Saturday, November 10, 2012
Napier had a sub-par performance in his first two preseason games, but he brought his A-game at the right time. He had 3 lay-ups, two 3-pointers, and a steal in the first half which helped UConn take control of the game early. He wasn’t as effective in the second half and might have had to do with his conditioning, since he missed most of the summer due to injury, but he still had a pretty reverse lay-up, a spin move bank shot, a 3-pointer, and sealed the game at the line late. He still took 3 bad three pointers, making one of them, but he showed the leadership down the stretch that will carry this team throughout the season.
Ryan Boatright was a menace all game. He had several steals that led to points, had a beautiful dunk, a sweet pull up jumper, and a 3-pointer late in the ballgame to sustain the lead. It was his toughness in this game that was most impressive. He turned his ankle at a ninty-degree angle and limped off, but came back in the second half and earned this victory through his play. That type of fight is what this team needs. Calhoun had a freshman-like game. He looked a bit overwhelmed and some of his passes were late and he was reluctant to get his offense going. These types of games are going to happen to Calhoun, he just needs to keep his confidence up.
What more can you say about DeAndre Daniels? He had a tremendous preseason and then he comes into this game and immediately plays solid defense, has a spinning lay-up, a 3-pointer, a monster baseline dunk, a sweet lay-up, and then a spin hook. His passes in the second half were a bit sloppy and his offense dried up, but he still battled hard on the boards and had numerous blocks. He has been the most improved player on this team by far. Tyler Olander had a tough job. He was out sized by Michigan State, but did all the little things that this team needed to pull of this upset. He rebounded in traffic, had a hustle save, a tie-up, some blocks, a spinning hook, and some great rebounding in traffic.
Giffey did a good job. He had a steal and a 3-pointer, but got himself into trouble dribbling but overall it was a good game for him. Evans jad a nice turnaround in the first half, two lay-ups, and a steal, but had a couple of bad passes. Wolf had a nice block, a 15-footer and did a good enough job on defense.
This was a great win for this program. Not only did they get a win against a Michigan State team that has a chance to win it all this, but it gives Ollie some room to breath, a front court some much needed confidence, and a backcourt a chance to test their mettle against the best. They’ll need to build on this, heading into lesser talent. The rebounding needs to get better, the half court sets need to be more efficient, and the passes need to be more crisp, which are all correctable. So enjoy this win and know that even though this season will end abruptly they still have plenty to play for, each other.