STORRS – Okay, the first one is out of the way. The jitters, the rustiness, the bugs being worked out, all that good, and not-so-good stuff, is out of the way for UConn.
The Kevin Ollie era has begun, and so has the Omar Calhoun era. Of course, I have to save something to wrote tomorrow, so I’ll feature Omar a little more then. But for the freshman, this was overall a pretty good night.
He scored 24, and he showed that he wanted the ball, wasn’t afraid to shoot. He did annoy Ollie a bit by flexing his muscle after an and-one, and making a three-sign after hitting one.
“Being from New York, being a Brooklyn kid, [confidence] is just something I was brought up with. I’m always going to go hard and be confident on the court.”
Omar has his parents and his sister up from Brooklyn – they made out Okay in the storm. He said still has some of the “high school” thing in him, but he can play his confident, exuberant game without the gestures. He’ll adjust to it.
“If defenses are keying on me and Shabazz and Tyler,” Ryan Boatright said, “and Omar gets those open shots and knocks ‘em down, he’s going to have a great, great year. He’s a natural scorer.”
Omar Calhoun didn’t start, but came in for Niels Giffey after three minutes and ended up playing 31 minutes, hitting 8 for 14, 3-for-6 from three-point range.
DeAndre Daniels had eight points, nine rebounds, Tyler Olander had nine points, eight rebounds. UConn, after a bad start on the boards, ended up with a 39-31 edge. Of course, this was a Division II opponent. One has to be more concerned than before about what a Big East team will do to t his UConn team on the boards.
Wow, rough night for Phil Nolan. Nine minutes, no points, two rebounds, five fouls. “I think some of the younger guys didn’t know what to expect,” Olander said, perhaps referring to Nolan, who looked jittery.
On the minutes watch, Leon Tolksdorf played only three, Brendan Allen did not play. The game, frankly, was never so under control to allow Ollie to really empty his bench, which is also a little disconcerting.
The Huskies will get Enosch Wolf back on Sunday, unless he has a setback. He will practice full speed on Saturday. (He’s recovering from a concussion.)
UConn made 16 of 32 from the floor in the second half.