Thursday, November 5, 2009
No Bailout for AIC
A game like this can give you fools gold. AIC had nothing for UConn’s athleticism and length in the front court and the big men feasted on easy boards and put backs. But even with an opponent with one hand tied behind his back, UConn managed to show some good and bad things. They were very sloppy with lackadaisical passes along the perimeter which led to a gluttony of turnovers. The huskies looked to run early and often and found no resistance to the rim and shot well from behind the arc. Without Dyson, this game showed the depth of the backcourt at Calhoun’s disposal.
Robinson played like a man possessed. He did a little of everything from hitting off-balanced jumpers, blocking shots, attacking the rim, posting up, and hitting from deep. If he contributes half of what he did in this game then UConn will be making some noise come March. But again these games can fool you. It was great to see Robinson aggressive with the ball in his hand and he used the glass to perfection.
Kemba had a solid game and was looking for his offense, especially without Dyson. He showed his improved range from hitting threes in transition and dribbling around screens. He also played a great isolation game, taking his man off the dribble and effectively attacking the rim. One thing that you can take away from this game is jump shots and it is encouraging to see Walker consistently knock them down.
The freshman Oriakhi lived up to the hype and pounded the undersized AIC squad. While he didn’t play solid man-to-man early and was yanked, he came back with a vengeance, controlling the boards offensively and defensively. He had some beautiful moves around the basket and showed a more fluid game then what we saw in Jeff Adrien. But again this team had no answer for his size.
Edwards showed a little with hitting an elbow jumper, blocking a shot, and showing a baby hook. He also was solid from the line hitting 5 of 7. He logged in the most minutes of all the huskies but needs to become a more solid rebounder. Five rebounds in thirty-three minutes isn’t expectable, not against this type of competition.
Okwandu looked uncomfortable and forced up shots. Patience will be a necessity when dealing with Charles. His game is raw and like Thabeet’s first season, as long as there is progression then he will be fine. Darius Smith had a solid first outing. He brought the ball up at times, hit shots, kept running and got his nose dirty for rebounds. Jamaal Trice had a quiet game. He didn’t hit the three ball well and was careless with the ball.
This game was exactly what was expected. AIC poised no threat the UConn, but it gave the huskies a chance to get their freshmen game time experience and see where they are at. The starters played well, though Calhoun will have plenty of motivation for the next practice, which is what he wants. It was a good game to knock the rust off and get into the routine of the long season.