A lot to like about todays game | The Boneyard

A lot to like about todays game

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I was concerned how they would handle the adversity of the Boatright situation and having to play at South Bend where the outcome usually isn't very good for UConn and most teams. But UConn looks like a completely different team than they had been of late.

1. Finally got solid contributions from our wings today, 19 points between Scoe, Giffey and Daniels

2. Kept the TOs down, just 10 today, down 2 from the 12 they had against WVU. I like the downward trend in TOs. I was trying to look for their early TO numbers earlier in the season, but couldn't find them, but for the season they're averaging 14 TOs/GM compared to last season's eye popping 11.4 TO/GM wichi is remarkable for a UConn team. I thought they had continued their low TO trend early in the season, but I don't know if that is the case. Hopefully they're getting better in this area, but ND is not a tough on the ball defending team like many of the other BE teams.

3. Good leadership by Bazz - Struggled with his shot from the floor and the line, but played all 40 minutes even though he's hurt and kept the team focused and filled the box score with solid numbers: 16 pts, 5 assts, 3 rbs, 1 stl, 1 blk and just 1 PF and 1 TO.

4. Lamb didn't shoot the ball well, but did what coaches love to see, did other things to help his team with 7 assists, 3 rbs, 1 stl and 1 block.

5. Alex & Scoe have come back from the dead - Both returned to their 2011 Post-Season form. Alex in particular has put together nice back-to-back games. This team is completely different when both of them are playing well and JC can have them on the floor as often as possible.

6. AD with another double-double - Struggled a bit to finish his plays but filled the box with 10 pts, 13 rbs, 2 blocks, 1 ast, 1 stl and just 1 TO. Although he got credited for just 2 blocks he and Alex clearly made life misserable at times for ND to score in the paint.

7. Defended very well especially on the perimeter - Held ND to 23% from 3 on 6-23 shooting, and 32% overall. This might be the most encouraging thing of all, since it was our D that contributed most to our 11 game season ending run last year.

In stead of being 3-3 in the Big East, 1-3 in their last 4 games, they are now 4-2 and seemingly back on track. Hopefully they'll get Ryan back soon, but they showed they still had more than enough horses to win a road Big East game.
 
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We played like a team today. Amazing how the loss of Boat makes everyone step up.
 
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We played like a team today. Amazing how the loss of Boat makes everyone step up.
There's that saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention." I wouldn't quite say that the RB's loss made everyone step up, but it certainly opened up more PT for Scoe and Giffey to shine. Everyone who got PT today, played well with two key pieces (Alex & Scoe) of last season's NC run finding they way back. It's good to be a Husky.
 
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There's that saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention." I wouldn't quite say that the RB's loss made everyone step up, but it certainly opened up more PT for Scoe and Giffey to shine. Everyone who got PT today, played well with two key pieces (Alex & Scoe) of last season's NC run finding they way back. It's good to be a Husky.
Definitely made everyone come together and play as a team. Jeremy Lamb has the most assists on our side for the game.
 
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Quite frankly, UConn kicked Notre Dame's ass in the second half, and I enjoyed every second of it, considering they had won three straight against us. For the second straight game, UConn played exactly the way I envisioned them playing before the season.

Defense: The defense was phenominal in the second half of the WVU game, and today they picked up right where they left off. Aside from a few breakdowns in the second half, it's really difficult to find anything to nitpick here. Drummond and Oriakhi both recorded two blocks and altered several other shots. The perimeter D was outstanding, as they held Notre Dame to 6-26 from beyond the arch (that's two straight games the 3 point D has been much better) and forced them to the middle. Clearly Notre Dame did not have the talent to finish over our size and length at the rim.

Offense: In the first half the offense looked pretty bad, but in the second half it was like a different team. Oriakhi and Drummond combined for 20 shots in this game, which is about as many as they should be taking on a regular basis. Considering the significant size advantage we have over most teams, there is no reason not to use it. Working from the inside out is often more efficient than outside in, and I think the team is finally starting to figure thta out. Oriakhi got going, and that led to some open looks from Giffey, Roscoe, and Napier. They did a nice job on Lamb, but that's ok if the other guys are going to hit their shots.

Some player notes:

Roscoe Smith-Jeez, I had almost forgot this guy was on the team! Boy have I missed his contributions. Today he played with a ton of energy, grabbing six rebounds, playing excellent defense, protecting the rim, and even hitting a couple jump shots. He was a real spark, hopefully he continues to play well in the absence of Boatright.

Giffey-You can see the kid getting more comfortable out there. 7 points, 5 rebounds today, but the effect he has on the game cannot be measured by the statistics. We don't have a ton of great passers on this team, but Giffey always makes the right play on offense, and always looks to feed the post. He can also shoot the ball which makes things easier for the post guys. I think he really has a huge effect on Oriakhi's play. Defensively, we all knew he would be solid, but man, I'm not sure I've seen his man beat him off the dribble all year. He's turning into a lockdown type guy.

Napier-Except for a couple of deep threes, he was very much in control today. He was agressive, but he also didn't force the issue, scoring 16 points on 11 shots while dishing out 5 assists. He was a lot better on defense today too, really pressuring the ball and making things tough on the ND guards. It's just tough that he has to play close to 40 minutes now, because I feel like he'd be better if he played 32-34 minutes.

Lamb-Didn't have his best day scoring wise, but he helped in other areas. He had seven assists, which I'm sure is a career high, and he also played good defense. He'll have bad shooting days, but so did Kemba. Just as long as he helps in other areas.

Olander-Only played six minutes, but he made the most of em. As we've come to expect from him, he played with great energy and had a nasty putback dunk.

Daniels-Played twelve minutes, had a nice drive to the bucket, but didn't do much else. He's just gotta keep playing agressive, it'll come to him eventually.

Oriakhi-This is two excellent games he's played in a row now. I have been saying all along, he's better in the post than people give him credit for, which is why I was begging to feed him more earlier in the year. Even today, it wouldn't have hurt to get him more touches. Regardless, he played great. Really held Cooley in check, grabbed seven boards, blocked two shots, and scored twelve. He was probably the best player on the court today.

Drummond-His jumper wasn't falling today like it was against West Virginia, but when he plays aggresively he has such an impact. Really all we're asking for him is to hit the boards, attack the rim for some alley-oops, and play great D. He did all that today and then some. 10 points, 13 boards, 2 blocks. Kid is going to be special.

As you can see, UConn needs the frontcourt to play like they are capable of to win these tough games in the Big East. When they impose their will on the other team, this team is difficult to beat. It's only January, but this team made significant progress in this past week. Next week will bring two more difficult matchups, as they host Cincy and then travel to Tenn. Hopefully more of the same effort and energy we saw today.
 
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As soon as I heard RB was being denied the opportunity to play in front of his family this morning I felt sorry (not really) for Notre Dame. Coach and team were going to be on a mission and they delivered.
 
C

Chief00

Quite frankly, from a coaches standpoint you often see a positive emotional reaction from a team after they lose a player.........given our upcoming schedule though it will be a real struggle without Ryan's energy. Let's hope the NCAA addresses the matter with speed but yeah we have seen their slowness in regards to UConn over and over again during the M.E. tenure. While Auburn got a bizarre, illogical and quick green light with Cam Newton. Yes, this grudge is getting old and it may need to be addressed legally.
 
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I may be one of few people who cares but 10 more wins and Calhoun passes Rupp for most wins all-time.
 

fleudslipcon

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I may be one of few people who cares but 10 more wins and Calhoun passes Rupp for most wins all-time.
I'm excited by that outcome as well. I'm sure most people who follow UConn closely are excited by it as well.
 
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I didn't realize it was only 10 more games... too bad those 2 earlier didn't count.
 

fleudslipcon

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Offense: In the first half the offense looked pretty bad, but in the second half it was like a different team. Oriakhi and Drummond combined for 20 shots in this game, which is about as many as they should be taking on a regular basis. Considering the significant size advantage we have over most teams, there is no reason not to use it. Working from the inside out is often more efficient than outside in, and I think the team is finally starting to figure thta out. Oriakhi got going, and that led to some open looks from Giffey, Roscoe, and Napier. They did a nice job on Lamb, but that's ok if the other guys are going to hit their shots.


As you can see, UConn needs the frontcourt to play like they are capable of to win these tough games in the Big East. When they impose their will on the other team, this team is difficult to beat. It's only January, but this team made significant progress in this past week. Next week will bring two more difficult matchups, as they host Cincy and then travel to Tenn. Hopefully more of the same effort and energy we saw today.[/quote]


I thought UConn was running their offense well in the first half. Very few of their shots were falling. The next two games should be interesting because Cinci and Tennessee have much better front courts than ND.
 

fleudslipcon

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36 games to tie Bobby Knight. I don't think he wants to get more victories than BK.
 

RoderickSpode

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36 games to tie Bobby Knight. I don't think he wants to get more victories than BK.
Good point. If we make another title game he'll probably tell our guys to lose so his national championship total doesn't surpass Knight's, either.
 
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2. Kept the TOs down, just 10 today, down 2 from the 12 they had against WVU. I like the downward trend in TOs. I was trying to look for their early TO numbers earlier in the season, but couldn't find them, but for the season they're averaging 14 TOs/GM compared to last season's eye popping 11.4 TO/GM wichi is remarkable for a UConn team. I thought they had continued their low TO trend early in the season, but I don't know if that is the case. Hopefully they're getting better in this area, but ND is not a tough on the ball defending team like many of the other BE teams.

TO numbers earlier in the season:
Columbia: 15
Wagner: 19
Maine: 16
Coppin St: 8
UCF: 11
FSU: 19
Arkansas: 14
Harvard: 8
Holy Cross: 7
Fairfield: 12
USF: 13
 
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Interesting that one of the lower TO totals occurred against UCF, but 19 against FSU.
 

fleudslipcon

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Good point. If we make another title game he'll probably tell our guys to lose so his national championship total doesn't surpass Knight's, either.
I know it seems dumb, but JC has the utmost respect for BK. He views him as a mentor and one who guided him on his path to UConn. If JC wasn't already considering retiring, I wouldn't have proposed my seemingly ridiculous statement. But JC is considering retirement and there is just enough sentimentality in him to use the Bobby Knight numbers as a act of respect for a man JC admires.

Of course there is the Boeheim factor to consider and if a fourth NC looks possible next season that might keep his competitive juices going but I think he considers the move around the BK total wins.
 
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AO had the looke of confidence. He played well, I hope it's not" fools gold". Bazz's shot is not there yet. Hopefully after the TN game he can rest his injuries and get back on track. His leadership is what I focus on and what the team really needs. He really stepped up. Giff has a nose for the ball and hopefully he gets more pt. Daniels looked ok, but still is not in the true flow yet. It will come with floor time and a few shots dropping. The D looked vg especially on defending the 3. We were active.....
 
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