Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The pressure was turned up in this game. UConn put the zone away and dusted off the frantic man-to-man defense that caused havoc with Wisconsin’s backcourt, creating 22 turnovers. They baited Wisconsin to play their tempo and they bit it hook, line, and sinker. While the three ball kept Wisconsin in the game early in the first half, once they went cold and had to venture into the paint, UConn went on the run that put them ahead for good.
Jerome Dyson has found his confidence. He was able to get into the lane, draw the defense, and hit 5 to 8 foot jumpers. This is a different Dyson. He’s dangerous if he can hit that, pull up from three, make those slashing shots around the basket, and not get into early foul trouble. How’s this for the line of the night: 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting, 6 boards, 3 dimes, and 1 steal. His early fuel to UConn’s offense has helped them set the tone. Sky-Walker had a solid game. He was the cog in Wisconsin’s backcourt, snatching 4 steals. He missed all 3 of his three-point shots, but he was 6 of 6 from the line, and made a great reverse lay-up.
Price continues to search for his game. His vision isn’t there yet and seems to be behind with most of his passes. He has developed into a dependable three-point shooter, 2 of 3. He just needs to get comfortable with the speed of the game again. Austrie was solid, hitting 3 of 4 from the floor and 2 of 2 from three. It is good to see those shots sinking again.
Thabeet seems to be a man of two halves. He is so afraid of foul trouble that he isn’t aggressive in the first half. But once the second half arrives and he has some fouls to play with, he is a blocking machine. He needs to find a way to play more aggressive in the first half without fouling. Easier said then done. He continues to shoot well from the line, but his hands aren’t his best asset. That dunk that Dyson set him up with was spectacular. Adrien was a work horse. He used his strength to battle inside to find his points got to the line 7 times. He had a game high 8 boards.
Gavin was the bench in this game. He played a total of 8 minutes and was 1 of 1 from the field, got to the line, had a block, and was active on the court. It is surprising that Calhoun didn’t use the bench as much since this was a back-to-back game.
The pressure defense was suffocating and the backcourt won this game for UConn. They were able to slice the lanes apart and get into the paint with ease. This team has so many ways to beat you. Last night it was Thabeet and this game it was Dyson. UConn heads back home from the comfy confines of the Virgin Islands hotter and more confident then ever. Gampel better have the heat turned up full blast, we don’t want the 20 degree weather to cool them down.