Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rock Bottom

It doesn’t get much worse then what UConn displayed in Louisville.  Their jumpers weren’t dropping, they couldn’t rebound,  they turned the ball over which instantly led to points, they couldn’t defend without fouling, and they couldn’t sustain a combination of offense and defense. It led to one of the worst performances by a UConn team in many a seasons and they did it on the last game of the regular season. There’s not much to break down in this game because the poor play was spread throughout the line-up.  Now they go limping into the AAC tournament, having to play Memphis at Memphis and try to beat a team three times in a row which is not an easy task to accomplish.

With the offense going south for the past two weeks, Napier has had to shoulder the scoring burden and has been forcing thing.  Against a tenacious defense like Louisville, he turned the ball over early and often.  He also took numerous bad shots and had a hard time getting open looks.  He’s been letting the team’s poor play get the best of him and has been pointing fingers at his teammates.  His trust in his teammates is slowly waning and it could spell disaster heading forward.

Boatright’s jumper has continued to elude him but he was able to get into the lane numerous times but had problems scoring around the rim.  This team needs him to play a more controlled game and do a much better job on the defensive end.  He has begun to trail his defender and needs to remain in front of him.  Unless he returns to form, this team is going to struggle in the tournaments.

If there is one good thing to get out of this game it is how Daniels performed.  He hit a jumper, two floaters, two dunks, and a 3-pointer.  Hopefully this will jump start his offense again because this team needs someone on the block to help elevate the pressure on the ball screens.

Giffey had a hard time getting open looks and only took one shot with his feet set.  He also missed an easy lay-up.  Kromah had a steal, a lay-up, an offensive rebound, a put-back, and got to the line, but he also had a couple of costly turnovers.  Calhoun missed an open shot and also gave up the basketball to Nolan before half court because he lost confidence in his dribble.  It led to a turnover.  Samuel had a freshman game.  He made some poor defensive plays, had a boneheaded foul in the closing seconds, and then shot the basketball with the clock running out.  It could cost him minutes in these last couple of games.

Another bright spot in this ugly game was Brimah’s performance.  He showed for the first time this year the ability to put the ball on the floor, take a dribble, and slam it home.  He had a hard time rebounding though and struggled putting a body on a man.  Nolan turned the ball over numerous times and also had a problem rebounding the basketball.  Olander fouled out and other then a 3-pointer late, Facey struggled defensively.  This unit had a hard time keeping Louisville off the offensive glass.

There is no sugar coating it.  This team has hit rock bottom and the offense isn’t where it needs to be to make any run in either tournament.  They look so tight right now and are working incredibly hard to even get thirty points in each half.  The defense kept them in this game until midway through the second half, but without any offense and Louisville’s incredible outside shooting, it ballooned out of control.  It is really hard to tell if this game is just an anomaly or a culmination of the past two weeks of games.  Unfortunately the only way to tell will be how short this season will be.

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