Monday, February 2, 2009
January had the huskies coming off a poor performance against Georgetown in which their defense and offense stuttered early and often. They would then take on a Rutgers team and find their defensive intensity that they were able to maintain throughout the month, only letting two teams score more than 70 points or more in the month.
While Dyson struggled offensively throughout the month, Price picked up the torch and played solidly, hitting the three ball and finally finding the mid-ranged shot to his game. Austrie’s outside shots aren’t as consistent as Calhoun would like, but he is beginning to get into the lane and hit floaters. Kemba is earning valuable playing experience. While his fast break skills aren’t where they should be, he has shown the ability to hit the three in crucial spots, and doesn’t play like a freshman on defense. He rarely has defensive lapses.
Thabeet had his on and off games, but his off games still had significant impacts on the game. What more can you say about Adrien? He has played against bigger players, smaller quicker players, jump shooters, and post players and still goes out and earns double-doubles. His elbow jumper is sinking, he has the best footwork for a post player that UConn has seen since Emeka, and he has shown the senior leadership that this squad has needed. Gavin has carried his momentum in December into January. He is playing above the rim and has shown strong hands when he has the ball. He has the ability to give UConn Adrien -like numbers. His size and strength will prove invaluable when going up against deep front lines of the elite teams.
Robinson had a January to almost forget but in the last game of the month, he found some light at the end of the tunnel. He has no confidence in his outside shot, which is a shame since it was one of UConn’s best last season, but the Providence game showed that he doesn’t need it. If he remains active at attacking the rim and digging his nose into the paint for rebounds, his game blossoms.
UConn will be tested in February. They’ll face the elite teams of the Big East in Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette and Notre Dame. They also have an out of conference game against Michigan. They’ve proven to be one of the elite teams in the country and now that they have that number one ranking, they’re going to have to earn every bit of it.