ORLANDO, Fla. – What a wonderful world it would be, in Connecticut, if it could be like this all the time … if the Huskies could rebound well all the time … if they could pass the ball and get a lot of assists all the time … if the big men could get the ball and score in the paint all the time … if there was less dribbling …
… If the Huskies played Central Florida all the time.
UConn did all the things it did not do against Cincinnati, or Louisville, or SMU in large part because they were not playing Cincinnati or Louisville on Sunday night. They were playing UCF, 9-12, 1-9-in-the league, eight-game-losing-streak UCF. So it was like a test-tube game, a chance to work on all the elements the Huskies need to be successful in a stress-reduced environment. It was good, a good, resounding 75-55 win, which was so badly needed after the game at Cincinnati.
Perhaps the Huskies can string a few of these together now – eight would be nice, with South Florida, Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati and Rutgers all coming to Connecticut and the road games at Temple and Rutgers. Then the Huskies could go into the last regular season game at Louisville with confidence and a ton of momentum.
UCF provided nothing if not a chance to build confidence. For 10 minutes, the Huskies played almost perfect basketball and ran away with the game with a 24-6 spurt. The second half … well, that was just crazy, with behemoth Justin McBride coming in and dominating for about seven minutes. Two steals by Shabazz Napier snatched the game back for UConn and then it was clear sailing. Here’s the main game story for the Monday Courant.
Here’s Kevin Ollie’s take:
“We started out in the first half playing UConn basketball. It was 18-17 and we went on a 24-6 run, and that’s what we’re capable of doing. In the second half we got a little sloppy, a little complacent. We turned the ball over.
[Isaiah] Sykes had a quick six points and then we started loading up, we got himin foul trouble. We had 10- eyes on him and made him pass it out.
… Rebounding. We rebounded and we went on the fast break. Lasan [Kromah] was terrific, getting to the rim – not only getting to the rim, he was all over the place, getting steals, making amazing layups
‘Bazz was making terrific passes, everyone was running, playing together, playing unselfish.
We started messing around with the game a little bit but we composed ourselves and got a 20-point win.
Passing a big factor, we had nine assists in the first half and ended with 11, which I’m not too happy about. But we were Sharing the basketball, getting the ball ahead, not settling. They took what we were trying to teach in practice and they brought it to the game But the key for us was rebounding.
We ran first play with [DeAndre], he got to the paint. Then they corralled him a little bit. All in all, he played a good game. He got seven rebounds, he was right around the basket, he got a lot of touches.
[McBride] is a load down there. We got to get in front of him. They were coming off the Continue reading