Saturday, December 7, 2013

Across the Board

UConn looked sluggish right out of the gate with sloppy turnovers, missed free throws, and they settled for outside shots against the zone.  They allowed a poor rebounding and defensive Maine team to go toe to toe with them.  It wasn’t until they settled down, started taking care of the ball,  moved the ball around, and had some of their jumpers fall that they were able to soften the zone and allow their more athletic and bigger frontcourt playersin Daniels, Giffey, and Nolan to make plays.  They were able to expand the lead to high double digits which allowed Coach Ollie to sub in some under utilized players in Facey, Samuel, and Tolksdorf to get some valuable minutes.  While it was a major blowout in all fashions of the game, they still allowed Maine to get 7 offensive rebounds and only scored 4 more points than Maine in fast break points.

Napier had a subdued game and did made much of his impact in the first half.  He had an offensive rebound, 3 steals, a 3-pointer, and shot 2 of 2 from the line in the first half.  He played sparingly in the second half, 22 minutes overall, and had a steal and a lay-up as his only offense.  The game was well out of hand and allowed Ollie to rest him.

Boatright struggled early with turnovers, but he sparked UConn’s offense in the first half with a steal, a jumper, a dunk, and was able to get to the line.  Like Napier, he had a short second half but had his jumper working in that brief time, sinking two jumpers and a 3-pointer.  This was a get right game for him and he had his best shooting game in quite some time.

Daniels had a great first half with a floater, two 3-pointers, a sweet spinning lay-up,  and a jumper.  He had a block and a 3-pointer in the second half.  He didn’t miss a single shot and went 6 for 6 from the floor and also had 5 defensive boards.  Not bad for just 20 minutes of play.

Giffey made a major impact in the first half by attacking the glass and was able to do his damage by attacking the rim.  He only had one 3-pointer in the game but had a lay-up, a dunk and a tip-in.  He also did much better on the boards, snapping three offensive boards. The only thing he did bad was shoot 3 of 7 from the charity stripe.  That is an anomaly and you probably won’t see that again.

Calhoun had the green light to shoot anytime he wanted because after that first shot, he kept on jacking up 3-pointers and they weren’t dropping.  He eventually dropped four 3-pointers but took nine of them, way too many.  He did go to the line though he only hit 2 of 4.He also had a lay-up.  Overall it was a great performance for him confidence wise.  He was able to sink some jumpers, rebound, and make plays.

Nolan had a good game and snagged several offensive rebounds and two nice dunks in the second half but didn’t have a single defensive board.  Olander struggled and only played 2 minutes.  Brimah had four blocks, a lay-up & 1 which he made, and an offensive rebound.  Facey had a good game and had two offensive rebounds with one leading to a dunk, ending the game with 9 total rebounds.  If he continues to rebound like that then he’ll get more playing time.

Kromah hit three 3-pointers in his 13 minutes.  Samuel had problems taking care of the basketball and had four turnovers in 17 minutes.  He did get to the line though and hit 3 of 4 there.  Tolksdorf continues to shoot threes and hit one in this game.  Lennehan played 4 minutes and Watts played 2.

This was a great opportunity for some of UConn’s freshmen and the seldom used players. UConn demonstrated some offensive versatility with Boatright, Daniels, Giffey, and Kromah, all contributing to the offense.  It still wasn’t pretty.  They allowed Maine to get on the boards and keep them from the fast break.  Be it a let down from the Florida game, the final exams, or lacking that energy because of playing an inferior team, UConn looked flat to start.  In the end it the sheer talent across the board for UConn destroyed Maine, but there was really little to take from it.  Facey looked good on the boards and Calhoun knocked down some jumpers but that’s about it.

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