No Napier, no Giffey, late road game, or tail end of the season, there is no excuse for UConn to have put forth a game like this. It was embarrassing. The first half looked promising and reminiscent of many of their games this season. They struggled to find points, but battled hard and kept it close, but then the wheels fell right off the cart. Without UConn's workhorse in Napier, the halfcourt offense sputtered, stalled, and finally pulled over to the side of the road. The most concerning aspect to this game was the defensive intensity and lack there of. There were gaping lanes to the basket, no one stopped the ball in transition, the rotation was sluggish, and they allowed one of the worst offenses to hit 45% against them. It was uncharacteristic for this team and a head scratcher.
Boatright is in a huge rut right now. He's turning the ball over, front rimming shots, dribbling way too much, and his defense is sorely lacking. He did hit a jumper, a floater, and a 3-ball when the game was out of hand, but he also showed poor leadership with his body language when his team wasn't getting the calls or plays weren't goingg his way. He needs to rally the troops not express his frustrations. This was his time to shine and he has struggled to find ways to free up his shooting hand.
Calhoun hasn't been the same since his wrist injury and missed several shots that he normally makes, including a dunk. He had five horrible misses in this game but for a freshman, it can effect his entire game mentally. He needs a confidence builder heading into the off-season to wash the taste of these past three games out.
Daniels was masterful offensively and carried the entire team even when USF threw double teams at him. He hit a turnaround jumper, a fade away, an offensive rebound 3-pointer, a jumper, a spinning lay-up, a dunk, another lay-up, and a fall away. But unfortunately that is only half of the game and he severely lacked the same intensity on the defensive end. He wasn't closing out on his man, rotating, or sliding in for a charge. These are the things that he must do to be a complete player and become a lottery pick. To his credit, this was an anomaly. He has played hard defensively in most games, but without Napier and Giffey the spotlight was shining on him in this game.
Olander had a rough game, but did have a turnaround jumper and a floater, but was carved up on the pick and roll. He then injured his foot in the second half. Nolan played well, had a dunk and a couple of blocks, but failed to carry over his career game against Cincinnati. Evans had a hot and cold game. He did get a four lay-ups, was aggressive and got to the line but missed a ton, turned the ball over way too much, and was beat several times on defense. Allen came in early and had an opportunity to score late but missed a free throw. Tolksdorf and Lenehan played sparingly in this game.
There is one game left in this season for UConn and they need to head off into the sunset with their heads held high. And to do that they can't show this type of effort or body language. This season has been one of the most trying in UConn's history and this team has fought through just about everything that can possibly be thrown at them and they have endured. No matter what happens on Saturday, this team has won the State's respect. They should go out there and play free, smile a bit, and have some fun. It's a game isn't it?