They could blame it on the short time between games, the inconsistent calls, or the rebounding difference on this butt whipping and all of these did play a factor, but the major reason why UConn lost this game was their heavily reliance on jump shots while Louisville got much of their baskets by attacking the rim. It gave Louisville higher percentage shots while also getting to the line and UConn settled for shots around the perimeter, 23 of their 54 shots were from deep. They also took a major step back in the rebounding department, giving up 16 offensive rebounds. The major culprit for this was UConn’s inability to rotate and help the helper. Whenever UConn’s big men rotate over to protect the rim their man is wide open for the put-back. They need to clean that up and fast or this could get away from them when facing a larger line-up.
Napier was the only player to truly bring their A-game. His outside shot was working all game though he leaned too heavily on it, taking 10 of his 15 shots from deep. In the second half, he started attacking the basket before the zone settled and was able to get to the line 12 times but it wasn’t enough to climb out of the hole that they had dug themselves in. He struggled to get others involved and only had 1 assist to 4 turnovers and he let the defense dictate what he wanted to do.
Boatright continues his inconsistent play and didn’t even have a field goal in the first half with only 2 points from free throws as his only points. He did turn it up in the second half and finally had some baskets drop for him around the rim. In a quick span he had three lay-ups and a jumper, which were his only field goals. He only got to the line once though and struggled at times to keep his man from the lanes. Though he played with a heavy heart, this team needs him to play more consistent.
This was by far Daniels worst game of the year. He hit an early 3-pointer but then missed everything else. He struggled defensively and was saddled with two fouls early in the first half which put him on the bench but when he was reinserted in the second half, he played passively. He had 3 points and 4 rebounds. That is a recipe for disaster and it was. He needs to play better against the zone, because he is the only threat in the paint area and when he isn’t scoring, the zone stretches out and effects the perimeter.
Giffey had a good first half with a lay-up, an offensive rebound, and a 3-pointer. He rebounded much better and had 4 boards with two of those offensive, but he tends to dissappear in the second half of games and needs to make it a point to take shots when he is open. Calhoun didn't make any negative plays but also didn’t make any positive ones either. He’s been a mystery for the past two months. He only took 2 shots in his ten minutes of play. Kromah had an early 3-pointer and a steal & dunk, but other then a trip to the line, he didn't have his normal performance. This unit was a bit of a disappointment.
Brimah had a solid game. He is playing much better in the paint and had 5 boards. He also got to the line and showed a pretty nice stroke. He is playing much better on defense and is avoiding fouls, even getting a charge call. Nolan struggled mightily and played some sub-par defense. He only played 4 minutes. Olander was again pushed around on the boards but did make plays with an offensive rebound put-back and also had a lay-up in the second half. Facey played two minutes and had a blocked shot. He seems to always make a positive play whenever he gets into the game. This unit gave UConn 7 points, 8 boards, and 4 blocks in 52 minutes. That’s not good at all.
UConn needs to put this game behind them and focus back on the help defense, shot selection against the zone, and transition defense. When this team is getting stops, the offense gets to attack while the defense isn't settled and they couldn't in this game. They’ll have to bounce back against Temple on Tuesday. They can’t let the conference standings get away from them, especially with Cincinnati’s great start. While the conference title is not out of their grasp, their room for error is very slim and it starts with a bounce back performance against Temple.