Just spoke to Dick Vitale, who is coming to Storrs for the Louisville-UConn game on Saturday night and -you guessed it – he’s excited.
“Gampel is one of the places I love to come to,” he said, “it’s a pure, college atmosphere. I like it so much better than the big place they play [the XL]. To me, that’s an NBA feel. This is a college feel, baby – excitement, electricity.”
Vitale, who spoke to both coaches Friday, sees DeAndre Daniels and Amida Brimah as keys to the game. Louisville, he said, has great respect for Daniels’ athleticism and versatility. Brimah needs to be more like the player who had 20 points and eight rebounds against UCF.
“Brimah had that one great game and to me, he’s a key,” Vitale said, “if UConn can get some inside play, I think that will be a key. … I love this guard matchup, Shabazz Napier against Russ Smith.”
Perusing the American Conference, Vitale sees it as the best that could be made of a tumultuous situation.
“They’ve done a great job holding it together,” he said, “Connecticut and Memphis and Cincinnati are great programs. SMU is going to be better – Larry Brown has done a great job of whetting people’s appetite down there. Central Florida is a potential sleeping giant in sports, you’re starting to see them really get after it. It’s going to take time [to form rivalries], for people in Connecticut to be excited about playing Central Florida, but you’d hope they’d get excited for teams like Memphis, Cincinnati.”
UConn wants to keep Ryan Boatright’s plans private for now, give him space, so we probably won’t know until Saturday whether he will leave the team to attend services for his cousin, Arin Williams.
Here is the story on Jeremy Lamb from my trip to the Thunder-Grizzlies game the other night.