Thursday, January 14, 2010

Taking On Water

UConn’s ship is springing leaks and their season is struggling for survival. They can’t stop the dribble penetration and with no legitimate shot blocker to erase those mistakes, it is costing them on the boards and with easy buckets. The offense is vanilla with Dyson attacking the rim off the dribble as their only option. The outside shot is nonexistent other than the rare Robinson three. The free throws are atrocious and they continue to turn the ball over in bunches. It isn’t pretty and while the season is far from over, they have hit a very low point. They need to turn things around and quick because their tournament chances are sinking and fast, because they need to be around the top six in the Big East to remain in the conversation of a tournament seed.

Dyson was the offense. He was great at splitting the double team and scoring. He didn’t show much of a jumper but he didn’t need to because Pittsburgh wasn’t stopping the ball. The first half of these past few games tends to be a bit sloppy for Dyson, stepping out of bounds a couple of times and getting into foul trouble. He is struggling at the line and needs to step up there. Dyson is carrying this team and it is still not enough. Someone needs to step up.

Walker again was inconsistent in his play. While he showed some inspired ball during UConn’s comeback and brief lead, but during the beginning and endings to the game, he is making more negative plays then positive ones. He was more aggressive offensively and pulled the ball out when he didn’t have numbers on the break, but he is just not dependable with the ball in his hands in the half court sets especially late in tight ballgames and it is hurting the team.

Robinson is playing great first halves of ballgames but he isn’t able to continue his play throughout a whole game. He had an early three and a bank shot in the post but in the second half, he is watching Dyson make all the plays. He needs to help out more there. He is also playing poor defense, letting his man dribble into the lane with ease or slip in for an offensive board.

Edwards did a good job. He rebounded well, blocked shots, showed a smooth hook shot, and ran hard on the break. He isn’t getting to the line though and needs create more contact to get there. He is to good of a free throw shooter to waste it. He struggled a little guarding his man off the dribble, but overall it was a solid performance. Oriakhi did well and hit the boards hard. He had a sweet put back but is not finishing off post moves. His game has come leaps and bounds. Majok showed some signs of life with a nice rebound and dunk off a missed free throw, had a lay up, a block, and a nice looking post move and score. Okwandu didn't have much of an impact on the court.

Smith, Beverly and Coombs-McDaniel didn’t do much and they need to make some positive plays to help out. They weren't a liability on defense though, which is an improvement. The bench is thin, which is a surprise. They should be contributing more, be it defensively or with jumpers. It is going to take a toll on the starters if they continue to not make an impact.

The season is on life support. The ship taking on water. Another loss will sink them out of the top 25 and near the bottom of Big East ocean. This is do or die time and it is up to the Seniors to step up and win games. Robinson, Edwards, and Dyson need to play outstanding ball. Finger pointing, excuses, or frustration mean nothing now, only wins and it starts this weekend. Time to step up or watch this boat go gurgling into the N.I.T. waters.

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