All Time “Above Their Head” UConn Performances

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OkaForPrez

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Watching TSam keep us in it in the first half against Nova so that Bazz can come out of foul trouble to rain 40 footers.

It got me thinking, what are the most important personal best performances (at the time) in our history?

Brimah’s 3 point play the game before might count. Ricky against Duke.

What else?
 

the Q

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I will forever be proud that I’m the original porkchop believer...but he applies here. Dude played like a lottery pick towards the end of the season lol
time out.

we are gonna have to drop the gloves for that title...
 
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Not based on potential (which was obviously sky high), but based on what he had done that year, Kemba as a freshman carrying us to the Final Four with 20 points and some ridiculous clutch buckets against Missouri.

Edit: Kemba's line was actually 23, 5, and 5, on 7-9 from the field and 9-10 from the line. Insane as a freshman in the biggest game of his career.
 
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The all-timer has to be KO's coaching in the 2014 NCAAs. He unquestionably outcoached Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan, and Cal (not that the latter is all that impressive) in succession. You could throw Jay Wright in there too. I was convinced he'd be our coach for the next 25 years after we cut down the nets. He made some amazing decisions--e.g. going small vs Florida when our frontcourt got in foul trouble--that won us those games. Maybe it was the whole staff, maybe it was Miller or another assistant who made some of the suggestions for adjustments, but KO still gets the credit for implementing them.
 
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Toraino Walker in the BET.
A bunch of you have brought up worthy candidates, but I have to agree with Waquoit on this. Toraino Walker's performance in the 1990 BET as an off-the-bench Freshman against 2 guys who turned out to be good NBA players and were already upper classmen in Alonzo Mourning and Derrick Coleman in back-to-back games is the winner here.

Why does Toraino's performance that weekend stand out above all others either before or since?

First of all, the context - He averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the entire year. For most of the year, he wasn't our 1st or 2nd big man off the bench, but our 3rd behind Dan Cyrulik and often our old buddy Lyman DePriest when Calhoun would decide to go with a smaller line up.

Calhoun was forced to play Toraino in the Semifinal game because Rod Sellers twisted his knee two minutes into that game against Georgetown. The biggest play in the game was on a contested rebound with 52 seconds left to go between Toraino and Alonzo Mourning. We were up by 5 but Georgetown was in one of those sequences where they got several shots and it looked like we were starting to buckle at the knees a bit. The 2nd shot goes up from Dewayne Bryant, and he misses. But it looks for an instant like Mourning is going to get the rebound and have an easy put back... but NOOOO. Toraino grabbed the ball at the same time, and then proceeded to rip it away from Mourning with a monster-sized emphasis that caused the crowd to audibly gasp. I remember because I was there. It was freaking awesome to watch. And you could feel that at that moment Toraino had also grabbed the momentum of the game for the final time and put it in our favor... which is what happened.

Interestingly, if you go back and watch the replay of the game (Thank you @tcf15!), none other than Billy Packer who was doing color with Brent Musberger that day made that exact point about a minute later during a pause in the action as we were going to the free throw line.

No one - not even the most rose-colored glass fans of us - expected Toraino to come in and have the impact he did in that game against Alonzo Mourning, and then follow it up with another big performance in the championship game against the Syracuse front line including Derrick Coleman.

And although he had a few nice moments and games after that in the following 2 years before leaving the program prematurely at the beginning of his senior year (he only played in 1 game that last year after an apparent falling out with Calhoun), he never did anything in a Husky uniform that compared to that 2 game stretch at the 1990 BET. The fact is without him we do not win our 1st BET Title.

In that context it makes Toraino Walker's 1990 BET back-to-back performances the all-time "Above His Head" UConn performance.
 

GoDAWGS

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Phil Nolan's Defense against Iowa state, Michigan state, florida, and kentucky, he played sufficient defense on players he had no business guarding. He had Young even wanting to fight him at one point.
 

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