Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Work Still To Do

Who saw this coming? This team sure knows how to add drama to their lives. Digging themselves a huge hole, UConn did what seemed impossible, winning two road games, one against a top ten team, and a home game against another top ten team. They’ve played themselves into consideration, but still have work to do. The resume wins are there to differentiate themselves from Marquette and Cincinnati, but if they don’t finish in that seventh spot in the Big East standings, they’ll leave themselves a chance to be knocked off the bubble. But to do what they have done in these past three games is simply amazing and UConn fans should be extremely proud. They’ve showed a lot of fortitude throughout this season and put things together when they could’ve folded up.

Dyson made some beautiful drives around the rim, none better then the spin move that left his defender in the dust, but he is still missing a ton of free throws. He was spectacular on defense and is a warrior out there, playing through pain throughout the game. He has really stepped up to be a true leader on this team.

Walker was simply amazing. He buried an early 3-ball and that gave him the confidence to be aggressive. He was fouled seven times while driving to the basket in the second half and was awesome at the line. He has really come a long way. Other then two bad passes in the first half, he took good care of the ball and made smart decisions. UConn’s turnaround can be pointed to Walker’s emergence as a star.

Robinson did a great job on the boards and had several put-backs. He found his outside shot, but he is struggling from the line. It was great to see him more aggressive with the ball in his hands. He had a beautiful acrobatic lay-up and took the ball to the rim several times. He was much more active in this game and needs to remain so.

Edwards had a great first half hitting a hook shot and lay-up, rebounded well, and made his free throws, but he was in foul trouble all game and in the second half, he wasn’t effective other then some free throws and some boards. Oriakhi had a put-back and made his free throws, but also struggled with foul trouble. Majok didn’t have a chance, not with the game being called like it was. He normally has trouble staying in games. He had a massive block and had a dunk, but never got into any flow. Okwandu played sparingly.

Coombs-McDaniel was aggressive and was fouled twice driving to the rim but only made two out of four from the line. He needs to sink those. While he missed his only shot from deep, it was a good shot and he needs to keep shooting those. Beverly did a good job in reserve at the point and played solid defense, but he wasn’t comfortable taking a shot.

This was a slug fest with two teams not budging an inch on defense and the referees were calling every bump, hold, and nudge. The game never had a flow to it, but UConn did what they had to do, sink free throws, protect the ball, and rebound. It is amazing the run that this team is on, but they can’t relax yet. There is still much to do and to have them slip up now after coming this far would be an utter shame.


hedgie said...

This has been uconn's MO this year, play all the top teams tough like losing to Kentucky by 3, getting hosed by refs with the 'cuse but still losing, blowing a massive lead against GTown...now that we're playing lower quality teams uconn will play down to their level and the risk of loss is prob even higher there than vs a team like Kansas for Uconn!

Walker is the whole reason we're back in it. Before it was just dyson as a one man wrecking crew but Walker has stopped being scared of shooting and is being abit smarter with the ball. Robinson still needs to do more, overall he's just a highlight dunk as far as I'm concerned, would like to see him get more involved overall. Either way, could have an interesting run with the Big East Tourney and if we get into the NCAA as a 9-11 seed, prob one of the most dangerous teams around.

Zach Smart said...

awesome work Dave, I think last night showed Sticks' steely resolve and how far he has come from being a feast or famine player to a senior leader with the will to shoulder the burden of end game. He's definitely been as efficient as ever this year and become that player Calhoun envisioned him being his freshman year, when he had a coming out party with a 21-point outburst against Indiana and his fellow BAMA native DJ White.

He's since had some growing pains but last night was indicative of how far he's come.


David Gillett said...

Thanks guys for the read. The UConn team that has played these last three games is unlike the one we've seen in the previous months. This one battles on the boards, protects the ball, and can hit a jumper. They've beat up Rutgers pretty good on the road, so playing down to their competition isn't a problem with this new look Huskies. I agree Walker's play is the reason that this team is where it is and Robinson does need to do more, but he has been hitting the boards hard during this winning streak.

Thanks Zach for the props and I'll give your article a gander and throw the link up.