Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grading the Huskies

Ryan Boatright. B. He had a rough start to his freshman campaign, watching from the bench while the NCAA finished their investigation, but when he got in, he provided a much needed spark. He proved to be a threat from deep, deadly in transition, and a good ball handler against pressure. By the end of the year, his shot selection was much better and he began to be more aggressive.

Jim Calhoun. C. He would be the first to admit that it wasn’t his best coaching job of his career. He had the talent from a gritty point guard, an All-Big East shooting guard, and an top lottery pick big man, but he couldn’t find a way to get them to gel. It is not like he didn’t try. He used every possible lineup that he could think of and nothing solved the enigma of this team. They remained mediocre throughout the season and never got better which is not like a Jim Calhoun team.

DeAndre Daniels. C-. He wanted to be a sharp shooter, but couldn’t drain the outside shot, and for him to get the minutes he needed to rebound and didn’t, so he found himself coming in and playing miniscule stretches of ballgames and never got the opportunity to play through bad possessions.

Andre Drummond B+. There was a lot of hype when news of Drummond’s arrival to an already talented team was announced but it didn’t all go according to plan. It took awhile for him to get comfortable with the team. About mid-way through the season, he hit his stride and was getting easy dunks on put-backs and in transition. He also became UConn’s only player that could consistently get double-digits on the boards. He still lacked a back to the basket game, had no reliable jumper, and was a liability at the line.

Neils Giffey. C. After winning the three point shooting contest at Midnight Madness, Giffey looked ready to be that sharp shooter that this team needed, but he never settled into that role. He looked hesitant at times to shoot wide open jumpers, and continued to drive himself into trouble. He still provided great perimeter defense which this team lacked and was central to the rotation.

Jeremy Lamb. B. Lamb is taking a lot of heat for how this season ended and some of it does fall on his shoulders since this really was his team. He has so much talent and upside that it was head scratching to see him disappear late in ballgames or settle for deep threes early in possessions. His defense was also a liability and often times found himself caught behind screens, not hustling back on defense or late to his man. He was UConn’s primary scoring threat and led this team in points, but if this is his last year at Storrs, it has to be a disappointing end.

Shabazz Napier. B+. He sometimes forced things early on in the season, from passes to shots to leadership, but in the end Napier was the only player willing to step up late in ballgames. His game isn’t polished yet and he still relies too heavily on the three, but he is a good not solid defender, is getting better at this court vision, and wears his heart on his sleeve.

Tyler Olander. C. It looked like this team was going to have a solid three man rotation with Drummond, Oriakhi, and Olander. Tyler was hitting the 15-footer with regularity and was rebounding well, but then he got injured and he never got back to where he was early in the season.

Alex Oriakhi. D+. His grade is this bad because of the expectations he had coming in, being a pre-season Naismith candidate, but he couldn’t find his game all year against comparable or smaller players. His scoring and rebounding numbers dropped, he found himself with two fouls early in games, and his frustration was carrying over into games.

Roscoe Smith. B-. Smith had a slow start to the year and had a hard time rebounding and scoring, but like last season, he found his stride late in the season. His jumpers began to fall and he was rebounding much better. He also played solid defense though he fouled way too much.

Enosch Wolf. D. This team needed a consistent rebounder in the front court and it was a golden opportunity for Wolf to step up and get some minutes, but for some reason he couldn’t find his way onto the court. He must of not shown Calhoun enough in practice to warrant the opportunity, so he was delegated to finishing out blowouts in closing minutes of ballgames, which were few and far between.


Curtis said...

Enjoyed your rankings. Agree with most everything except for Shabazz. I just don't think I could give him a grade in the B's (maybe a B-) after he disappeared for a bunch of games mid-season and shot so terribly from the floor. Also, while I'm glad he backed it up with a big game, I was not happy with him calling out his teammates. That is to be done in the locker room- not in front of the media.

David Gillett said...

I agree that he shouldn't have called out his teammates but he is young and let his frustrations get the best of him. While he didn't shoot well from the floor, he sacrificed his offensive game for forcing the offense through Lamb. Thanks for reading.