Saturday, November 14, 2009
While most fans would want to see UConn up by forty points by halftime, the huskies will benefit more from a game like this then from a blowout. Though the most disconcerting aspect of the game was in the rebounding department, where UConn’s bigger frontcourt let their smaller opponent wander right up to the rim with no resistance. The only way that William and Mary would be able to stay in this game would be with the three and they had it. Without a true shot blocker behind them, UConn played off their man and left their opponent's shooting hand open. The transition game worked well but they settled on some wild shots that had no shot of going in. They need to play with more patience and be able to pull back into the half court set if they don't have the numbers.
Dyson had a solid outing, though he settled on some circus shots, but the offense performed the best when it flowed through him. He has his speed and leaping ability back which is a great sight. His outside shot wasn’t there but he needs to keep shooting because he is the only true threat right now. He is playing great on defense and is sneaking into the passing lanes for steals.
Walker also played well. He attacked the rim relentlessly and had a few wow moments. He has also demonstrated the ability to hit the outside shot, which will help teams from playing off him. Kemba needs to do a better job of attacking the zone. It has stifled the half court sets. He needs to get into the lane and draw defenders in more.
Robinson was doing what he does best, focusing on rebounding. He was leaping out of the gym for boards and attacked the weak side of the rim for olley-oops and easy buckets. He needs to demand the ball more and show a post game. His leaping ability gives him a chance to shoot over anybody. Sometimes he leaves his feet too early and doesn't put a body on his defender.
Oriakhi had a freshman-like game. He showed some of his fantastic athletic ability on the offensive end and an ability to block shots on the defensive end, but he also ball watched too much and didn’t block out, letting smaller players have free runs at rebounds. He needs to concentrate on finding his man with the ball in the air.
Edwards had a disappointing game. He wasn’t aggressive out there and played a passive game. He needs to become a solid rebounder and if he can’t contribute in that department, then his minutes will drop. He also was getting killed with backdoor cuts. He has shown a baby hook on the offensive end, but he wasn't overpowering his smaller defender.
Smith has become the best defensive freshman on the team. He plays his man tight and has shown that extra burst that is needed to attack the rim. He has also shown the ability to hit the outside shot. He has become the first backcourt player off the bench.
Trice and Beverly had quiet games and never settled into a role. With the game close, Calhoun had to give more minutes then he wanted to his starters. Okwandu played sparingly, but better. He didn’t have the defensive lapses that he had in the previous games. Coombs-McDaniel came in and protected the weak-side. He was getting used to the game speed and didn’t force anything.
The half court continues to cause trouble for the huskies and they relied heavily on the transition game. They attacked the rim with wild shots and didn’t get good possessions out of them. It allowed a hot three point shooting team with more opportunities and they converted. The front court is also a work in progress and they need to work on blocking out. Given that, UConn is going to have growing pains but as long as they win these games and grow through them, they should be alright.