Friday, February 21, 2014

Main Goal

Let’s be honest here.  UConn played a sloppy game.  They toyed with Temple for much of this game like a cat would it's food and against a better opponent, they would’ve lost this game.  Their jumpers weren’t falling and they were late defensively on their rotations.  They were sloppy taking care of the basketball and at times they looked like they were going through the motions.  Kevin Ollie can’t be thrilled on the effort put forth in this game.  They allowed a depleted Temple team to not just out rebound them but to also get 11 offensive boards.  Alas, UConn’s talent did come through and they made enough plays to climb out of an early hole and hold off each Temple run with one of their own.  They did it with their defense, creating 16 Temple turnovers that fueled their fast break, and they got to the line, shooting 22 of 26.  While it wasn’t UConn’s best performance as of late, to get a conference road win is a big deal but there are definite areas this team needs to improve on to move into the elite class of teams.

Napier had an off night with his jumper, shooting only 3 of 11 and not making a 3-pointer all game.  He did make some very nifty passes to his rolling big men, but he also had some uncharacteristic turnovers.  Shabazz needs to stop passing the ball behind his back.  Those low percentage plays usually lead to points the other way.  He is doing a great job of getting to the line and he made Temple pay for their aggressive defense against him.  This game is an anomaly for him and he’ll most assuredly bounce back against SMU.

Boatright gave UConn another Topsy-Turvy performance.  He had some very egregious turnovers, but was the only player that brought his jumper with him, knocking down 5 of 9 from the field.  He had sweet up and under, two mid-ranged jumpers, a deep ball, and a spinning floater.  It’s his late game basketball that he needs to improve on and he made some costly errors in the last two minutes.

Daniels went through the motions in this game and wasn’t very aggressive.  He had several first half dunks in transition but struggled making plays in the post.  He did have a couple of nice jumpers and a floater, but this team needs him to fight down in the paint and one rebound just isn’t going to cut it.

Giffey did a great job of pump faking and driving to the basket for a better look.  It allowed him to get to the line also where he can do some damage. If he can continue to improve that part of his game, he can really become a threat offensively.  Kromah had a sub-par game with only a lay-up and a trip to the line as his only contribution offensively.  It’s a rare game to see him with only 4 points.  Calhoun finally recovered from his concussion but looked tentative out there, passing up some open jumpers.   This unit, which is usually a strength of the team, had a hard time getting going.

Brimah had a very strong game.  He rebounded with some tenacity, got a charge call, hit a nice hook shot, had a dunk, a lay-up, and played with energy. This is what this team needs from him on a daily basis.  Nolan on the other hand struggled.  He had a hard time of rotating defensively and keeping his position.  He did have a nice charge call and hit a put-back, but was out-played by Brimah in this game.  Facey came in for a brief stint and gave Temple a 3-point play.  While Brimah played well this unit only gave UConn 12 points and 7 boards in 41 minutes.  That’s just average.

UConn has been playing some incredible basketball as of late and to see this sub-par outing is a bit disconcerting, it is understandable.  They were on the road and a team heavily dependent on their jump shots, if they aren’t dropping then they tend to push things.  They’ll need to come out with better energy come Sunday to avenge that loss down in Texas against SMU.  It would be a great home victory against another ranked opponent that would help bolster their seeding come March and at this point of the year, that’s really the main goal.

No comments: