Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pulling Teeth

The first half of the game was like sitting in a dentist chair. UConn couldn’t figure out the zone, settling for outside shots that clanked off the rim and not getting a sniff of a transition basket, but the huskies settled down and finally found a sembalance of a half court offense. They set picks at the top of the key to let the guards slip into the lanes to create havoc. The full court pressure also created chaos that tired out the undermanned Colgate team and allowed UConn to pull away through second chance points and clutch shooting.

Stanley Robinson was fabulous. He was skying early for boards and olly-oops. What was most impressive about his game and a great sign, was his outside shot and his mid-ranged game where he loves using the glass. The only thing that wasn’t going right was his free throws, missing an one and one. Even though he had his whole game on display, Calhoun was in his face on numerous occasions. It shows his maturity that it didn’t effect his game.

Kemba was more aggressive against the zone, attacking the rim and showed a nasty crossover. His jump shot has come a long way, showing a mid-ranged game and a reliable corner three. He was also causing trouble with pressure defense and key steals.

It wasn’t Dyson’s best performance and with his outside shot not there, he was a one-dimensional player. His shot looked flat, which could be due to only two days between games. He looked to be settling for shots and was throwing up some wild shots around the rim. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his performance and how hesitant he will be from deep.

Edwards had his best performance of the year and had something to prove with his coach calling him out. He was aggressive, finding the ball and battling for put backs. He showed a floater and more of his athletic leaping ability on several blocks. He still is having trouble with securing the ball, having it bounce off of him and out of bounds.

Oriakhi was solid in the rebounding department and flared those elbows. He is still having problems in traffic and making poor decisions. The game is still a little too fast for him and he is rushing it a bit. He still shows flashes of his mix of power and athleticism. He just needs to settle down.

Coombs-McDaniel stepped up. He showed a great stroke from deep, a deceptive first step, and a controlled game that was anything but freshman-like. He made an impact off the bench and didn’t mind the scattered minutes that Calhoun was throwing at him.

Okwandu had his best performance of the year so far. He played solid defense, fought for loose balls, and showed the elbow jumper again. He was a bit flat footed out there and needs to use his length to block shots.

Beverly was steady out there and has a smooth aspect to his game. He also showed a baseline jumper. Smith and Trice didn’t have much of an impact on the game, especially with the seniors in the game because it was close.

Hopefully UConn can keep the second half momentum that it showed in the half court offense. They finally showed that it could handle the zone without settling for threes. They know that they are deadly in transition and if it can have a reliable half court offense, then this team can be dangerous. It is all a work in progress. The freshmen of Trice, Smith, and Coombs-McDaniel are feeling out their roles and the seniors are figuring out how to share the scoring burden.

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