Good morning for St. Thomas where the weather is, well, you know, I don’t have to tell you.
Some observations following UConn’s Wake up call to the ACC – its 95-34 win over the Demon Deacons Thursday night at the Paradise Jam.
- The Huskies play Marist tonight. Game time is approximately 8:15 p.m., on SNY. Marist was trounced last night by No. 14 Purdue, 71-50. UConn set a tournament record last night with its 95 points
- It’s one thing to speculate about the depth and versatility the Huskies appear to have. It’s another thing to see it operate on a demolition site. You could not guard them last night; but hey, don’t feel bad, neither could Wake Forest. The Huskies shot 68.6 percent and won by 61 despite taking four fewer shots than its opponent. A very good sign: UConn got to the foul line 28 times. The only bad sign: They missed 10. It was the only crease in a perfectly pressed performance.
- Here is why you can’t guard UConn. Of the seven three-pointers made last night, three flew from the hands of players 6-2 or taller. Morgan Tuck (6-2), Breanna Stewart (6-4) and Stef Dolson (6-5) all had one, the first in Dolson’s career. And Kiah Stokes (6-3) was just inside the arc when she made a jumper from left side.
- UConn defense flattened Wake Forest in a variety of ways. Hands up, hands down, hands extended. It didn’t matter. The Demon Deacons had 24 turnovers and that seems too few. Maybe the official scorer just stopped counting. And the thing was, as it always is, it didn’t matter what the score was. The heat just kept coming.
- I thought Bria Hartley looked splendid in her first 15 minutes of the season. She made each of her three shots, scored eight points and had four rebounds, three assists and three steals. She thought her defense wasn’t up to par, which was easy to see since the Huskies won by only 61. Geno Auriemma’s view was different. He felt her rustiness was embodied by missing four of six free throws. And I trust his view.
- I asked Geno again last night if he has reconsidered his point of view about returning as USA women’s senior national team coach for the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympics. He didn’t say no, but we didn’t exactly say yes, either. He more or less said he hasn’t heard from anyone from USA Basketball and doesn’t think he will for a while because they have more pressing issues now.
- So if not Geno, if not Doug Bruno, then who? Mike Thibault? Fired. Marynell Meadors? Fired. Jen Gillom? Fired twice. Muffet McGraw? Not interested. Kim Mulkey? Under NCAA investigation. Dawn Staley? I wouldn’t think so.
- You don’t think Jen Rizzotti would have any interest in coaching the Connecticut Sun, do you? That certainly would be good for the box office. I mean, she has it so good at Hartford and likely will do more at the USA Basketball level at time goes on. If the Sun want her, it they better be prepared to pay her. The WNBA has its share of mediocre coaches and NBA/WNBA retreads. Connecticut would be making a big mistake if it sets it sights on another one.
- If there are 12 seniors in college basketball that are better all-around players than Kelly Faris, I’ll play poker with a hungry iguana.
- The most improved players at UConn: Dolson and Brianna Banks, who is faaaaaaaaaaaaaast.