50 for Offensive Rebounds per Game (14.9) and Offensive Rebound Rate (38.6%).*
The Huskies rank 69th in defensive rebounds with 28.0 per game*, so the Dawgs will need to focus on doing a better job defensive rebounding against the Toreros or they could easily lose that battle and leave the door open for a San Diego upset.
EFENSE: GOOD AT BEST, BUT DON’T EXPECT PUTBACKS
San Diego’s overall defense is good, not special, rating in the 69th percentile while allowing opponents to score 63.9 points per game (146th in the nation).*
Expect Halfcourt Woman-to-Woman
San Diego is best at playing halfcourt man defense, which is considered very good (72nd percentile, nationally).*
On the other hand, the Toreros are terrible at zone defense (zero percentile!), it would be shocking if San Diego attempted to zone the Dawgs, but if they do, the Huskies will score as long as they don’t commit unforced turnovers.
Offensive Rebounds Could Be Down
Diving deeper into their defensive performance, the San Diego Toreros specifically excel at defending against offensive put-backs (90th percentile nationally).*
In fact, San Diego ranks #1 nationally in limiting opponents’ offensive rebounds to 7.6 per game.*
By comparison, the Huskies average 15.6 offensive rebounds per game (56th nationally).*
This is an area of concern because the Huskies offense can’t afford to lose 8 offensive rebounds unless they are shooting significantly better from the field than against Hawaii.
Spot-Ups & Post-Ups Are Gifts
Two areas in which San Diego struggles defensively, should be the focus off the Huskies halfcourt offense.
First, the Toreros struggle mightily to defend spot-up jumpers — ranking in the 13th percentile nationally.*
For the Huskies, ball movement both side-to-side and inside-out will be key to getting open shots.
It is unlikely San Diego will be able to rotate or help & recover to contest shots effectively, i.e., the more ball movement, the more defensive movement, the more open shots.
Second, the Toreros are equally poor defenders against post-up plays (11th percentile, nationally).*
San Diego’s #15 Leticia Soares and #11 Madison Pollock are both vulnerable in the post –as well as, spot-ups.
However, Soares is a very poor defender overall, so the Huskies should take advantage of her with whomever she is guarding, by either driving or cutting past her from the wing; or by dominating her in the post.
Bring It Home
The Huskies probably needed a road game to separate themselves from the noise after a home defeat.
If the Huskies women are locked in and focused, San Diego will be a good test to see if they can be the team that swept the Puerto Rico Clasico or if they need to make adjustments before PAC-12 play begins.
*All Stats courtesy of Synergy, NCAA and Her Hoops Stats