Villanova 70, UConn 61: Wrapping It Up From XL

by Categorized: Big East, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Omar Calhoun, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball


HARTFORD – Notes, quotes, thoughts from UConn’s loss to Villanova.

First blush – this is the most disappointing game of the season, because the Huskies aren’t perpetual underdogs any more.

The win over Syracuse changed that, raised expectations. So even though Villanova, with its resume loaded with quality wins, was a dangerous opponent, this is a let-down after what happened on Wednesday night – especially with an even bigger crowd.

The mechanics of the game are not complicated. UConn has no inside game, and is woefully thin up front. They’re limited. And when you can only do certain things, no matter how well, it’s going to be stopped at times.

Jay Wright said his plan was to put extra, extra emphasis on stopping Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. He was concerned that the extra help would allow others to produce, and Omar Calhoun, with penetration rather than relying on threes, did score 16, going 9 for 9 from the line. But that was not enough to carry UConn.

Here is the game story for the Sunday Courant.

The combined six points by Napier and Boatright were, of course, their lowest total in a game this season by far. The previous low was 19 against St. John’s.

“We can’t afford for both of them to have off shooting nights on the same night,” DeAndre Daniels said.

Ryan Arcidiacono had a big game for Villanova. Wright says he wants him to be more aggressive as a scorer. Here is the UConn notebook for the Sunday Courant.


Kemba Walker, averaging 17.2 ppg for the Bobcats, was at the game, with the NBA in its All-Star Break. He got a huge hand from the crowd, naturally.

Shabazz Napier: “We don’t sit on our success. That’s one thing I know for sure about this team. We just came out too fragile, with  not enough toughness.  … In  the first half I got into foul trouble and I wasn;t to aggressive. Then I took some threes and when they didn’t connect I became passive. … They usually like to blitz the ball-carrier. I was too passive.”

Daniels: “They out-toughed us. I tip my hat to Villanova, they out-toughed us.”

 Napier: “Everybody just played terrible”

Going to save some Omar Calhoun to write Sunday, but we talked some about his development. The college game has slowed down for him now, he says, and he is more comfortable. “I’m not just a shooter,” he said.

The Huskies have five days to get ready for Cincinnati, which beat Villanova this week. Kevin Ollie expects the “same recipe” from them. Here is his take on this game.

Here are some great pics from  the game.

We’ll have lots more, including Jeff Jacobs’ take on the game, on our main website.

Minutes watch: Phil Nolan, after the encouraging 14 minutes against Syracuse, got two quick fouls and played only five minutes, getting one rebound. That didn’t help UConn’s rebounding.

Leon Tolksdorf got in for six minutes and hit two threes. R.J. Evans played 12, Niels Giffey 20. UConn got 20 points off the bench, to Villanova’s four.

The Huskies had 19 turnovers. Not awesome. The “Welcome to Ollie-Wood” sign? Potential.

Finally, your box score.


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15 thoughts on “Villanova 70, UConn 61: Wrapping It Up From XL


    Big disappointment after the great “effort” vs Syracuse. No “effort” today on the back boards. Rebounding is all about “effort”. Jeff Adrien, Ed Nelson, Kevin Freeman showed us that.
    Boatwright continues to be a defensive liability. He cannot guard anyone. Getting lit up by a freshman guard for 25 pts is enough to make you sick to your stomach. Where is the defensive stopper?
    Add the new guard recruit next season and the rotation will be the new guard from NY, Napier and Omar Calhoun. Boatwright will be an “instant offense’ substitute, a la John Gwynn, playing 10 mins per game.
    No replay at the game; was the break away layup by Napier that was “blocked” by Villanova at the end of the game a goal tending or not? looked like GT from Sec 115.

    1. Pete

      It should of been basket interference because the nova player slapped the backboard and the backboard was shaking as the ball was bouncing on the rim. The nova player also got his hand in the net as well. however, the ref explained to the announcers that a defender can slap the backboard if he is attempting to block a shot. I think the ref is full of bs and misapplied the rule.

      1. Hip Hop Hood

        Please…no more excuses. KO is just not good enough to keep the team motivated and the players have no self motivation.

  2. Hip Hop Hood

    the team played like they gave up on KO.

    KO can’t motivate the team against bad teams.

  3. John Thrower

    Just so sick of watching Boatright dribble, dribble, dribble in the front court, then oops turnover! Do ya think it’s “I” not “team!” So much standing around by post players. They should watch the women and take some notes on moving around on offense. Just hate watching the big guys, when they do, work to get the ball only to have Boatright continue to dribble and look for HIS, I, Me shot. Not much of a team guy.

  4. buddy

    They were high after Cuse. Expected a cake walk Played like they played Quinnipiac. Boat’s head just not in game. Perhaps if they were told that a member of Villanova’s administration was on the APR committee that kept UConn out of the NCAA tourney (along with the traitor from Hartford),and that a win by UConn would have helped to keep Villanova out of the tourney. How sweet that would have been. Winnable game, but let it slip away.

  5. Andrew

    It was an ugly game made worse by crap officiating (particularly down the stretch). The missed goal tend call and the turnover when RJ Evans was driving to the basket and was slapped from behind were incredulous. There also just seemed to be a lot of inconsistent foul calls through out the game. If you’re going to let them play then let them play. Very disappointing stuff from then and the UConn players…

  6. George Syms

    The 2 team leaders better come back for another year of prep work. The summer league will make them better players and gentlemen. They really blew it in the second half and they want more fans at the games. Sorry

  7. JD

    Well this was predictable with all of the Talk about UCONN winning the BE regular season nad KO COY talk.

    Come on let’s face reality here, Ollie has done very well to this point but let’s see how this team finishes. UCONN just isn’t that good anyway you look at it. The guards are inconsistent and the Front Court is probably the worst in the BE.

    20 Wins this year and that’s a great job by the coach and solid effort from the team.

    The problem I see is that even if they all come back next year, we still are going to have a Bad Front Court but hopefully more consistent guard play.

  8. HuskytilIdie

    This is to the people commenting:
    Some of you I have to question if you a “True Uconn Fans”. This is or team…the guys that were LOYAL and stuck around while everyone else was jumping ship. Some of you can learn a valuable lesson from them. Stop talking shit. without anyone of these guys we would be terrible. Sure Boat dribbles a lot but who else besides bazz can create period a bad game is a bad game…didn’t hear all this a couple days earlier when BOATRIGHT WAS ALLEY OPP’S all over the Orange….Boatandbazz,,,,,,1 MORE YEAR

    1. UCONNFB

      Pass the bottle of whatever it is you’re drinking so we can all get to “LaLa Land”.
      Time for a reality check my man.

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