Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some thoughts on the UConn team thus far

What a game Friday night between Memphis and UConn. Helluva performance by both teams. After getting down 10-0 and 20-5 in the opening minutes, UConn, led by AJ Price fought all the way back to take the lead heading into halftime. Price and Jerome Dyson both looked very good, getting into the lane whenever they wanted and combining for 40 points and 23 FT attempts. Biggest problem for UConn was that there little guards (Price, Dyson, Doug Wiggins, and Craig Austrie) couldn't handle the strength of Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Stanley Robinson was not quick enough to stay in front of either of them. Granted, both are phenomenal offensive players, but they really exposed a weakness in UConn's defense. If Marcus Johnson was still in Storrs, things could have been different.

But enough of the bad stuff. UConn has now played four games, and this is how things look thus far. The Huskies showed a ton of heart battling back against Memphis. The one thing that last night proved is that UConn is going to fight and scrap in every game they play. They have a ton of athletes and guys that make plays, but are still raw. Dyson and Price are both very quick and can get in the lane. They are going to have to carry alot of the offensive load for UConn, especially in UConn's get-out-and-run style offense. Jeff Adrien is his playing his usual bullbog style, and has added a nice little turn around jumper and baby hook to his repetoire. Stanley Robinson is still a little too streaky (Calhoun himself said that the Morgan St. game was the worst game he's ever played and the Buffalo game was the best he's ever played). Last season homesickness really distracted him, but by the looks of it he has gotten over it. He is making the athletic plays UConn needs him to make, and he should thrive under this UConn style. Hasheem Thabeet is still incredibly raw (after watching the Memphis, my buddy Elias said "Thabeet looks like the players in Space Jam after the Monstars stole their talent). He still has bricks for hands, although he seems to be finishing better downlow, but to take it to the next level he needs to be stronger finishing aka someone 7'3" should never lay a ball up, he needs to be dunking on people left and right. Also, he, along with the UConn team in general, is hitting free throws this year. Gavin Edwards has looked promising thus far - getting rebounds and garbage points. He needs to be Boone to Thabeet's Okafor from 2004. If Wiggins and Austrie can knock three's consistently, UConn is going to be a dangerous team.

Friday night UConn proved they can play with anyone in the country. The Morgan St. game showed that they can be beaten by anyone. Bottom line - UConn is still a middle of the pack Big East team, but they are going to be a lot of fun to watch.

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