South Florida 65, UConn 51: Wrapping Things Up From The Sun Dome

by Categorized: Kevin Ollie, Omar Calhoun, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
Date:

 

TAMPA, Fla. – Some notes, quotes, thoughts from UConn’s 65-51 loss to South Florida.

Painful.

That’s what this game was. Painful to watch, and for the Huskies, painful literally and figuratively.  With the team UConn had on the court, the Huskies just had no chance and, this time, they seemed to know it. The reality set in, and they caved in. USF, one of the Big East’s most offensively-challenged teams, was able to score one easy basket after another as the Huskies stared at each other.

“We broke down mentally,” DeAndre Daniels said. “We stopped playing defense.”

This was a bad loss. But it could be worse on Saturday, against a much improved Providence team. With No Shabazz Napier, no Niels Giffey, no Tyler Olander and no Omar Calhoun, that one could be very painful to watch. And that’s what it looks like right now.

No one would have been disappointed with a 19-win season back in November, but finishing with a four-game losing streak would be a downer. The Huskies, though, are really faced with circumstances beyond their control. You could have guessed back in November that if R.J. Evans had to play 30-plus minutes, the Huskies would be in trouble. That just wasn’t the plan.

Olander injured his left foot and left on crutches. We’ll know tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good. That would leave Phil Nolan with no backup center on Saturday. Nolan played 24 minutes, had two points and six rebounds.  To hear Calhoun talk, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to play Saturday.

Jevon Williams of East Hartford, a new walk-on, got into the game and played a minute. Leon Tolksdorf played two minutes. The way Omar Calhoun (1 for 14) was shooting with that wrist injury, you felt like a Tolksdorf might have provided a three-point threat.  Brendan Allen played 13 minutes, had one rebound and one free throw, a miss.

Lots more on this game, including the main game story,  the UConn notebook,  gallery of pics from Stephen Dunn, the box score, are up on our main website. And he complete transcript of Kevin Ollie’s postgame remarks are here.

Don’t forget our live chat Thursday at 10:45 a.m., when we wrap up the season. … I’d just throw this game out the window, given  the circumstances, and dwell on the highlights, but I have a feeling that won’t be  the case. … Talk soon.

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6 thoughts on “South Florida 65, UConn 51: Wrapping Things Up From The Sun Dome

  1. Ray

    I say again its been a good team to watch this year, but how many times do we need to see Boatright get picked or dribble off his foot. Ryan, you are not Kemba…..distribute the ball.

    1. Tom

      One of the stupidest things I’ve ever read in a comments section. And that’s saying a lot.

  2. Rev Kevin R Loughran

    I was at the game and appreciate that Dom saw what I saw. They are done – great season but this group is worn down to a shell of itself and much of it is beyond their control. I felt terrible for Calhoun. It’s not like he wasn’t trying, he had solid open looks and just couldn’t knock them down, he’d miss, Boatright got to thinking he had to do it all himself and USF doubled Daniels, it got really ugly, really fast.

    How exactly has Kevin Ollie packed it in? He managed to keep this team in the game until the under 16 time out – he somehow got Calhoun to play D until the kid couldn’t stand watching his shot drift left or right anymore, he tried going with DeAndre at the 3 and two other bigs only to have Olander go down.

    What else is he supposed to do? Suit up? Maybe the NCAA won’t notice because they’re too busy trying to stop the good ship litigation from dragging them under.

    I’d say to the team thanks for a great season – let the walk ons play Saturday, take their lumps and lets get healthy for a run next season.

  3. UCONNFB

    One game left. 20 wins would be a terrific accomplishment as would 10 Conference wins. Kevin Ollie never gave up on these kids all year. He took up for them even when it would have been understandable if he said “please give me some talent here so we can compete”. The Coach never gave up on the players; now it is the players time to show they will not give up on the Coach and the program.
    Suck it up and play hard for 40 minutes on Saturday.
    Get a win!

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